If Triathlon Australia ever needed evidence of where it’s focus should be the pro start list at the World 70.3 champs speaks very loudly. 22% of the pro field are Australians with 13 of the 46 men and 4 of the 29 females. Of course developing our your talent, which is part of TA’s role in the sport means that ITU style racing is important as the elite youth of the sport cannot do long course triathlons for obvious reasons. We have a number of women not racing who could easily be in this field as well. Women like Keat, Gailey (Mitchell), Crowley, Bevilaqua, Sym, could easily sit in this field. (apologies to any we didn’t mention)
The problem with writing a preview is that this year, like most, Australians have dominated podiums in the US 70.3 season. Almost all Australians racing this weekend could be on the podium if they have a perfect day. Of course with triathlon ‘a perfect day’ is the holy grail.
Australians are the current champions with Craig Alexander and Melissa Hauschildt winning the 2011 titles. Both will be defending their titles this weekend. In addition a number of other Australians will be top contenders for the title.
Craig Alexander, Michael Raelert, Joe Gambles, Greg Bennett, Bevan Docherty and Andy Potts are the obvious favourites. There wouldn’t be much dispute about this. It will come down to who can perform in the heat and who wants this title more.
We will see a lot of Clayton Fettell in the swim and bike legs of the race and if he has his run legs he could still be there towards the end and who knows… he may pull it off. Possible but he has his work cut out. Along with Fettell another Australian is expected to be alongside him. Paul Ambrose, as with Fettell, likes to race one way, from the front. Ambrose and Fettell equally have one of the best swim / bike combos in the sport. They both can run as well but there are a number of faster runners racing this weekend. It will remain to be seen if they can put a gap on the field. A big ask as this is one seriously hot field.
Alexander came here last year and clinically disposed of the field. This year has been a very different schedule with Melbourne throwing up a bit race early in the year, which Crowie won of course. Since then he has had a few hitouts with various results. With Crowie you can’t read much in to the misses as he is such a seasoned professional that when the big race comes along he will go to another gear.
Probably the favourite Australian male is Joe Gambles. Joe Gambles is in red hot form and aside from Crowie will be the male most will be keeping an eye on. Gambles has had some solid wins this season including a recent close one with fellow Aussie Leon Griffin with Gamble pulling away on the run. His devastating run will be the key in this field but his race will be set up with his swim and bike.
Greg Bennett will also be one of the favourites. He has shown this year that the 70.3 distance suits him perfectly. With a second behind Lance Armstrong at Hawaii this year in a very fast time plus some other top podium finishes he could be one to create an upset.
Melissa Hauschildt has not had the run miles that she wanted this year. There was an effort to get ready to race Ironman Cairns which was derailed when she suffered foot problems. Hauschildt was keen to have a tilt at Kona this year as her plans for the next four years would make it more difficult to focus on Ironman. Still with limited running Hauschildt has still put the fear in to the female fields (and a lot of the male fields) and last week at Hy-Vee she showed that with a little more distance in the race she is back to her best. A good takeaway from last weekend was that the usual gap she gives the strong swimmers has been pegged back in her favour a bit. For someone from a non-swimming background she has shown what a gritty athlete she is.
Doing all they can to finish ahead of Hauschildt are a number of the world’s fastest long distance triathletes including Australian Mirinda Carfrae. Carfrae is one of the fastest long distance runners in the game. The current World number two Ironman Champion will be in perfect form with only weeks to go until Kona. The women that Carfrae and Hauschildt need to worry about are Kelly Williamson, Angela Naeth, Jodie Swallow (back to her old self), Leanda Cave and Heather Wurtle.
Aside from these leading females Australian Lisa Marangon will be flying under the radar. Marangon has always been known as a very fast swim / biker and now with some run speed she could be a surprise dark horse. One of the things that has often plagued Marangon has been getting her stars aligned. With her new found training regime, a focus on racing with a 100rpm on the bike and what looks like a much better run we could see her at least in the top ten. Marangon won the Yeppoon 70.3 a couple of weeks ago in very warm temperatures.
