Germany sweep top spots as Frodeno and Haug grab 2019 Ironman World Championship Titles in Kona

– Jan Frodeno sets new overall course best time to capture third IRONMAN World Championship title; Anne Haug runs through the field to her first title

 – American Timothy O’Donnell joins the Sub-8-hour club with a second-place finish while 2014 IRONMAN World Champion Sebastian Kienle (DEU) returns to the podium with third place finish

– Lucy Charles Barclay claims second place for third straight year; Sarah Crowley earns third for second time in three years

KAILUA-KONA, Hawai`i / TAMPA, Fla. (October 13, 2019) – After last year’s record-friendly race, the 17 hour 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship that took place on Saturday once again delivered the kind of conditions it’s known for – a day featuring high winds and humidity. The 41st year of the pinnacle race in endurance sports saw the masterful return of Germany’s Jan Frodeno and an unexpected upset in the women’s race with Anne Haug (DEU), dethroning four-time defending champion, Daniela Ryf (CHE) who had not lost an IRONMAN or IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship race since 2016.

Jan Frodeno reclaims the Kona crown
Josh Amberger (AUS) led the men’s field out on the 2.4-mile (3,8 km) ROKA swim with Kona rookie Alistair Brownlee (GBR) on his feet until veteran Jan Frodeno bridged into second at the turnaround. Amberger got out of the strenuous waters in 47:28, with Frodeno, Brownlee, Daniel Bakkegard (DNK), Tim O’Donnell (USA), Maurice Clavel (DEU), and defending champion Patrick Lange (DEU) close behind.

Fellow Olympic Champions Frodeno and Brownlee wasted no time blasting to the front of the bike, a position they would only allow two other athletes–Clavel and O’Donnell–to take over the 112-mile (180,2 km) Ventum bike course. With back-to-back IRONMAN World Champion Lange dropping from the race early on due to illness, it wasn’t long before some of the sport’s strongest cyclists–namely Kienle, Lionel Sanders (CAN) and Cameron Wurf (AUS) — began to put the heat on from behind, reducing their gap to 2:30 by the turnaround at Hawi.

That pressure was no match for the leaders, however, who only increased their pace on the way back into town with Frodeno even surging late on the bike as if to make his mark. The German blazed into the second transition over a minute ahead of Tim O’Donnell, and three-plus minutes ahead of Wurf, Brownlee, Kienle, Sanders and Stein.

From the minute he stepped out of transition, the run–and the race–was all Frodeno’s as murmurs of a course record begun. Frodeno, who suffered injuries the past two years, made quick work of the marathon, reasserting his dominance on the island as he floated to the finish in 2:42:43. With a finish time of 7:51:13, Frodeno set a new overall course-best time, becoming the first German to win three IRONMAN World Championships.

“It was a mixture of being anxious to try and set a mark like that and at the same time I really did have moments of gratitude in this race, realizing that last year I was standing knowing how much it sucked to be on the sideline. It was really, really unique; in my 18-years of being a pro this is the day, this was the day I have been looking for. I felt good in the marathon all the way really and that just doesn’t happen in an IRONMAN. That was a crazy experience,” said Frodeno.

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O’Donnell maintained his second-place position with determination, and as Brownlee faded, Kienle and Hoffman both showed the value of experience as they made impressive moves up the field over the HOKA ONE ONE run course of 26.2 miles (42,2 km). O’Donnell’s sub-eight runner-up finish was nothing short of exuberant, while Kienle, the 2014 IRONMAN World Champion, celebrated a return to strong racing on the Island of Hawai`i himself. Ben Hoffman ran into fourth with a 2:43:08 marathon, while Cameron Wurf nabbed fifth thanks to a consistently strong day.

O’Donnell had some words at the finish line: “It’s been a dream of mine for a long time. To come back this year and have such a great race, I’m so humbled and honored. A couple weeks ago I didn’t think I was going to be able to do this race. A good friend of mine, Lawrence, just said “open your heart and run.”

Top ten professional men’s results:

1. Jan Frodeno DEU 00:47:31 04:16:03 02:42:43 07:51:13*
2. Tim O’Donnell USA 00:47:38 04:18:11 02:49:45 07:59:41
3. Sebastian Kienle DEU 00:52:17 04:15:05 02:49:57 08:02:04
4. Ben Hoffman USA 00:51:01 04:24:01 02:43:08 08:02:52
5. Cameron Wurf AUS 00:52:25 04:14:45 02:55:03 08:06:41
6. Joe Skipper GBR 00:52:28 04:16:19 02:53:31 08:07:46
7. Braden Currie NZL 00:47:41 04:30:30 02:46:25 08:08:48
8. Philipp Koutny CHE 00:52:20 04:15:15 02:57:51 08:10:29
9. Bart Aernouts BEL 00:57:03 04:19:48 02:51:08 08:12:27
10. Chris Leiferman USA 00:52:29 04:24:21 02:52:19 08:13:37

Anne Haug takes first German victory 
There were no swim course records set today in choppy Kailua-Bay, but Great Britain’s Lucy Charles-Barclay and her fellow super-swimmer Lauren Brandon led the women’s field out of the water with a luxurious five-minute cushion. Americans Jennifer Spieldenner, Jocelyn McCauley and Sarah True were next onto the pier leading out a group that included Sarah Crowley (AUS and Anne Haug.

