Women's Podium (L to R): Lucy Charles, Daniela Ryf and Anne Haug. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
Bart Aernouts, Patrick Lange et David McNamee. Photo: @ironmantri
On October 13th, the world’s best triathletes shattered the records. Patrick Lange obliterated the elusive eight-hour mark in Kona and Daniela Ryf broke her own course record by 20 minutes. Then, there are the bike and swim records set by Cameron Wurf and Lucy Charles.
The top performances from 2018 were something else to witness and had all those watching on the edge of their seats.
Here are our top ten takeaways from the race in Kailua-Kona.
- Daniela Ryf is the GOAT. Ryf has now won four consecutive Ironman world titles, a feat she shares with Paula Newby-Fraser. Not to mention the four 70.3 world titles she has collected in the last five years, which only exemplifies her dominance. In 2018, she has completed the double, winning the 70.3 and Ironman world championships for the second year in a row. She also has produced numerous race splits and overall times that challenge some of the world’s best male triathletes.
- Patrick Lange executed the ‘perfect’ race. Lange came out of the water about three minutes down from the leaders and then worked his way up to the main chase group with the help of his teammate Andreas Drietz. Lange came off the bike just seven minutes back from Wurf, and comfortably took the lead in the marathon – posting a 2:41 split to defend his 2017 world title.
- Who is Bart Aernouts? Aernouts was the only man to stay with Lange. Despite posting a swim time that was seven minutes slower than the leaders, Aernouts rode a 4:12:25 to get onto the heels of Lange. In the marathon, the Belgian showed his speed and endurance by running a 2:45:41 to secure a second-place finish.
- Both the women’s and men’s podium finishers broke the previous course record, a feat unheard of on the Big Island of Hawaii. With rain clouds looming overnight before the race, it looked as though the race would have some weather. However, the weather produced some of the best race conditions in history and the times reflected that.
- Lucy Charles broke a 19-year-old swim record. The British triathlete displayed her swim ability by lowering the record to 48:14 (was previously 48:43). Charles then held the lead for most of the bike, only to be passed by Ryf in the last 15K of the 180K time trial.
- Anne Haug can run fast. Again, the German has proved she has a run that can better Ryf’s. At this year’s Ironman 70.3 world Championship, Haug ran an impressive half marathon to run herself onto the podium. In Kona, she did it again and ran a 2:55:20, two minutes better than Ryf. If Haug can develop her bike, she is someone that could challenge for the win in the years to come.
- Kona rookies. Besides Haug’s impressive third-place finish, Sarah True also had a Kona debut to remember. She finished fourth and broke the previous course record of 8:46:46 (8:43:43). Javier Gomez made his highly anticipated Kona debut this year. The eight-time world champion held his own throughout the race. He came out of the water with the leaders and finished the bike with the main chase group. It was in the second half of marathon where he would falter. At the end of the day, he finished 11th with an 8:11:41.
- A year after a baby, Mirinda Carfrae came fifth at the Ironman World Championship. In her first season post-pregnancy, Carfrae showed the triathlon world she still has it and is getting better. The season started slow for the Australian, but after some top results in the middle of the season, Carfrae began to show signs of her old self. Since coming back, her bike split has gotten noticeably better, and her run is returning to form.
- After being diagnosed with Lyme Disease in April, Angela Naeth had the top Canadian finish of eighth. In our Canadian women’s preview, Naeth said she was thrilled just to be invited to the race. On October 13th, she made the most of that invitation and put together a great performance.
- Matt Russell returns to the Big Island with an incredible result. In 2017, Russell lay on the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway after being hit by a truck. A year later, he stood on Ali’i Drive with his arms in the air and head lifted to the sky overcome with emotion. Just one year after his horrific accident, Russell crossed the line sixth – a career-best finish.