Speaking of warm temperatures Michelle Wu has been living in Darwin for most of the Australian winter and and with a short stint in Sedona with the D-Squad and with coach Darren Smith in her corner Wu will also be a top ten contender. Wu has one of the faster runs around and Smith now her coach it will be interesting to see what Wu can produce. Wu likes her races hot and tough and we think she will be a surprise this weekend barring any mechanicals.
In case you have been living under a rock, Australian coach Darren Smith is the coach of Olympic silver medalist and Hy-Vee winner Lisa Norden. He also coaches Olympic number four female Sarah Groff. In fact of the 6 triathletes he coaches who were vying for Olympic berths all made it to London.
The mention of the D-Squad brings up Bart Aernouts. Aernouts was a champion duathlete who under Smith has learnt to swim (and much more). Aernouts is an athlete that is at the beginning of his long course triathlon career but is packed with talent. Maybe not a top 10 place but could be a surprise packet with Darren Smith in his corner.
Back to the full time Aussies and next one the list is Tim Reed. Reed is a self confessed cooler climate racer. He does not perform in the extreme heat. As one of the faster bike / run exponents even in the heat in Vegas Reed will still push the guys at the front. As always he will give a little in the swim and fight his way back on the bike to set himself up to apply his lethal run and hopefully bag a podium. Reed will be racing in his customary budgy smugglers. Reed wears these for two reasons. One is that anyone that knows Reed knows he is old school and loves the history of the sport. Secondly everyone needs a USP to stand out from the crowd and get noticed. The budgies is Reeds.
Josh Amberger will also be a top contender after his classy performance at Hy-Vee last weekend. Amberger finished 7th overall at Hy-Vee in one of the best fields assembled this year. Amberger will be a leader out of the water, will have a strong bike and will havehis work cut out on the 21.1km run against some of the best in the business.
Another Aussie who can match it with the fastest in each three legs is Christian Kemp. Kemp could put in one of the fastest run times and has shown this year that he can also be in the front swim pack and match it on the bike with the best. What we haven’t seen from Kemp is him put together all three legs at the pace that we know he can do. If he does then he will be a serious contender.
Paul Matthews has consistently podiumed this year and last week pulled of a tenth place in a stella field at Hy-Vee. Matthews is one of our leading 70.3 racers in the US and year in and year out he is in the money at most of the big races. Matthews also races in the 5150 series regularly and has some good speed because of this.
Another top Australian 70.3 performer this year is Richie Cunningham. Cunningham races predominantly in the Rev3 series and is currently the overall leader in the series. He has performed at the top end for a number of years and has previously finished 3rd and 5th twice at the 70.3 world champs. After racing for almost 15 years as a pro the Queenslander has built up an impressive resume. This year he has won 3 Rev3 halves, had two seconds at 70.3 races and a 3rd at Panama 70.3.
Leon Griffin has been back to his best this year afterÂ taking a year off last year. Even though he was officially back in a day job he did manage to pull of a few good results including winning the Challenge Cairns Half, Shepparton Half and Falls Creek Long Course. Not bad for a full time desk jockey. This year Griffin has a number of 2nd placings at 70.3 and long course events.
Josh Rix is someone who has had a solid year this year. He raced IM Melbourne for an 11th overall in 8:22 and a 3rd at the Cairns 70.3. Rix should be strong in the swim and will keep in touch on the bike.
Ollie Whistler has been working towards this race all year. With a decent crash a few months ago in a US race he missed a bit of training but has been focused on this race since. Whistler won Yeppoon and Canberra half ironmans last year and for a young guys shows that he has a long future ahead of him. Watch out for the haircut.
