Wow, what a day for Lucy Charles-Barclay! She finally got her hands on the IRONMAN World Championship trophy after four times as the bridesmaid. And she did it in style, smashing the course record and leading from start to finish. She was the queen of Kona and no one could touch her.
Lucy was already ahead after the swim, where she showed off her amazing skills as a former elite swimmer. She extended her lead on the bike, where she powered through the tough conditions and the strong winds. And she held on to her lead on the run, where she looked calm and confident all the way to the finish line. She crossed it in 8:24:31, a time that no other woman has ever achieved in Kona, breaking Daniela Ryf’s 2018 course record of 8:26:18. After many attempts, injuries, and hard work along the way, she did what she had come to the Big Island to do.
Behind her, Anne Haug of Germany put up a great fight to take second place, finished in 8:27:33, just over three minutes behind Lucy. Anne is the defending champion from 2019 and she showed why she is one of the best runners in the sport. She ran a blistering 2:48:23 marathon, the fastest of the day by far.
The third spot on the podium went to Laura Philipp of Germany, who also had a fantastic race. She was third out of the water, fourth off the bike and third again at the end. She ran a solid 2:55:24 marathon, which was enough to hold off the challenge of Taylor Knibb of the USA.
Taylor was the surprise of the day, as she was racing her first full-distance race ever. And she did it at the age of 25, making her the youngest in the field. She was second out of the water, second off the bike and fourth at the end. She ran a respectable 3:05:13 marathon, which was impressive for someone so inexperienced at this distance. She beat Daniela Ryf of Switzerland, who finished fifth. Daniela is a legend of the sport, with five Kona titles to her name. But she couldn't match the pace of the others today and had to settle for fifth.
This was a historic day for women's triathlon, as they had the whole race weekend to themselves for the first time ever. The men's race had taken place in Nice, France last month, due to Covid-19 restrictions. This gave the women a chance to shine and they did not disappoint. They put on a show of strength, speed and endurance that will inspire many others to follow their footsteps.
Congratulations to Lucy Charles-Barclay and all the other amazing women who raced in Kona today. You are all champions in my eyes!