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Preview: 2013 Ironman 70.3 Auckland

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One of the hottest fields assembled in the Southern Hempisphere races on Sunday in Auckland, New Zealand. Whilst there are a few athletes from outside Australia and New Zealand the real battle will be for trans Tasman pride. Athletes like Paul Ambrose, whilst it shows UK on the start list is for all intents and purposes an Aussie and will also be racing for an Australian win. Most of the other non ANZACs are regular Australian residents over summer. The main exception being Cameron Dye from the US. Dye is a non drafting Olympic distance specialist these days and his swim / bike will be one of the fastest in the race. The unknown is how fast he will be able to run the 21.1kms. He has posted some solid 32min 10kms but many of his triathlon run times are a slightly slower than many of the guys he will be racing on Sunday.

The swim course will offer the strong swimmers a few opportunities to try to shake the weaker swimmers. There are 5 turns that they will use to attempt to get a gap on their opponents. The bike course on Sunday will be fast with only a couple of opportunities for the strong cyclists to get away. Win in the later half could be an issue with the ride around the waterfront heading out past Mission Bay. The run is dead flat with only a lot of turns around the wharves providing opportunities to break opponents.

There are simply too many great triathletes racing this weekend to do them all justice. The man that many are saying is the favourite is Bevan Docherty. He showed last year that he is a very fast 70.3 athlete and will be wanting this win as a Kiwi. With his known ability to hurt more than most Docherty will be the one to beat.

Based on current form Graham O’Grady would have to be equal favourite but then what about Terenzo Bozzone, Cameron Brown, Joe Gambles, Tim Reed and Tim Berkel who are among the names that could take this race out and then throw in Paul Ambrose who will be leaving nothing out there on the swim and bike. O’Grady has won his last two half iron distance races beating Terenzo and Cameron Brown in Tauranga and also winning the Taupo Half at the end of 2012.

Even though Bozzone was beaten by O’Grady he is still the name many are saying should win. He caught O’Grady on the run at Tauranga but then O’Grady managed to pull away and take the win. That was unusual for Bozzone.

Brown would love to win this title in front of a home crowd. The most prolific winner of ironman and half ironman races in New Zealand, Brown would see a victory in this as being the icing on the cake.

If Tim Reed can limit the gap in the swim his strong ride and even stronger run will put him up amongst the leaders at the pointy end of the race. Reed won the recent Canberra 70.3 with a devastating run that saw him quickly erase the 2min+ gap that the faster swim/bikers had put on him. On his day Reed is one of the fastest runners over the distance. Reed was narrowly beaten for the win at the hastily arranged Taupo 70.3 last year.

Tim Berkel won the Australian 70.3 pro title in Mandurah last October. In this race Berkel put in a devastating bike leg that blew away the competition and backed it up with a 1:15:42 run. Berkel has been focusing on bringing his swim up a level over the last year so we are looking forward to seeing how he goes with this strong field.

Luke Bell will be looking to be leading the race out of the swim but with the depth of strong swimmers in this race he will not be alone. We have seen Joseph Lampe improving in every race. He will be also be one of the leaders out of the water and will not give away anything on the bike. Along with Lampe will be some other Australian young guns who can swim and ride. Sam Betten, James Hodge and Sam Appleton could just as easily be the front guys on to the bike. Betten has shown this at a couple of 70.3 race in Australia recently. Appleton is an ex ITU athlete who took a year off after getting burnt out and is now back racing long course. Hodge had his first 70.3 race back after injury at Canberra and after leading the race along with Lampe out of T2 he quickly fatigued on the run due to a lack of miles in his legs. The winner of Bussleton 70.3 2012 will be stronger on Sunday and could surprise.

We haven’t seen Joe Gambles form recently but we have heard that he has been training strongly and is always a danger man over this distance.

A dark horse in this race is Christian Kemp. Over the three disciplines Kemp is possibly the fastest in the world. He can lead the swim, ride as fast if not faster than most and he can run 1:12s over the distance. A niggling injury and nutrition have seen him struggle to put all three together in one race.

Australia’s Michael Fox is another strong swimmer who should be there with the leaders out of T1. He exited T1 with Joseph Lampe and James Hodge in the lead at the Canberra 70.3 but suffered a mechanical fairly soon in to the bike leg. He had a nseaky hit out at the Nowra Olympic distance triathlon last Sunday and cruised to a win making sure that he conserved his run legs. Fox trained full time for a few months last year for the first time in his career. He is looking forward to gaining some vauable experience this weekend as are most of the young up and coming guys. This is an opportunity for them to race in an incredibly deep field with many of the worlds best triathletes.