|01 Craig Alexander 39 AUS|
|02 Michael Raelert 32 DEU|
|03 Richie Cunningham 39 AUS|
|04 Bart Aernouts 28 BEL|
|05 Timothy O’Donnell 31 USA|
|06 Joe Gambles 30 AUS|
|07 Tim Reed 27 AUS|
|08 Paul Matthews 29 AUS|
|09 Paul Ambrose 28 AUS|
|10 Matty Reed 36 USA|
|11 Terenzo Bozzone 27 NZL|
|12 Andy Potts 35 USA|
|13 Greg Bennett 40 AUS|
|14 Alessandro Degasperi 31 ITA|
|15 Filip Ospaly 36 CZE|
|17 Leon Griffin 32 AUS|
|18 Christian Kemp 31 AUS|
|19 Joe Umphenour 43 USA|
|20 Clayton Fettell 26 AUS|
|21 Sebastian Kienle 28 DEU|
|22 Ollie Whistler 24 AUS|
|23 Jeff Symonds 26 CAN|
|24 Tim Berkel 28 AUS|
|25 Santiago Ascenco 31 BRA|
|26 Kent Horner 30 ZAF|
|27 JOSH RIX 33 AUS|
|28 Callum Millward 29 NZL|
|29 Trevor Wurtele 33 CAN|
|30 RICH ALLEN 38 GBR|
|31 Josh Amberger 23 AUS|
|32 Bevan DOcherty 35 NZL|
|33 Paul Amey 39 GBR|
|34 Oscar Galindez 41 ARG|
|35 Erich FELBABEL 34 HKG|
|36 Jos_ JEULAND 30 FRA|
|37 Shanon Stallard 32 NZL|
|38 Robert Wade 30 IRL|
|39 Jordan Jones 31 USA|
|40 Jesse Thomas 32 USA|
|41 Balazs Csoke 29 HUN|
|42 Mauro cavanha 27 BRA|
|43 Julien Biboud 26 CAN|
|44 Matt Lieto 34 USA|
|45 James Bowstead 25 NZL|
|46 Faris Al-Sultan 34 DEU|
|47 Jack Smith 25 USA|
|60 Melissa Hauschildt 29 AUS|
|61 Kelly Williamson 34 USA|
|62 Linsey Corbin 31 USA|
|63 Jodie Swallow 31 GBR|
|64 Leanda Cave 34 GBR|
|65 Heather Jackson 28 USA|
|66 Margaret Shapiro 35 USA|
|67 Emma-Kate Lidbury 32 GBR|
|68 Angela Naeth 30 CAN|
|69 Joanna Lawn 38 NZL|
|70 Michelle Wu 29 AUS|
|71 Magali Tisseyre 30 CAN|
|72 Mirinda Carfrae 31 AUS|
|73 Natascha Badmann 45 CHE|
|74 Lisa Marangon 32 AUS|
|75 Jennifer Tetrick 30 USA|
|76 Meredith Kessler 34 USA|
|77 Amanda Stevens 35 USA|
|79 Julia Grant 26 NZL|
|80 MELANIE MCQUAID 39 CAN|
|81 Sarah Piampiano 32 USA|
|82 Claire Horner 31 ZAF|
|83 Yvonne Van Vlerken 33 NED|
|84 Julia Gajer 30 DEU|
|85 Heather Wurtele 33 USA|
|86 Missy Kuck 36 USA|
|87 Rachel Challis 36 NZL|
|88 Mandy McLane 33 USA|
|89 Mariana Andrade 25 BRA|
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.
News & Racing1 week ago
Red Bull TV to Air Live Race Coverage of the 2017 Ironman World Championship Internationally
Editors' Picks1 week ago
Ironman World Championship: Will Lionel Sanders Achieve His Dream of Whooping Frodeno?
Editors' Picks2 weeks ago
Why Young Athlete’s Should Consider Super League in Their Career
News & Racing1 week ago
Top Athletes From Around the World Head to Hawaii for the 2017 Ironman World Championship
News & Racing1 week ago
What Are The Future Plans for Super League Triathlon?
News & Racing1 week ago
Ironman World Championship: Aussie Pros are Ready to Race
Gear & Tech2 weeks ago
Review: KuaiFit Multisport headphones, not your usual set of sports headphones
News & Racing3 days ago
Ironman World Championship: Are We Stuck with Jan Frodeno & Daniela Ryf in Hawaii Again?