KAILUA-KONA, Hawai’i (October 8, 2016) – Daniela Ryf (CHE) and Jan Frodeno (DEU) defended their titles with history making performances today at the 39th edition of the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i. Together, they became only the third female and male duo to repeat as course champions in consecutive years. Ryf retained her crown with a time of 8:46:46, smashing the female course record by nearly six minutes (previously held by second place finisher Mirinda Carfrae), while Frodeno bested fellow Germans Sebastian Kienle and Patrick Lange with a time of 8:06:30 to lead his nation to a podium sweep. More than 2,300 athletes from 64 countries and territories on six continents competed on the Big Island of Hawai’i in the toughest one-day endurance event in the world.
Meredith Kessler (USA) led the professional women out of the water, as the lead pack smashed the times from last year’s lead pack by almost four minutes. Ryf, took control and was superb all day as she became the sixth woman in IRONMAN history to win consecutive titles. Ryf withstood competition along the bike course for a 4:52:26 split before running 2:56:51 that culminated in a course record. The Swiss star’s time of 8:46:46 shattered the 8:52:14 mark set by Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) in 2013 by nearly six minutes. Carfrae, a three-time IRONMAN World Champion, used her epic running abilities to claim second place with a time of 9:10:30. This was a bit of redemption for Carfrae after being forced to drop from last year’s race during the bike portion due to an injury.
Heather Jackson (USA), a fifth-place finisher last year, became the first American female to podium in Kona since Kate Major in 2007, while Anja Beranek (DEU) and Kaisa Lehtonen (FIN) rounded out the top six women.
Top 10 professional women’s results are below:
SWIM BIKE RUN FINISH
1. Daniela Ryf CHE 00:52:50 04:52:26 02:56:51 08:46:46
2. Mirinda Carfrae AUS 00:56:44 05:10:54 02:58:20 09:10:30
3. Heather Jackson USA 00:58:56 05:00:31 03:07:48 09:11:32
4. Anja Beranek DEU 00:52:51 05:00:42 03:16:35 09:14:26
5. Kaisa Lehtonen FIN 00:58:55 05:08:54 03:03:16 09:15:40
6. Michelle Vesterby DNK 00:52:53 05:09:05 03:12:27 09:19:05
7. Sarah Piampiano USA 01:02:42 05:07:29 03:07:04 09:22:31
8. Asa Lundstrom SWE 01:02:04 05:09:46 03:06:42 09:22:59
9. Lucy Gossage GBR 01:01:57 05:06:01 03:12:15 09:25:57
10. Carrie Lester AUS 00:56:40 05:10:50 03:15:55 09:28:17
The athlete field tackled a 2.4-mile ocean swim in Kailua Bay, followed by a grueling 112-mile bicycle ride along Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway through hot lava fields, intense trade winds and scorching temperatures, and was capped with a 26.2-mile run along rugged Hawaiian terrain that finished on majestic Ali’i Drive, a pantheon of past and current champions. Each year, more than 110,000 athletes vie for slots to the event.
NBC will air the IRONMAN World Championship special in the U.S. on Saturday, December 10 at 2:30 p.m. ET (check local listings for details).
Xterra World Championship are coming to Maui October 23. Read more about this upcoming event featuring top women in off-road triathlon here.
To red more stories about women in endurance sports subscribe to the print issue of Freeplay magazine here.