Kailua-Kona, Hawaii — Heather Jackson led all Americans at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona on Saturday, placing fourth in the elite women’s race, while Andy Potts led the U.S. elite men in seventh.
Jackson (Bend, Ore.) covered the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run in 9 hours, 2 minutes, 29 seconds. She was just outside of the podium spots, crossing the line less than a minute behind third-place finisher Sarah Crowley of Australia.
Daniela Ryf of Switzerland was the women’s champion for the third consecutive year in 8:50:47, joining Great Britain’s Chrissie Wellington, Switzerland’s Natascha Badmann and the United States’ Paula Newby-Fraser as the only women in history to win at least three consecutive IRONMAN World Championships. Ryf was joined on the podium by Lucy Charles of Great Britain in 8:59:38 and Crowley in 9:01:38.
Lauren Brandon (Dallas, Texas), Charles and Haley Chura (Bozeman, Mont.) were the first three women out of the swim, while Jackson, the defending third-place finisher, had some ground to make up in 20th. Starting the bike about nine minutes behind the leaders, Jackson gradually picked off her competitors and rode her way into the top five by the 100-mile mark.
Heading into the second transition, Ryf, Charles and Brandon were the top three, followed by Crowley and Jackson. Ryf only widened her gap on the run, posting a race-fastest 3:00:02 marathon, while Charles held strong in second position. As Brandon fell off the pace, Jackson and Crowley battled for the third spot on the podium.
Crowley made her move around the 18-mile mark to pass Jackson, but Jackson stayed close to secure a fourth-place finish. Liz Lyles (Reno, Nev.) was the second-fastest U.S. woman on the day, taking eighth in 9:20:31, while Jocelyn McCauley (Cincinnati, Ohio) rounded out the top-10 in 9:21:08.
Other U.S. finishers included Linsey Corbin (Missoula, Mont.), 13th in 9:26:12; Haley Chura (Bozeman, Mont.), 18th in 9:37:31; and Brandon, 26th in 9:56:03.
In the men’s race, Germany’s Patrick Lange put on a show on the run, recording a blistering 2:40:00 marathon en route to breaking the overall course record. Lange’s finishing time of 8:01:40 eclipsed the previous record of 8:03:56 held by Australia’s Craig Alexander. Lionel Sanders of Canada took second in 8:04:07, and David McNamee of Great Britain rounded out the podium in 8:07:11.
Australia’s Josh Amberger was first out of the water for the men in 47:09. Tim O’Donnell (Boulder, Colo.) was the first American out of the swim in seventh, about a minute and a half back from the leader. Potts, typically at the front of the pack, had a more difficult time than usual and exited the swim in 28th.
Ben Hoffman (Boulder, Colo.) and O’Donnell were each toward the front on the bike, moving in and out of the top five but entering the second transition in seventh and eighth place respectively. Potts finished the bike in 17th, more than 13 minutes down from the leaders.
Up at the front of the race, Sanders took the early lead on the run, followed by Cameron Wurf of Australia and Sebastian Kienle of Germany.
Lange, who came off the bike in 11th place, was hard-charging through the field at a 6-minute-mile pace and ultimately ticked off every one of his competitors, including Sanders at the 23.4-mile-mark. Sanders held on for second, while McNamee ran his way from 14th to third position.
Potts would execute the strongest U.S. marathon of the day, running a 2:50:27 to move up 10 spots over the 26.2-mile course. His seventh-place finish in a time of 8:14:43 led all U.S. men. Hoffman placed ninth in 8:19:26, and O’Donnell ended up 19th in 8:44:40.
Other finishers for the U.S. men were Jesse Thomas (Bend, Ore.), 27th in 8:44:40; Matt Hanson (Storm Lake, Iowa), 34th in 9:02:04; and Patrick Evoe (Boulder, Colo.), 39th 9:38:51.
1. Patrick Lange (GER), 8:01:40
2. Lionel Sanders (CAN), 8:04:07
3. David McNamee (GBR), 8:07:11
7. Andy Potts (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 8:14:43
9. Ben Hoffman (Boulder, Colo.), 8:19:26
19. Tim O’Donnell (Boulder, Colo.), 8:33:53
27. Jesse Thomas (Bend, Ore.), 8:44:40
34. Matt Hanson (Storm Lake, Iowa), 9:02:04
39. Patrick Evoe (Boulder, Colo.), 9:38:51
Matthew Russell (Sarasota, Fla.), awaiting final results
1. Daniela Ryf (SUI), 8:50:47
2. Lucy Charles (GBR), 8:59:38
3. Sarah Crowley (AUS), 9:01:38
4. Heather Jackson (Bend, Ore.), 9:02:29
8. Liz Lyles (Reno, Nev.), 9:20:31
10. Jocelyn McCauley (Cincinnati, Ohio), 9:21:08
13. Linsey Corbin (Missoula, Mont.), 9:26:12
18. Haley Chura (Bozeman, Mont.), 9:37:31
26. Lauren Brandon (Dallas, Texas), 9:56:03
Alicia Kaye (Clermont, Fla.), awaiting final results
Sarah Piampiano (San Rafael, Calif.), awaiting final results
Jodie Robertson (Melville, N.Y.), awaiting final results