The Weekend Box -- IMFL and Noosa

Quick things we noticed from this weekend’s professional racing.

IRONMAN Florida: Von Berg, Moench Dominant in Victory

Rudy Von Berg obliterated records on his way to victory, finishing almost 8 minutes in front of second placed Kacper Stepniak, and breaking Gustav Iden’s course record here by almost the same margin. Four of the top five men rode within 90 seconds of four hours — Von Berg, Stepniak, Matthew Marquardt, and Magnus Ditlev. And yes, we had another record fall, with a sub-8 hour performance not earning a paycheck. Sorry, Martin Ulloa, no cash for you.

On the women’s side, Skye Moench thrashed the field with a course record bike split, and then followed it up with a 2:54 marathon, for an 8.5 minute margin of victory over India Lee and 11.5 minutes over third place Jocelyn McCauley. Moench also obliterated the prior total course and bike course records on her way to victory.

Men’s Results
Rudy Von Berg 7:34:41
Kacper Stepniak 7:42:03
Matthew Marquardt 7:44:27
Matt Hanson 7:45:26
Magnus Ditlev 7:48:53
Jesper Svensson 7:49:28
Cameron Wurf 7:50:36
Milan Brons 7:56:49
Ognjen Stojanovic 7:58:16
Piotr Lawicki 7:58:45

Women’s Results
Skye Moench 8:22:29
India Lee 8:31:01
Jocelyn McCauley 8:33:56
Erin Snelgrove 8:47:06
Alice Alberts 8:49:14
Lauren Brandon 8:52:20
Rachel Zilinskas 8:52:59
Giorgia Priarone 8:58:03
Margit Elfers 9:09:54
Annamarie Strehlow 9:18:22

Why No Live Stream?

Many were dismayed to view the start list of this weekend’s IRONMAN Florida and discover that the race lacked live broadcasting. What gives?

First — IRONMAN already had a live broadcast scheduled for this weekend, with the Noosa Triathlon getting the big stage. (And this is a good thing! We should have the big stage on some non-70.3 / full distance races for a change). But second — broadcasting is a delicate dance between existing contractual obligations, courses, and where a race company would expect the best stories to show up based on the schedule. It’s not like IM brings the broadcast crew everywhere and is able to pivot quickly if a race suddenly has a better on-paper start list than another; they can’t flex races like the NFL flexes games out of primetime.

This, frankly, is one of the reasons that IRONMAN has the Pro Series in 2024 — those are most likely going to be your broadcasted events, and I would be shocked if any race outside of that calendar gets streaming coverage. That way you won’t have a deeper than average pro field and be frantically refreshing the IRONMAN app to try and figure out who is where (or follow along in our forum, as a few folks did that instead).

Speaking of Noosa

In case you missed it: the record books had to be re-written in Noosa as well, with Ashleigh Gentle taking her tenth consecutive victory, and Hayden Wilde setting records on his way to the win.

It feels like we are currently in the time where no record in endurance sports is safe. Some of that certainly boils down to continued advancement in technology, from both bike and run equipment. And, frankly, the couple of down years from COVID race cancellations and lighter schedules gave athletes an opportunity to hone their craft. But I think the last one might be a key from Gentle herself — know your specialty. She doesn’t chase every race distance, instead focusing on Olympics to 100K / 70.3. The results have spoken for themselves with complete dominance in Noosa, and nearly the same on the PTO Tour.

Photos Courtesy of Getty Images for IRONMAN