Kiwi Penelope ‘Pea’ Strickland claimed the 2017 women’s Molokai-2-Oahu crown, upsetting her compatriot, world number one and red hot favourite Annabel Anderson while also matching Travis Grant’s efforts in setting a new race record.
Pea crossed in a time of 4 hours 52 minutes, which not only breaks the record by a few minutes it also put her top 10 in the men’s field in what is surely one of the greatest performances Molokai has ever seen.
This is an absolutely massive result for Pea, who started the race as a huge underdog despite having podium’d at Molokai twice before. After three-time defending champ Sonni Honscheid withdrew from the race, Annabel assumed pole position but ended up trailing her fellow Kiwi the entire way across the channel.
Making an absolute mockery of the pre-race predictions, Pea finished a mammoth 24 minutes ahead of Terrene Black, who in turn narrowly beat home Annabel Anderson to claim the runner-up spot.
The signs were there early, with Penelope, who’s been using the hashtag #2017ismyyear as a form of motivation lately, opening up a gap in the opening stages of the crossing and never looking back. Pea had a 500 metre lead over Terrene and Annabel around the halfway mark, but that ballooned out over the second half of the 32 mile course as her almighty performance seemed to simply snowball as the race progressed.
To add some delicious icing on top of what will already be a very sweet cake, Penelope’s time of 4:52:32 is a new race record, eclipsing the long-standing mark of 4:55:02 set by Talia Gangini way back in 2012. It’s only the second time a woman has broken the five hour mark at Molokai.
Full race details on SUPRacer.com.