Michael Raelert and Melissa Rollison were a class above their respective fields today in Phuket as they took out the 2011 Asia Pacific Ironman 70.3 championship. Both of their runs proved to be the deciding factor with Raelert running 1:11 and Tim Reed being the only male that got close. Melissa Rollison ran 1:19 for an 11min quicker run than 6 time Ironman World Champion and second placed Natascha Badmann.
The day prior to the 2nd Asia Pacific 70.3 Championships in Laguna Phuket Trizone sat down with Michael Raelert, Melissa Rollinson and the Phuket weather man. In those discussions the 2 time 70.3 World Champ told us he planned to stay in or close to the lead pack that execute a powerful run to take home the title. For Rollinson, the reigning 70.3 women’s world champ, it was a case of planning to move to the front during the bike leg then showing a clean pair of heals to the competition on the run. The Phuket weather man told us we’d get a rain free race that would be hot and humid. We got two out of three at least.
Whilst the weather man was correct for the start of the race his predictions were way off the mark as the heavens opened on athletes as they took to the bike here in Phuket. It did mean a slightly cooler race with the rain falling for a good part of the race followed by cooler than normal overcast conditions. Sadly for Chris Lieto he didn’t get to see too much of the bike course as he hit the road at around the 15k mark heading through one of Phuket’s villages as he and the fellow lead men pushed the pace. Race over for the American and it was left to the two Germans in al Sultan and Raelert to take on the Aussie contenders such as Cunningham and Matthews along with American Matty Reed. A fairly tight pack of eight took to Phuket’s hills as they sped away from the rest of the field and took on the Phuket’s famous hills like they were mere speed bumps.
Into T2 and it became the Michael Raelert show. His race strategy had played out and it was time for him to use his weapon on the run. Raelert, Richie Cunningham, Paul Matthews, David Dellows and Paul Ambrose were very closely matched with Joshua McHugh also pushing the front guys. After swimming well Tim Reed flatted on the bike, crashed and had to really dig deep on the run to get back in to the race and got close to 3rd. What an effort! A shame as Reed was in great form and really focused on a top finish in the Asia Pacific champs. As the rain continued to fall, Raelert had opened up over a minute on the chasing Cunningham and Matthews, which soon extended as the kilometres passed along the flat tree lined course through the Laguna Phuket resort grounds. With Lieto bandaged up and out on course sharing splits to the leading men on the run, the German was in cruise control as he ran his way to a 3:51:36 with Richie Cunningham second in 3:57:16 and Paul Matthews 3rd in 3:58:24.
For the women, Mel Rollison continued her 2011 form by dominating the race in true World Champion style. Last year’s Asia Pac 70.3 runner up told us she had more fitness and plenty of confidence before the start. Her only nerves, using a TT bike to tackle Phuket’s course after she felt so good on her road bike last year. Fear not Mel! After Amanda Stevens lead the women out of the swim Rollison was on seek and destroy mode as she flew through the field on the bike as the local Thai school kids cheered and waved flags along the way. With her lead on the bike and her big weapon yet to come, it was going to be hard to stop her. When she didÂ eventually make her way out of T2 and onto the run it was a case of catch me if you can….they wouldn’t thanks to a 1 hour 19 minute run split! The Aussie sensation eventually crossed the line in 4:17:01. Behind her it was 6 time Kona Champion, the evergreen 44yo Swiss, Natascha Badman who had a brilliant day showing everyone that age is no barrier when you have an engine and experience like hers. An ecstatic Badman took home second place in 4:30:42 followed by last week’s Laguna Phuket champion who was taking on her first ever 70.3, Radka Vodickova in 4:34:50.
It will be great to see Mel, Mirinda Carfrae and Chrissie Wellington race against each other at some stage in the near future. Over the 70.3 distance these possibly the only women that can push each other. We are looking forward to seeing how Mel’s transitions and finish went.
Post race Michael told Trizone “It was tough course and definitely got hot towards the end but I had a great race and I’m very happy with the result.” Last year men’s champ Tim O’Donnell used a 12-28 rear cassette to take on the hills so we asked what Michael elected to use “I went with a 25 and it was fine, the hills may have some steepness but are not too long, though not being able to get out of the saddle due to the wet roads made it more difficult. It was the descents that were the hardest as they can be very technical and you must remain very focused to ensure you do not lose a wheel on the bends, so I was happy to get through it. The bad rain started for me as I got back to the highway on our way back in so we probably had about 30 kms or so of it.” When asked how he was feeling with his result he told us “I felt strong throughout the race and I my preparation obviously had me in really good shape which I needed with such a tough field. The local support was fantastic with all of the kids and Thai people waving flags and cheering. I felt like going and joining them to cheer a few times as they were so kind to us. I am really happy with my win and hope to come back and defend next year.”
