2015 ironman Champions Jan Frodeno and Daniela Ryf have won Ironman 70.3 Dubai, the first race of the Nasser Bin Hamad Triple Crown series.
Blustery conditions and ocean swells forced organisers to move the swim and shorten the course to 1,200 meters, with an additional 750 meters to run to transition. The 90-kilometer cycle loop presented competitors with a tailwind out and a headwind of up to 20 miles per hour coming back in. three circuits of a seven-kilometer loop on unshaded jog paths was the final hurdle.
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Frodeno led from the swim and finished in a time of 3 hours, 34 minutes, 48 seconds.
“It was really tough out there, but this course is very fast,” he said. “I had a real dream of a day, one of those days you can just push with the pace the whole day. It was a perfect day for me.”
Ryf faced a little more challenge to her lead on the women’s side. Swiss compatriot Caroline Steffen was nipping at her heels from the swim and took the early lead on the bike. However Ryf came back at her in the final third of the ride to get onto the run two minutes ahead of Steffen. She held that lead with a steady run, finishing in 4 hours, 1 minute, 9 seconds.
“I’m really happy actually, it’s a great start,” She said. “Big compliment to Caroline. I think she did really good in the first 50km on the bike. She really pushed the pace and she was really hurting me and then I tried to wait a bit.
“I started to hurt more, then in the last 40km I wanted to see where my legs were and decided to push a little bit harder. Every time I wanted to slow down I pushed harder, that’s pretty much the tactic. With the wind and the carpet on the floor the run felt quite slow, but I’m really happy.
“I’m 37 years of age and I can still out-sprint the young ones. I’m quite happy with that.”
Images © Delly Carr / Bahrain ENDURANCE Media
Read Jan Frodeno’s 10 top tips for stepping up to iron distance