German's Frodeno & Haug Win 2019 IRONMAN World Championships

Sunday 13 October 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.
 
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.”

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.
 
“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.

MALE PRO:
1 Jan Frodeno 7:51:13
2 Tim O'Donnell +8:26
3 Sebastian Kienle +10:51
4 Ben Hoffman +11:38
5 Cameron Wurf +15:27

FEMALE PRO:
1 Anne Haug 8:40:10
2 Lucy Charles-Barclay +6:34
3 Sarah Crowley +8:02
4 Laura Philipp +11:32
5 Heather Jackson +14:34

IRONMAN Triathlon (Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)


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