Jan Frodeno of Germany didn’t set any records but validated his Kona entry with a dominating victory at Ironman Austria. Eva Wutti of Austria ran down Michelle Vesterby and Corinne Abraham to finish with a 1:38 margin of victory at Kärnten.
Frodeno, the two-time Ironman World Champion, 2015 Ironman 70.3 World Champion and 2008 Olympic champion, won wire-to-wire with race-best swim, bike and run splits. His 7:57:20 finish time was only the 10th fastest in Ironman Austria history but it was enough to defeat runner-up Eneko Llanos of Spain by 15:23 and validate his 2017 Kona qualification.
Austrian Eva Wutti, who has broken the 9-hour Ironman-distance mark 4 times, did not come close to her 8:37:36 PR at the distance, but ran down Corinne Abraham of Great Britain with a few kilometers to go to stand atop the women's podium at Kärnten.
The race was marred by the death of a competitor on the bike leg. Local media reported that a 58-year-old Austrian man fell off his bike and was brought to a hospital by helicopter where he was pronounced dead. Organizers did not release the man’s name nor the cause of death. They issued a statement: "Our thoughts are with his family and friends, whom we have offered our full support."
Frodeno led the swim with a 46:29 split which gave him a 1:55 lead in Ivan Raña of Spain, 4:02 on Tim Brydenbach of Belgium, 4:04 on Antony Costes of France, and 4:08 on Eneko Llanos of Spain.
Halfway through the bike leg, Frodeno had an 8:23 lead on Llanos, 8:25 on Paul Ruttman of Austria, 8:55 on Costes, 8:59 on David Plese of Slovenia, and 9:01 and 9:08 on Anton Blokhin of Belarus and Viktor Zyemtsev of Ukraine. After a race-best 4:19:45 bike split which was 8:08 better than the next-best split of Michael Weiss of Austria and 9:13 better than the 3rd-best split of Llanos, Frodeno entered T2 with 13:38 and 13:39 gaps on Llanos and Costes.
After a race-best 2:46:09 marathon – 1:43 better than Llanos and 1:48 better than Zyemtsev – Frodeno finished in 7:57:20 with a 15:23 margin of victory over the Spaniard and 19:45 on Zyemtsev.
Frodeno’s finish time was 10th best in Ironman Austria history and 11:22 behind the Kärnten race record set by Marino Vanhoenacker in 2015.
Michelle Vesterby of Denmark led the women's swim wave in 53:52, which gave her a 38 seconds lead on Michaela Herlbauer of Austria, 3:36 on Bianca Steurer of Austria, 4:32 on Wutti, and 5:53 on Abraham.
Halfway through the 180km bike leg, Vesterby forged a 3:32 lead on Steurer, 4:44 on Herlbauer, 8:47 on Wutti, and 10:17 on Abraham. After a women’s-best 5:00:11 bike split, Vesterby had a 5:55 lead on Abraham (5:00:12 bike split), 6:06 on Wutti (5:04:39 bike split), and 14:09 on Steurer.
After 17km of the run, Vesterby’s lead was cut to 1:25 on Wutti and 2:41 on Abraham. Just after halfway through the marathon, Wutti took the lead with Abraham just 45 seconds behind Vesterby. With only 5 kilometers to go, Wutti led Abraham by 48 seconds, with Vesterby 5:03 arrears.
After a women's-fastest 2:57:43 marathon, Wutti finished in 9:06:25 with a 1:38 margin of victory over Abraham (3:03:14 run split) and 10:19 over 3rd-place Vesterby (3:17:19 marathon).
Wutti’s winning time was 20:48 slower than her 2015 Ironman Austria winning time, 25:08 slower than Mirinda Carfrae's women's race record time at Kärnten, and 28:49 slower than Wutti's 2013 Ironman distance PR at Ironman Copenhagen.
July 2, 2017
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.
1. Jan Frodeno (GER) 7:57:20
2. Eneko Llanos (ESP) 8:12:43
3. Viktor Zyemtsev (UKR) 8:17:05
4. David Plese (SLO) 8:19:13
5. Michael Weiss (AUT) 8:22:42
6. Anton Blokhin (BLR) 8:25:07
7. Lars Petter Stormo (NOR) 8:36:25 * M35-39
8. Matt Burton (AUS) 8:39:08
9. Christian Birngruber (AUT) 8:43:39
10. Daniel Niederreiter (AUT) 8:45:40
1. Eva Wutti (AUT) 9:06:25
2. Corinne Abraham (GBR) 9:08:03
3. Michelle Vesterby (DNK) 9:16:44
4. Lucia Erat (SUI) 9:26:25 * F30-34
5. Bianca Steurer (AUT) 9:33:00
6. Leanne Fanoy (UAE) 9:39:07 * F18-24
7. Michaela Rudolf (AUT) 9:44:31 * F45-49
8. Kelly Fillnow (USA) 9:49:15
9. Kamila Polak (AUT) 9:55:33
10. Olga Kowalska (POL) 9:59:26