The IRONMAN World Champions Jan Frodeno and Daniela competed in the hilly Allgäu Triathlon and totally dominated this race that functioned as the German Middle Distance Championships. It was the 35th edition of this race and while other distance were also offered on this weekend, the focus was on the 1.9km swimming, 84km cycling and 20km running middle distance race headlined by Frodeno and Ryf.
Unlike in most other races, Daniela Ryf with the other female starters took off first at 7:45am before the men jumped into the water at 8am. With no one in the respective fields looking likely to challenge the World Champions, many eyes were on the Ryf and Frodeno battle. How long would it take Frodo to catch the Angry Bird?
Anna-Lena Pohl led the women out of the water in 25:49. Daniela Ryf was next in 26:34, and she was followed by Tamara Hitz in 26:38. Lena Berlinger was fourth out of the water in just about 30 minutes and all other females needed more than 30 minutes. Jan Frodeno was the fastest male out of the water in 23:03 and had thus already made up a few minutes on Ryf.
The 84km bike course with is very challenging and athletes get to tackle a 1,500 meter elevation gain. Ryf quickly took charge of the women's race and pulled away. Ryf's 2:17:30 bike split on this course was impressive and she was at least 10 minutes faster than all other females on course. But Jan Frodeno was coming closer. The tall German rode 2:15:02 but that was not enough to capture Ryf. So it all came down to the undulating run and the spectators were ready.
Frodeno had still quite a bit of time to make up and Ryf was not slowing down. The fast Swiss woman, who is getting ready for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, looked primed and ready and ran well. About 13km into the run the course features a steep goat or cow path that really stings and it was Ryf who managed to get over that hump first. Other athletes seen in the picture near her were actually racing in a different event. Frodeno was not far behind and with only 7km to go it was surely going to be very tight.
But with a women's race best 1:15:36 run Ryf managed to hold off the German and crossed the finish first in 4:03:35. Everyone now better watch out for her in Chattanooga. Frodeno was not far behind with his race second best 1:08:23 run and thus claimed the German Middle Distance Championships in a time of 3:49:55. Roman Deisenhofer finished second in 4:01:41 and Christopher Hettich was third in 4:02:09. Fastest runner and fourth overall in 4:02:29 was Felix Hentschel who managed a 1:08:18 on this course.
The female German Middle Distance title went to Lena Berlinger who finished second in 4:25:54. Anna-Lena Pohl round out the podium in 4:33:51.
Images courtesy of Dominik Berchtold via dberchtold.com