Can a talented Kiwi triumvirate withstand a brutal international assault in a remarkable menÂ’s field for next monthÂ’s KelloggÂ’s Nutri-Grain IRONMAN New Zealand?
The equally remarkable 43-year-young icon, Cameron Brown has been awarded the No 1 seeding for the 15th time in 19 starts at the event Â– one in Auckland and 18 on the trot in TaupÃ´.
To reward last yearÂ’s all-New Zealand podium, four-time runner-up Terenzo Bozzone has been seeded two and CanterburyÂ’s Dylan McNeice seeded three for the 32nd IRONMAN New Zealand on Saturday 5 March.
However the trio face a 30-strong field of strength and superiority from nine nations in perhaps the deepest and most open line-up in the eventÂ’s 32 year history.
Brown enjoyed a fantastic first half to 2015 winning his first IRONMAN New Zealand in four years and second at IRONMAN Cairns. His second half of the year took a nose dive as a period over-training at altitude in Boulder coupled with an emergency dental appointment impacted upon his ability to perform in his return to the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona where he failed to finish.
But he is primed and ready in his return to his Kingdom of TaupÃ´.
Â“It is the race that has made me as an athlete and IÂ’ve a lot to thank the race,Â” says Brown. Â“It has given me a lot of coverage and lot of support and winning that race has held a lot of importance for me.Â”
Bozzone has finished second four times, and the 30 year old father believes he now knows what it takes to reach the top.
Â“In any IRONMAN race you are bound to have those really tough moments and it is understanding how to deal with those bad patches and knowing that you will come through the other side that is key. Cameron Brown has that nailed. He is the ice man. You never see any weakness.
Â“He has proved virtually unbeatable in IRONMAN New Zealand, but IÂ’m hoping to put a stop to that. I definitely know I have what it takes to be top of the podium. I just have to back myself.Â”
McNeice believes he has learned much from his podium finish last year, working hard with coach Tim Brazier to improve his bike strength.
Â“I learned a lot from 2015 and although I was never fighting for the win, to share the podium with Cameron (Brown) and Terenzo (Bozzone) was awesome,Â” he says. Â“The biggest things I learned was I can improve on the bike. If I can get off the bike in a good place and if the run legs are there IÂ’m in with a good shot.Â”
A mob of internationals are set to pounce.
Fourth seed is Frenchman Cyril Viennot who was fifth at the IRONMAN World Championship in 2014 and won in UK in same year before winning the ITU World Long Distance title last year along with sixth at Kona.
Fifth seed is exciting American Matt Hanson, who ran 2:47 to win IRONMAN Chattanooga in a course record in 2014, and set a course record 8:07 to win in Texas last year.
German Per Bittner is an outstanding allround triathlete with six iron distance podiums including second at Western Australia and Barcelona last year.
Seventh seed is strong Australian Paul Matthews who placed sixth on debut at Melbourne in 8:05 three years ago followed by runner-up at Arizona. He returned in 2014 to clock 8:02 to finish runner-up at the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship and he was 14th in Kona.
Compatriot Alex Reithmeier is a very solid Australian who was fourth last year after podiums at Port Macquarie and Western Australia.
WanakaÂ’’s Dougal Allen is another of the teak-tough southern men who have gained global recognition in multisport and adventure racing. He turned his attentions to IRONMAN with third on debut at Wanaka ion 2014 followed by runner-up at IRONMAN Sweden last year.
The top-10 is rounded off by Frenchman Antony Costes, who is on debut at IRONMAN New Zealand after IRONMAN 70.3 podium last year in Lanzarote and victory at Korea plus runner-up this year in Panama.
The field includes a number of talented Kiwis including Aucklanders Callum Millward and Mark Bowstead who have both won in the IRONMAN 70.3 circuit in USA while compatriot Simon Cochrane was on the podium in IRONMAN Japan, sixth at Cairns and seventh in TaupÃ´ last year. Added to this is Sam Clark, another strong multisporter, who recently won the Coast to Coast.
SwedenÂ’s Swen Sundberg is a strong competitor who won at IRONMAN Japan last year on the toughest bike course on the globe.
BritainÂ’s Joe Skipper has a raft of IRONMAN podiums in UK three times and Florida plus 13th in Hawaii last year, while American Matt Russell had three top-seven finishes last year including runner-up in IRONMAN Cozumel.
There are over 50 competitors in the menÂ’s and womenÂ’s professional field chasing nearly NZ$115,000 in prizemoney while a capacity 1300 age groupers seek one of the 55 qualifying spots available for the IRONMAN World Championship.
The womenÂ’s seeds were released yesterday with top seed and defending champion Meredith Kessler (USA) leading the way from last yearÂ’s fellow podium place getters Gina Crawford and Melanie Burke both New Zealand.
The menÂ’s field and seedings are:
- Cameron Brown (NZL)
- Terenzo Bozzone (NZL)
- Dylan McNeice (NZL)
- Cyril Viennot (FRA)
- Matt Hanson (USA)
- Per Bittner (DEU)
- Paul Matthews (AUS)
- Alex Reithmeier (AUS)
- Dougal Allen (NZL)
- Antony Costes (FRA)
- Brad Williams (USA)
- Callum Millward (NZL)
- Casey Munro (AUS)
- Chris Sanson (NZL)
- Clayton Fettell (AUS)
- Daniel Brown (AUS)
- Darren Jenkins (GBR)
- David Nasvik (SWE)
- Guy Crawford (NZL)
- Joe Skipper (GBR)
- Johan Borg (AUS)
- Mark Bowstead (NZL)
- Matt Randall (NZL)
- Matt Russell (USA)
- Michael Poole (NZL)
- Sam Clark (NZL)
- Simon Billeau (FRA)
- Simon Cochrane (NZL)
- Swen Sundberg (DEU)
- Younghwan Oh (KOR).
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
Training2 weeks ago
Male Age Groupers At Risk of Death in the Swim – Key Findings From a New Study
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