In the women’s race there are a handful who could win at Auckland. The name most are talking about is Caroline Steffen. However Meredith Kessler, Melissa Hauschildt, Annabel Luxford and Liz Blatchford could all win this race. Kessler beat Hauschildt last year at Vineman 70.3, Hauschildt got over the top of Blatchford to win the Mandurah 70.3, Luxford won her second attempt at 70.3 in Canberra and felt that she was still no where near she should be to win the big races.

Other athletes like Anna Cleaver will be amongst the mix. For our money Cleaver will lead out of the swim and will then be the women the rest will be chasing on the bike leg. Japan’s Kiyomi Niwata could also surprise. The ex ITU triathlete will be very strong.

Former ITU world champion Annabel Luxford is so strong over all three disciplines it will be hard to see past her if she has added some extra speed since Canberra. Luxford felt that she was still 5mins off on the run but knew that she had it in her to get there.

Cleaver just trailed Luxford out of the swim at Canberra but was not a full strength. Something she says she is now. Cleaver also has been putting in some big gains over Xmas on the bike and run. The other women will be looking for her feet at the start. With a 3min start gap Cleaver could easily swim in to many of the male pros ahead.

Michelle Wu didn’t have her best race at Canberra but under the watchful eye of Darren Smith she will have been fine tuning her preparation.

Melissa Hauschildt loves a chase and she will be doing this on Sunday. Still a bit off the pace in the swim she is the most devastating bike/ runner in the game when she is on fire. The other leading women know that they have to put 5-6mins in to her on the swim if they are going to have any chance of holding her out. The few hills on the bike will provide Hauschildt with some terrain she loves and if the wind picks up she will love it. The harder the ride the better! The flat run may not be ideal as she loves it tough to get the edge over the other women. The former Commonwealth Games 3000m Steeplechase silver medalist is loving her new sport.

Sydney’s Rebecca Hoschke has been on the rise in the last few months. With a full time career she has somehow found time to place second at Port Macquarie 70.3 in October and third at Ironman Western Australia in December. Hoschke is getting stronger every race. Kat Baker and Sarah Crowley are also on the rise. Crowley won Cairns 70.3 last June and was third at Canberra 70.3 in December.

 

Ironman 70.3 Auckland Race Website

Number Division Athlete Country
1 MPRO Cameron Brown New Zealand
2 MPRO Bevan Docherty New Zealand
3 MPRO Terenzo Bozzone New Zealand
4 MPRO Tim Van Berkel Australia
5 MPRO Joe Gambles Australia
6 MPRO Luke Bell Australia
7 MPRO Paul Ambrose United Kingdom
8 MPRO Tim Reed Australia
9 MPRO Graham O’Grady New Zealand
10 MPRO Clark Ellice New Zealand
21 MPRO Sam Appleton Australia
22 MPRO Matt Bailey Australia
23 MPRO Sam Betten Australia
24 MPRO Simon Billeau France
25 MPRO James Bowstead New Zealand
26 MPRO Mark Bowstead New Zealand
27 MPRO Matt Burton Australia
28 MPRO Fraser Cartmell United Kingdom
29 MPRO Simon Cochrane New Zealand
30 MPRO Cameron Dye United States
32 MPRO Michael Fox Australia
33 MPRO Luke Gillmer Australia
34 MPRO James Hodge Australia
35 MPRO Christian Kemp Australia
36 MPRO Jacson Kluts New Zealand
37 MPRO Hirotsugu Kuwabara Japan
38 MPRO Joseph Lampe Australia
39 MPRO Brian Mcleod Australia
40 MPRO Callum Millward New Zealand
41 MPRO Casey Munro Australia
42 MPRO Matthew Pellow Australia
43 MPRO Michael Prince Australia
44 MPRO Harry Springall United Kingdom
45 MPRO Matt Taylor New Zealand
46 MPRO Brett Tingay New Zealand
47 MPRO Marc Widmer Switzerland
48 MPRO Chris Sanson New Zealand
49 MPRO Roger Witz Barnes United Kingdom
Number Division Athlete Country
11 FPRO Caroline Steffen Switzerland
12 FPRO Melissa Hauschildt Australia
13 FPRO Meredith Kessler United States
14 FPRO Liz Blatchford United Kingdom
15 FPRO Annabel Luxford Australia
16 FPRO Keiko Tanaka Japan
17 FPRO Michelle Wu Australia
18 FPRO Rebecca Hoschke Australia
19 FPRO Hilary Wicks New Zealand
20 FPRO Rachael Paxton Australia
50 FPRO Kat Baker Australia
51 FPRO Elaine Brent New Zealand
52 FPRO Anna Cleaver New Zealand
53 FPRO Sarah Crowley Australia
54 FPRO Kristy Hallett Australia
55 FPRO Wendy Mcalpine Australia
56 FPRO Kiyomi Niwata Japan
57 FPRO Anna Ross New Zealand
58 FPRO Dana Wagner Germany

 

 

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.

