Fastest Ironman distance time: Daniela Ryf sets an INCREDIBLE new triathlon standard

Just completing the iron-distance is an achievement for many athletes, but what about the fastest time ever?

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Daniela Ryf set an incredible new standard in the history of women’s Ironman triathlon racing by clocking the fastest time ever for the distance at Challenge Roth on Sunday (June 25, 2023).

The 36-year-old Swiss great broke Chrissie Wellington’s 12-year-old mark by a huge 10 minutes on the same course where the British legend had starred back in 2011.

Kristian Blummenfelt meanwhile still owns the fastest ever Ironman distance time for a man, with a mark he set on debut over the distance at IRONMAN Cozumel back in 2021.

Just completing a race at iron distance is a lifetime achievement for many athletes. But the fastest time ever? The accolade can go to only one man and one woman. Here is how the landscape looks right now.


Who holds the fastest Ironman time?

The current fastest times ever for the iron distance (2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run) are now currently held by the aforementioned Ryf and Blummenfelt.

Here is how they were set:

Women – Daniela Ryf 8:08:21

Wellington’s astonishing 8:18:13 – set at Roth back in July 2011, had stood for almost 12 years when Ryf absolutely smashed it during the 2023 edition of the German showpiece.

The five-time IRONMAN World Champion produced a quite astonishing performance to obliterate Chrissie’s sensational mark amid incredible scenes.

‘The Angry Bird’ started her day with a 50:15 swim, but it was on the bike where she really took the previous best time to pieces. Ryf burned up the roads in Germany with a mind-blowing 4:22:56 – some 18 minutes faster than Wellington went on two wheels back in 2011.

By the time the Swiss megastar set out onto the run a new best ever time was very much on the cards, anything like normal service would see the old best absolutely shattered. And so it came to pass.

Ryf maintained her huge advantage over the rest of the field by closing things out with a 2:51:55 marathon to beat Wellington’s mark by a massive 10 minutes.

Daniela Ryf fist pump finish line Challenge Roth 2023
Daniela Ryf celebrates her amazing new record time [Photo credit: Challenge Roth]

Men – Kristian Blummenfelt 7:21:12

When Blummenfelt rocked up in Cozumel for his first ever Ironman, the noises from his camp were positive. Coach and sports scientist Olav Oleksander Bu said “something cool” was on the cards on the back of his preparation in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Spain, and that might have been an understatement.

The Norwegian Olympic Champion was expected to win, but very few people expected him to obliterate the previous fastest time ever – the 7:27:53 set by Jan Frodeno in his Tri Battle Royal vs Lionel Sanders in July 2021. No wonder even Frodeno described Kristian as “next level” after this performance.

Blummenfelt was second out of the water in a a blistering 39:41, partly thanks to a little assistance from the current off the Mexican coast.

The Norwegian then set about continuing his bistering pace on the bike despite the heavy rain which had left the course in a very tricky condition. The result – another lightning-quick split of 4:02:40.

With Blummenfelt’s only rival for victory, Sweden’s Patrik Nilsson, having fallen away during the latter stages of the bike Kristian was left to battle only the Mexican elements for the remainder of his bid – temperatures of 27 degrees and 81 percent humidity.

Not even those sticky conditions could deter Blummenfelt, who surged clear to win the race by a street, and in a new fastest ever ironman time of 7:21:12.

He had closed the show with a 2:35:24 marathon – astonishing coming off what he’d previously achieved in the water and on the bike.

Dane Magnus Ditlev now owns the second fastest time ever for a race over the full Ironman distance after his incredible performance to win Challenge Roth in 2023. He came home in a blistering 7:24:40.

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