Dawn Henry recaps today’s racing in Honu. (Pictures by Dawn Henry)
Top 100Â Female and Male Finsishers below… (Paul Attard’s results on Ironman show no run or finish time but Dawn Henry has reported him as finishing 4th with the fastest run time)
One of the most beloved sights in the world of triathlon is the view of a line of triathletes bent low over their aerobars, fighting off the gusting winds of the Big Island of Hawaii along the sun-scorched Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway. Today, the view took in 1,300 such athletes as professionals and age-groupers alike gathered along the Kohala Coast to take on Rohto Ironman 70.3 Hawaii. The Big Island just doesn’t know how to disappoint, and so the day dawned bright here over Hapuna Bay for a spectacular day of racing. (Pictures by Dawn Henry.)
The morning began with ominous gusts of wind that stirred up the water and blew competitors around the pre-race area. Picturesque Hapuna Bay still sparkled from the beach, but proved to hold currents and chop for the swimmers. The one-loop swim course presented competitors with a feast for the eyes and for the spirit as they made their way through the lively bay.
As expected, professional triathlete from Oahu, Hawaii, John Flanagan III, did what he does best when the cannon went off. Before the first buoy, Flanagan was separating himself from the field. The turbo-charged swimmer had only the lead stand-up paddler for company on the water and the beach to himself when he exited the water in 23:26. A full two minutes later, Americans Timothy Marr and Tim DeBoom along with Australian Luke Bell exited the water.
The men’s race quickly developed on the bike. Bell pushed hard from the transition and had closed within 30 seconds of Flanagan within the first ten miles of the out-and-back course on the bike. Behind Bell were Marr, DeBoom and American Matt Lieto, who were working hard to take on the hills through gusts of wind on the road to Hawi. The winds blew but, for the most part, held their temper. Lieto stepped up his pace returning along the descents from Hawi and gave Bell some competition for the lead. Bell and Lieto entered T2 together, a minute ahead of the rest of the pack. Ultimately, Lieto would clock the fastest bike split of the day in 2:13:07.
The run course at the 70.3 Hawaii meanders its way through perfectly manicured golf fairways and resort grounds, providing a breathtaking course that requires mental focus as well as physical fitness. The undulating course showed some mercy on the athletes today by providing cloudy skies to block the sun’s scorching rays. DeBoom was the next racer through T2, a minute back from the leaders and took on the run course looking like he was just starting his race. His controlled, swift pace was enough to make the difference on the day. In the early miles of the run, Bell again put distance between himself and Lieto, but, ultimately, he could not hold off DeBoom.
Between miles eight and nine, DeBoom and Bell were running close together, DeBoom looking controlled and confident and Bell determined to hold on. As the race entered a hazy, humid three-mile out-and-back stretch, DeBoom created the gap that Bell would not close. Two-time Ford Ironman World Champion DeBoom collected his first Ironman 70.3 Hawaii championship in 4:04:02. Bell came across the line a minute and a half later in 04:05:29.
Lieto, running loose over the punishing course, held on to third in 4:08:14. Australian Paul Attard, coming off the bike in sixth, brought home the fastest run split of the day, a 1:19:13, to catch Hawaii’s Marr and Flanagan on the run to finish in fourth. Marr finished shortly thereafter to round out the top five men. Big Island age-group competitor Luis De La Torre was next across the line to take the title of first age-grouper of the day.
DeBoom said he was “happy to have another win in Hawaii.” His race went according to plan, he said, as he held back on the bike in order to finish strong on the run. Looking out at the aqua blue of the Pacific Ocean while palm trees swayed above him, DeBoom said he was enjoying “the beautiful setting, the great aid stations,” and the easygoing, celebratory vibe of the 70.3 Hawaii.
Bell, here for the first time, called it “an amazing course,” and compared the out-and-back section on the run course to the Energy Lab at the Ford Ironman World Championship. Lieto, who says that racing pro “is a dream come true,” said the day was “rough, but I did my best. I want to say thank you to the island. It was a fantastic race.”
