KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — Germany’s Jan Frodeno and Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf successfully defended their Ironman triathlon world championships Saturday, each outpacing former world champions.
Frodeno’s time of 8 hours, 6 minutes, 30 seconds was the third-fastest in the event’s 38-year history, and Ryf had an 8:46:46 to smash the women’s course record by more than 5 minutes.
The 35-year-old Frodeno had the third-fastest swim and the eighth-fastest bike split, before running away from 2014 world champion and fellow German triathlete Sebastian Kienle early in the marathon.
Kienle finished second at 8:10:02, and Patrick Lange, also from Germany, was third at 8:11:14.
With a run time of 2:39:45, Lange broke the 27-year-old course record set by Mark Allen in 1989.
Australian Craig Alexander set the course record of 8:03:56 in 2011.
Frodeno was greeted at the finish line by wife Emma and infant son Luca.
“It feels that much sweeter,” he said. “It’s been a long year with lots of sacrifices. I’m just grateful to be here.”
Tim O’Donnell was the top American, finishing sixth at 8:16:20.
The 29-year-old Ryf took the lead early on the bike and built a 20-minute cushion over three-time champion Mirinda Carfrae.
“That was my best race ever,” Ryf said. “Thanks so much to my team. I doubted all week whether I was strong enough on the bike and now I’m breaking the record in Kona. I didn’t even feel any pain.”
Carfrae, from Australia, was second at 9:10:30.
“I was just trying to put together a solid marathon after such a rough day,” she said. “Honestly, Daniela was in a different league today. I’ll take the best of the rest today.”
Third was Heather Jackson, who became the first American to make the podium in 10 years, with a time of 9:11:32.
The race consisted of 2.4-mile ocean swim, 112-mile bike leg and full 26.2-mile marathon run. It offered a professional prize purse of $650,000.