Published: 2017-10-15 14:21:06 BdST
Daniela Ryf and Lucy Charles dominated the 2017 women’s IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i and took the coveted first and second podium places after battling it out for a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile marathon.
Ryf became the first woman to three-peat the IRONMAN World Championship since 2009 and the fourth woman in the history of the race after coming home in 8:50:47.
For two-thirds of the race, Charles, the young British sensation, held a healthy 5-minute lead on the Swiss force after an impressive 48:48 minute swim.
Ryf passed Charles on the bike in the final 10km of the ride and then took off on the run of which there was no catching her.
She said afterwards: “It was a tough day and Lucy (Charles) really challenged me all day—I was struggling. I was trying to catch up and I didn’t think it would take me that long to catch up. At 60km I had to make a decision—either all in and risk not finishing or lose the race. There were certainly times when I didn’t think it was possible. But it’s not always coming for free and sometimes you have those days. It was painful, really hard, and it was really hot, probably It was the hottest I ever felt.”
In the men’s race, it was a day of fighting and a day where anything could happen. Patrick Lange, the 31-yr-old from Germany, not only broke the overall course record but he did it after an impressive breakaway from Lionel Sanders in the final 10 km of the run.
Daniela Ryf (winner) competes during the IRONMAN World Championship 2017, Kailua-Kona Hawaii, United States, on Oct 14, 2017. Swiss legend Ryf crossed the line after a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile marathon in 8:50:47 and joins an elite group of women in winning the title three times in a row. Red Bull Content Pool via Reuters.
“It was a life dream come true to win and beat the overall course record. It’s just awesome. Lionel Sanders was a tough guy to beat—mentally he is a beast. I was expecting a fast time but a course record is a dream come true,” said Lange.
2014 champion Sebastian Kienle, who finished fourth, said: “Of course it really hurts to talk about 4th place, but my goal was to empty the tank, and I did, but unfortunately though it was at the 20km mark in the marathon, which isn’t that great of an idea because for the rest of the marathon I was running on will. I finished with nothing left, so at the end I lost the fight, but against myself not against the competition.”