While the weather was challenging, the energy was abundant, as Tulsa, Oklahoma welcomed athletes to the region for the inaugural edition of the Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN North American Championship triathlon on Sunday, May 23. Athletes from around the world arose to the challenge, tackling the 140.6-mile course through northeastern Oklahoma for the first time. The event was the first full-distance IRONMAN triathlon to take place in the North American region in 2021.
Tulsa saw more than 1,900 athletes start the race leading athletes along a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run through Tulsa and the surrounding areas. The swim took place in beautiful Keystone Lake located at Keystone State Park in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. Once out of the water, athletes transitioned over to the 112-mile bike portion. The point-to-point bike course started as athletes exited Keystone Lake and toured the scenic areas surrounding Tulsa, including portions of Osage, Creek and Tulsa County. Athletes had the opportunity to ride portions of the Osage Hills and experience the lush green terrain that make up the “Green Country” of northeastern Oklahoma. Challenged with plenty of rolling hills throughout the bike, athletes finished in downtown Tulsa at Oklahoma State University’s Tulsa campus. Closing out the 140.6-mile journey, athletes left Oklahoma State University-Tulsa and made their way through historic, vibrant downtown Tulsa to Route 66 where it connects to the River Parks Trail System. Runners experienced a flat and fast run course with views of the Arkansas River as they made their way past Tulsa’s Gathering Place and back downtown to finish at the beautiful Guthrie Green. The 2021 IRONMAN North American Championship Tulsa offered 150 age-group qualifying slots to the 2021 IRONMAN World Championship.
With some of triathlon’s best making their way to the Sooner State to vie for top honors, two-time IRONMAN World Champion Patrick Lange (Germany) and four-time IRONMAN World Champion Daniela Ryf (Switzerland) took the top honors with finishing times of 7:45:22 and 8:40:34 respectively. Today’s event also featured live event coverage on Facebook Watch via the IRONMAN Now channel. The full broadcast of the Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN North American Championship Tulsa triathlon can be viewed on Facebook Live.
Rounding out the men’s professional podium was Jan Van Berkel (Switzerland) coming in second with a finish time of 7:50:58 and Daniel Baekkegard (Denmark) who posted a 7:52:59 finishing time that was good for third place. In the women’s professional race, Katrina Matthews (Great Britain) took second in 8:45:35, while Skye Moench (United States) finished in third with an 8:47:45 performance.
Top five professional men’s results:
|1. Patrick Lange||DEU||00:47:05||04:17:05||02:36:46||07:45:22|
|2. Jan Van Berkel||CHE||00:49:47||04:18:19||02:39:05||07:50:58|
|3. Daniel Baekkegard||DNK||00:46:34||04:17:49||02:44:35||07:52:59|
|4. Denis Chevrot||FRA||00:46:50||04:27:06||02:36:03||07:54:27|
|5. Bart Aernouts||BEL||00:50:16||04:17:38||02:43:21||07:55:13|
Top five professional women’s results:
|1. Daniela Ryf||CHE||00:52:21||04:38:56||03:04:55||08:40:34|
|2. Katrina Matthews||GBR||00:56:57||04:54:46||02:49:49||08:45:35|
|3. Skye Moench||USA||00:53:39||04:52:59||02:56:57||08:47:45|
|4. Heather Jackson||USA||01:00:32||04:53:51||02:59:45||08:57:58|
|5. Gurutze Frades Larralde||ESP||01:00:42||05:03:26||02:52:53||09:02:19|