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Triathlon News & Notes: Dame Duffy, Pros React to Kona Split News, Israman Death, and More

Your roundup of news from the multisport world this week.

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Flora Duffy is officially a Dame

2020 Olympic gold medalist Flora Duffy capped an action-packed week with a visit to Buckingham Palace to formally receive the Grand Cross medal—and the title of Dame—by Anne, Princess Royal. The honor, originally announced earlier in the year, reflects Duffy’s achievement as the first-ever Bermudian to win an Olympic gold medal, among many other accolades. The trip to London comes on the heels of Duffy’s historic victory at the World Triathlon Series Grand Final last weekend, where she successfully defended her title and secured her record-setting fourth consecutive win.

Pros react to Ironman World Championship venue shift

Upon Ironman’s announcement that the men’s and women’s world championships will be split and held in separate locations, some professional triathletes have shared their thoughts. Alistair Brownlee of Great Britain, who missed Kona this year due to injury, had a positive perspective: “Moving an event to allow more people to compete seems to be only a good thing, in my book,” he said. “Am I convinced that holding an event every two years would decrease its significance? No…the precedent of other, pretty large and important, sporting events suggests not.”

Fellow Brit Tim Don expressed surprise, but justified the change as a business transaction. “It’s all about making money and pleasing the shareholders, I’m guessing,” he said. “If they can have more people going to World Champs, they can make more money.” And three-time Ironman world champion Jan Frodeno—who also missed the 2022 race and previously has said he wants one more shot at winning in Kona—cheekily expressed his disappointment with a video of him after his 2019 win set to an audio track about packing it in and moving on after a bad day. “Tomorrow is another day!” he posted.

52-year-old Dede Griesbauer wins Ultraman World Championship

The seemingly unstoppable Dede Griesbauer, who in 2020 set the Ultraman World Record, now has an Ultraman World Championship title to her name. The 52-year-old professional triathlete dominated the women’s field throughout the three-day event (which involves a  6.2-mile (10K) open ocean swim, a 261.4-mile (421K)  bike ride, and a 52.4-mile (84K) ultra-marathon run on Hawaii’s Big Island. She finished more than an hour ahead of runner-up Anotonia Reznikov with a total time of 23 hours, 22 minutes, and 58 seconds, a course record. Griesbauer finished third overall—close behind men’s winner Richard Thompson (22:13:38) and runner-up Steven Keller (23:12:01). 2012 Ironman World Champion Leanda Cave finished third for the women.

New Rules on Super Shoes, Maternity Leave

After meeting in Abu Dhabi last week, the World Triathlon Executive Board released updates to their competition rules, taking effect on Jan. 1, 2023. Among these updates? A new ruling on running shoes, which will now follow the rules implemented by World Athletics that ban shoe prototypes (“shoes must have been available for purchase by any athlete on the open retail market for a period of four months”) and detail restrictions on midsole depth (no more than a 40mm stack) as well as limit each shoe to one carbon plate. In addition, World Triathlon implemented a maternity policy that will freeze the rankings of athletes from the moment they announce their pregnancy until the child is two years old (or two years after a pregnancy loss after 20 weeks).

Beloved chef dies while competing in Ironman Israel 70.3

This week it was reported that Michael Ginor, a James Beard-honored chef based in New York, died of an apparent heart attack during the swim portion of Ironman Israel 70.3 last weekend. “During the swim portion of today’s race, safety personnel recognized the athlete in distress and provided immediate medical attention,” race directors said in a statement. “The athlete was attended to by the on-site medical team before being transported to a nearby hospital where the athlete sadly passed.” Ginor, 59, was an award-winning chef, writer, and restaurateur who owned Lola, a restaurant in Long Island as well as Hudson Valley Foie Gras. He was also an enthusiastic triathlete who completed his first half-Iron-distance event last January at the Israman event.

Podcast Notes

  • The Ironwomen podcast posted a live reaction show to the news of the women’s-only Ironman World Championship. Hosted by Feisty Media CEO Sara Gross, the episode features Ironman CEO, Andrew Messick, journalist Kelly O’Mara, and pro triathletes Sarah True and Haley Chura, for a live discussion.
  • That Triathlon Show brings on accomplished endurance athlete and chef Alan Murchison, who provides fueling plans for athletes through his company, Performance Chef.
  • Newly-crowned Ironman Arizona champ Joe Skipper (who this week shared he’ll be spending some of the off-season delivering food by bike for British-based service Deliveroo) recaps his big win on Triathlon Mockery.
  • Greg Bennett brings on the woman behind many of today’s best triathletes: strength coach Erin Carson. Carson, who owns the famed Rally Sport health club in Boulder, Colo., has Taylor Knibb, Mirinda Carfae, and Timothy O’Donnell among her client list. She chats about her career and the importance of strength training in endurance sports.
  • Paula Findlay and Eric Lagerstrom check in on That Triathlon Life prior to racing Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells, then answer listener questions about fueling, favorite Zwift courses, training on a Peloton bike, and more.
  • The TriDot Triathlon podcast takes a look at recent trends in triathlon nutrition, like monitoring blood glucose levels and boosting carb intake, bringing on experts to weigh in on the science and sustainability of it all.
  • Simon Ward has a nice chat with 76-year-old Linda Ashmore, one of the oldest-ever female Ironman finishers, the oldest woman to swim the English Channel, and the newly-minted World Triathlon Series champion in the 75-79 age-group. Ashmore, also a breast cancer survivor, talks about her many accomplishments and staying fit well into her 70s.