Fourth Ironman world title for Daniela Ryf
Another triumph on Hawaii: Daniela Ryf has claimed her fourth consecutive title at the Ironman World Championship, beating her own course record from 2016 and setting a bike course record. All this while battling pain from a severe jelly fish sting at the beginning of the race.
In her best triathlon race of her career so far, the 31-year-old from Solothurn, Switzerland, set a new course record, beating her own time from 2016 of 8:46:46 hours on the Big Island by more than 20 minutes with a time of (8:26:16). "It was one of the craziest races of my life," Ryf said afterwards.
As in the previous year, Lucy Charles from the UK lead the race after a strong swim. With a lead of more than ten minutes on Ryf after the swim, the chase was on. Rft passed Charles towards the end of the bike leg and was able to build a strong lead on the run to cross the finish line more than ten minutes ahead. Ryf completed the marathon in just 2:57:05 hours. Third place went to the German Anne Haug (8:41:58 hours).
«Giving up was not an option»
Daniela Ryf was not feeling optimistic during the swim and as she exited the water. The jellyfish stings under both arms caused significant pain, followed by numbness. "I thought for a moment that I had to give up, the pain was extreme," Ryf described. "I did not feel my arms for a while." But giving up was not an option for Ryf. "I just kept fighting." Once on the bike, the pain eased and she settled into the bike and began to focus on the chase. She overtook the leading women including Charles with a phenomenal performance in her master discipline. Ryf completed the bike course in 4:26 hours - 18 minutes faster than compatriot Karin Thürig in 2011 and 2 minutes faster than Patrick Lange in his victory in the previous year. "It was just amazing," says Ryf. "I was able to really accelerate, everything went perfectly."
On the final marathon course Ryf left nothing in the tank. She extended her lead and crossed the finish line overjoyed with the outcome. "It was a crazy day. It is incredible. I'm still a little 'flashed', "says Ryf.
Now on par with Chrissie Wellington
In the run-up to the Ironman World Championship, Daniela Ryf has regularly stated that her goal was to give everyone a spectacular race. She was more than successful. With her fourth consecutive Ironman World Championship title, Ryf joined four-time English Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington in the record books.
At the legendary Alpe d'Huez Triathlon only five men were faster than Daniela Ryf.