With tougher than usual conditions on the rough swim, heavy winds and a humid run, the 2014 Ironman World Championship presented by GoPro was hard fought on Saturday. Germany’s Sebastian Kienle, a two-time Ironman 70.3 world champion, rode into the lead and maintained it on the run to earn his first Ironman world championship title. The women’s race saw history repeat itself as Australia’s Mirinda Carfrae became the fourth woman in history to win three Ironman world champ titles. She did so while setting a new run course record of 2:50:26 in the marathon which ate up the deficit of over 14 minutes she faced coming off the bike.
Super swimmer American Andy Potts was first out of the water in a time of 50:56, but his was followed quickly by 2008 Olympic gold medallist Jan Frodeno, Igor Amorelli (BRA), Marko Albert (EST) and defending Ironman world champion Frederik Van Lierde (BEL). They made up the front part of a group which worked together on the bike until Frodeno endured a flat tire, forcing him to the side of the road. When the winds increased in Hawi, Kienle found his momentum followed closely by compatriot Maik Twelsiek who was the only one to go with him.
Once on the run, Frodeno ran steady throughout the marathon, not giving much up to the guys chasing him. Early in the run, Van Lierde and Hoffman ran in second and third respectively, but Van Lierde struggled after the Energy Lab where he walked for sections, letting Hoffman move into second place. Frodeno caught up posing a threat to Hoffman.
Although he slowed somewhat in the final miles, Kienle’s lead was sufficient. His 2:54:37 marathon solidified his first Ironman world title in 8:14:18. Behind him Hoffman was able to hold off Frodeno, coming in as the top American in second at 8:19:23. With a 2:47:46 marathon, Frodeno overcame a flat tire and four-minute penalty to finish in third at 8:20:32. Potts ran his way to fourth with a run split of 2:48:18, putting two Americans in the top five. France’s Cyril Viennot took fifth.
Typically the first out of the water, American Amanda (Doc) Stevens did not disappoint exiting in 54:25 with Jodie Swallow (GBR) and Meredith Kessler (USA) on her heels. Many of the main threats were a few minutes behind. Carfrae finished the swim at just over an hour, nearly six minutes back from the front group. Swallow, Kessler and Ellis hammered the front during the early miles of the bike. The tough winds of Hawi didn’t seem to bother Ironman 70.3 world champ Daniela Ryf, but it did force the early leaders to struggle allowing Ryf to put in a sizeable gap on the others. She held that into T2, starting the marathon 2:01 ahead of Joyce, 3:29 ahead of Ellis and 5:48 in front of Swallow. By that point Heather Wurtele was 12:29 back in excellent company with Kessler and Carfrae about two minuteds behind her.
Ryf’s gusty race (in her Kona debut) saw her hold the lead until over 20 miles where Carfrae passed her on the Queen K. Ryf took an impressive second place in 9:02:57, just under two minutes off Carfrae and about just as much in front of Rachel Joyce who held on for third in 9:04:23.
Heather Wurtele finished in a strong fifteenth place in 9:34:18. While it wasn’t the race either of them wanted, Sara Gross finished a gutsy 35th and Elliot Holtham pushed through a tough day to finish in 10:10:59.
2014 Ironman World Championship presented by GoPro
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii – Oct. 11, 2014
1. Sebastian Kienle (GER) 8:14:18
2. Ben Hoffman (USA) 8:19:23
3. Jan Frodeno (GER) 8:20:32
4. Andy Potts (USA) 8:21:38
5. Cyril Viennot (FRA) 8:22:19
6. Nils Frommhold (GER) 8:22:29
7. Tim Van Berkel (AUS) 8:23:26
8. Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) 8:24:11
9. Bart Aernouts (BEL) 8:28:28
10. Romain Guillaume (FRA) 8:30:15
1. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 9:00:55
2. Daniela Ryf (SUI) 9:02:57
3. Rachel Joyce (GBR) 9:04:23
4. Jodie Swallow (GBR) 9:10:19
5. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 9:12:43
6. Julia Gajer (GER) 9:16:58
7. Liz Lyles (USA) 9:18:11
8. Gina Crawford (NZL) 9:19:21
9. Mary Beth Ellis (USA) 9:20:46
10. Liz Blatchford (AUS) 9:23:34