Heather Jackson was relentless while working her way through the field to take fifth in her first Ironman World Championship.

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Heather Jackson showed she could handle some heat by winning Ironman Coeur d’Alene this past June in 100-plus degree temps, but typically the Big Island is not very forgiving to even the most seasoned rookies. Jackson proved she has the toughness to do well in Kona yesterday with a fifth place finish and the top American spot on the female side. Jackson says she had a swim that was worse than she expected, and at one point during the bike, she was 20 minutes down off the leaders, but with legs that felt surprisingly good on the marathon, she made her way into the top five.


More Kona coverage.