LAST YEAR, DURING the lead up to the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-kona, Hawaii, there was a feeling that we could be in for a close women’s race. Defending women’s champion, Daniela Ryf, had finished fourth at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Mooloolaba, the first time she’d been beaten in a long-distance race in years. That, coupled with her DNF in Frankfurt earlier in the year, seemed to give people hope that we were in for a close race.
Then race day happened. Who knows what was going on in Australia for that 70.3 – maybe the fact that Ryf had been forced to do a couple of full-distance races in a week at the end of July might have made her appear human for a while – but once the gun went off the Ironman World Championship women’s race was pretty much a snooze fest. Sure, it looked like there might be some competition for Ryf through the early going of the bike, but once the Swiss star put the hammer down, she simply rode away from the best women in the world and then continued her domination on the run. While Mirinda Carfrae managed to run herself to the runner-up spot, she was still almost 24 minutes down as she crossed the line. On a seemingly