In the women’s race, Australian Belinda Granger, returning to defend her 2009 title, seemed determined from the start to squelch any suspense about the outcome of the day. Hawaii’s own Bree Wee was first woman out of the water, in 27:02 and looking strong. But Granger was on her heels less than a minute later, hitting the beach within seconds of American Teresa Nelson and Belgian Sophie Goos.
Ten miles into the bike race, Granger was already 30 seconds ahead of Wee and blazing along the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway. Granger nailed a bike course time of 2:31:10 and set off on the run with gas still in the tank, four-and-a-half minutes up on her competition. Next through T2 was Wee, who smiled at the raucous cheers of her local crowd and flowed onto the run looking at home on this grueling course. Goos was next off the bike a few minutes later, trailed by Nelson and American Emily Cocks.
The run unfolded according to plan for Granger and she crossed the line in first place in 4:34:38. Wee followed in second after putting down a solid run, finishing in 4:40:13. Cocks made her way through the ranks with the fastest run split of the day, a 1:30:49, to finish third, followed by Goos and Nelson.
Granger says she “went for it on the bike,” since it had been a few months since her last triathlon, and she wanted to see where her fitness was. “I was confident on the run. I was looking forward to it.” Wee said that she decided early on to race her own race and not try to stay with Granger. “I’m really happy with the race,” said Wee. “It’s always a good time to race in Hawaii. Our whole community is out here cheering. It was awesome.”
A steady stream of age-groupers moved through this course of champions today, bending low into the crosswinds and exhibiting the salt-covered tri suits of racing in Hawaii. With overcast skies and winds that visited but did not howl, the race brought plenty of personal records and hundreds of happy faces.
For results and athlete tracking from today’s race, click on the coverage tab on the Rohto Ironman 70.3 Hawaii event page here on Ironman.com, or go to www.ironmanlive.com
Ironman World Championship: Europeans Dominate and Records Fall
European dominance of the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona has continued but not as the pre-race script had been written.
While Switzerland’s “Angry Bird” Daniela Ryf made it three Kona victories, it was not defending champion Jan Frodeno’s day, with the men’s championship title transferring to fellow countryman Patrick Lange.
Coming from a nine-minute deficit off the bike, Lange revelled in near perfect conditions to write himself into the IRONMAN history books to destroy the course record set in 2011 by Australian Craig Alexander, with a 2:39:59 marathon that helped deliver a total race time of 8:01:40.
In a record-breaking day, Aussie Cameron Wurf won the battle of the bikers taking control of the race at the 110km mark and leading into the bike/run transition to set a new bike course record of 4:12:54, more than five minutes faster than Normann Stadler’s 2006 record.
Wurf surrendered his lead early on in the run, as Lionel Sanders (CAN and Sebastian Kienle (GER) made their presence felt, but very quickly all eyes turned to a charging Patrick Lange who had moved into third at 21km of the marathon intent on reducing the six-minute deficit to the leading Sanders.
Lange was on a mission and keen to improve on his third place last year and with 5km to go on the run he flew past Sanders, heading for town and the adoring crowd lining the run course and the finish line on Ali’i Drive.
“It’s everything I ever dreamed of. Oh, my god, I cannot believe it,” Lange said. “I always, always, always since I was a child dreamed of having this crown. From time to time you think someone is hitting with a baseball beneath your knees and you just want to drop out. I had to fight, I had to fight so hard,” Lange said at the finish line.
A fading Sanders managed to hold off the hard-charging David McNamee (GBR) for second with Kienle and James Cunnama (ZAF) crossing the finish to take fourth and fifth.
Swiss miss Daniela Ryf joined an exclusive club at the IRONMAN World Championships, recording her third win in Kona with a very skilful and strategic victory that while remarkably effective, lacked her usual flair and total dominance.
Ryf didn’t have it all her way, with Lucy Charles dominating the swim and majority of the bike before Ryf decided that enough was enough. Ryf wrestled the lead off the Brit and charged home with the fastest run of the day, putting a nine-minute gap to her chasers by the end of the 42.2km run.
