The time has come for thousands of athletes to descend on Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, for the 2019 edition of the Ironman World Championships.
Held in Hawaii since 1978, the race is known for tough hot and windy conditions and its iconic setting. This year sees one of the greatest line ups of athletes take on the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 run. We share some of those we’ll be watching during the race on Saturday 12th October.
Four time winner Daniella Ryf takes to the start line as a firm favourite to secure the women’s crown for a fifth year in a row. In 2018, she set the women’s course record (8:26:18) and is going from strength to strength. It’s hard not to see her top the podium with the Swiss also five time winner of the 70.3 World Championships, taking the fifth win in Nice earlier this year.
Patrick Lange became the first to go under the 8 hour barrier with a blistering time of 7:52:39, setting a course record at last year’s race. The two time (2017 & 2018) victor will look to try and best his time again on Saturday. With a 2:40 marathon, the German is looking in incredible form to set out to take the crown for a third time in a row.
After two years in second Lucy Charles-Barclay is hoping to take the top podium 2019. With an impressive set of results since turning pro in 2016, Charles-Barclay is going from strength to strength in the discipline. Being the swim course record holder (48:14) Lucy will no doubt be the first female out of the swim and lead long into the bike. She’s never lead the race into the run before, with Ryf on the previous two occasions catching her before the end of the bike. If Charles leads onto the run we could see an incredibly exciting marathon to finish of the race. After a five minute penalty disrupted her 70.3 World Champs race she’s more determined than ever to take victory on the Big Island.
Kona will see the Alistair Brownlee take on the Big Island for the first time. The Yorkshireman sealed victory in his debut at Ironman Ireland, but with a race that was sans swim due to conditions, this will be Alistair’s first full distance race. Brownlee completed his debut Ironman swim in enviable conditions at the Ho’ala IRONMAN Training Swim, one week out from race day. With a strong block of training completed in Arizona prior to flying out to the island, the two time Olympic champion could put in an impressive performance on the world stage.
Also keep your eyes on:
Jan Frodeno – Back from a hip injury last season, Two time champion Frodeno returns to the island with hopes of the top spot in his sights. 2019 Ironman European Champion winning with a 2:43 marathon.
Miranda Carfrae – Three time world champion. Rinny certainly knows how to perform at Kona. Sustaining a radius fracture a few weeks ago, her bike and run will still be strong but it could see her enter T1 a little further back than hoped coming out of the swim
David McNamee’s – With two third place finishes, the Scot is looking to top his previous performances. With an impressive run early in the year of 2:41 at Challenge Roth his run legs could certainly see him moving up positions as the race hits the marathon.
Will Clarke – With some solid races this year and a strong training block in the lead up, Clarke has his eyes set on a top-10 with his third visit to the island.
Sarah Crowley – With a third and sixth place finish at the world champs, in 2017 and 2018 respectively, Crowley shows great consistency and smart racing. Her strong run off the bike means she could pull off an impressive marathon performance in the heat of Kona.
Jocelyn McCauley – the American is in her breakout year with a win at both Ironman New Zealand and second behind Ryf at IRONMAN Texas. With a top-10 spot in 2017 the best looks yet to come.