Lucy Charles-Barclay earns her first world title in a dominating performance at the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images for IRONMAN.
After two-years of anticipation for a world championship event, St. George, Utah, took the global spotlight this week as fans and athletes alike witnessed the remarkable lineup of pro athletes at the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. Featuring moderate temperatures, striking landscapes, and some unpredictable weather, the Land of Endurance lived up to its billing with Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) taking the top spot for the first time as women’s world champion while Gustav Iden (NOR) defended his 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title, making it two-in-a-row.
Gustav Iden defends IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title
Following his quick rise and stunning 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship win as a seemingly unknown challenger, Norwegian professional Gustav Iden crossed today’s finish line with an unrivaled race that has cemented him as a force for others to catch. Coming out of the swim pack in 17th, Iden made up lost time by battling it back on the bike, passing fellow athletes early on. Even though heavy showers and hail poured down on athletes for a portion of the run, Iden remained undeterred and unstoppable, crossing the finish line in 3:37:13, nearly four minutes ahead of second place athlete Sam Long. The podium rounded out with an impressive performance by Daniel Baekkegard (DEN), who finished in 3:42:24.
Top five professional men’s results:
Gustav Iden (NOR)
Sam Long (USA)
Daniel Baekkegard (DEN)
Miki Taagholt (DEN)
Jackson Laundry (CAN)
Lucy Charles-Barclay wins first IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title
From the firing of the start cannon to the finish line tape, Lucy Charles-Barclay dominated the women’s professional field with prowess and a determination to win that wouldn’t be denied. Charles-Barclay put together a stellar race that was years in the making after one second-place IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship (2018) and three second-place IRONMAN World Championship (2017, 2018, 2019) finishes. Crossing the finish line on Main Street in 4:00:20, Charles-Barclay soaked in the roar of the crowd, leading to tears of joy as she embraced her husband, Reese, and realized her goal of an IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title. South African Jeanni Metzler had an impressive day of her own, running her way into a second-place finish with a time of 4:08:39. Meanwhile, Taylor Knibb in only her second ever IRONMAN 70.3 finished the world championship in third just 11 seconds behind Metzler.
Top five professional women’s results:
Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR)
Jeanni Metzler (ZAF)
Taylor Knibb (USA)
Katrina Matthews (GBR)
Emma Pallant-Browne (GBR)
More than 3,500 athletes checked-in to start the days race including the impressive professional field, tackling a 1.2-mile (1.9km) swim that took place in the Sand Hollow Reservoir in Hurricane, Utah followed by a challenging 56-mile (91.3km) bike course that led athletes through stunning desert landscapes with 3,442 feet (1,049 meters) of elevation gain and an unforgettable climb into Snow Canyon State Park and surrounding Washington County. The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship event was capped off with the two-loop, 13.1-mile (21.2km) run course through Red Hills Parkway and saw athletes finish in historic downtown St. George. In order to qualify for the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, more than 50,000 age-group athletes competed to earn slots at over 45 IRONMAN 70.3 events held worldwide.
A cyclist, tech geek at heart, a passion for new shiny things and a huge appetite for triathlon. I spend most of my time between managing two of the world's best triathletes and a traditional corporate life.