“It was the hardest I had to ever fight for the win. I’m so happy to turn it around today,” a more emotional than usual Ryf said at the finish line.
Ironman World Championship: Patrick Lange Smashes Course Record and Daniela Ryf Earns Third Straight Win
Patrick Lange (DEU) and Daniela Ryf (CHE) earned championship titles with momentous performances today at the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i. Lange passed Lionel Sanders (CAN) in the final three miles, clocking in at 8:01:40 and establishing a new course record (formerly 8:03:56 by Craig Alexander, 2011). Ryf earned her third consecutive crown with a time of 8:50:47, joining an exclusive “three-peat” winners’ circle alongside the newest IRONMAN Hall of Fame inductee Chrissie Wellington and Natascha Badmann, Dave Scott, Paula Newby-Fraser and Mark Allen. Over 2,350 athletes from 66 countries, regions and territories on six continents started the IRONMAN World Championship race on the Island of Hawai`i in the toughest one-day endurance event in the world.
Lange, who raced in only his fourth IRONMAN to-date, had an incredible ascension after having been 17th out of the swim in today’s race. Shortly after the swim, a pack of strong cyclists including Sanders, Sebastian Kienle (GER) and Cameron Wurf (AUS) broke away from the group. Wurf would sail into T2, shattering the 2006 bike course record held by Normann Stadler (4:18:23) with a 4:12:54 split. Sanders and Kienle also smashed the record with 4:14:19 and 4:14:57 split times, respectively. On the run, Sanders took a quick lead as Kienle fell into second. Meanwhile, Lange moved from 11th place to a steady third-place position by the half-marathon marker. Lange then made a decisive pass at mile 23 on the run, as he moved ahead of Sanders to take a hold of the lead, finishing strong in first place. With a 2:39:59 run split, he was only 14 seconds away from breaking the run course record he set last year (2:39:45).
Sanders hung on for second place, ultimately concluding his race with a time of 8:04:07. David McNamee (GBR), Kienle and James Cunnama (ZAF) rounded out the top five.
McNamee had the second fastest run split of the race with 2:45:30, helping him clinch a third-place podium finish by more than two minutes ahead of Kienle.
Defending champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Jan Frodeno dug deep after back spasms slowed him first to a complete stop and then run/walk pace, mustering enough strength to finish the race.
Lucy Charles (GBR) led the professional women out of the water with a 48:48 split, missing the course record by only five seconds. After a speedy transition, Charles took the lead on the bike and had an approximately a five-and-a-half-minute lead over defending champ Daniela Ryf (CHE), Sarah Crowley (AUS) and Annabel Luxford (AUS). This pace remained consistent down the Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway until Ryf attacked, making up over five minutes over the final 25 miles of the bike, which positioned her at the front of the pack. Ryf then greatly extended her lead on the run, with Charles, Crowley and Heather Jackson (USA), fighting for the remaining podium positions.
Ryf took first at 8:50:47, almost exactly four minutes off of her own 2016 course record time of 8:46:46. Calling on her epic running abilities, the Swiss star claimed her third successive IRONMAN World Championship victory.
Charles, a Kona rookie, maintained her second-place position throughout most of the run and ultimately to the finish. Crowley rounded out the top three in her second-ever appearance at the IRONMAN World Championship, finishing her race exactly two minutes behind Charles. Jackson and Kaisa Sali (FIN) rounded out the top five women.
Ironman World Championship: The Best Run Images from Kona 2017
It’s never an easy day out when racing any Ironman race let alone the World Championship. Then add in some hot and humid weather and you really have a very tough set of conditions.
Here are some of the amazing images that were captured during today’s race.
Ironman World Championship: The Best Bike Images from Kona 2017
With the backdrop of the most infamous course in the world, the Ironman World Championship bike course never misses by the providing the most amazing landscapes for the bike course. This year was nothing short of spectacular.
