HONOLULU (KHON2) — The 2022 VinFast IRONMAN® World Championship returned to the Big Island this month after a three-year hiatus, and for the first time in the event’s history, the competition took place over two days in Kailua-Kona.
More than 5,000 registered athletes from around the world participated in the triathlon. The event ended on Saturday with a historic win.
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Norway celebrated its first victory at the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship.
“Gustav Iden swam with the lead pack, biked confidently, and ran a record-breaking 2:36:15 run to victory,” according to IRONMAN. “His race made history as he became the first Norwegian and male rookie to win the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship in the fastest time this race has ever seen, in 7:40:24.”
Another historical event took place with the women’s-only professional race. California resident Chelsea Sodaro, 33, became the first rookie in 15 years to win the event and the first American champion in over 25 years, according to IRONMAN.
“She put together a solid day, backing up a strong swim and bike with a courageous run to take the title in 8:33:46,” the organization said.
This year’s field of triathletes tackled the ROKA 2.4-mile ocean swim in Kailua Bay, followed by the FULGAZ 112-mile bike ride along the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway from Kailua-Kona to the turnaround in Hawi, capped with a 26.2-mile HOKA run beginning on Ali’i Drive, before making their way to the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority.
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Athletes ended their long journey to the cheers of thousands of spectators as they crossed the historic Ali’i Drive finish line.