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History Made at the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship

October 10, 2022

- Monumental barriers broken, youth movement, new course best times, all accomplished during the first-ever two-day IRONMAN World Championship

KAILUA-KONA, Hawai`i (October 10, 2022) /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – After a long three-year hiatus, the IRONMAN World Championship returned to the Kailua-Kona and the Island of Hawai`i and with it an abundance of inspiration and history made. Below are some of the significant moments at this year’s event, that was held over two days for the first time in the over 40 years of the race.

  • For the first time in the 45 years of the IRONMAN World Championship, the event was hosted as a two-day event with the professional women and professional men both being able to race on their own days. With the extra time, professional men, including would-be 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Champion Gustav Iden (NOR) and the 2021 IRONMAN World Champion Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), lined the course to support the women racing, while the women did the same, with Sarah Crowley (AUS) even volunteering at an aid station
  • With a two-day event, this was the largest female and overall athlete field to compete at the IRONMAN World Championship
  • With a time of 16:31:27, Chris Nikic (USA) became the first person with Down syndrome to finish the IRONMAN World Championship; It just so happens it was also Chris’ 23rd birthday on race day
  • With a time of 13:05:44, 29-year-old Sam Holness (GBR) became the first known person with autism to finish the IRONMAN World Championship
  • Chelsea Sodaro became the first American woman to win the IRONMAN World Championship since 1996. The last American female to win prior to Sodaro was the Queen of Kona, Paula Newby-Fraser who is from Zimbabwe but became a United States citizen prior to winning in 1996. American Karen Smyers won in 1995 breaking a streak from 1985 without a female winner from the U.S.
    • Sodaro was also the first male or female American to win the IRONMAN World Championship since 2002
    • Sodaro also was the first professional rookie to win the event in 15 years
    • Sodaro won just 18 months after giving birth to her daughter
  • Lauren Parker (AUS) became just the 3rd female handcyclist to finish the IRONMAN World Championship. In the process, she set a new world best time for the female handcycle division with a finish time of 12:20:35, breaking the previous best set in 2018 by over 2 hours
  • Sam Laidlow (FRA) set a new course best for the IRONMAN World Championship with a time of 4:04:34, besting the previous best of 4:09:06 set in 2018 by Cameron Wurf
  • Gustav Iden (NOR) had a historic day finishing in a time of 7:40:24 to set a new course best and earn his first IRONMAN World Championship victory breaking Jan Frodeno’s mark of 7:51:13 from 2019. He also ran a 2:36:15 setting a new run course best that surpassed Patrick Lange’s (DEU) time of 2:39:45 from 2016
    • Iden is the first male rookie to win the event since the debut of professionals
  • On Saturday, the top 10 men all finished Sub-8-hours showing the growth in competitive long-distance triathlon in a very short time. It wasn’t long ago that breaking the 8-hour mark in the men’s professional IRONMAN World Championship race was the time to strive for. It wasn’t broken until 2018 when Patrick Lange won with a time of 7:52:39
  • At 78 years old, Cherie Gruenfeld (USA) became just the second female athlete to finish the IRONMAN World Championship at 78 years old, joining Harriet Anderson who at 78 completed the race in 2014. Anderson was 78 years old and 11 months while Gruenfeld was 78 years old and 3 months
  • Warren Hill (NZL) was the oldest male to finish the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship at 82 years of age. From Auckland, Warren crossed the line in 16:16:25 to finish second in the 80-84 age group
  • Max Neumann who finished fourth, recorded the best finish by an Australian male professional since Luke McKenzie finished third in 2013
    • Neumann’s finishing time of 7:44:44 is now the fastest ever time recorded by an Australian in an IRONMAN

For more information about the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship presented event, please visit www.ironman.com/im-world-championship-2022. For more information on the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 brands and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Media inquiries may be directed to press@ironman.com.

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About the IRONMAN World Championship

Since its inception in 1978 on the Island of O`ahu, the IRONMAN World Championship has etched its name in history through stellar performances, inspirational participants and emotional memories. In 1981, the race moved from the tranquil shores of Waikīkī to the barren lava fields of Kona on the Island of Hawai`i where it continues to take place to this day. The most iconic one-day sporting event in the world is the culmination of 40 global IRONMAN events with over 94,000 athletes around the world striving for one of the coveted qualifying slots. The 2021 edition of the event took place in St. George, Utah in May 2022, becoming the first location to host the event outside of Hawai`i since its origins in 1978. After a two-year hiatus from Hawai`i due to COVID, the race returns to Kona and takes place for the first time as a two-day event in October for the 2022 edition of the VinFast IRONMAN World Championship. The 2023 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship will see the event continue with the two-day format but with a dedicated race day for women and dedicated race day for men. With two days of racing, the event will host approximately 5,000 athletes as they embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind, and spirit to earn the title of IRONMAN World Champion. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/im-world-championship.


About The IRONMAN Group

The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and City2Surf®, UTMB® World Series events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, Epic Series™ mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events including Haute Route®, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Catering to the full athlete experience, the company portfolio also includes FulGaz® virtual cycling, the most realistic indoor riding experience connected fitness application aimed at preparing athletes for real-world events. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group.

About Advance 

Advance is a private, family-held business that owns and invests in companies across media, entertainment, technology, communications, education and other promising growth sectors. Our mission is to build the value of our companies over the long-term by fostering growth and innovation. Advance’s portfolio includes Condé Nast, Advance Local, Stage Entertainment, The IRONMAN Group, American City Business Journals, Leaders Group, Turnitin, 1010data and Pop. Together these operating companies employ more than 17,000 people in 29 countries. Advance is also among the largest shareholders in Charter Communications, Warner Bros. Discovery and Reddit. For more information visit www.advance.com.