Hey, what’s up triathletes? Taren here. Ironman Hawaii 2016 is over. Today, we’re going to be running down what happened in the men’s race, who won, how it unfolded, and why I’m here in the office to get this video ready for you until four in the morning. Stick around for it. At the start of the day, a lot of people were expecting a very fast race. It didn’t seem like it was going to be too hot out there, too humid, and the water was fairly calm, despite a few rollers. The cannon went off at for the men’s race, as it has for the last few years, and Jan Frodeno jumped out to a very early lead.
The swim ended up going into two packs, with Jan Frodeno taking one line and Andy Potts taking another. By the time they got to the pier, they merged, and Andy Potts jumped out to a short lead, but in the end, Harry Wilshire became the first athlete out of the water in Ironman Kona. He lead a very large group that featured the perennial leader, Andy Potts, from the U.S.A., Jan Frodeno, as I mentioned, Paul Matthews, and Marco Albers. It was a fast swim, going 2 minutes and 50 seconds faster than 2016. A personal favorite of mine and a pre-race favorite, fellow Canadian Brent McMahon was also in that pack, just 8 seconds back. Sebastian Kienle was over 5 minutes back, but that’s nothing new to Kienle. He typically races from the back, having to catch up on the bike. As expected, Kienle got right up to the bike by the end of 30 miles.
The men’s bike race ended up getting clustered up at the front a lot. Some might call it drafting a lot. The top twenty Ironman athletes were all within 40 seconds of the leader. That is a racer every two seconds. That doesn’t sound like 12 meters of clearance to me. Jan Frodeno 00:01:38] was right up there in the front, as he was last year, not letting anyone get away from him, but it seemed like he was staying very smooth, so that he had enough energy to conserve himself and be fresh on the run.
Luke McKenzie, a former second-place finisher, got up to the front, even taking the lead at around the 25-mile mark. Andreas Raelert, who’s probably the most talented athlete to never have won in Kona, was actually in that front pack, which he hasn’t been for a few years. Unfortunately, he ended up getting into the sin bin, serving a 5-minute penalty, as my buddy, Brent McMahon did. Both of them ended up not being real contenders at the end of the day. Mickey Weiss was the leader at the half-way turnaround point at Hawi. He was on the brand-new, Diamondback triathlon bike, which claims to be the fastest tri-bike in the world. He seemed to really want to make a point that day about how fast the bike was, but he blew up his legs, and after that half-way point at Hawi, he ended up just consistently falling back. By the end of the bike, everyone that you would expect to have a strong bike, did. Sebastian Kienle had established himself a very small lead, with Frodeno, Ben Hoffman, Luke McKenzie, and Tim O’Donnell very close behind.
Then, with all these athletes going out onto the race together and all looking really good, it was shaping up to be a pure running race for Ironman Hawaii 2016 World Championship. Two men, Frodeno and Kienle, established themselves early on as the freshest and the top contenders to be on that podium at the end of the day. They raced side-by-side, neck-in-neck, even exchanging a few jokes together, right up until the turn onto Queen K Highway, at which point, Jan Frodeno finally broke Kienle and established himself a 30-meter lead instantly once getting out into the barren lava fields.
At that point, in third place behind Kienle was fellow German, Andy Boercherer at two-and-a-half minutes back, establishing what we thought might be the ending German 1-2-3 placing. Close-in behind in fourth and fifth were Americans Ben Hoffman and Tim O’Donnell. Coming into the energy lab, Frodeno extended that lead slightly, but Kienle wasn’t far behind. He was running still very strong at a pace, but he wasn’t gaining very much on Jan Frodeno. Behind him, however, was a relative unknown, fellow German Patrick Lang, who was running a blistering 6:04-per-mile pace, running himself up from 20th place off the bike, to being a podium contender.
Jan Frodeno, just like last year, ended up being too much for everyone. He ran into town with a decisive lead, with no one else in sight. Once again, he proved that he is an Ironman triathlete like the world has never seen before. Jan defended his title in 8 hours, 6 minutes and 30 seconds, followed behind by Sebastian Kienle in second place at 8 hours, 10 minutes and change. With the run of the day, and the fastest run in Kona history, was that German Patrick Lang, who was ecstatic with a fourth-lace finish. Shortly behind, in fourth place, was Ben Hoffman, who again, was the top American in the field.
This was an amazing day with amazing performances. All told, it was the second-fastest podium finish in Kona history. Everyone suffered. Everyone worked for it, and everyone is consistently getting faster year after year. If you’re interested in what happened in the women’s race, I will link that up here, and in the description below where I do the recap on the women’s side of things. Congratulations to all the podium finishers, all the age-group finishers. Kona is a magical place and be proud of what you’ve accomplished today. As always, triathletes, happy and hard training, and good luck in your next triathalon. It’s late and I’m going to flub my way through this, but we’ll do it.
Favorite of mine and a fav- Oh my God..
As found on Youtube