Daniela Ryf (CHE) and Jan Frodeno (DEU) defended their titles with history-making performances today at the 39th edition of the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i.

Together, they became only the third female and male duo to repeat as course champions in consecutive years. Ryf retained her crown with a time of 8:46:46, smashing the female course record by nearly six minutes (previously held by second place finisher Mirinda Carfrae), while Frodeno bested fellow Germans Sebastian Kienle and Patrick Lange with a time of 8:06:30 to lead his nation to a podium sweep.

More than 2,300 athletes from 64 countries and territories on six continents competed on the Big Island of Hawai’i in the toughest one-day endurance event in the world.

Mens Race

Frodeno – the first male to repeat as champion in consecutive years since Craig Alexander in 2009 – was third after the swim and continued his steady performance along the windy 112-mile bike course. Although he faced steady competition from Kienle, Frodeno eventually took control during the final stages of the marathon, topping the men’s field with a run time of 2:45:34, before completing his race in 8:06:30, which was 8:10 faster than his time last year.

Jan FrodenoJan Frodeno
(Photo: Donald Miralle / Ironman; click to enlarge)

Kienle, the 2014 Ironman World Champion, ran shoulder-to-shoulder with Frodeno before falling back, finishing a respectable second place in 8:10:02. Meanwhile, Lange authored one of the best performances of his career, overtaking Ben Hoffman (USA) for third on the strength of a 2:39:45 run that broke Ironman Hall of Famer Mark Allen’s 27-year-old course record of 2:40:04. It also was the second completely German podium in history, with the last feat occurring 19 years earlier in 1997 with Thomas Hellriegel, Juergen Zaeck and Lothar Leder.

Last year’s third-place finisher, Tim O’Donnell (USA), stayed near the top of the leaderboard throughout the run, ultimately concluding his race with a time of 8:16:20 for sixth place. Andi Boecherer (DEU) and Boris Stein (DEU) managed personal Ironman bests of 8:13:25 and 8:16:56 respectively, giving Germany five of the top seven places.

Top 10 professional men’s results:

          Swim   Bike   Run   Finish
1. Jan Frodeno DEU 48:02 4:29:00 2:45:34 8:06:30
2. Sebastian Kienle DEU 52:27 4:23:55 2:49:03 8:10:02
3. Patrick Lange DEU 48:57 4:37:49 2:39:45 8:11:14
4. Ben Hoffman USA 48:55 4:28:06 2:51:45 8:13:00
5. Andi Boecherer DEU 48:10 4:28:07 2:52:05 8:13:25
6. Tim O'Donnell USA 48:12 4:29:10 2:55:01 8:16:20
7. Boris Stein DEU 54:10 4:23:04 2:55:19 8:16:56
8. Bart Aernouts BEL 53:58 4:32:37 2:48:44 8:20:30
9. Ivan Rana ESP 48:52 4:38:13 2:50:17 8:21:51
10. Frederik Van Lierde BEL 48:49 4:35:33 2:53:21 8:21:59

Womens Race

Meredith Kessler (USA) led the professional women out of the water as the lead pack smashed the times from last year’s lead pack by almost four minutes. Ryf took control and was superb all day as she became the sixth woman in Ironman history to win consecutive titles.

Ryf withstood competition along the bike course for a 4:52:26 split before a run of 2:56:51 that culminated in a course record. The Swiss star’s time of 8:46:46 shattered the 8:52:14 mark set by Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) in 2013 by nearly six minutes.

Carfrae, a three-time Ironman World Champion, used her epic running abilities to claim second place with a time of 9:10:30. This was a bit of redemption for Carfrae after being forced to drop from last year’s race during the bike portion due to an injuries sustained in a pre-race bike crash.

Daniela RyfDaniela Ryf
(Photo: Donald Miralle / Ironman; click to enlarge)

Heather Jackson (USA), a fifth-place finisher last year, became the first American female to podium in Kona since Kate Major in 2007, while Anja Beranek (DEU) and Kaisa Lehtonen (FIN) rounded out the top six women.

Top 10 professional women’s results:

          Swim   Bike   Run   Finish
1. Daniela Ryf CHE 52:50 4:52:26 2:56:51 8:46:46
2. Mirinda Carfrae AUS 56:44 5:10:54 2:58:20 9:10:30
3. Heather Jackson USA 58:56 5:00:31 3:07:48 9:11:32
4. Anja Beranek DEU 52:51 5:00:42 3:16:35 9:14:26
5. Kaisa Lehtonen FIN 58:55 5:08:54 3:03:16 9:15:40
6. Michelle Vesterby DNK 52:53 5:09:05 3:12:27 9:19:05
7. Sarah Piampiano USA 1:02:42 5:07:29 3:07:04 9:22:31
8. Asa Lundstrom SWE 1:02:04 5:09:46 3:06:42 9:22:59
9. Lucy Gossage GBR 1:01:57 5:06:01 3:12:15 9:25:57
10. Carrie Lester AUS 56:40 5:10:50 3:15:55 9:28:17

The athlete field tackled a 2.4-mile ocean swim in Kailua Bay, followed by a grueling 112-mile bicycle ride along Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway through hot lava fields, intense trade winds and scorching temperatures, and capped the race with a 26.2-mile run along rugged Hawaiian terrain that finished on majestic Ali’i Drive, a pantheon of past and current champions. Each year, more than 110,000 athletes vie for slots to the event.