2022 Ironman World Championships: Iden Shatters Men’s Record, Sodaro Surprises

2022 IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Thursday, October 6, 2022 (women’s pro race)
  • Saturday, October 8, 2022 (men’s pro race)
  • Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  • Distances:
    • Swim: 3.8 km / 2.4 miles
    • Bike: 180 km / 112 miles
    • Run: 42.2 km / 26.2 miles
  • Preview
  • Results

The 2022 Ironman Triathlon World Championships returned to the Big Island of Hawaii over the weekend for the first time in three years, and it was a pair of first-timers getting the job done in what was a fast two days of racing.

In the women’s race on Thursday, American Chelsea Sodaro upset the heavy favorites to claim victory, while Norwegian Gustav Iden put up the fastest time in history as four men went under the old course record on Saturday.

WOMEN’S RECAP

As noted in our preview, Great Britain’s Lucy Charles-Barclay was expected to lead out of the water as she has quite the swimming resume, including placing second in the 1500 free at the British Olympic Trials last year.

The raced stayed on script early, as Charles-Barclay opened up a lead and exited the water with about 45 seconds on the next two competitors, splitting 50:57 for the 3.8K.

Haley Chura, a former swimmer for the University of Georgia Bulldogs, was fourth in the swim with a time of 54:39.

On the bike, Charles-Barclay was quickly joined by fellow Brit Fenella Langridge, and they held the lead for the majority of the way before being overtaken by Daniela Ryf.

Ryf, the five-time Ironman World Champion, leaned on her strength and ripped the quickest bike split of the day (4:36:11) to take the lead into transition, though Charles-Barclay didn’t let her get away and was just seconds behind entering the transition.

Charles-Barclay quickly re-established the lead on the run, but it was the American rookie Sodaro, who came off the bike just three minutes down, who was running the fastest on course.

Sodaro, 33, claimed the lead about 12K into the run and never looked back, delivering a scintillating 2:51:45 marathon to earn victory in a final time of 8:33:46. She becomes the first American-born woman to win the race since 1995, and the first American (men or women) to cross the tape first since 2002.

Adding to the impressiveness of Sodaro’s victory is that she only started triathlon in 2017, and gave birth to her daughter just 18 months ago.

Despite feeling the pressure from 2019 champion and run course record holder Anne Haug, Charles-Barclay held on to second, running 3:02:49 for a final time of 8:41:37. Haug was the only woman other than Sodaro to break three hours on the marathon, splitting 2:57:57 for a final time of 8:42:22.

Germany’s Laura Philipp bounced back after receiving a five-minute drafting penalty on the bike to place fourth, while 2012 Olympic silver medalist Lisa Norden from Sweden rounded out the top five.

Ryf had a tough go on the run and fell back to eighth place in 9:02:26.

Chura finished 13th in a time of 9:19:49. Another from UGA Bulldog swimmer, Rachel Zilinskas, was forced to pull out of the event pre-race due to injury.

 

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Women’s Top 5

Rank Name Swim Bike Run Finish
1 Chelsea Sodaro (USA) 54:48 4:42:08 2:51:45 8:33:46
2 Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) 50:57 4:43:12 3:02:49 8:41:37
3 Anne Haug (GER) 57:58 4:41:49 2:57:57 8:42:22
4 Laura Philipp (GER) 57:54 4:45:27 3:01:33 8:50:31
5 Lisa Norden (SWE) 54:42 4:42:25 3:12:41 8:54:43

MEN’S RECAP

The men’s race was much more tightly bunched at the front early on compared to what we’ve seen in years past, as a massive group of 20-some swimmers came out of the water together.

German Florian Angert and Frenchman Sam Laidlow led the group out of the swim, and after a huge pack of athletes got out on the bike together, Laidlow quickly established himself as the frontrunner.

After Laidlow and Australian Max Neumann held the lead for some time, they were joined by Danish powerhouse Magnus Ditlev, and then ultimately the pre-race favorites, Norwegian training partners Kristian Blummenfelt and Gustav Iden, bridged the gap to make it a leading group of five.

Similar to the women’s race, with so many athletes tightly bunched several drafting penalties were assessed, including Angert early on and Ditlev towards the end of the 180K bike.

Laidlow, just 23, made a move on the second half of the bike and pulled away from the group, torching the course record by more than four minutes with a split of 4:04:36.

Coming off the bike down by six minutes, it was clear that Blummenfelt, Iden and Neumann all had work to do if they were to catch Laidlow, while Ditlev’s five-minute penalty essentially ended his chances at the victory.

Laidlow, known primarily as a swim-biker, ran extremely well, and although the Norwegian duo was chipping away at their deficit, it wasn’t coming down fast.

Iden eventually made a move to pull away from Blummenfelt, overtaking Laidlow about 36K into the 42.2K run.

He went on to obliterate the run course record (2:36:15) by more than three minutes and the overall record by more than 10 (7:40:24), winning the title in his championship debut.

Laidlow held tough to place second in 7:42:24, holding off Blummenfelt, the Olympic champion and reigning Ironman world champion, who settled for third in 7:43:23.

Neumann placed fourth in 7:44:44, as four men—all rookies on the Big Island— went way under the course record of 7:51:13 set by German Jan Frodeno in 2019

Frodeno, who was forced out of the race due to injury, was featured on the broadcast (and seen volunteering on course) and is planning to race one last time at the event next year in hopes of reclaiming his title.

Great Britain’s Joe Skipper rounded out the top five in 7:54:05, while 2014 champion Sebastien Kienle had a phenomenal performance in his retirement race, taking sixth in 7:55:40 at the age of 38.

 

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Men’s Top 5

Rank Name Swim Bike Run Finish
1 Gustav Iden (NOR) 48:23 4:11:06 2:36:15 7:40:24
2 Sam Laidlow (FRA) 48:16 4:04:36 2:44:40 7:42:24
3 Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) 48:20 4:11:16 2:39:21 7:43:23
4 Max Neumann (AUS) 48:25 4:11:30 2:40:14 7:44:44
5 Joe Skipper (GBR) 52:55 4:11:11 2:45:26 7:54:05

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JDM
3 months ago

Left out of this is a very impressive swim by an amateur, Devon Dabney, who swam a 52:40, faster than all but a few of the pros. Devon swam for LSU.

SwimmerNotSwammer
3 months ago

Crazy that she went a 2:51 marathon after all that. And after giving birth 18 months ago?? Insane.

NorCal Swim
Reply to  SwimmerNotSwammer
3 months ago

Gave birth to a daughter – Sky.
Thanks for covering The Ironman World Triathlon Championships in Hawaii SwimSwam!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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