Chelsea Sodaro claims first US Ironman World Championship win in 26 years

Frank change / spomedis New Ironman World Champion: Chelsea Sodaro won the title in her first race in Hawaii.

Chelsea Sodaro delivered a surprise and secured the title at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii after a thrilling race in 8:33:46. With that, the American, as a Hawaii rookie, took his first win on the Pacific island after Chrissie Wellington in 2007, while also ending a 26-year dry spell for the local heroes. The last Ironman World Championship title by an American woman was previously in 1996 with Paula Newby-Fraser’s eighth overall title. Sodaro made the decision with an outstanding marathon in 2:51:45 – and the fourth fastest time for professional women in Ironman Hawaii history. It was only the 33-year-old’s second Ironman after her June debut in Hamburg, where she finished second behind Laura Philipp. In the duel for second place, Lucy Charles-Barclay defended herself long on the running course against Anne Haug, who was overtaking, and finally saved silver at the finish. At 8:41:37, the Briton was 45 seconds ahead of the 2019 Ironman World Champion (8:42:22) and took second place for the fourth time in Kailua-Kona. Defending champion Daniela Ryf finished eighth after 9:02:26.

Lucy Charles-Barclay rules the swim

On the other hand, there were no surprises in the swim: a few powerful strokes, a high frequency and Lucy Charles-Barclay had a visible lead over her pursuers early on. In relatively calm water conditions, two promising groups lined up behind the Briton. The first, led by American Lauren Brandon, kept a distance of about 20 seconds, the second, in which fellow favorites Daniela Ryf, Laura Philipp and Anne Haug swam, could not keep up with the high speed of the leaders and fell behind. Halfway through the first discipline, the gap flattens out at around six minutes. On the way back to the first transition zone, the field spread further apart. Two chasing groups became three. In addition to individual position changes in the groups, Lucy Charles-Barclay set the pace up front, withdrew a bit and became the first athlete from the Pacific after 50:57 minutes.

Frank change / spomedis First out of the water: Lucy Charles Barclay

Behind co-favourite, the Briton, the group of four with Lauren Brandon, Australia’s Rebecca Clarke, Brazil’s Pamella Oliveira and Britain’s Fenella Langridge emerged from the water after 51:38 minutes. About three minutes later, American Haley Chura led six other athletes in T1: her compatriots Jocelyn McCauley, Sarah True, Chelsea Sodaro and Skye Moench, Sweden’s Lisa Nordén and Australian Sarah Crowley. Another three minutes later, a large group of pursuers followed, including Anne Haug, Daniela Ryf, Laura Philipp and Daniela Bleymehl.

Laura Philipp gets a five-minute penalty

On the bike, Fenella Langridge quickly overtook Lucy Charles-Barclay. The two Brits took it in turns to race and drove at an average speed of more than 40 kilometers per hour. Behind the duo was another couple, Lauren Brandon and Rebecca Clarke. After 40 kilometers in little wind on the bike course, the group with Haug, Ryf, Philipp and Bleymehl was about six minutes behind the leaders. After approximately 2:20 hours of racing, Sarah Crowley and then Laura Philipp fell from the field of closely packed pursuers, both of whom had to serve a five-minute time penalty in the penalty area for slipstreaming. Philipp came back in 18th place after 60 kilometers and a gap of 9:47 minutes. Another setback for the German followed moments later when a water bottle she’d already picked up at an aid station slipped from her hand and fell to the ground. Meanwhile, Anne Haug checked what happened in the second large chasing group. Daniela Ryf couldn’t drive away.

Punishment for other athletes

Fenella Langridge was the first to reach the turning point in Hawi, just ahead of Lucy Charles-Barclay. Lisa Nordén followed 1:40 minutes later in third place, just ahead of Jocelyn McCauley, who both had to enter the penalty area immediately after the turning point to serve time penalties of various lengths. Moments later, Rebecca Clarke, who was seventh behind Chelsea Sodaro and Skye Moench, followed to take a forced break. The group of Anne Haug, Daniela Ryf, Sara Svensk and Daniela Bleymehl passed Hawi 4:05 minutes behind, but were able to make up a few places due to competition time penalties.

Frank change / spomedis Lucy Charles-Barclay led the race along with Fenella Langridge for a long time before being overtaken on the bike by Daniela Ryf shortly before the second transition zone.

Daniela Ryf moves forward

About 67 kilometers before T2, Daniela Ryf used an attack climb to pull away from the two German athletes and then head for McCauley. The Swiss kept the pressure high and soon had Moench and Sodaro in sight, which she admitted after 128 kilometers. At that time, the top duo only had a lead of almost 2:50 minutes over the defending champion from St. George. Haug and Bleymehl lost 30 seconds on Ryf. The Swiss continued to press the accelerator and after 142 kilometers was only 1:39 minutes behind the leading British duo. Behind McCauley, Sodaro and Moench, Anne Haug followed in seventh with Sara Svensk in tow, 3:25 back at the top – about 1:45 behind Ryf. Meanwhile, Daniela Bleymehl had problems and had to let her competitors go in ninth place (4:41 minutes behind). Laura Philipp kept her lead at the top constant at 9:14 minutes.

