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World champion coach sets fastest-ever age group time at Ironman California

New Zealand super-coach, Dr. Dan Plews blasts to sub-8 hour performance in Sacramento, in part thanks to a downriver swim

Photo by: Donald Miralle/ Ironman

2022 Kona champion Chelsea Sodaro’s coach, Dr. Dan Plews, proved that he “walks the talk” with a standout performance at Ironman California in Sacramento on the weekend, winning the 40 to 44 age group and taking the overall win with his 7:56:56 finish.

Plews adds the super-fast time in California to a couple of other records – he won his age group at Ironman New Zealand last year in 8:50:12, and he won the 35 to 39 age group in Kona, setting a course record with his 8:24:36 finish.

Photo: Donald Miralle/ Ironman

Just like Kristian Blummenfelt’s record-setting day at Ironman Cozumel in 2021, Plews’ impressive time comes with a bit of an asterisk – he completed the point-to-point swim in a frighteningly fast 36:27. (Last year, when he demolished the age group course record at Ironman New Zealand Plews swam 55:00, and when he set the course record in Kona he swam 54:47.) The speedy swim hardly takes away from the rest of his splits, though – a 4:23:27 bike and 2:48:48 run.

Blummenfelt blasts to Ironman Cozumel win in Ironman record time (which might not be recognized due to down-current swim)

It’s been quite a year for Plews, who also blasted to an 8:18 finish at Challenge Roth, too.


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In addition to Sodaro, Plews, who is also a renowned researcher and Applied Sport Scientist, has coached a number of other big-name triathletes, including 10-time world champion Javier Gomez,  70.3 world champion Terrenzo Bozzone, Jan van Berkel, World Triathlon Long Distance champ Pablo Dapena and Tim van Berkel.

The 40 to 44 age group had some of the day’s fastest athletes – second overall in the men’s race was Mexico’s Raynard Picard (8:19:28), with Canada’s Jamie Woodbury winning the 30 to 34 age group and taking third overall in 8:21:01.

American Kristen Yax, also in the 40 to 44 age group, was the fastest woman overall with a time of 9:17:29. Kerry Girona (USA) won the women’s 35 to 39 age group and finished second overall in 9:25:37. Rebekah Walker (USA) took second in the 40 to 44 age group and finished third overall in 9:39:15.