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Noosa: Jake Montgomery Finally Makes His Debut

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Celebrating its 35th birthday the Noosa Triathlon will be in party mode, but the very courageous Gold Coast based professional Jake Montgomery will be the one with the biggest smile, as he finally celebrates his long-awaited debut in Australia’s greatest triathlon.

“I planned on doing Noosa for the past four years, but unfortunately I have never made it to the start line,” Jake said with a casual comment that masks several horror years of extreme courage, immense pain, hardship and the rebuilding of both body and mind.

A handy runner and swimmer at school it was his first swim coach, Mick Maroney that convinced him to have a crack at triathlon. With year 12 behind him, young Jake headed over to Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain with Jamie Turner’s squad to learn about the draft legal world of ITU Continental Cup, before eventually finding long course racing. With the help of Aussie IRONMAN legend Craig Alexander, in 2015 Jake threw himself in the deep end and headed to Boulder to continue his triathlon education on the US circuit.

“I spent three months in the US. I did a lot of training with Crowie, and he taught me the ins and outs of 70.3. He knows every aspect of it, and I was surprised how much he taught me and all the tips and tricks he gave me.”

A fifth at IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie, second in 70.3 Mandurah and Western Sydney proved that the hard work was paying off, but it was IRONMAN 70.3 in Geelong where Jake finally got the result he was looking really.

“I was getting closer, and I was pretty determined to break through, and that is when I raced Geelong in February 2016 and had my first win at the National Championship. With the win at Geelong being at the National titles a lot of the sponsors came onboard, and it got pretty full on.”

Only Slowing Jake Down

Two weeks later Jake’s world was flipped upside down when he was hit by a garbage truck only 500m from home while riding back from the pool. His bike and right foot went underneath the rear wheels, and he ruptured two ligaments in his right ankle. With the pain, Jake thought he had broken his shin and that it was snapped in half and remembers picking up his leg to see if it was still straight.

Four weeks in a hospital, two weeks in a boot and Jake was given the okay to start back again…slowly. Following the doctor’s orders to the letter by May 2016, he was again headed Stateside and trying to make up lost ground in his quest to race the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships on the Sunshine Coast. Returning to Australia Jake was in the form of his life, but in a cruel twist of fate, only 16 hours before the event his world was again thrown into chaos.

“I was doing the final spin to see that the bike was ready to race in the morning. I remember every minute of the morning, lunch and getting the bike ready and then rolling out over Alexandra Headland and that is about it. I remember the first minutes of the ride, and then I got hit by the car and things flipped upside down. I have a month missing after that. It wasn’t until weeks later that I looked at my Garmin to see that the incident happened about 20 minutes into the ride. When I went from 40kmh to zero km/h.”

“I don’t have any recollection of hospital time, and when I got back home, I was just sitting in the lounge. It was all I was doing through the day. I had a fractured sternum and shoulder and several muscle tears through the neck and shoulders, and there was also brain bleeding and swelling in three different spots. The fractures are a six-week heal, but the Neurologist said he didn’t think I would be running again. He said we would give it four months, and you can try if you are desperate, but he wasn’t recommending that I try again. That wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else at that stage of my life, so I was going to try my hardest to get back to running or at least give it a go.”

“I was seeing speech therapists and occupational therapists and all the doctors. In the first session with the speech therapist, she came in, and she was quite shocked. She said, ‘Oh, you can talk.’ My speech wasn’t great, and my sentences were really jumbled and stop-start for the first couple of months. She said from what I have read happened to your brain, on paper, you shouldn’t be able to talk. So that was pretty scary to hear that I got that lucky.”

“I went through some pretty dark spots early on, where going to the kitchen was the most I could do all day. Going from 25 hours of training a week to zero was a bit of a shock and knowing that running might never happen again, I was pretty depressed at that stage and had pretty bad thoughts. I was lucky that I had my parents by my side the whole time, looking after me and helping me through it all. Without them, things would have been a lot different.”