Haug switched to running shoes in seventh place

After 173 kilometers and 5:24 hours of racing, the time had come: Daniela Ryf took over the lead from Lucy Charles-Barclay. Anne Haug, who the Swiss had said before the race that she did not want to run with the German, had distanced Ryf at 4:20 minutes. After a bike time of 4:36:11 – the second fastest bike split in Hawaii history – the defending champion was the first to enter the second transition zone, seven seconds ahead of Lucy Charles-Barclay. With a 5:36 minute mortgage, Anne Haug switched to running shoes in seventh place. A deficit that did not seem impossible for the strong runner. Behind Daniela Bleymehl in tenth place (7:17 minutes down), who overheated on the bike and later had to end the race early like Jenny Schulz, Laura Philipp started the run in eleventh, 9:15 minutes behind.

Chelsea Sodaro plows through the field

The marathon started immediately when Lucy Charles-Barclay recaptured the lead from Daniela Ryf in the first meters and distanced herself from the Swiss. Further down the field, Chelsea Sodaro put in an offensive and strong run at a pace that initially predicted a 2:42 hour marathon time. The American passed Fenella Langridge after three miles in third place, only to become Lucy Charles-Barclay’s closest pursuer nearly two kilometers later when she overtook struggling Daniela Ryf. Anne Haug meanwhile started her catch-up race, leaving Lisa Nordén and two kilometers later her compatriot Sara Svensk behind after almost eight kilometers. Sodaro eventually took the lead as Ryf fell further back and also had to pass Fenella Langridge and finally Anne Haug. After nearly 10 miles and 6:49 of racing, the German took third from Fenella Langridge and got ready to hit the field. At the time, Lucy Charles-Barclay was busy defending second place from Anne Haug.

Frank change / spomedis Anne Haug dropped a lot of grain on the bike course, the third place was ultimately “everything was possible”.

Laura Philipp works her way up to fourth place

Chelsea Sodaro showed no signs of weakness in the marathon, but slowed down the second half. She kept her pace steady, moving away from the second-placed Briton and extending her lead over Anne Haug, who had now come closer. Meanwhile, Laura Philipp made her way through the field on the running track and moved up to fourth place. As the goal came closer and closer, Sodaro picked up the pace and ran safely to victory, a tense duel ensued for second place, in which Lucy Charles-Barclay felt Anne Haug breathing down her neck in the final kilometers but was able to and crossed the finish line with a lead of 45 seconds.

“Rank three was all that was in it”

“I didn’t think I’d be here at the beginning of the year,” said Lucy Charles-Barclay after her second-place finish. On the track, she reminded herself to never give up. “I remained patient and believed in myself.” After her fourth Ironman World Championship podium finish, Anne Haug explained, “I shot a lot of powder on the bike. At the track, the spectators then shouted that Lucy was standing right in front of me and trying to motivate me. I saw them – but I couldn’t do anything. Running after someone for 20 seconds all the time is mentally exhausting. It was brutal and everything in it. I am very happy with third place. Chelsea were excellent today and deserved the win.”

Ironman Hawaii 2022 World Championship | professional women

October 6, 2022 | Kailua-Kona (Hawaii/US)

Place Last name nation total time 3.8 km swim 180 km cycling 42.195 km run
1 Chelsea Sodaro United States 8:33:46 54:48 4:42:08 2:51:45
2 Lucy Charles Barclay GBR 8:41:37 50:57 4:43:12 3:02:49
3 Anne Haug NL 8:42:22 57:58 4:41:49 2:57:57
4 Laura Philip NL 8:50:31 57:54 4:45:27 3:01:33
5 Lisa Norden SWEET 8:54:43 54:42 4:42:25 3:12:41
6 Fenella Langridge GBR 8:56:26 51:42 4:43:25 3:16:30
7 Sarah Crowley FROM 9:01:58 54:50 4:55:03 3:06:56
8th Daniela Ryfo SUIC 9:02:26 57:52 4:36:11 3:23:45
9 Skye Moncho United States 9:04:31 54:52 4:44:36 3:19:38
10 Laura Siddalli United States 9:07:49 58:09 4:46:58 3:17:34
23 Laura Zimmerman NL 9:37:23 1:04:51 5:05:30 3:20:39
26 Elena Illeditsch NL 9:47:36 1:04:08 5:19:18 3:18:02
27 Kristin Lipold NL 9:55:23 1:15:03 5:24:55 3:09:26

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