Crowley, Weiss win IM South America Champs

Sarah Crowley beat Susie Cheetham by 3:23 and Michael Weiss outpaced Matt Hanson by 9:24 to win the Ironman South America Championship at Mar del Plata, Argentina.

Dangerously cold water temperatures led the race organizers to cut the swim in half and thus created overall race times that were 20-plus minutes shorter than normal.

Two months after a 6th place at Kona, Crowley combined a women’s 2nd-best 22:23 split for the shortened 1.2-mile swim, women's-fastest 4:51:11 bike split and a women’s 3rd-best 3:01:54 marathon to finish in 8:20:17 with a 3:23 margin of victory over Susie Cheetham of Great Britain and 8:40 over 3rd place Minna Koistinen of Finland.

Two months after a 10th place at Kona and sub-8 hour win at Ironman Cozumel, Michael Weiss of Austria took charge 35 miles into the bike leg, sped to a dominating 4:14:20 split and a 3rd-best 2:49:11 marathon to finish in 7:30:23 with a 9:24 margin of victory over Matt Hanson of the U.S. and 11:59 over 3rd place Mario de Elias of Argentina.

With Kona slots allocated percentage-wise to the relative size of the pro fields, four men and two women pros earned 2019 Kona slots. While Michael Weiss of Austria already earned a slot with his 10th place finish at Kona, Matt Hanson of the U.S., Mario de Elias of Argentina, Jesper Svensson of Sweden and Lukas Kramer of Germany took the men’s slots while top U.S. contenders Matt Chrabot, Tim O’Donnell and Andy Potts had off days and missed out. Sarah Crowley of Australia and Susie Cheetham of Great Britain took the women's Kona slots while Minna Koistinen of Finland, Sarah Piampiano of the U.S. and Asa Lundstrom of Sweden will have to chase Kona entries next year. Because she won Kona within the past five years, the 3-time Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae validated her Kona slot with a simple finish in 6th place.


Matt Chrabot of the U.S. led the obviously shorter than standard 1.2 mile swim in 19:05, which put him 5 seconds ahead of Svensson, 9 seconds ahead of O’Donnell, 13 seconds ahead of Felipe Van De Wyngard and Dylan McNeice, 16 seconds ahead of Andy Potts, 3:09 ahead of Hanson, and 3:19 ahead of Weiss.

After 35 miles of the bike leg, Weiss made up his 3:19 deficit and took the lead by 17 seconds on Chrabot, 22 seconds on Svensson, 1:04 on O’Donnell, and 3:22 on Hanson. After a sizzling 4:14:20 bike split – 14:26 faster than his closest pursuers de Elias and Hanson – Weiss entered T2 with an 8.5 minutes lead on Stefan Schumacher, 10 minutes on the main chase pack and 12.5 minutes on Potts.

While Schumacher quickly faded from contention on the run, Weiss refused to wilt under the charge of the faster runners and covered the first 5k in 17:42. Through 10k of the run, Weiss maintained a 13 minutes lead on Schumacher and 14 minutes on Hanson. After 12km, Weiss led Schumacher by 13:54, Hanson by 14:27, De Elias by 16:03, Svensson by 16:04, and Potts by 17:55. After 26km, Weiss held firmly to the lead by 13:18 over Hanson, 16:40 on De Elias, 17:21 on Svensson, and 19:11 n Potts.

After a 2:49:11 run, Weiss finished in 7:30:23 with a 9:24 margin of victory over Hanson, who closed with a race-best 2:45:07 marathon.


Dede Griesbauer of the U.S. led the swim with a 22:08 split that gave her a 16 seconds lead on Crowley, 55 seconds on Carfrae, 1:04 on Kimberley Morrison, 1:10 on Susie Cheetham, 2:52 on Asa Lundstrom of Sweden, and 2:58 on Minna Koistinen of Finland.

At mile 15 of the bike, Crowley charged to a 1:18 lead on Griesbauer, 1:35 on Carfrae, 1:37 on Cheetham, 3:00 on Lundstrom, 3:50 on Koistinen, and 4:51 on Piampiano making up time after one of her tardy swims.

After a women’s-best 4:51:11 bike split, Crowley led by 4 minutes into T2. After 12km of the run, Crowley’s lead grew to 5:13 on Cheetham and 6:04 on Koistinen. After 26km, Crowley led by 5:22 on Cheetham, 7:33 on Koistinen, 12:16 on Lundstrom, and 12:21 on Carfrae.

After her women’s 3rd-fastest 3:01:54 marathon, Crowley crossed the line in 8:20:17 with a 3:24 margin of victory over Cheetham (women’s-best 3:00:03 run split) and 8:40 over 3rd place Koistinen (3:06:05 run) and 12:01 over 4th-place Sarah Piampiano (3:00:49 run split).

Ironman South America Championship
Mar del Plata, Argentina
December 2, 2018
S 1.2 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.



1. Sarah Crowley (AUS) 8:20:17 S 22:23 T1 3:01 B 4:51:11 T2 1:49 R 3:01:54
2. Susie Cheetham (GBR) 8:23:40 S 23:18 T1 2:45 B 4:56:01 T2 1:36 R 3:00:03
3. Minna Koistinen (FIN) 8:28:57 S 25:06 T1 2:54 B 4:53:25 T2 1:29 R 3:06:05
4. Sarah Piampiano (USA) 8:32:18 S 25:29 T1 3:36 B 5:00:53 T2 1:34 R 3:00:49
5. Asa Lundstrom (SWE) 8:32:59 S 24:59 T1 2:37 B 4:56:44 T2 1:34 R 3:07:07
6. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 8:39:31 S 23:01 T1 3:13 B 4:59:23 T2 2:18 R 3:11:37


1. Michael Weiss (AUT) 7:30:23 S 22:24 T1 2:58 B 4:14:20 T2 1:32 R 2:49:11
2. Matt Hanson (USA) 7:39:47 S 22:18 T1 2:25 B 4:28:46 T2 1:12 R 2:45:07
3. Mario de Elias (ARG) 7:42:22 S 22:15 T1 2:29 B 4:28:45 T2 1:30 R 2:47:25
4. Jesper Svensson (SWE) 7:46:39 S 19:09 T1 2:21 B 4:L32:05 T2 1:16 R 2:51:49
5. Lukas Kramer (GER) 7:48:09 S 22:02 T1 2:45 B 4:30:20 T2 1:21 R 2:51:43