2017 Kona Champion’s Gallery: Daniela Ryf

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

Ryf came out of the water in 53:10, more than four minutes back of Kona rookie Lucy Charles. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

Ryf said that she initially didn’t feel well on the bike, but was able to push the pace in the final miles. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

Ryf built her lead with every step of the marathon. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

She narrowly missed the 3-hour marathon mark, posting a 3:00:02 run split. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

Ryf later called the win the toughest of her career. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

The Swiss star becomes the fourth woman to win three Ironman world titles in a row. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

Ryf on her way out of the Energy Lab. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

By the end of the marathon, Ryf’s lead stood at nearly nine minutes. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

Ryf finished second in Kona in 2014 and then won in 2015, 2016 and now 2017. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

Ryf crosses over the finish line in 8:50:47, almost exactly four minutes off of her 2016 course record. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

Ryf shows relief at finishing a long day of racing. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

Ryf has chosen a different finish line pose in each of her three victories. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

Relief and exhaustion. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

Ryf celebrates her victory. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

Ryf poses with four-time Ironman world champion Chrissie Wellington. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

A thrilled fan is greeted by Ryf at the finish line as midnight nears. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

2017 Ironman World Champion: Daniela Ryf

Ryf poses with men’s champion Patrick Lange. Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf says that her third Ironman world title was her toughest victory ever. Ryf came out of the water in 53:10 as part of the main group behind super swimmers Lucy Charles (GBR) and Lauren Brandon (USA). From there, the chase was on but Ryf struggled to get close to the fast-riding duo out front. It wasn’t until she made a decisive move, making up over five minutes in less than 25 miles, turning in a race-best 4:53:10 bike split, and starting the run with a 40-second lead over Charles in second. Ryf led the marathon from start to finish, posting a 3:00:02 marathon to cross the line in 8:50:47. Read the race recap

RELATED – 2017 Kona Champion’s Gallery: Patrick Lange