(Reuters) – Jan Frodeno won his third Ironman World Championship triathlon in a course record time in Hawaii on Saturday to continue German dominance of the men’s event.
FILE PHOTO: Triathlete Jan Frodeno of Germany tries to cool down on his way to win the Ironman triathlon European Championships in Frankfurt, Germany, June 30, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo
Anne Haug won the women’s race to complete a German double.
Frodeno, the 2008 Olympic champion, produced a good swim and then scorched the bike course to open a lead of more than two minutes starting the marathon run under a fierce sun on the Big Island.
The 38-year-old set a cracking pace from his very first step and inexorably extended his advantage, being able to savor his achievement by walking across the finish line to add to his previous victories in 2015 and 2016.
Frodeno said his record time of seven hours, 51 minutes and 13 seconds was insignificant compared to the victory.
“My legs are shattered,” he said.
“I don’t care about the record. It’s a championship, the Wimbledon of our sport.”
American Tim O’Donnell also broke eight hours for a distant second place, more than eight minutes behind in 7:59.41, while German Sebastian Kienle claimed third.
German men have won the past six years, with Patrick Lange (2017 and 2018) and Kienle (2014) also notching victories.
Lange pulled out during the bike leg on Saturday, reportedly suffering from a fever.
In the women’s race, Haug overcame an eight-minute deficit in the run to triumph in 8:40.10, well ahead of Briton Lucy Charles-Barclay, while Australian Sarah Crowley claimed third.
Charles-Barclay led for more than seven hours and started the run with a big lead, but was overtaken by Haug with more than 16 km remaining.
While German men have dominated recently, Haug is the first German woman to triumph.
“The whole run felt pretty amazing,” she said.
The Ironman comprises a 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike ride and 42.2 km run.
The race was first held in 1978 to settle a friendly argument among Hawaiian endurance athletes about who was the fittest.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Grant McCool and Paul Tait