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Naeth takes second to McCauley in first VR Pro Challenge

Ironman's first VR Pro Challenge also features first "virtual mechanical failure."

Four professional women opened Ironman’s new Virtual Reality race series yesterday, with Canada’s Angela Naeth taking second behind American Jocelyn McCauley.

Ironman racing is back, but in our new reality of dealing with the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, it’s in a virtual format. This weekend over 11,000 athletes have signed up for the first race in Ironman’s Virtual Race series – a 5 km run, 90 km bike and a 21 km run that must be completed between Friday night and Sunday night.

There’s pro racing, too – yesterday we saw four women compete using Rouvy’s platform to compete over the Ironman 70.3 Boulder course. (They, like all the other athletes competing this weekend will have to complete the run portions on their own.) The race was won by American Jocelyn McCauley, who finished just over two-minutes ahead of Canada’s Angela Naeth.

Three-time Ironman world champion Mirinda Carfrae managed to add another record to her illustrious career – she experienced the sport’s first “virtual” mechanical failure when her husband Tim O’Donnell “accidentally tripped over the chord of her smart trainer disconnecting the unit from the outlet and her from the race.”

Here are the results from yesterday’s race:

Professional women’s results: 

1. Jocelyn McCauley USA 02:39:48
2. Angela Naeth CAN 02:41:53
3. Jeanni Seymour RSA 02:55:08
4. Mirinda Carfrae AUS Unofficial

Today its the men’s turn as Germany’s two-time Kona champion Patrick Lange highlights the field that also includes Australia’s Joe Gambles, American Justin Metzler and South Africa’s Bradley Weiss will compete over the same Ironman 70.3 Boulder course.