Hoffman, Ryf Go Sub-8 and Sub-9, Wins Ironman African Championship Titles
Ben Hoffman of the United States finished in 7:58:40 to defend his Ironman South Africa title, winning over Nils Frommhold of Germany by 50 seconds. David McNamee of Great Britain finished in 8:07:31 to secure podium, just a little under nine minutes behind champion Hoffman.
Hoffman secured the win on the strength of his 3rd best bike split of 4:22:33 combined with the day’s best run split 2:42:52. The run was the deciding factor as Hoffman engaged in a duel with Frommhold, who got into T2 with Hoffman at the same time. While Hoffman was able to build a lead of over 45 seconds over Frommhold at the halfway mark, the German was able to threaten and cut the down the lead to 28 seconds, with 10kms to go. But Hoffman was able to hold off the charge, to defend his 2016 title.
Daniela Ryf (CHE) and Kaisa Lehtonen of Finland both went under 9 hours, but Ryf secured her first Ironman win of the season, finishing in 8:47:02 to win by 5 minutes and 24 seconds over the Finn Lehtonen.
Despite pulling her back and going without a swim in 10 days, Ryf was one of two ladies who went out first from the water with a split of 53:47, together with Kate Cumber (GBR). Defending champion Lehtonen though charged back despite trailing by 1:40 in the swim. The Finn, together with top contenders Susie Cheetham (GBR) and Julia Gajer (DEU) were able to build a lead of over 2 minutes over the solo-riding Ryf at the halfway mark of the 180km bike leg. Ryf was able to regain her bearings, and executed a brilliant 2nd half surge to post the women’s best bike split of 4:50:50, a good 3 minutes and 32 second lead over Lehtonen.
Ryf then went unthreatened all the way at her marathon, posting also the women’s best run split of 2:57:27. Susie Cheetham needed a 3:08:36 marathon to secure 3rd place podium.
Ironman African Championship
Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa
April 2, 2017
S 3.8 km. / B 180 km. / R 42.2 km.
1. Ben Hoffman (USA) 7:58:40
2. Nils Frommhold (GER) 7:59:30
3. David McNamee (GBR) 8:07:31
4. Kyle Buckingham (RSA) 8:08:58
5. Jan Van Berkel (SUI) 8:12:35
6. Boris Stein (GER) 8:16:12
7. Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) 8:19:10
8. Giulio Molinari (ITA) 8:21:09
9. Andrej Vistica (HRV) 8:23:21
10. James Cunnama (RSA) 8:25:42
1. Daniela Ryf (SUI) 8:47:02
2. Kaisa Lehtonen (FIN) 8:52:26
3. Susie Cheetham (GBR) 9:04:49
4. Astrid Stienen (SHN) 9:24:37
5. Gurutze Frades (ESP) 9:24:59
6. Katja Konschak (GER) 9:25:40
7. Alexandra Tondeur (BEL) 9:26:29
8. Jeanne Collonge (FRA) 9:27:18
9. Nikki Bartlett (GBR) 9:27:49
10. Katharina Grohmann (GER) 9:29:20
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