Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf, a three-time winner at both the Ironman 70.3 and Ironman World Championships, proved why she’s starting to be considered one of the greatest long-distance triathletes ever with an astounding victory yesterday at Ironman 70.3 Gdynia in Poland.
Ryf, who had won 5150 Zurich the weekend before, reportedly was without her luggage up until midnight the night before the race. Despite the snafu, she stepped on the starting line ready to go, and began the day with an impressive 24:35 swim. Because the women started only two minutes behind the pro men, Ryf was quickly in the mix of the professional men’s race and paced her way to a blazing 2:12:27 bike split (for reference: men’s winner Tim O’Donnell finished the bike course in 2:07:13) to start the run with about a 19-minute lead over three-time Ironman world champion Mirinda Carfrae.
Ryf rounded out her day with a field-best 1:17:40 half-marathon and took a commanding victory with a new 70.3-branded world record time of 3:57:55—a time that was also good enough to put Ryf as the seventh overall finisher. Carfrae finished second, coming to the line in 4:20:47.
“Today, again, I’m happy with everything,” Ryf said after the race. “The swim was good, and on the bike course I was surrounded by men and could push the pace from the beginning.
“The run also felt good without any problems so I’m happy to have invested a lot in running recently.”
Ryf’s attention will now turn to October’s Ironman World Championship, where she’ll be looking for her fourth-straight crown.