Lauren Brandon (USA) Secures Victory During the Women’s IRONMAN VR2 Pro Challenge

April 12, 2020

Over 22,000 athletes from 130 nations registered to compete in IRONMAN VR2

TAMPA, Fla. – Following last week’s historic launch of IRONMAN Virtual Racing Series, the second edition of the IRONMAN® VR™ Pro Challenge women’s race hit the virtual pavement with four professional women going head-to-head in a 5150® Olympic distance race simulation, with Lauren Brandon (USA) taking the day’s victory.

Utilizing Official Virtual Cycling partner ROUVY’s augmented reality to race, the four professional women of Brandon, Rachel Olson (USA), Chelsea Sodaro (USA), and Michelle Vesterby (DEN) all conquered the 40km bike on IRONMAN 5150 Boulder’s virtual bike course. Brandon completed the 5150 race simulation in a time of 1:14:40 while Sodaro finished in second place with a time of 1:15:07. Vesterby (DEN) finished third with a time of 1:16:39 and Olsen (USA) rounded out the four, clocking a time of 1:21:52.

The full broadcast of the women’s IRONMAN VR2 Pro Challenge can be viewed, HERE.

Professional women’s results:

1. Lauren Brandon USA 01:14:40
2. Chelsea Sodaro USA 01:15:07
3. Michelle Vesterby DEN 01:16:39
4. Rachel Olson USA 01:21:52


In total, over 22,000 other athletes from more than 130 nations and all 50 states set out to participate in the IRONMAN Virtual Racing Series event, which began Friday, April 10 at 6 p.m. GMT (2 p.m. ET). The race requires athletes to complete three segments, including a 3km Run, 40km Ride, then 10km Run by the race close on Sunday, April 12 at 11:59 p.m. GMT (7:59 p.m. ET). Competitors can complete the segments in any order and are not required to do the segments consecutively. Athletes are able to compete anywhere, indoors or outdoors. Bringing the IRONMAN community together virtually, the IRONMAN® Virtual Club™ continues to grow and now has nearly 50,000 members on the platform with thousands completing IRONMAN Virtual Club Challenges since its recent launch.


On Sunday, the professional men take to the virtual IRONMAN 5150 Boulder bike course using ROUVY’s augmented reality beginning at 2:30 p.m. GMT (10:30 a.m. ET). Live coverage of this Sunday’s professional men’s race can be viewed exclusively through the IRONMAN Now Facebook Watch page. The professional field will feature, Sam Appleton (USA), who has garnered 15 IRONMAN 70.3 titles, most recently at IRONMAN 70.3® Waco and IRONMAN 70.3® Santa Rosa; Sam Long (USA), one of the youngest phenoms in the sport who posted 2019 IRONMAN wins at IRONMAN 70.3® Chattanooga and IRONMAN 70.3® Victoria; David McNamee (GBR), who placed back-to-back podium finishes at the IRONMAN World Championship in 2017 and 2018; and Tim O’Donnell (USA), one of the most successful IRONMAN athletes on the circuit, including nine IRONMAN 70.3 first place finishes and two full-distance IRONMAN wins as well as top five finishes at the IRONMAN World Championship. O’Donnell will get his chance to race after the “Trip Heard Around the World” during last week’s IM VR1. O’Donnell accidentally disconnected his wife and three-time IRONMAN World Champion, Mirinda Carfrae’s, smart trainer from the outlet and her from the race. Both

The live coverage, hosted by Michael Lovato and Dede Griesbauer, will include check-ins on the age-group IM VR2 race, and special guests including top pros Skyping in from around the globe.

Full details and specifics regarding the IRONMAN Virtual Club are available on www.ironmanvirtualclub.com. For questions about the IRONMAN Virtual Racing Series, athletes can email ironmanvr@ironman.com. For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Media related inquiries may be directed to press@ironman.com.


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 Marathon Series®, IRONKIDS®, ITU World Triathlon Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf® presented by Westpac, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, 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. 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 more than 235 events across 50+ countries. On March 26, 2020, Wanda Sports Group (Nasdaq: WSG) entered into an agreement to sell The IRONMAN Group to Advance; closing is anticipated in mid-2020. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.