Daniela Ryf, Kristian Blummenfelt IRONMAN World Champions

Sunday 08 May 2022

Following a two-year hiatus, the IRONMAN World Championship returned with the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN® World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission. The 2021 edition of the event took place in St. George, Utah becoming the first location to host the event outside of Hawai`i since its origins in 1978. The Land of Endurance lived up to its billing with Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) and Daniela Ryf (CHE) being crowned as World Champions after what many are calling the toughest course they have ever raced.

Blummenfelt earns coveted title
In the men's race, Sam Laidlow (FRA) led the pro men out of chilly Sand Hollow Reservoir waters (64 degrees Fahrenheit) in 47:29 with Daniel Baekkegard (DEN) on his heels. The Kiwi pair Kyle Smith and Braden Currie were next with Florian Angert (FRA) in fifth. Olympic gold medalist Kristian Blummenfelt fell a surprising two minutes back on the swim.
 
Onto the 112-mile bike course through the hilly territory of Southwestern Utah, a lead pack established itself early on with Laidlow (who trains with three-time IRONMAN World Champion Jan Frodeno) Smith, Bakkegaard, Angert, and Currie. Five minutes back of the lead group, Cameron Wurf led a chase pack that saw Canadian Lionel Sanders move up through the field as well as Blummenfelt with the three coming into the second transition 4:30 behind the leaders.
 
On a picture-perfect day featuring warm, dry conditions, typical of the desert and a wind factor that never made a significant impact on the pro performances, Smith, Currie, and Angert were out onto the run course in the top three. Currie took the lead at 4 miles, as Blummenfelt, one of the day's biggest movers on the run, continued to move through the field behind him. The Olympic gold medalist, who started the run with over a four-minute deficit, started to make a dent in the leaders around the seven-mile mark. By the halfway point of the marathon, Blummenfelt had moved into second, entering a battle with Currie. At 19 miles, the Norwegian took the lead and never looked back claiming his first IRONMAN World Championship to add to his Olympic Gold Medal.
 
It was a breakthrough performance for Christchurch-born Currie, 2021 IRONMAN New Zealand champion, who tried to hold onto second but was passed by Sanders in the last few hundred meters. While some predicted that Sanders, who thrives on these types of battles, wouldn't have enough run real estate to pass Currie but he proved the pundits wrong and surged into second within view of the finish line.
 
Blummenfelt won the race handily with his 7:49:16 finish, joining the rare collection of athletes who have earned both an Olympic Gold Medal in triathlon and an IRONMAN World Championship win. For the young Norwegian it's of its an incredible feat for only his second-ever full-distance IRONMAN race.
 
"That was a tough day—it was a brutal course. Luckily, I was able to jump on the Wurf train on the bike. On the run, I maybe started out faster than I should have. It was a relief to see that I was making up time over the second half." Blummenfelt swam 49:40, biked 4:18:42, and ran 2:38:01.
 
Sanders reveled in his second silver medal performance after also finishing second in Hawai`i back in 2017. "That was an amazing battle. It's something I'll never forget," he said at the finish line. "I didn't take anything for granted—this race my only goal was to execute my absolute best performance in the swim, the bike, and the run."
 
Currie, a seasoned racer and past top-10 IRONMAN World Championship finisher reflected on the race at the finish line: "We had a fantastic group on the bike, it was so honest, consistent, and settled. I'm well-cooked, but stoked." When all was said and done, the top five male finishers all clocked under 8 hours despite the difficult course.

Ryf returns to glory
In the women’s race, American Haley Chura was first out of the water with over two minutes on the rest of the field. Fenella Langridge (GBR) and Lisa Norden (SWE) were next in line, with Daniela Ryf (CHE) leading a chase group four minutes back containing Skye Moench (USA), Jocelyn McCauley (USA), and Anne Haug (DEU).
 
Norden took over the lead early on the bike, with Ryf, Kat Matthews (GBR), and Moench also asserting themselves. By the 40-mile point, Ryf had confidently taken the lead, passing Norden and eventually Matthews. The Swiss athlete and Matthews would go on to lead the rest of the bike together as the rest of the field fell scattered behind them.
 
By the halfway point of the bike, the four-time IRONMAN World Champion made a characteristically bold move, pushing to the front and continuing to make up time at the front—to the tune of seven minutes ahead of her next-closest chaser, Matthews, and 15 minutes on super-runner and reigning IRONMAN World Champion, Haug.
 