Launching a swim/bike lead that rarely happens in this race, Charles-Barclay held strong for the course of the windy bike ride, extending her gap to over seven minutes by the time she hit the second transition. Haug, Crowley, Imogen Simmonds (GBR), and Daniela Bleymehl (DEU) pushed the chase pack, with four-time defending champion Daniela Ryf suffering a tough day on the bike and unable to undo her swim deficit.

Out onto the HOKA ONE ONE run course, Charles-Barclay enjoyed her lead until The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai`i Authority when the IRONMAN Copenhagen champion Anne Haug made the pass that her blistering pace had made inevitable. From that point on, it was all Haug; her 2:51:07 marathon propelled her to victory in only the fourth full IRONMAN race of her career. She broke the tape in 8:40:10, making it a double for Germany on the day and a first in the women’s race.

“The whole run felt pretty amazing. I just concentrated on myself and tried not to over pace. It worked pretty well,” said a smiling Haug at the finish line.

The early leader Charles-Barclay fought hard, suffering a late pass by Crowley but then reclaiming second in the closing miles. Laura Philipp (DEU) and Heather Jackson (USA) backed up strong bike rides with equally strong marathons to take fourth and fifth, respectively.

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“Today was about rolling the dice and seeing what happened. I felt like the island was tough on me, but I’m super proud to get second,” said Charles-Barclay.

Top ten professional women’s results:

1. Anne Haug DEU 00:54:09 04:50:18 02:51:07 08:40:10
2. Lucy Charles-Barclay GBR 00:49:02 04:47:21 03:06:00 08:46:44
3. Sarah Crowley AUS 00:54:05 04:50:13 02:59:20 08:48:13
4. Laura Philipp DEU 00:59:03 04:45:04 03:02:12 08:51:42
5. Heather Jackson USA 00:59:12 04:46:46 03:04:17 08:54:44
6. Kaisa Sali FIN 00:59:14 04:53:54 02:57:19 08:55:33
7. Corinne Abraham GBR 01:02:46 04:51:15 02:59:28 08:58:38
8. Carrie Lester AUS 00:54:15 04:50:01 03:09:37 08:58:40
9. Daniela Bleymehl DEU 00:59:06 04:45:08 03:19:33 09:08:30
10. Linsey Corbin USA 00:59:09 05:00:25 03:03:51 09:09:06

News and Notes from the Day

  • Jan Frodeno (GER) set a new course best in 7:51:13 beating Patrick Lange’s (GER) course best 7:52:39 achieved in 2018. It was the third year in a row the men’s course best was broken after Lange bested Craig Alexander’s (AUS) long-standing course record of 8:03:56 achieved in 2011 by finishing in 8:01:40 in 2017
  • While four individual course bests were broken in 2018 in ideal conditions, Jan Frodeno “only” managed to break the overall course best this year with a steady and strong performance
  • The longest standing remaining individual course best now is Mirinda Carfrae’s marathon time of 2:50:26 achieved in 2014
  • Jan Frodeno is the first German athlete to win three IRONMAN World Championship titles
  • Anne Haug is the first German woman to win the IRONMAN World Championship
  • Germany’s six consecutive titles now match the Aussie’s winning streak from 2007-12. Coincidentally both winning streaks were achieved by three different athletes
  • It is the first time in nine years that both IRONMAN World Champions hail from the same country. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) and Chris McCormack (AUS) were the last pair to achieve this unique feat
  • The USA’s Tim O’Donnell became only the fourth athlete to break the magic “8-hours-barrier” in Kona, after Patrick Lange (2017), Bart Aernouts (2017) and Jan Frodeno
  • The end of Daniela Ryf’s winning streak means that no female professional has won more than four titles in a row. Ryf’s streak lasting from 2015 to 2018 matched Paula Newby-Fraser’s from 1991 to 1994
  • Ever since placing second in the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship, Daniely Ryf had won every full-distance IRONMAN she’s entered and completed. In fact, she only failed to finish one race in that timeframe – the 2016 Mainova IRONMAN European Championship
  • Lucy Charles-Barclay’s swim time of 49:02 marked the fifth fastest time in history, only 48 seconds slower than her 2018 race record. Charles-Barclay now has 3 of the top 5 swim times in history at Kona
  • Roderick Sewell (USA) became the first bi-lateral above knee amputee to finish the Vega IRONMAN World Championship on prosthetic legs. He completed the race in 16:26:59. He is also the first American bi-lateral above knee amputee to finish the IRONMAN World Championship
  • Over the last decade seven men and five women have combined for 20 IRONMAN World Championship titles
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