A year after shattering course records, German Patrick Lange and Swiss Daniela Ryf defend their Ironman Kona World Championships titles on Saturday, live on NBC Sports.
NBCSN coverage runs from noon-2 p.m. ET, covering the starts of the men’s and women’s 140.6-mile races. NBCSN will also have occasional check-ins throughout the afternoon, culminating with finish coverage around 8:30 p.m. ET.
On Sunday, NBCSN will air a recap show from 2-3 p.m. ET.
Lange repeated as world champion last year by becoming the first person to break eight hours in Hawaii, taking nine minutes off the men’s record. He then successfully proposed to his girlfriend in the finish area after swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running a marathon.
The men’s race is shaping up as a showdown between Lange and countryman Jan Frodeno, the 2008 Olympic champion who won Kona in 2016 and 2017 but was beset by injuries the last two years. Frodeno won the Ironman European Championship on June 30, when Lange was 11th.
Then there’s Brit Alistair Brownlee, the two-time reigning Olympic champion making his Kona debut. Brownlee, undecided on Tokyo 2020, finished second at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships a month ago. Lange was 22nd.
Ryf looks to tie Mark Allen‘s record of five straight Kona titles, a year after she recovered from jellyfish stings in the swim to break her course record by 20 minutes.
She comes to Kona after a typical lead-up — winning the Ironman 70.3 World title for a third straight year. If Ryf has any challengers this year, look out for Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, who was a distant second in 2017 and 2018.
Two-time U.S. Olympian Sarah True is an intriguing contender. In her Kona debut last year, she was in third place halfway through the marathon but later walked at aid stations and ended up fourth. Her time — 8:43:42 — was also faster than Ryf’s previous course record from 2016.
True led a pair of Ironmans during the marathon in June before collapsing out of the races, including in the final 100-degree mile at the European Championships in Frankfurt, Germany.
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