American Dede Griesbauer competed in her first Ultraman World Championship on the Big Island of Hawaii over the weekend, dominating the women’s race with a new course record and finishing third overall in the event that includes a 10 km (6.2 mile) swim and 144.8 km (90 mile) bike on day one, a 275.2 km (171 mile) bike on day two and wraps up with a third day that includes a double marathon – 84.4 km (52.4 mile) run. Griesbauer, a three-time Ironman champion and Ultraman world record holder (her 22 hours, 48 mins and 31 seconds at Ultraman Florida in 2020) finished the race over 90 minutes ahead of runner-up Antonina Reznikov (ISR), over three and a half hours up on 2012 Ironman world champion Leanda Cave. Canada’s Tara Norton, the 2019 Ultraman world champion, finished fourth.
The 52-year-old led the event from start to finish, finishing the swim in 2:49:53, third overall, then had the days second fastest bike (4:42:34 – a new record for that leg) to finish just 14 seconds behind day one men’s leader, American Rob Gray. Australia’s Richard Thompson would post the day’s fastest bike split – 4:38:53.
Griesbauer would post the third-fastest bike split (8:02:02) on day two behind Thompson and American Steven Keller, and continuing to open up the gap on Reznikov and the rest of the field – by the end of the second day the American was two hours ahead of the Israeli, with Norton sitting in third another 15 minutes behind.
The double-marathon day saw Griesbauer continue to charge clear as she finished the marathon in 7:48:29, coming across the finish line in 23:22:58 to shatter Amber Monforte’s 2010 course record (24:07:11). Reznikov would complete the run in 7:24:48 to take second (fourth overall), with Cave (8:33:57) running almost 50 minutes faster than Norton (9:22:41) to move up to the final spot on the podium.
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Thompson takes a second title
After leading the first day, Gray, the 2017 champion would eventually drop out, and Thompson (the 2018 champ) never looked back as he took the win in 22:13:38. Keller would take second (23:12:01), just under an hour behind. Canada’s Jon Greyell would be the third man across the line, fifth overall, in 25:37:26.