Ironman World Championship: Patrick Lange Beats Sanders by a Hair for the Win & New Record
The results are in. The 2015 and 2016 winner of the Ironman World Championship triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, Jan Frodeno, suffered an injury early in the run today. This is when the world turned its eyes to Lionel Sanders of Canada, who led most of the race. That is, until the final few kilometres, when Germany’s Patrick Lange took the lead, setting a new world record of 8:01:39.
Lange came in 3rd place in the 2016 championship, following Frodeno and Sebastian Kienle, both from Germany.
As of this writing, 2015 and 2016 women’s winner Daniela Ryf is leading the women with 14km to go with Britain’s Lucy Charles behind her. This is Charles’ first Kona championship as a professional.
Sanders came in 14th and 29th place in the 2015 and 2016 races, respectively. Today was his first time making the top 10 in Kona. Earlier this year, Sanders announced that he would not compete in Kona. Later, he had a change of heart.
2017 has been a good year for Sanders. He competed in August’s International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championship, and a few Ironman 70.3’s. He won every race except the St. George 70.3, where he came in 2nd place.
Trizone predicted that Sanders would do well this year. After losing Kona in 2016, he decided to take this year’s championship very seriously. Sanders has been the wild card of the race.
Congratulations to Lange and Ryf, and to Sanders for his unexpected near-win.
Ironman World Championship: Are We Stuck with Jan Frodeno & Daniela Ryf in Hawaii Again?
It’s time again for another Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. The triathletes have already arrived on the Big Island, and sports news sites are speculating about who’s going to interrupt the winning streaks of Germany’s Jan Frodeno and Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf.
Frodeno & Ryf Are Each Going for their 3rd Consecutive Kona Win
Both Frodeno and Ryf were the winners of the 2015 and 2016 races. Frodeno pulled ahead of Germany’s Sebastian Kienle by 3:32 in 2016 and Andreas Raelert, also from Germany, by 3:03 in 2015. In the 2016 women’s race, Ryf led Australia’s Mirinda Carfrae by 23:44. She beat Britain’s Rachel Joyce by 13:02 in 2015.
Most of Ryf’s Rivals Dropped Out
Many of Ryf’s past competitors are not competing this year. Carfrae has a newborn baby. Canada’s Heather Wurtele, who opted out of this race, came in 3rd place in the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, leaving Ryf in 4th. The winner of that race was Holly Lawrence of Britain, who is also not competing this year.
Ryf’s Competition Could Still Be Fierce
The three rivals for Ryf to look out for are Heather Jackson of the USA, Rachel Joyce of Britain, and Melissa Hauschildt of Australia. Hauschildt made 2nd place in the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, and Ryf finished behind her by 3:00 to land 4th Place.
In the 2013 70.3, Jackson won 2nd place, losing to Hauschildt by 5:12. Ryf came in 6th, finishing 3:27 behind Jackson.
Who Should Frodeno Be Afraid Of?
The conversation around Jan Frodeno centres around two other German guys, Sebastian Kienle and Patrick Lange. Kienle won the 2014 Hawaii championship. Frodeno settled for 3rd place and followed behind Kienle with 8:20:32 vs 8:14:18. USA’s Ben Hoffman came in 2nd place.
These are the guys Frodeno has to worry about most.
Frodeno’s Possible Wild Card Nemesis
Another contender who could give Frodeno a run for his money is Lionel Sanders of Canada. He won 11 out of 11 races in 2013 and has won a lot of them since. Sanders, who almost skipped this year in favour of the 70.3 World Championship, missed the top 10 in Kona for the past two years in a row. He said he did not take the championship seriously in 2016, and he vows to do better this year.
Sanders is known for rapid improvement and the ability to surprise people with wins in the races he truly sets his mind to winning. He’s also known for performing below expectations now and then. Rest assured, he’s serious about Kona this time. He would not have signed up otherwise.
This May Not Be Totally Boring After All
Well, this is the data. We can leave it up to the reader to decide who will win Hawaii’s Ironman.