Daniela Ryf of Switzerland, three-time Ironman and Ironman 70.3 World Champion, set another benchmark today with an Ironman 70.3 women’s world–best 3:57:55 winning time at Gdynia in Poland.
Ryf combined a 24:35 swim, 2:12.27 bike split and 1:17:40 half marathon run on her way to a 22:52 margin of victory over three-time Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae. Ryf finished just 10:14 slower than men’s winner Timothy O’Donnell of the U.S. In addition, Ryf finished 6th overall including the men.
Following a similar 4:00:54 performance at Ironman 70.3 Switzerland last month, Ryf marked herself as a prohibitive favorite to defend the Ironman 70.3 World Championship she won last year at Chattanooga. The three-mile margin of defeat Carfrae suffered indicates she may be further away from returning to her world class form at the half Ironman – and may face similar long odds for another win at Kona nine months after the birth of her daughter Isabelle.
Ryf's new record is for the Ironman 70.3 brand only as it is topped by Denmark native Helle Frederiksen's 3:55:50 earned at the 2014 edition of Challenge Bahrain which advertised that its distances are equal to the 70.3 events.
Julie Dibens of Great Britain is likely the first woman to break the 4-hour mark for the half Ironman distance which she did with a 3:59:33 time winning the 2009 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in the flat and fast course at Clearwater, Florida.
At Gydnia, Ryf led out of the water by 2 minutes over Ewa Bugdol of Poland and 2:17 over Carfrae. By the end of the bike leg, Ryf led Ewa Komander of Poland by 17:26 and Carfrae by 18: 09. On the run, Ryf stole Carfrae’s ace in the hole with a time which was 4:09 faster than the Australian and added to Ryf's 22:52 margin of victory.
O’Donnell led wire-to-wire, combining a race-best 23:02 swim split, a second-fastest 2:07:13 bike split that was 2 seconds slower than top rival Nils Frommhold of Germany, and a race-best 1:14:17 half marathon that brought him to the finish in 3:47:41 with a 5:17 margin of victory over Frommhold and 5:47 over 3rd-place finisher Markus Liebelt of Germany.
IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia
August 5, 2018
S 1.2 ,mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Daniela Ryf (SUI) 3:57:55 S 24:35 B 2:12:27 R 1:17:40
2. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 4:20:46
3. Ewa Komander (POL) 4:25:40
4. Joanna Soltysiak (POL) 4:27:33
5. Ewa Bugdol (POL) 04:31:26
1. Timothy O’Donnell (USA) 3:47:40
2. Nils Frommhold (GER) 3:52:57
3. Markus Liebelt (GER) 3:53:27
4. Ondrej Kubo (SVK) 03:55:44
5. Aleksey Kalistratov (RUS) 3:57:34