ST. GEORGE, Utah (September 18, 2021) — After two-years of anticipation for a world championship event, St. George, Utah, took the global spotlight this week as fans and athletes alike witnessed the remarkable lineup of pro athletes at the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission. Featuring moderate temperatures, striking landscapes, and some unpredictable weather, the Land of Endurance lived up to its billing with Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) taking the top spot for the first time as women’s world champion while Gustav Iden (NOR) defended his 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title, making it two-in-a-row.
Utah’s Kyle Brown Races for ALS Awareness
After being given 6 to 18 months to live in March of 2021, Kyle Brown of Farmington, Utah, became determined not to let his diagnosis stop him from living his life. On race day, Brown sported bib number 179 in honor of Jon Blais, the first person with ALS to complete an IRONMAN race.
Having said before the race that he would finish even if he had to roll across the line, Kyle did exactly that, stopping just before the finish and lying down to log-roll across the line, and then breaking down in tears as he was greeted by friends and family. In his bid to continue raising awareness for ALS at the, Brown displayed a flag to the crowd that reads “It’s too late for me, but not for someone you love. A cure for ALS is close.”
Gustav Iden defends IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title
Following his quick rise and stunning 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship win as a seemingly unknown challenger, Norwegian professional Gustav Iden crossed today’s finish line with an unrivaled race that has cemented him as a force for others to catch. Coming out of the swim pack in 17th, Iden made up lost time by battling it back on the bike, passing fellow athletes early on. Even though heavy showers and hail poured down on athletes for a portion of the run, Iden remained undeterred and unstoppable, crossing the finish line in 3:37:13 at the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission, nearly four minutes ahead of second place athlete Sam Long. The podium rounded out with an impressive performance by Daniel Baekkegard (DEN), who finished in 3:42:24.
Top five professional men’s results:
|1||Gustav Iden (NOR)||0:24:54||1:58:58||1:11:32||3:37:13|
|2||Sam Long (USA)||0:25:54||2:00:48||1:12:11||3:41:09|
|3||Daniel Baekkegard (DEN)||0:23:51||2:03:00||1:13:23||3:42:24|
|4||Miki Taagholt (DEN)||0:23:54||2:03:02||1:14:00||3:43:07|
|5||Jackson Laundry (CAN)||0:24:50||2:01:54||1:14:38||3:43:24|
Lucy Charles-Barclay wins first IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title
From the firing of the start cannon to the finish line tape, Lucy Charles-Barclay dominated the women’s professional field with prowess and a determination to win that wouldn’t be denied. Charles-Barclay put together a stellar race that was years in the making after one second-place IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship (2018) and three second-place IRONMAN World Championship (2017, 2018, 2019) finishes. Crossing the finish line on Main Street in 4:00:20, Charles-Barclay soaked in the roar of the crowd, leading to tears of joy as she embraced her husband, Reese, and realized her goal of an IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title. South African Jeanni Metzler had an impressive day of her own, running her way into a second-place finish with a time of 4:08:39. Meanwhile, Taylor Knibb in only her second ever IRONMAN 70.3 finished the world championship in third just 11 seconds behind Metzler.
Top five professional women’s results:
|1||Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR)||0:24:36||2:14:54||1:18:48||4:00:20|
|2||Jeanni Metzler (ZAF)||0:26:08||2:20:17||1:20:12||4:08:38|
|3||Taylor Knibb (USA)||0:26:05||2:18:23||1:22:18||4:08:50|
|4||Katrina Matthews (GBR)||0:28:14||2:17:43||1:22:37||4:10:45|
|5||Emma Pallant-Browne (GBR)||0:28:13||2:18:03||1:23:42||4:12:10|
The next edition of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship returns to St. George, Utah with a two-day event on October 28-29, 2022. The 2023 edition moves to Lahti, Finland on August 26-27.