For eight weeks Jake did nothing but then he embarked on another program to rebuild his body and confidence in the hope that he would one day get back to competing in the sport that he loved. Initially, it was the hydro pool to rebuild his strength, then a five-minute walk became a two and a half hour walk and eventually he was on a stationary trainer building up week by week. Four months after the incident his training miraculously started in earnest when he was able to run, ride and swim properly again.

Back racing in Geelong

IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong in February 2017 was his comeback race, and a fifth place in a strong field was the boost he needed. Similar results at IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder and Santa Cruz have helped rebuild his confidence and reboot his career and now Jake is determined to use the Noosa Triathlon as final hit out before IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney Asia Pacific Championships in November.

“After Santa Cruz, I made it to Vegas for a sponsorship commitment for Cervelo then took two weeks recovery and let the body reset. As soon as I got home, I got back into training and now have my eyes set on Noosa. I am looking forward to the draft free bike. Racing for half the time as a 70.3 I will be able to push 100 percent and see how long the body can last for. It will be a bit of fun.”

“Noosa is probably the most stacked race in Australia and the organisers put up a good prizemoney, so it encourages all the professionals in Australia to toe the line and have a crack. It is only a two and half hour drive for me so that is just nice and no plane flight required which is a bonus. Noosa will be a nice hit out and the perfect opportunity to use a bit of speed and see how the body comes down from the altitude.”

“I have spoken to plenty of people who have done it before and they love the race and the whole atmosphere of the weekend. I have heard that it is crazy busy but pretty good at the same time. So, I am looking forward to getting up there and getting amongst it,” he said with anticipation.

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Noosa Triathlon: The Big Guns Will Be In Town To Celebrate

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The 35th Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival is shaping up to be the biggest yet, with the who’s who of Australian sport and some of the nation’s most recognisable faces heading to the Sunshine Coast to join in the birthday celebrations.

The five-day festival (1-5 November) features an ocean swim, a fun run, the Charity Golf Day and elite cycling and running events and culminates on Sunday 5 November with the Noosa Triathlon hosting more than 8,500 competitors, making it the world’s largest standard distance triathlon.

Headlining the Noosa Triathlon are key athletes from Australia’s Commonwealth Games triathlon team for 2018, Ashleigh Gentle and Jake Birtwhistle, defending champion Dan Wilson, plus Commonwealth Games hopefuls Aaron Royle, Ryan Bailie, Gillian Backhouse and Luke Willian.

The long-distance world is also well represented with Sarah Crowley fresh from her podium at the IRONMAN World Championships, IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Champion Josh Amberger, Jake Montgomery making his long-awaited Noosa debut, Liz Blatchford in her first race back as a new mum and two time World Duathlon Champion Felicity Sheedy-Ryan mixing it up with a swim.

Defending champ Ashleigh Gentle is shooting for Noosa title #5, and Dan Wilson is hoping to go back to back this year, but they are fully aware of the strength of the field assembled for the 35th anniversary year.

Four-time champ, Ashleigh Gentle has developed a real affinity with the Noosa over many years, and she can’t wait to get back this year.

“I’ve raced six times, and been up a couple more on top of that to watch and be part of the festival. I love the atmosphere. I love Queensland, and it is very special to come back to the race each year after spending so much time abroad. I love seeing familiar faces and being surrounded by so many other people who love triathlon. Noosa has always been really important to me. It’s the one I look forward to the most. I obviously want to do well, but there is a lot less pressure than the intensity of World Series races.”

“I would love to defend my title. I’m sure as always it will be a competitive field, but I’m looking forward to getting out there and going hard. Noosa Triathlon has been a big part of my career, and I am thrilled I can be a part of this milestone, although it only feels like yesterday we were celebrating the 30th year of Noosa,” she recalled.

Dan Wilson is a Noosa veteran, and he is hoping he can revisit the form that saw him dominate in 2016 and go out on a high note.

“I think this is around my 10th Noosa. I first came here in 2003 as a little junior. I’ve missed a few through injuries along the way, but always come back when I’m able. It is a bastion of Australia triathlon, and it is a ripping location, it is one of the ‘funnest’ races on tour. What more could you need?”

“I would obviously love to repeat last year’s result, but it also looks like it will probably be the best field we’ve ever seen at Noosa, so it’s going to be a tough ask. Noosa is always a special race, it is usually at or near the end of the season, so everyone is looking to finish the season strong at a fun race.”

“This year, Noosa will be even more special, I’m hanging up the suit at the end of this year, so it’ll be the last chance to go round at Noosa, and one of my last races ever, so I’m looking forward to really savouring the weekend,” Wilson said.

