Ironman World Championship Kona, Hawaii
The field was stacked with former Olympians and Ironman champions. Hawaii's legendary triathlon course delivered just the kind of hot, windy conditions for which this race is so revered.
At the cannon, the pro men split immediately into a few distinct groups, including defending champion Frederik Van Lierde. He felt strong on the bike from the beginning, but also wanted to save some energy for later. But when the later winner, Sebastian Kienle came over the large leading group at after 70km, the whole game changed. Tough winds accompanied the pros and the field was blown apart. Frederik came into T2 in fourth position and started his marathon with over eight minutes back on leader Sebastian Kienle: "I had a good feeling, I ran really good and until 30 km I felt strong and was even in 2nd position. But when I came out of Energy Lab I suddenly had painful stitches in my right side", explains Frederik the situation. The defending champion suffered for 3km and was forced to walk several times until it finally got better. He finished the World Championship on 8th position. "I am happy with the way I defended my title. Sebastian Kienle deserves this world title", says Frederik after the race. "A big thank you to my family, friends and sponsors who lived this with me this year." Sebastian Kienle won the race with 5 minutes ahead of Ben Hoffman from the United States and Jan Frodeno. Kyle Buckingham, who competed for the first time in the pro field, finished on 25th position. In the women's field Australia's Mirinda Carfrae shared the highest honors. She started the run leg with more than 14 minutes behind leader Daniela Ryf from Switzerland. Carfrae demonstrated remarkable strength after a taxing bike ride and passed Ryf just three miles from the finish. On athlete Caroline Steffen finished on 5th position like last year and US Champion Mary Beth Ellis on rank 9. Congratulations to all athletes for showing a fantastic race in hot and windy conditions. You all made it an unforgettable one.