Kona: Pro Women’s Run Review

Trizone reviews the Kona Pro Women’s Run, which saw Swiss athlete Daniela Ryf crossing the finish line first in a stunning race featuring a rollercoaster ride of dramatic highs and lows.

If you were watching the women’s run, eager to see dramatic scenes of athletes vying for first place you would have been disappointed. But if you wanted to see an incredible athlete storm through the run leg, and set a course record in Kona, you would have loved it! Daniela Ryf was truly impressive to watch, never once faltering and keen to beat Rinny’s 2013 record of 8:52:14.

Ryf ran at an impressive pace with a 6:25 minute per mile pace in the opening three miles. Although Beranek wasn’t to be discounted, running at a strong 7:00 minute per mile pace and coming in second. American Heather Jackson, meanwhile ran with pep in her step, and was tipped as a possible podium finisher as she charged ahead. Known as an impressive runner, Heather was the first US finisher in last year’s Kona. She had a truly impressive run in 2015, making it from 14th to fifth at the finish line. This year too, her run looked strong and the crowd watched her with much interest.

During mile 6, Rinny passed Kessler, making huge moves and stepped into 7th place. Sadly, Aussie Annabel Luxford was forced out of the race just before the mid point.

At 13.8 miles, Ryf had a 18:12 minute lead on Beranek, a 19.34 lead on Heather Jackson and a 22:46 lead on Rinny. The pack wasn’t set though, and Heather Jackson pulled out some big moves at the 17.7 mile mark to slot into second place, creating a thirty second lead ahead of Beranek. She couldn’t close the gap with Ryf though, who was 1:20 minutes ahead.

The drama continued with Rinny passing Jackson, finding herself sitting in second place after Ryf as the run down the final hill started in earnest. Three time World Champion Rinny cemented her incredible surge, finishing with a truly impressive second place of 9:10:30. America Heather Jackson achieved her goal of a podium finish and came in third with 9:11:32.

Jodie Swallow (GBR) charged ahead in the swimming leg in Kailua Bay. However, Meredith Kessler (USA) exited the water first at 52:46. A large pack of women followed suit, including Annabel Luxford (AUS), Alicia Kaye (USA), Leanda Cave (GBR), Camilla Pedersen (DEN), Daniela Ryf (SUI), Anja Beranek (GER), Laurel Wassner (USA), Michelle Vesterby (DEN), Katja Konschak (GER) and Julia Gajer (GER). A further chase pack which included Carrie Lester (AUS), Heather Wurtele (CAN) and Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) came up close behind.

Most impressive was second time World Champion and new course record holder Daniela Ryf, who came in at 8:46:46. Not only did she win but she did so in a truly epic style, maintaining her extreme lead throughout the race and running strongly throughout. What an impressive finish to Kona Women 2016!

Shawn Smith

A cyclist and tech geek at heart with a passion for new shiny things and a huge appetite for triathlon. I spend most of my time between managing two of Australia's best triathletes and a traditional corporate life.