Das Triathlonjahr 2022 - die Top 10 Stories des Jahres

We look back on an exciting triathlon year 2022 with sensational record races, but also with bitter defeats and major upheavals for the future. In our annual review we show you our top 10 triathlon stories in 2022.

Place 10

Finally a "normal" triathlon season after Corona

After two years of corona-related uncertainties, cancellations and postponements, organizers and athletes can now look forward to a normal triathlon season with a packed racing calendar. Whether Kraichgau, Hamburg, Roth, Frankfurt, all large and small events took place under almost unrestricted "normal conditions". FINALLY TRIATHLON AGAIN!

9th place

Ironman World Championship, Part 1 - Utah

Some catching up had to be done internationally as well: since the IRONMAN World Championship 2021 could not take place in Hawaii as planned due to the Corona Pandemic, an alternative date had to be found: on May 7th, 2022, the World Championship race in St. George, Utah, was held for professionals and seniors. Grouper discharged.

podium men

1. Christian Blummenfeldt (7:49:16)

2. Lionel Sanders (7:54:03)

3. Braden Currie (7:54:19)

podium women

1. Daniela Ryf (8:34:59)

2. Katrina Matthews (8:43:49)

3. Anne Haug (8:47:03)

Six months later, the Ironman World Championships 2022 were to be held again at the usual location on the Big Island. It was already clear here that there would be two days of racing in Hawaii for the first time, in order to be able to do better justice to the large number of qualified athletes.

8th place

PTO racing series starts with 4 events and high prize money

Four races, each event has a prize purse of at least US$1 million and is basically held over 100 km – 2 km swim, 80 km bike and 18 km run. This is the new format of the PTO Tour.

The PTO Tour is a new series of professional triathlon races with exceptional prize money created by the Professional Triathlon Organization. In 2022, the PTO Tour included the PTO Canadian Open (July 23-24), the Collins Cup (August 20-21) and the PTO US Open (September 17-18). In 2023 the series will be expanded to include the PTO Asian Open and the PTO European Open. Thanks to the attractive prize money, the really big names in the sport are on the start lists for the races.

In September 2023, there could well be a collision with the men's Ironman World Championship - Nice in September is an option (as of December 2022). In this case, the professionals have to consider whether starting in a PTO race could be more lucrative than participating in the Ironman World Championship.

7th place

Boris Stein and Andi Böcherer end their professional triathlon careers

Two "old hands" and great athletes are leaving the big triathlon stage this year:

In July 2022, Boris Stein first announced his retirement from professional sport at the end of this season. He said on his Facebook page: "I'm grateful that I've been able to make money from the sport for the past 10 years. I also like the idea of ​​ending my professional career and being at least partially competitive and not squeezing my body to the limit . There is life after that."

Credit: Ingo Kutsche

At his last race, the Ironman Israel on November 25, Boris Stein still finished 16th despite a wheel defect. His achievements include multiple Ironman / 70.3 wins and podium finishes. His best result at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii was 7th place in 2016.

"I'll be gone then." "Der Andi" (Andi Böcherer) said goodbye to the triathlon world in a nutshell in September. The man has 15 years of professional triathlon sport in his legs - cycling is his parade discipline. Andi Böcherer can also look back on an impressive career with countless victories and podium finishes nationally and internationally. Also in 2016 Böcherer's best Hawaii result with place 5 is in the history books.

Credit: Ingo Kutsche

In his farewell year 2022, "Der Andi" wanted to say goodbye to the CHALLENGE ROTH with a big bang. Unfortunately, an illness shattered this dream. All the best, Andi! Make it your way!

Rank 6

New record times at the Sub7 / Sub8 Project

June 5, 2022: Kristian Blummenfelt and Katrina Matthews become the first triathletes to go under 7 and 8 hours respectively over the Ironman distance. The Sub7/Sub8 Project was all about redefining boundaries: on the closed Dekra Lausitzring race track in Saxony, all three disciplines were completed under "laboratory conditions" and without observing the slipstream rule.

Supported by ten pacemakers in all three disciplines, who provide slipstreams and thus make the impossible possible. Blummenfelt completed the 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike and 42 km run in 6:44:25 hours (swim 48:21 | bike 3:24:22 | run 2:30:50). In addition to Blummenfeldt, Joe Skipper (GBR) also took part in the Sub7 Challenge and finished 3:11 minutes behind the Norwegian. With a time of 6:47:36 hours, Skipper also clearly undercut the 7-hour mark.

In the women's category, it was Katrina Matthews who broke the 8-hour mark first, completing the Ironman distance in 7:31:54 hours (swim 54:43 | bike 3:50:06 | run 2:46:09) . Nicola Spirig (SUI) also fell short of the target in the Sub8 Challenge with a time of 7:35:59 hours.

Results not officially recognised: however, due to the race format, the times achieved are not official world record times.

5th place

Patrick Lange wins IM Israel with a marathon record of 2:30:32

Patrick Lange recently set a valid and official record at one of the last races of the season. With a run split of 2:30:32h, he not only secured victory at the first Ironman Israel on November 25, 2022 (total time 7:42:00h), but also set a fabulous discipline record. With that, he stayed a few seconds under the marathon time of Kristian Blummenfeldt in his (not officially recognized) Sub7 Project.

Patrick Lange's running in top form this year was already proven in Roth with a 2:35 at the Ironman Hawaii with a 2:41.

4th place

Ironman 70.3 Dresden - a drama in 4 acts

The first Ironman 70.3 Dresden was to be held in and around the picturesque Saxon state capital on July 31st. But above all, the approval process for the bike course threw the plans completely upside down.

