The Ironman World Championships men’s race has been won by Norwegian Kristian Blummenfelt. Canadian Lionel Sanders ran down New Zealand native Braden Currie to take the second spot on the podium, with Currie forced to settle for third after the Canadian took yet another sprint to the line.
Group of five leads the way
Currie was among the elite group out of the water led by France’s Sam Laidlow which also included Daniel Baekkegard, Kyle Smith and Florian Angert. Blummenfelt came out of the water over two minutes down, while Sanders exited the swim well over four minutes back.
It was Cameron Wurf who initiated the push towards the leaders on the bike, while both Blummenfelt and Sanders followed in tow. Sanders just edged Blummenfelt off the bike by mere seconds, and the pair immediately began to chip away at the four-plus-minute deficit they faced starting the marathon. At the halfway mark of the run Blummenfelt had already moved up to second on the road, while Sanders trailed in sixth place. With 14 km to go Blummenfelt had taken the lead, with Sanders running in third.
While it was painful, Blummenfelt would go on to win the race in 07:49:16, with Sanders coming in at 7:54:03. Currie took the final place on the podium in a time of 07:54:19. Sanders late push cemented his second runner-up finish (he was second in Kona in 2017), while it was heartbreak for Currie, who spent most of the day at the pointy end of the race.
Blummenfelt adds to his Olympic Gold Medal and World Triathlon World Championship with this Ironman World Championship title today. The result bears more weight with today being only his second Ironman. Sanders showed yet again that he is one of the strongest finishers in the sport with an impressive sprint to the line to net second best on the day.