To celebrate what’s been an incredible year of triathlon racing, we’ve looked back on the season and carefully selected a handful of winners for our 2023 TRI247 Triathlon Awards.
And last but not least is the ‘Race of the Year’ Award, picked from a long list of contenders by our expert panel.
As host Jenny Lucas-Hill says at the start, this is to recognise aspects such as attracting exceptional fields, being super-exciting to watch or races which have helped take the sport to a new level.
And in the case of our final shortlist, you could argue they all ticked all three of those boxes – but who wins out of the PTO European Open in Ibiza, Challenge Roth and the women’s IRONMAN World Championship in Kona?
The PTO had promised to deliver on their ethos of getting the best racing the best on a regular basis and their first event of 2023 was the perfect example.
The women’s field was arguably the strongest middle-distance field of all time, with the podium comprising Anne Haug, Ashleigh Gentle – who would end the year ranked #1 and #2 – plus subsequent Kona winner Lucy Charles-Barclay.
‘The biggest triathlon party in the world’ is how Challenge Roth is often billed, with the whole community embracing it like no other, and there’s surely never been a higher-class edition than that of 2023.
Magnus Ditlev destroyed the course record time by 11 minutes in the men’s race but that itself was usurped by Daniela Ryf’s incredible fastest-ever time for the full-distance, a mark which had stood for 12 years. And Chrissie Wellington, whose record she took, was on hand at the finish to salute her.
But those two amazing events were just pipped at the post in our experts’ eyes by a landmark race at Kona.
Our Winner – the IMWC in Kona
There was much debate beforehand about the merits of the first ever Kona / Nice split, with the women taking centre stage in Hawaii while the men battled it out in the south of France.
But the build-up, the quality of the field and the performances could not have been bettered as the women made the most of having the spotlight to themselves.
None of the big hitters were missing and there was an intriguing wildcard in the shape of 70.3 World Champion Taylor Knibb, who was making her IRONMAN debut.
And then the race itself produced its own incredible storyline as Lucy Charles-Barclay, after four successive runner-up spots at Kona, finally got the cherished win – and in incredible style as she shattered the course record, a display which earned her our award for the Female Performance of the Year.