Over the 26.2-mile hilly marathon, Ryf continued to run away from the rest of the field to the tune of "comeback race" and "the return of the Angry Bird" from commentators and fans. She crossed the finish line in 8:34:69 (including a sub-three-hour marathon) with a display of joy and passion uncharacteristic of the levelheaded athlete. Ryf flashed the number five to signify her five IRONMAN World Championship victories, putting her in the esteemed company of only Paula Newby-Fraser and Natascha Badmann.
 
"Two and a half years' wait and I'm so happy," Ryf reflected at the finish line. "To come to this finish, with this crowd, after a really hard last few months I'm just so stoked to bring it together today. I had fun today, and that's really important."
 
Matthews, who won two IRONMAN races last year but is a newcomer to this championship event, hung on for second with an 8:43:49 finish time. Though she was unable to challenge Ryf's dominance, the 31-year-old put in a few strong surges and fought hard to hold onto her position.
 
"I cannot understand how my brain and body were able to push like that," she said at the finish line. "My first world champs to come second to Daniela Ryf? I'm happy. Honestly, I think I paced it perfectly."
 
Haug gave it all she had and rounded out the podium in third on the heels of consistent performances across all three disciplines and her crowning glory: a race-best run of 2:56:00.  

MALE PRO:
1 Kristian Blummenfelt NOR 7:49:16
2 Lionel Sanders CAN +4:47
3 Braden Currie NZL +5:03
4 Chris Leiferman USA +8:35
5 Florian Angert DEU +10:19

FEMALE PRO:
1 Daniela Ryf CHE 8:34:59
2 Kat Matthews GBR +8:50
3 Anne Haug DEU +12:05
4 Skye Moench USA +20:22
5 Ruth Astle GBR +25:10

IRONMAN Triathlon (Photo: Tom Pennington / Getty Images for IRONMA)


Coming Triathlon Events View all

    Visit website Google Map Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on YouTube

02

Jul

2022

Ch'TriMan

Gravelines, France

Website Google Map YouTube

02

Jul

2022

Stone Brixia Man

Lago d'Iseo / Passo Paradiso, Italy

Website Google Map YouTube

02

Jul

2022

UKRMAN Iron Triathlon

Bilyaivka, Kharkiv region, Ukraine

Website Google Map

03

Jul

2022

Canada Man Xtreme

Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada

Website Google Map

03

Jul

2022

Challenge Roth

Roth, Germany

Website Google Map YouTube

03

Jul

2022

The Bastion

Hever Castle, Kent, United Kingdom

Website Google Map YouTube

09

Jul

2022

Frysman

Reaklif, Warns, Netherlands

Website Google Map

09

Jul

2022

Altriman

les Angles, Pyrenees, France

Website Google Map YouTube

09

Jul

2022

Laponia Triathlon

Gällivare, Sweden

Website Google Map

09

Jul

2022

Triathlon X

Ambleside, United Kingdom

Website Google Map YouTube
    Visit website Google Map Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on YouTube

03

Jul

2022

Ironman Austria

Klagenfurt, Austria

Website Google Map YouTube

03

Jul

2022

Ironman UK

Bolton,, United Kingdom

Website Google Map YouTube

10

Jul

2022

Ironman Vitoria Gasteiz

Vitoria Gasteiz, Spain

Website Google Map

10

Jul

2022

Ironman Switzerland

Thun, Switzerland

Website Google Map YouTube

24

Jul

2022

Ironman Lake Placid

Lake Placid, United States

Website Google Map

06

Aug

2022

Ironman Tallinn

Tallinn, Estonia

Website Google Map YouTube

07

Aug

2022

Ironman Gdynia

Gdynia, Poland

Website Google Map YouTube

07

Aug

2022

Ironman Maastricht Limburg

Maastricht-Limburg, Netherlands

Website Google Map YouTube

07

Aug

2022

Ironman Alaska

Juneau, Alaska, United States

Website Google Map

13

Aug

2022

Ironman Finland

Kuopio-Tahko, Finland

Website Google Map
    Visit website Google Map Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on YouTube

