Records Abound As Daniela Ryf And Jan Frodeno Defend Titles In Epic IRONMAN World Championship

October 8th, 2016

 Swiss star Ryf smashes female course record by nearly six minutes, while Frodeno ushers in first German podium sweep in 19 years

The duo become the first male and female to repeat as IRONMAN World Champions in consecutive years since 2009 

Germany’s Patrick Lange breaks a 27-year-old marathon course record; Heather Jackson becomes the first American female to make the podium in 10 years 

KAILUA-KONA, Hawai’i (October 8, 2016) – 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.

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, advancing 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. 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 8:13:25 and 8:16:56, respectively giving Germany five of the top seven places.

Top 10 professional men’s results are below:

                                                                     SWIM              BIKE               RUN                FINISH

  1. Jan Frodeno                       DEU        00:48:02          04:29:00          02:45:34          08:06:30
  2. Sebastian Kienle                 DEU        00:52:27          04:23:55          02:49:03          08:10:02
  3. Patrick Lange                      DEU        00:48:57          04:37:49          02:39:45          08:11:14
  4. Ben Hoffman                      USA        00:48:55          04:28:06          02:51:45          08:13:00
  5. Andi Boecherer                   DEU        00:48:10          04:28:07          02:52:05          08:13:25
  6. Tim O’Donnell                    USA        00:48:12          04:29:10          02:55:01          08:16:20
  7. Boris Stein                           DEU        00:54:10          04:23:04          02:55:19          08:16:56
  8. Bart Aernouts                      BEL         00:53:58          04:32:37          02:48:44          08:20:30
  9. Ivan Rana                            ESP        00:48:52          04:38:13          02:50:17          08:21:51
  10. Frederik Van Lierde          BEL         00:48:49          04:35:33          02:53:21          08:21:59

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 running 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 injury.

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 are below:

                                                                     SWIM              BIKE               RUN                FINISH

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

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 was capped 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.

NBC will air the IRONMAN World Championship special in the U.S. on Saturday, December 10 at 2:30 p.m. ET (check local listings for details).



A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, six of nine International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon Majors Series, mountain bike races, premier marathons and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than 680,000 participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 260 events across 42 countries. For more information, visit

IRONMAN World Championship

Since its inception in 1978 on the island of Oahu, 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 Waikiki to the barren lava fields of Kona on the Big Island of Hawai’i where it continues to take place to this day. The race sees over 2,300 athletes 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. The most iconic one-day sporting event in the world is the culmination of over 40 global events with athletes around the world striving for one of the coveted qualifying slots.

About Wanda Sports Holding

Wanda Sports Holding is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.

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Dan Berglund

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