Last year's third-place finisher Anne Haug used a 2:51:07 marathon to earn the first Ironman world title of her career on a day that saw four-time winner Daniela Ryf struggle from start to finish.
Great Britain’s Lucy Charles-Barclay hammered through the swim in 49:02, with the United States’ Lauren Brandon hanging onto her feet to come into T1 just a few seconds back. It was nearly five minutes before the main chase pack of 12, which included names like Anne Haug, Sarah Crowley, and Daniela Ryf, came into transition.
As they did in 2018, Charles-Barclay and Brandon pushed the pace together out front in an attempt to create as much distance as possible to Ryf and other contenders. Whether out of intention or necessity, Ryf lost time to the front duo through the first half of the bike.
At the turnaround point at Hawi, Charles-Barclay continued to show a dominant form out front as Brandon fell off and the rest of the women worked hard to simply keep pace. At that point (mile 68), her lead stood at more than six minutes over Haug, Crowley, Imogen Simmonds (SUI) and Carrie Lester (AUS). This was the moment where it became clear Ryf wasn’t turning in the performance we’ve seen from her over the last five years. She came in and out of Hawi at 9:25 back of Charles-Barclay. She had traditionally turned in a very strong ride from Hawi back to town, but it would need to be extra aggressive to make contact with the front.
Ryf uncharacteristically continued to struggle throughout the 112 miles and never made a move, with Charles-Barclay gaining ground all the way to transition. Charles-Barclay turned in a 4:47:21 bike split to come into T2 all alone. Behind her were Danielle Bleyhmehl (GER), Haug, Crowley, Laura Philipp (GER), and Lester all at just under eight minutes back. Next into T2 were Heather Jackson (9:46 back), Switzerland’s Imogen Simmonds (11:17 back), and then finally Ryf (12:44 back).
Charles-Barclay looked solid out front with a steady 7-minute pace, but the threat of a fast-running Haug was quickly apparent. The gap between the two slowly narrowed and at mile 15 Haug made the pass and never looked back. Charles-Barclay went through a rough patch and was passed by Crowley to put her into third at around mile 20. She rallied and was able to pass Crowley to reclaim the second spot.
Haug looked comfortable all the way to the finish line, finishing her day with a 2:51:07 marathon to earn the first Ironman world title of her career in 8:40:10. Charles-Barclay finished second for the third year in a row (8:46:44), with Crowley claiming the third for the second time in her career (8:48:13). Philipp finished fourth, with Jackson crossing in fifth as the highest-finishing American. Despite a tough day, Ryf pushed through the entire race and crossed in 13th.
2019 Ironman World Championship
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii – Oct. 12, 2019
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Anne Haug (GER) 8:40:10
2. Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) 8:46:44
3. Sarah Crowley (AUS) 8:48:13
4. Laura Philipp (GER) 8:51:42
5. Heather Jackson (USA) 8:54:44
6. Kaisa Sali (FIN) 8:55:33
7. Corinne Abraham (GBR) 8:58:38
8. Carrie Lester (AUS) 8:58:40
9. Daniela Bleymehl (GER) 9:08:30
10. Linsey Corbin (USA) 9:09:06