Triathlon

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Sarah True collapses while leading Ironman in last mile in 100 degrees

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Two-time U.S. Olympian Sarah True collapsed while leading in the last 100-degree mile of the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt, Germany, on Sunday.

True, who said she had a seven-minute lead, was carried off the course by four people after nine hours of racing.

She later said she could not remember the last two miles of the 140.6-mile competition (2.4-mile swim followed by a 112-mile bike and a marathon) and that the temperature was 38 degrees Celsius (100 Fahrenheit).

“Sad, frustrated, a million different things,” True told Triathlonworld.com. “You never expect to be in the position where you have a seven-minute gap, and your brain doesn’t function well enough to tell you you’re struggling in the heat. Just stop and walk a little because I still would have won. When your brain goes in the heat, there’s not a lot you can do.”

True, 37, finished fourth at the 2012 Olympics, then switched to Ironman after being lapped at the Rio Games. She was fourth in her Kona Ironman World Championships debut last Oct. 13.

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Alistair Brownlee, double Olympic triathlon champ, wins Ironman debut, eyes Kona

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Alistair Brownlee, the only triathlete with multiple Olympic titles, added an Ironman victory in his debut at the distance in Cork, Ireland, on Sunday, though the 2.4-mile swim was canceled.

The Brit earned a spot at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, on Oct. 12 and intends to race there.

“That’s one of the reasons I came today,” Brownlee said. “I’ve hopefully got a few years in me. I’ll be going to Kona this year for very much a bit of a learning experience and see how it goes.”

Brownlee, who has said he is undecided on a Tokyo 2020 run, made up a 16-minute, 56-second deficit after the 112-mile bike to win in 7:49:20. The field lacked the world’s best Ironman triathletes, like Germans Patrick Lange and Jan Frodeno (2008 Olympic champion). The 2.4-mile swim was canceled due to poor weather.

Olympic-distance triathlons are a .93-mile swim, 24.8-mile bike and a 6.25-mile run.

Many triathletes have signaled the end of Olympic careers when moving up to the Ironman, such as Frodeno and two-time U.S. Olympian Sarah True. But Brownlee did not seem ready to join them.

“I’d love to be [in Tokyo], but I only want to be there if I feel I can be competitive,” he said after winning the European Championship for a fourth time on June 2, according to the Press Association.

Brownlee, 31, reportedly said in August that he was “50-50” on going for Tokyo and had to decide between focusing on Olympic or Ironman distances.

He won four half Ironmans between 2017 and 2018 (sandwiched by a hip surgery), then finished second to Frodeno at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship on Sept. 2.

MORE: Katie Zaferes leads U.S. sweep of World Triathlon Series podium

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Alistair Brownlee, double Olympic triathlon champion, moves up to Ironman

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Alistair Brownlee, who in Rio became the first double Olympic triathlon champion, will make his full Ironman debut as he weighs a Tokyo 2020 run.

Brownlee was announced for the June 23 Ironman Cork in Ireland. Ironman triathlons include a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon run. Olympic-distance triathlons are a .93-mile swim, 24.8-mile bike and a 6.25-mile run.

Many triathletes have signaled the end of Olympic careers when moving up to the Ironman, such as Beijing 2008 gold medalist Jan Frodeno and two-time U.S. Olympian Sarah True. But Brownlee does not seem ready to join them.

“I’d love to be [in Tokyo], but I only want to be there if I feel I can be competitive,” he said after winning the European Championship for a fourth time on Saturday, according to the Press Association.

Brownlee, 31, returns to the World Triathlon Series for an Olympic-distance triathlon in Leeds, Great Britain on Sunday, his first WTS race since being disqualified from the September 2018 Grand Final for failing to go around a swim buoy. It will be just his fourth WTS race since the Rio Olympics.

Brownlee reportedly said in August that he was “50-50” on going for Tokyo and had to decide between focusing on Olympic or Ironman distances.

He won four half Ironmans between 2017 and 2018 (sandwiched by a hip surgery), then finished second to Frodeno at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship on Sept. 2.

MORE: Katie Zaferes leads U.S. sweep of World Triathlon Series podium

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