02

Jul

2022

Lake Biwa Triathlon

Moriyama, Japan

Website Google Map

03

Jul

2022

Garmin Iron Tri Skierniewice

Skierniewice, Poland

Website Google Map YouTube

03

Jul

2022

Great White North

Hubbles Lake, Alberta, Canada

Website Google Map

03

Jul

2022

CHALLENGE Vansbro

Vansbro, Sweden

Website Google Map

03

Jul

2022

Triatlon San Gil

Sangil Queretaro, Mexico

Website Google Map YouTube

03

Jul

2022

Outlaw Half Holkham

Holkham Hall, Norfolk, United Kingdom

Website Google Map YouTube

09

Jul

2022

Rev3 Williamsburg

Williamsburg,, United States

Website Google Map YouTube

09

Jul

2022

Clash Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen NY, United States

Website Google Map YouTube

10

Jul

2022

Garmin Iron Tri Sycow

Sycow, Poland

Website Google Map YouTube

10

Jul

2022

FrenchMan Half

Libourne, France

Website Google Map YouTube
    Visit website Google Map Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on YouTube

02

Jul

2022

70.3 Lahti

Lahti, Finland

Website Google Map YouTube

03

Jul

2022

70.3 Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Website Google Map

03

Jul

2022

70.3 Ecuador

Manta, Ecuador

Website Google Map

03

Jul

2022

70.3 Les Sables D Olonne Vendee

Les Sables d’Olonne, France

Website Google Map

03

Jul

2022

70.3 Andorra

Andorra la Vella, Andorra

Website Google Map YouTube

03

Jul

2022

70.3 Sandnes

Sandnes, Norway

Website Google Map

10

Jul

2022

70.3 Oregon

Salem OR, United States

Website Google Map

10

Jul

2022

70.3 Musselman

Geneva, NY, United States

Website Google Map

10

Jul

2022

70.3 Jonkoping

Jönköping, Sweden

Website Google Map YouTube

10

Jul

2022

70.3 Muskoka

Huntsville, Ontario, Canada

Website Google Map

Triathlon News & Media Blogs View all

Jan Frodeno Back Racing at CHALLENGE Roth GER

Jan Frodeno Back Racing at CHALLENGE Roth GER

Friday 01 Jul 2022 [Triathlon News]

So many triathlon fans have longed for it, now it’s becoming a reality. Jan Frodeno is returning to the major long-distance triathlon stage on 3 July after suffering an achilles tendon injury. For his comeback, the multiple world champion has chosen DATEV Challenge Roth powered by hep, the largest long-distance triathlon in the world. more

IRONMAN 70.3 Andorra Returns

IRONMAN 70.3 Andorra Returns

Friday 01 Jul 2022 [Triathlon News]

The perfect Pyrenean playground away from the hustle and bustle of the fast-lane life, is a destination where nature takes centre stage. Slow down in a European endurance sporting heaven boasting the very best of what a triathlete could want, and a stunning capital with everything a leisure traveller would expect. Welcome to IRONMAN 70.3 Andorra, your adventure in the Pyrenees awaits. more

Côte de Lumière Fired-Up for IRONMAN 70.3 Les Sables d'Olonne FRA

Côte de Lumière Fired-Up for IRONMAN 70.3 Les Sables d'Olonne FRA

Friday 01 Jul 2022 [Triathlon News]

Les Sables d'Olonne, translated as "the sands of Olonne", is a seaside town on the western French coast, the Côte de Lumière. The region features a stunning array of landscapes, from picturesque beaches and jagged coastlines to pine forests and wetlands. After the inaugural race in 2019, the canal swim, bike through the forest, and half-marathon along Les Remblai promenade has made IRONMAN 70.3 Les Sables d'Olonne an instant sensation. more

The Stage is Set for IRONMAN Austria

The Stage is Set for IRONMAN Austria

Friday 01 Jul 2022 [Triathlon News]

Known as one of the most beautiful races in the world, IRONMAN Kärnten-Klagenfurt, Austria has become legendary among athletes. Breathtaking swim course scenery of the Wörthersee, biking through the green heart of Carinthia, and a cauldron-like finish line in the heart of the city. This is triathlon at its purest. more

Lisa Norden Headlines Inaugural CHALLENGE Vansbro SWE

Lisa Norden Headlines Inaugural CHALLENGE Vansbro SWE

Friday 01 Jul 2022 [Triathlon News]

Winning the first edition of a new race is always high on the wish list of top athletes and, in the case of Lisa Norden and Sara Svensk that will probably be a little bit extra in the case of Challenge Vansbro. After all, they will be competing for the win in their home country, what makes it an even more special race for them. In the men's race there is also a home favourite: Jesper Svensson. more

Twitter


Facebook


YouTube


Sign up for FREE NEWSLETTER:

We will never share your email address or spam you.