|Raelert, Michael||31/M PRO||0:23:34||2:14:17||1:11:14||3:51:36|
|Cunningham, Richie||38/M PRO||0:23:55||2:14:07||1:16:44||3:57:16|
|Matthews, Paul||28/M PRO||0:23:39||2:14:13||1:18:02||3:58:24|
|Reed, Timothy James||26/M PRO||0:24:08||2:19:35||1:13:29||3:59:57|
|Dellow, David||32/M PRO||0:23:38||2:14:07||1:20:44||4:01:11|
|Cigana, Massimo||37/M PRO||0:28:21||2:14:25||1:16:20||4:01:54|
|Ambrose, Paul||27/M PRO||0:24:12||2:13:42||1:21:52||4:02:18|
|Reed, Matt||36/M PRO||0:23:37||2:17:00||1:21:30||4:05:14|
|McHugh, Joshua||23/M PRO||0:24:06||2:13:58||1:24:49||4:06:04|
|Degasperi, Alessandro||31/M PRO||0:24:28||2:22:27||1:17:33||4:07:18|
|Zyemtsev, Viktor||38/M PRO||0:24:24||2:24:16||1:17:46||4:09:21|
|Croneborg, Fredrik||31/M PRO||0:26:10||2:22:27||1:17:44||4:09:27|
|Al-Sultan, Faris||33/M PRO||0:23:53||2:23:58||1:20:37||4:11:49|
|Schokman, Peter||30/M PRO||0:24:22||2:24:27||1:17:18||4:13:16|
|Brandt-Joergensen, Niels||28/M 25-29||0:28:49||2:23:39||1:20:57||4:17:58|
|Buxhofer, Matthias||38/M 35-39||0:32:34||2:16:36||1:26:10||4:18:44|
|Low, Charlie||37/M 35-39||0:29:56||2:26:00||1:19:50||4:19:17|
|Spackman, Todd Thekid||24/M 18-24||0:27:18||2:25:58||1:23:39||4:19:43|
|Legh, Christopher||39/M PRO||0:26:41||2:20:22||1:29:58||4:20:15|
|Green, David||34/M 30-34||0:31:37||2:26:49||1:18:02||4:20:45|
|Rollison, Melissa||28/F PRO||0:27:32||2:26:39||1:19:43||4:17:01|
|Badmann, Natascha||45/F PRO||0:30:00||2:26:01||1:30:57||4:30:42|
|Vodickova, Radka||27/F PRO||0:26:13||2:39:04||1:26:25||4:34:50|
|Lidbury, Emma-Kate||31/F PRO||0:26:47||2:35:02||1:30:54||4:36:09|
|Lewis, Tamsin||32/F PRO||0:28:29||2:36:47||1:27:45||4:36:14|
|Wu, Michelle||28/F PRO||0:28:00||2:36:56||1:29:37||4:38:27|
|Rabe, Katja||33/F PRO||0:28:16||2:37:18||1:31:59||4:40:34|
|Granger, Belinda||41/F PRO||0:27:29||2:34:03||1:35:56||4:41:10|
|Sax, Janine||34/F PRO||0:27:53||2:36:58||1:34:57||4:42:57|
|Stevens, Amanda||34/F PRO||0:24:12||2:39:52||1:37:51||4:45:41|
|Raynolds, Matilda||24/F PRO||0:28:39||2:38:02||1:36:47||4:46:53|
|Ferreira, Samantha||30/F 30-34||0:28:40||2:39:35||1:38:30||4:50:57|
|Castle, Ange Megan||28/F PRO||0:31:26||2:40:51||1:34:41||4:51:05|
|Jackson, Christina||30/F 30-34||0:27:04||2:41:11||1:39:12||4:51:29|
|Niederfriniger, Edith||40/F PRO||0:28:28||2:41:16||1:38:08||4:51:41|
|Nivon Machoud, Ruth||21/F PRO||0:25:51||2:51:29||1:33:17||4:54:04|
|Taggart, Sally||45/F 45-49||0:31:39||2:44:23||1:35:07||4:54:47|
|Gordon, Jacqui||38/F PRO||0:29:26||2:47:17||1:35:19||4:55:42|
|D’haese, Veerle||33/F 30-34||0:34:34||2:42:55||1:35:26||4:58:15|
|Kempter, Sabine||32/F 30-34||0:32:56||2:46:39||1:37:55||5:01:42|
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.
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