The stage is set as the 2022 VinFast IRONMANWorld Championships return to Kona, Hawaii, for the first time since 2019 with professional and age-groupers alike making the journey to the Big Island to take on the 140.6 mile race.
The return to Kona for the VinFast IRONMAN World Championships will see the best athletes in the world battle it out in what promises to be a demanding and challenging race around the Big Island in hot and humid conditions.
For the first time ever the professional and age group women along with the PC/ HC athletes and some of the male age groupers will race on Thursday and the professional men and remaining age group men will race on Saturday. In total 5,000 athletes will race on the Big Island this week across the two days.
There are 52 Professional Women taking to the start line on Thursday and whilst anything can happen out there, here are a few names you will definitely want to watch out for on race day, a top favourite Kat Matthews is out of action following her bike crash in Texas, we hope she has a speedy recovery. There is a stacked field of world-class professional women taking to the start line at 06:25 on Thursday morning, Hawaii Time.
The IRONMAN World Championship Kona course record belongs to Ryf in a time of 8:26:18, set in 2018, the same year she set a dominant bike leg record of 4:26:07 for the 180km distance. Having claimed four successive Ironman World Championship titles between 2015 and 2018, Ryf showed she’s still able to beat the best by taking the title once again in St. George earlier this year.
IM Switzerland in July saw her put 26 minutes into runner-up Alexandra Tondeur; and her Collins Cup performance in August saw her dominate Flora Duffy and Sarah True in their match, posting the fastest female time of the event. Ryf is a 5 time IRONMAN World Champion and 5 time IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion, she is hot favourite to break the tape in Kona once again.
The 2019 IRONMAN World Champion will also take the start line this week. Haug is the only other previous Kona winner on the race start line for 2022. With a 3rd place in St. George earlier this year, posting the fastest run time, and a convincing display in Roth clawing back a five minute deficit and turning it into a nine minute win, we can expect Haug to bring the heat on the marathon course.
Philipp is the 2021 IRONMAN European Champion, alongside the IRONMAN World Record holder in a time of 8:18:20 hours. She’s also a seventeen time IRONMAN 70.3 winner, while also making the podium in three 70.3 IRONMAN World Championships. In fact, the only IRONMAN race she hasn’t won was her Kona debut. In 2019, after a forced injury break, she finished 4th. She is definitely one to watch.
Charles-Barclay has been runner-up on three occasions in Kona, each time to Daniela Ryf. However, in 2021 she won the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in St. George, claiming the fastest time across swim, bike, and run.
Despite being injured for a large portion of the year, her podium performance in the PTO US Open in September shows her ability to be competitive remains untouched. The British athlete is well used to going deep into the hurt locker on race day and her experience of racing on the Big Island should stand to her on Thursday.
Astle took the title of first overall female age-grouper in 2019 before setting out on her pro-triathlete journey. Since then she she’s won IRONMAN South Africa in 2021 and IRONMAN Mallorca and was 5th at the 2021 IRONMAN World Championships in Utah earlier this year. This will be her first time racing on the Big Island as a professional athlete.
Norden is the 2012 Olympic Triathlon silver medallist, and 2008 and 2016 Olympian. She is also the winner of the 2012 Triathlon World Series and the 2018 Swedish Time Trial Champion (Cycling). She was 2nd in the Swedish Cycling Championships Road Race.
She won her IRONAM debut race in 2021 in Lake Placid and trains regularly with Laura Philipp, her biking prowess will be very much on display in Kona.
The two time Olympian was just ten seconds off the Olympic podium in 2012, and also a single spot off the podium when she raced her Kona debut in 2018.
Despite taking a three-year break from triathlon and giving birth in 2021 to her first child, True has made a competitive return to racing this year with wins at IRONMAN 70.3 in Eagleman and IRONMAN Lake Placid earlier this summer where she managed to win by a sixteen minute margin to former Kona podium athlete Heather Jackson.
Others to watch:
Among the 52 strong pro-field is Sarah Crowley, who has previously taken home the bronze medal on two occasions at the IRONMAN World Championship. Winner of IRONMAN Cairns and IRONMAN Australia this year she has had a great season to date. Heather Jackson, who finished 3rd in 2016, was the winner of IRONMAN Florida this year and has lots of experience of racing on the Big Island. There’s also Skye Moench who has shown excellent form throughout the 2021 season, winning IRONMAN Chattanooga and taking 2nd in IRONMAN Florida as well as finishing 4th at the 2021 World Championships in St. George, she won IRONMAN Des Moines earlier this year. One thing is for sure, this is going to be a very exciting day of racing on Thursday!
Here is the full list of the pro women who will race the 2022 Vinfast IRONMAN World Championships.