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Meredith Kessler (USA) and Miki Mørck-Taagholt (DNK) Emerge Victorious During the HOKA ONE ONE IRONMAN VR14 Pro Challenge Weekend

July 11, 2020

Over 11,000 athletes from 126 nations registered to compete in IRONMAN VR14, a triple division format

TAMPA, Fla. (July 11, 2020) – The 14th edition of the HOKA ONE ONE IRONMAN® VR™ Pro Challenge saw Meredith Kessler of the United States and Denmark’s Miki Mørck-Taagholt take top honors in the professional women’s and professional men’s races, respectively. The field of professional triathletes returned to the virtual start line for a 3 km run in their home communities before hopping on their trainers for the bike race. From there, athletes took on a 40 km ride on a portion of the newly offered IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga bike course, utilizing Official Virtual Cycling partner ROUVY’s augmented reality.

The professional men were first to race with Denmark’s Miki Mørck-Taagholt (DNK) edging out the field, finishing with an overall time of 1:00:53. Behind Mørck-Taagholt in second was two-time IRONMAN 70.3 champion Jackson Laundry (CAN) with a time of 1:04:09. Three-time IRONMAN 70.3 runner-up Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) and multiple IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 champion Romain Guillaume (FRA) went down to the wire battling it out for third place. It was Heemeryck ultimately finishing third in a time of 1:07:28 while Guillaume rounded out the group, clocking a time of 1:07:35.

The full broadcast of the men’s HOKA ONE ONE IRONMAN VR14 Pro Challenge can be viewed HERE.

Professional men’s results:

  RUN TIMEBIKE TIMEOVERALL TIME
1. Miki Mørck-TaagholtDNK00:08:4800:52:051:00:53
2. Jackson LaundryCAN00:08:4100:55:281:04:09
3. Pieter HeemeryckBEL00:08:3200:58:561:07:28
4. Romain GuillaumeFRA00:09:5900:57:361:07:35

On Saturday, the professional women went head-to-head in one of the tightest IRONMAN VR Pro Championship races yet this season, in which 11-time IRONMAN champion and 21-time IRONMAN 70.3 champion Meredith Kessler (USA) came up victorious with an overall finishing time of 1:09:48. Helen Jenkins (GBR), one of Great Britain’s most celebrated triathletes, finished in second place with a combined time of 1:11:26. In their first HOKA ONE ONE IRONMAN VR Pro Challenge appearances, two-time IRONMAN champion Mareen Hufe (DEU) closed in on Jenkins, but ultimately fell short as she took third position with a finishing time of 1:11:37, while multi-IRONMAN 70.3 winner Haley Chura (USA) rounded out the group with a time of 1:13:16.

The full broadcast of the women’s HOKA ONE ONE IRONMAN VR14 Pro Challenge can be viewed, HERE.

Professional women’s results:

  RUN TIMEBIKE TIMEOVERALL TIME
1. Meredith KesslerUSA00:10:2400:59:241:09:48
2. Helen JenkinsGBR00:10:4601:00:401:11:26
3. Mareen HufeDEU00:11:0701:00:301:11:37
4. Haley ChuraUSA00:11:0301:02:131:13:16

In total, over 11,000 athletes from more than 126 nations and all 50 states set out to participate in IRONMAN VR14. IRONMAN VR14 Sprint distance simulation requires athletes to complete a 3 km Run, 20 km Ride, and 5 km Run between the earlier start time of Friday, July 10 at 6 a.m. ET (10 p.m. GMT) and race close, Sunday, July 12 at 7:59 p.m. ET (11:59 p.m. GMT). Competitors who race in the IRONMAN VR14 Classic division can do so anywhere, indoors or outdoors, can complete the three segments in any order and are not required to do the segments consecutively.

The over 1,100 athletes who registered for the first race in the HOKA ONE ONE IRONMAN Virtual Racing Championship Series are bound by a different set of rules over a four-week long regulated age-group competition designed to reward top-performing athletes in a structured and competitive virtual environment. An athlete’s overall standing is based upon their top three performances in aggregate over a four-week period. Athletes competing will have the opportunity to earn race slots to the 2020 edition of the IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship with a total of 75 qualifying slots allocated across age groups for top performers.

IRONMAN VR14 leaderboard updates can be found by visiting the IRONMANVR Facebook Page.

Bringing the IRONMAN community together virtually, the IRONMAN® Virtual Club™ continues to grow and now has more than 111,000 members on the platform with thousands completing IRONMAN Virtual Club Challenges since its recent launch.

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 [email protected]. For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Media related inquiries may be directed to [email protected].

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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®, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ 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 55+ 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.