KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII (AP) — German Olympic champion Jan Frodeno won the Ironman World Championship on Saturday, pulling away in the bike leg in scorching conditions for his first victory in the event.
The 34-year-old Frodeno completed the 2.4-mile ocean swim, 112-mile bike leg and marathon run in 8 hours, 14 minutes, 40 seconds. He was second after the swim and took the lead for good 95 miles into the bike leg.
With temperatures on the course in excess of 120 degrees, Frodeno finished the swim in 50:50, the bike ride in 4:27:28 and the run in 2:52:22.
“I had good run form, but it was brutal,” Frodeno said. “No shade at all. If you’re going uphill, your heart rate goes up and it just doesn’t come back down.”
Frodeno, who was third last year, also is the reigning Ironman 70.3 world champion and won the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He’s the first triathlete to win Olympic and Ironman World Championship titles.
Germany’s Andreas Raelert was second, and American Tim O’Donnell finished third.
“By far it’s the best performance I’ve had here,” O’Donnell said. “Andy is a great competitor. He came up to me really close in the Energy Lab, but I was able to pull away. I soon paid for that effort.”
Daniela Ryf of Switzerland won the women’s race for her first Ironman title after two-time defending champion Australian Mirinda Carfrae withdrew mid-race.
Ryf was among the first women out of the water and finished in 8:57:57, more than 12 minutes ahead of second-place Rachel Joyce of Britain.
“I’m so happy. It was such a hard day. Everything went perfect. I had a bit of luck and last 2 k I had a flat tire and could only roll in,” Ryf said. “I could put it together in such an amazing atmosphere.”
Liz Blatchford of Australia was third in 9:14:52.
Each year, more than 110,000 athletes vie for slots in the event. More than 2,300 triathletes started the race Saturday.