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The day in words and pictures: Recapping the men’s race at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship

Kristian Blummenfelt returns to St. George, Utah for his his second Ironman world title of 2022. The exciting day in pictures.

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

There was certainly lots of drama here in Utah today as the reigning Olympic gold medalist, Kristian Blummenfelt, overcame the “disappointment” (his viewpoint, not ours!) of a third-place finish in Kona three weeks ago to take his first Ironman 70.3 world title. It was the second world title he’s won here in the scenic city in southern Utah, and makes him only the second man to win the Olympic gold medal, the Ironman World Championship and the Ironman 70.3 World title. (He joins Jan Frodeno in that heady crowd.)

The day featured lots of dramatic action:

  • Of course, there’s Blummenfelt’s dramatic win, that came after he pulled ahead of Ben Kanute with just a few km to go.
  • A penalty to fan favourite Sam Long that put him out of the mix.
  • A tough day for the recent Kona champion, Gustav Iden, who came into the race seemingly emotionally drained and would eventually drop out.
  • A huge race for Ben Kanute, who earned his second runner-up finish at a 70.3 worlds after a challenging season.
  • A sixth-place finish for Jackson Laundry, who bounced back with a strong bike and run after a tough swim.
  • A huge field of 4,000 age group men (there were 2,000 women who competed yesterday) – there were 104 countries represented here in Utah this weekend.
  • All on a spectacular course that features some of the world’s most spectacular scenery.

There’s lots more drama for us to get to, as well – bear with us and we’ll get you more stories in the coming days. For now let us just bring you a recap of today’s exciting pro race with these photos:

The day began with a beautiful sunrise and warmer temperatures than the women experienced yesterday.
It wasn’t long before Blummenfelt blasted to the front of the race.
Initially Iden, who missed the lead group being powered by his countryman Blummenfelt, seemed to be at least keeping pace.
Germany’s Frederic Funk, normally a front runner on the bike, realized there was no point trying to pass Blummenfelt and was happy to stay behind the Norwegian. He would eventually take fifth.
Kristian Blummenfelt refused to let anyone pull ahead on the bike, powering up the challenging Snow Canyon climb.
Kanute stayed in the lead group throughout the bike, and managed to mark Blummenfelt’s strong move heading up Snow Canyon.
Laundry had a great ride and moved himself into contention for another top-five finish.
After getting a five-minute penalty, Sam Long was never able to put himself in contention to repeat his runner-up finish from this race last year.
At the two-mile point of the run, Kanute surged up the steep hill into the golf course, trying to test Blummenfelt’s legs to see if he was feeling the race in Kona three weeks ago.
The short answer to that question … No. Blummenfelt easily marked Canute’s move and would shadow the American until the final few km, at which point he pulled away.
Canada’s Brent McMahon, coming off a huge win at Ironman Wisconsin last month, would eventually finish 26th.
Germany’s Mika Noodt, who is just 22 years old, used the days second-fastest run (just five seconds slower than Blummenfelt) to run his way to fourth.
Iden would eventually pull out during the run.
Blummenfelt was thrilled to take the win – his second Ironman world title this year here in St. George.
A breakthrough day for Kanute …
And he was happy about it!
Ditlev, who’s day in Kona was marred by a penalty, bounced back with a huge third-place finish.
Mika Noodt was thrilled to take fourth – a huge achievement for the 22-year-old German.
Funk was relieved to hold off Miki Taagholt to take fifth.
Jackson Laundry proved his breakthrough fifth-place finish a year ago was no fluke, taking a hard-fought seventh this year.