Kona Notebook: Social buzz from the IRONMAN World Championship

By USA Triathlon | Oct. 15, 2018, 1:43 p.m. (ET)

Pro Americans shine in Kona

The IRONMAN World Championship rocked the triathlon world over the weekend, placing some of the best athletes on earth together on the sport’s most prestigious stage in Kona. Two-time U.S. Olympian Sarah True (Hampstead, N.H.) impressed in her Kona debut, just missing out on the podium with a fourth-place finish in the pro women’s division — completing the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run course in 8 hours, 43 minutes and 43 seconds. Fellow American Linsey Corbin (Missoula, Mont.) also cracked the top 10 by crossing the line in 8:58:57 for a 10th place finish.

Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf won the event for the fourth consecutive year, setting a new course record with a dominating time of 8:26:18. Great Britain’s Lucy Charles (8:36:32) and Germany’s Anne Haug (8:41:57) rounded out the podium in the pro women’s division.

Kona veteran Tim O’Donnell (Boulder, Colo.; 8:03:17) also took fourth as the top American men’s finisher on the day. He even got to share a special moment at the finish line with his wife — Australia’s Miranda Carfrae — who placed fifth in the women’s race. Two other Americans finished in the top 10, with Matthew Russell (Sarasota, Fla.) taking 6th and Andy Potts (Colorado Springs, Colo.) placing 8th.

Germany’s Patrick Lange won the men’s race in 7:52:39 in dazzling fashion, breaking a course record that he had previously set the year before. To top off his incredible day, he proposed to his girlfriend at the finish line, and she said yes.

Belgium’s Bart Aernouts also broke the 8-hour barrier, finishing second in 7:56:41, while David McNamee of Great Britain took third for the second straight year with a time of 8:01:09.

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What an incredible year. It did not go as planned with the fracture in my foot at the beginning but @dibbo4 worked through it with me and never lost site of being prepared for this one day of battle. Strategically, the day went beautifully. We pushed on the swim and bike and started the run off fast! I ran side by side with @braden_currie for the entire marathon. I was able to surge in the closing few miles to claim 4th. Congratulations to @patricklange1 @bartaernouts @davidmcnameetri on your outstanding performances. . . Most importantly congratulations to my beautiful wife @mirindacarfrae on her 5th place finish one year after giving birth to our beautiful girl Izzy. So proud of you Rin! 📸 @talbotcox #imwc

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For complete results from the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, head to ironman.com.

Marcus Cook Accomplishes the Impossible

Aside from just the elite performances, what makes Kona so great is the inspirational stories that can be found throughout the field of competitors. Marcus Cook is one of them. Cook (Houston, Texas), weighed nearly 500 pounds in September of 2015. This weekend, he raced in Kona at the IRONMAN World Championship, raising money for the IRONMAN Foundation. And, with about nine minutes to spare under the 17-hour time cutoff, Cook crossed the finish line to thunderous applause, holding a picture of himself from 2015 to signify the incredible progress he’s made in just three years.

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This really happened. #dreamsdocometrue @peaksapparel

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For more information on Marcus Cook’s inspiring triathlon journey, go to bigtolittle.com.

Pease Brothers Inspire the Triathlon World

A pair of brothers conquered the IRONMAN World Championship and showed the world that “together, anything is possible.” Brent Pease and his brother, Kyle — who has cerebral palsy —completed the course and raised over $60,000 for the Kyle Pease Foundation (meant to create opportunities for disabled athletes through sports) in the process. Brent pushed Kyle across the finish line in Kona on Saturday, generating one of the loudest ovations of the day and setting social media on fire — in the triathlon community and beyond.

To read more on Brent and Kyle’s inspiring story, click here.

U.S. Age-Group Athletes take on the World’s Biggest Stage

U.S. athletes showed out in the Age Group division too, securing 23 podium spots and five world titles overall. Julia Daggett (F60-64), USA Triathlon Hall of Famer Missy LeStrange (F65-69) and Bobbe Greenberg (F70-74) were the three American women to win World Championships, while Richard Sweet (M55-59) and Robert Plant (M75-79) won their respective divisions on the men’s side. They were just a part of a successful and memorable day for U.S. athletes at the IRONMAN World Championship.

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3rd in my age group. 7th overall amateur female, and 1st American. This was the most humbling and rewarding race I have ever done. I am in constant awe of my body and of how it is able to keep pushing when my mind is so close to giving up. The month leading up to this race was not the most ideal. After my crash in early September, I started running a little too soon, and ended up with an injury near my hip flexor that felt like a previous stress fracture. After a few days of freaking out, I decided to just do my “runs” on the elliptical just in case I could salvage this race that I worked so hard for. That patience paid off, but I really felt those lost weeks on the run. I was lucky, though. It was questionable for a while whether I could finish, let alone even start, that marathon. But I did. My body held on for me once again, and without a doubt, gave everything single ounce it had. I’m proud of myself. That journey to the finish line was only the beginning. But first, a couple months off for rest and extra quality time with my little family. I’m ready for it. A massive thanks again to @fentonj52 , the babies, our parents, and friends and family. I am so blessed to have every single one of you. You make this journey even more worth it! Also a huge thanks to @bethgmckenzie , @lukemckenzie , and @teamwyn . What an amazing year it has been, and I appreciate all of the dedication and support from this team. Mahalo!

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