USA Triathlon News Articles Kona Notebook: Reliv...

Kona Notebook: Relive all the Excitement from the IRONMAN World Championship

By Nick Hehemann, USA Triathlon | Oct. 14, 2019, 2:12 p.m. (ET)

Tim O’Donnell sets American IRONMAN Record

A record-setting performance from a triathlon great highlighted an unforgettable day for the U.S. at the IRONMAN World Championship on Saturday. Tim O’Donnell (Boulder, Colo.) broke the eight-hour mark for the first time in his career in Kona, crossing the historic finish line in 7 hours, 59 minutes, 40 seconds to set an American course record and finish second overall. It’s the second time O’Donnell has landed on the IRONMAN World Championship podium in his illustrious career.

Germany’s Jan Frodeno broke the tape, completing the race in an astonishing time of 7:51:13 — the fastest mark ever on the course — to win his third IRONMAN World Championship. Fellow German Sebastian Kienle rounded out the podium in third.

Germany had a fantastic day in Kona, as Anne Haug represented her country by winning the women’s race for her first world title. Lucy Charles-Barclay of Great Britain came in second, while Australia’s Sarah Crowley got the bronze.

American Heather Jackson (Bend, Ore.) had a great race on her way to fifth place, finishing in 8:54:44 as the top U.S. woman.

Distance: 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, 26.2-mile run

Elite Men’s Podium

1. Jan Frodeno (GER), 7:51:13

2. Tim O’Donnell (Boulder, Colo.), 7:59:41

3. Sebastian Kienle (GER), 8:02:04

Elite Women’s Podium

1. Anne Haug (GER), 8:40:10

2. Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR), 8:46:44

3. Sarah Crowley (AUS), 8:48:13

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Still here. Never left.

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Kona you beautiful beast you...🌺🥈 Today I fought like I've never fought before, I rolled the dice & took a chance!🎲 There were times when I thought I could actually win this thing and then there were times when I thought I wouldn't finish at all & that is Kona! My little sprint in last 2km to pull back into 2nd has made me unable to walk but it was so worth it!😅 Biggest congrats to @tri.anne.haug on the win, not only is she a phenomenal runner but she's a genuinely lovely person too! Also congrats to @sarah_stan_crowley on 3rd you are one hell of a fighter!❤️ Photo credits: @jamesmitchell5 📸 #kona2019 #IMWC #mahalo #livetoinspire #dreambig #workhard #nevergiveup #anythingispossible #trichicks #givesyouwings #OneObsession #aeroiseverything #AllTribesOneClan #findfaster #TeamCharlesBarclay

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Click here for complete results from the IRONMAN World Championship.

Five American Pros Crack the Top 10 

Outside of O’Donnell’s historic performance, elite U.S. athletes were well represented in the top 10 of the men’s and women’s races. Ben Hoffman narrowly missed out on the podium on the men’s side, taking fourth place with a time of 8:02:52. Chris Leiferman (Longmont, Colo.) came in 10th, while Andy Potts (Colorado Springs, Colo.; 14th) and Matt Russell (Sarasota, Fla.; 17th) finished in the top 20.

After Jackson, Linsey Corbin (Missoula, Mont.) finished 10th on the women's side, while Sarah Piampiano (San Francisco, Calif.) came in 14th.

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Kona can be SO rewarding and also SO heartbreaking. Today for me was the latter, though ironically I still feel satisfied. When you come to a world championship race - EVERYONE is fit and ready to race. Yet only a handful of us will deliver. It’s amazing and so nerve wracking because you just don’t know how it will all play out. My day today didn’t go as hoped or planned, but when I reflect, I could not have asked to be better prepared. The journey to get to this year’s start line was so fun and rewarding - it’s a training block I will always remember. I feel a tremendous sense of pride for the work I put in and the process of preparation, so while disappointed in today, I’m also happy and grateful. . . THANK YOU to all the professional women whose days also didn’t go as hoped but who still gave their best and finished the race. When things go sideways it is so easy to pull the plug, but the real inspiration comes from watching someone finish what they started. @danielaryf was going for her 5th World title and showed so much class and respect for the race and her competitors by finishing. And @annett_jen crashed her bike in the early miles of the ride, but picked herself up and kept going. So many other stories could be shared like these from today. THANK YOU for respecting the race and the women you compete with. . . Thank SO much to all of the people, sponsors and coaches who offered me so much support this year. I’m beyond grateful. . . And of course, a massive congrats to @tri.anne.haug on her world championship title, and @lucycharles93 and @sarah_stan_crowley for their podium performances. . . . #littleredracing #imwc #kona #worldchampionships

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Roderick Sewell Makes History

The finish line in Kona tells inspiring stories of perseverance. 2019 was no different. On Saturday, Roderick Sewell (San Diego, Calif.) became the first above-the-knee double amputee athlete to cross the finish line in Kona, completing the grueling course in 16:26:59.

Sewell’s story is incredible for a number of reasons. When he was a child, he and his mother were temporarily homeless — as the family struggled financially to pay for Sewell’s prosthetic legs. He later found the Challenged Athletes Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps provide sports opportunities for people with physical disabilities.

Now 27-years-old, he is an IRONMAN — having conquered the world’s most iconic triathlon challenge.


American Age Groupers Shine 

Close to 700 U.S. age group athletes raced in Kona, with 20 Americans finishing in the top five of their respective age groups and three winning world championships. Richard Sweet (San Diego, Calif.) won the men’s 55-59 age group world title, while Bobbe Greenberg (Highland Park, Ill.; women’s 70-74) and Gennaro Magliulo (New Port Richey, Fla.; men’s 75-79) also won world titles.

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Well guys what can I say! Ironman world championships is in the bag. Obviously not what I had envisioned. Been struggling with some glute tightness lately, and the pain started almost immediately when I got on the bike. It was a very uncomfortable ride and I lost a bunch of time. If there is anything I’ve learned it is to NEVER count yourself out. Had to go into hunt mode on the run but only lasted about 12 miles until the glutes completely locked up and had to walk it in. . Still though was an amazing day and a race experience I will never forget. I had a great time out there on the course the last half of the run. Danced at aid stations, met a bunch of cool people, ran (hobbled?) with others, posed for pictures, yelled at Jan to Full Send, he pointed and gave me a head nod then broke the course record so 🤷🏼‍♂️. All in all great day and an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. Wonderful to have my parents and my girlfriend @megansuyen there waiting for me with a big smile after 10+ hours. Helps to dull the pain a little 😉. . . Now time to sort out these glutes and recovery fast cause I race again in 7 days! We got our collegiate conference championship! @queenstriathlon. . Thanks to every one for the endless support. I continue to be blown away by how many people follow along and stayed up late to watch me finish on the tracker or live stream even though it wasn’t my day. Hope to see you all out there one day! #fullsend . . . 📸: @jeff_thoren , @tri_thedon , and not @richardmelik . #fullsend #fullsendtriathlon #alohasend #kona #konaspam #ironmanhawaii #triathlon #triathlete #motivationtriathlon #ironmanworldchampionships #wahoo #wahooligan #zwiftacademytri #IMWC19 #top_triathletes #USAT #iamspecializedtri #burningforkona #roadtokona #process #gozwift #gozwifttriathlon #rideon #tritraining #swimshivrun #kona2019 #thebigisland

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Click here for complete results from the IRONMAN World Championship.