Road To St George: Mark Allen on Blu patience, Ryf the highlight

The ‘Road To St George’ has been an incredible journey which started several months ago now – and it’s time to wrap up my thoughts on the back of two epic Pro races in St George on Saturday. I hope you’ve enjoyed the long road we’ve travelled together!

Wow wow wow – what a World Championship here in St George on Saturday.

After months of hype and build-up we got two terrific races fitting of the occasion, but very different in their own way. And two great champions in Kristian Blummenfelt and Daniela Ryf.

Blummenfelt victory

We had Braden Currie leading the men’s race for so much of the day, coming out of COVID and coming out of being locked down in New Zealand, letting the dogs out of the house.

He held that lead for a long long time. But the ever-present and ever-patient Blummenfelt worked his way up eventually – a little bit on the bike and then even more on the marathon. Passing Braden to move into the lead, he never looked back – once he got that lead he knew he had it. He just kept building on it.

Braden was looking good for second place but then there’s that guy Lionel Sanders, who is as tough or tougher than anybody I’ve ever seen on a race course. He slowly worked his way up, just struggling and pushing, and eventually passed Braden to move into second place towards the very end of that marathon.

Ryf just amazing

But for me the absolute highlight of the day was watching Daniela Ryf come back. It is so difficult when you have a period where you’re struggling – where your performance is not where you know it could be. Where maybe even mentally you can’t figure it out.

YouTube video

To come back from that and to reach that world-class form is amazing and she did that here.

Early on in the bike she started to put together the kind of performance that we’re used to seeing, but nobody was still quite sure if she’d be able to hold it. Well she held it and she built on it on the marathon. Amazing swim, bike and run.

Kat Matthews was incredible in second – she was so excited to be sandwiched between Daniela and Anne Haug, who ended up finishing in third. Anne was struggling a lot during the day, maybe not her best performance, but top three – certainly no shame in that. Congratulations to all of those six athletes who finished on the podium.

To everybody else who competed, who finished, who tried, who came here to this incredibly beautiful landscape in St George to challenge one of the most difficult Ironman courses on the planet, congratulations.

We’ll see you at the next one!

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