Aussie Olympian and two time Noosa champ Aaron Royle is pumped up and glad to back in Noosa looking attempting to keep his perfect Noosa record intact.

“I’ve raced Noosa twice and had two good wins there, which has been fantastic for myself in my career. I guess because of that, and the expectation to go there and win is greater with each year. I want to win again to make it three from three races, but that is always easier said than done. I’m sure there will be a handful of others saying that they also want to win.”

“I knew of the Noosa triathlon before I knew what triathlon really was, and certainly before I followed the sport. I think it was Channel 7 showing it back in the day and I remember thinking this looks pretty cool (before I even contemplated doing one myself).”

“For me, Noosa always signifies the end of my racing season, but with a race of this significances, I’ve never struggled to find motivation for this race. It’s the biggest domestic race on the calendar with so many legendary winners that have gone before, so it is easy to see why so many top-level athletes turn up each year,” Aaron said.

IRONMAN 70.3 specialist Jake Montgomery might be a Noosa debutante this year, but he is well aware of Noosa’s legendary status.

“I’ve been meaning to race Noosa for a few year’s now but have never been able to toe the line. I went there once a few years back for surfing but have never experienced the triathlon weekend.”

“Noosa is definitely the pinnacle race in Australia and one that everyone loves to put on their calendar. Not necessarily just the race but the whole weekend of event and atmosphere make it a must for many. Having not raced anything shorter than a 70.3 for the past three years it will be interesting to see how my body handles the faster racing and pushing myself over the shorter distance. I am mostly looking forward to the swim, any race with a beach start and ocean swim is a must for me.”

“Nearing the end of a hard year it will be a good hit out to finish off. While it’s still a competitive race, it will also be a lot of fun catching up with friends, sponsors and watching the other events before the triathlon. Being one of Australia’s oldest triathlons, it is now also the biggest in the country with sold out entries and days of multisport events. It attracts some of the best athletes in the world and organisers of the event have the weekend dialled in,” Jake said.

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Ironman World Championship: Europeans Dominate and Records Fall

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Daniela Ryf of Switzerland celebrates after winning the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

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.

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Ironman World Championship: Patrick Lange Smashes Course Record and Daniela Ryf Earns Third Straight Win

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Daniela Ryf of Switzerland celebrates after winning the IRONMAN World Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

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.

Patrick Lange of Germany putting the hurt on as he runs to victory and a new course record during the IRONMAN World Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

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.

Lucy Charles of Great Britain cools down during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

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.

 

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Ironman World Championship: The Best Run Images from Kona 2017

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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.

Lucy Charles trying to remain as cool as possible during the run leg. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Lionel Sanders of Canada runs through an aid station and takes on extra fluids and also trying to cool himself. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Patrick Lange of Germany celebrates before crossing the finish line to win the IRONMAN World Championship and setting a course record of 8:01.39 beating Craig Alexander’s 2011 record of 8:03.56. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Age group athletes out on the run course. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

John Joseph McGowan of the United States showing us his guns and ink work. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Unfortunately Jan Frodeno of Germany wasn’t able to really defend his title today due to an injury. He eventually finishes 35th. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

The sun sets on Kailua Kona, Hawaii and competitors continue their journey for their personal success. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Daniela Ryf nearly the final few kilometres during the Ironman World Championship 2017, (Photo: Jesper Gronnemark/Red Bull Content Pool)

Kaisa Sali of Finland celebrates in the finish chute after finishing fifth during the IRONMAN World Championship. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Patrick Lange of Germany putting the hurt on as he runs to victory and a new course record during the IRONMAN World Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Runners compete as the sun sets in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Lucy Charles of Great Britain runs through the barren landscape and eventually to coming 2nd. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

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Ironman World Championship: The Best Bike Images from Kona 2017

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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.

Igor Amorelli of Brazil on the bike during the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Martin Fredriksson of Sweden leads a pack on the bike during the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Michael Weiss of Austria feeling the hurt during the bike leg. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Jocelyn Mccauley of the United States competes on the bike during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

A cyclist leaves the transition area with her bike during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

KAILUA KONA, HI – OCTOBER 14: A cyclist competes during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Lucy Charles of Great Britain showed how strong her bike leg was during today’s Ironman World Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Thomas Gentry McGrath of the United States cools down with water during today’s World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Michelle Alexander from Denver holds up an ‘IRONMAN are sexy’ sign as athletes cycle past. She certainly brought some smiles. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Cameron Wurf of Australia cycles ahead of Lionel Sanders of Canada during the bike leg of today’s IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Cameron would go on to set a new bike course record. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

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