1st act: the cycle course originally published provided for a scenic route - through the Saxon baroque landscape and along the Elbe Cycle Path. About four weeks before the competition, IRONMAN published a completely new bike course, apparently there was no official approval for the originally planned route. The participants who have already registered were not initially informed of this change.

2nd act: the new bike course meets with massive criticism. Athletes from the region drive off the new course and give their verdict: steep descents, dangerous bottlenecks, poor road surface - extremely dangerous. But this course design was also replaced by a third version a week before the race.

3rd act: A shuttle route between Dresden and Meissen. The course of the route is thus defused, the race is to be held on the B6 federal road. This would have to be completely closed for the competition, which the surrounding towns and communities do not accept. Organizers and authorities are negotiating a solution under time pressure.

4th Act: In vain. Three days before the planned date, the Ironman 70.3 Dresden is finally canceled due to a lack of official approvals. A huge wave of disappointment and indignation rained down on the organizer - a massive loss of image for Ironman.

An alternative date was named a little later - the Ironman 70.3 Dresden finally took place on September 18th. Of the originally more than 2,000 registered athletes, only about 400 were now at the starting line. A race date for 2023 has not yet been published.

place 3

Challenge Roth: the woes of young F.

Sporting excellence, emotions, drama - that's Challenge Roth 2022. This year it was back to normality after the "Corona" edition 2021. But this race was definitely not "normal".

It was the hoped-for race of superlatives: in a historically strong starting field, three world champions were at the start with Jan Frodeno, Anne Haug and Patrick Lange. For Jan Frodeno it was the comeback after a long injury break. The race is developing as expected: Frodeno is strong as usual, takes the lead from the start, no sign of weakness. Only the young Dane Magnus Ditlev can follow on the bike, setting a new course record in Roth with 4:01:56. After the change, Jan Frodeno immediately puts pressure on him while running, and Ditlev can distance himself immediately. But then the end: Frodeno leaves the race after only 2 kilometers on the running track. The reason: the pain in the still irritated Achilles tendon became so severe that he decided on a "DNF". " We have a pain scale from one to ten and I had to promise that I wouldn't exceed that level ," said Frodeno. "I have to be honest enough that everything was fine, but the pain was too much... the tendon might take six out of ten. But the head is eleven. " Getting off in Roth, even if it was very difficult, was above all a strategic decision: the overarching goal for Jan Frodeno was to win the Ironman Hawaii 2022, for which he "sacrificed" a finish, maybe even the victory in Roth.

After Frodeno's departure, the Dane Magnus Ditlev secured this - in 7:35:48h and thus just missed Jan Frodeno's course record from 2016 (7:35:39h). Patrick Lange shortened a 14-minute deficit at the second exchange and ran a new marathon record in Roth in 2:35h, fighting for second place behind Ditlev.

Bitter for Jan Frodeno : in August Jan Frodeno has to completely bury his Hawaii hopes. After a training accident on the bike, the Olympic champion and three-time Hawaii champion suffered a hip injury that had to be treated surgically. This ended the 2022 season for Frodeno.

place 2

IRONMAN HAWAII 2022 - the race

The Ironman Hawaii was eagerly awaited by the entire triathlon world. After the cancellation in 2020 and the postponed 2021 World Cup, the most important event, the Ironman World Cup, should now take place in Hawaii again. There was a lot of attention at this year's event in several respects.

On the one hand, many fans were looking forward to the duel between the apparently overpowering Norwegians - Kristian Blummenfeldt and Gustav Iden. They had won the most important races to date this year and set new records. It seemed clear in advance that one of them would become the new Hawaii Champion and that Jan Frodeno's record was shaky.

On the other hand, this year's World Championships were held on two separate days of competition . Due to the double number of qualified athletes, a race with the usual mass start was no longer feasible. It was already clear early in the year that the starting shots for the pros and age groupers would be given on October 6th and 8th. For Hawaii, this meant twice the number of athletes, families, companions and supervisors, plus media representatives and sponsors - the island was bursting at the seams.

Even before the race, there was perceptible criticism of the expansion and implementation of the competition concept: inflationary slot allocation, too many athletes, too few helpers, overloaded infrastructure. But everyone was happy to finally feel that "Hawaii feeling" again - a conflicting atmosphere.

6 October - the women's race: The top three favorites were Daniela Ryf, Anne Haug and Lucy Charles-Barclay . Laura Philipp also had legitimate hopes of a top placement. But hardly anyone had one athlete in mind: the American Chelsea Sodaro surprised all the favorites with the race of her life and surprised the experts as well. With the best marathon time, Sodaro won ahead of Lucy Charles Barclay and Anne Haug. Laura Philipp came in strong fourth.

October 8th - the men's race: For a long time it looked as if Frenchman Sam Laidlow could pull off a surprise coup similar to that of Cheslsea Sodaro. He started the race from the front, outperformed all his competitors on the bike and set a new bike course record in Hawaii with 4:04:36. Laidlow started the run with a 6-minute lead ahead of Blummenfeldt and Iden. The pursuers ran side by side, controlled the pace while running, were sure to face the French after a short time. But he just kept going at his high rhythm, slowly the Norwegians ran out of distance. After 28 kilometers it was Iden who was able to pull away from his compatriot Blummenfeldt, Sam Laidlow was now in sight. But it was not until kilometer 35 that Gustav Iden had caught the French and could not give up the lead until the finish line. With a new marathon record (2:36:15), Gustav Iden, as the new Hawaii champion, crossed the finish line after 7:40:24 h and thus also broke Jan Frodeno's course record from 2019 (7:51:13). Sam Laidlow secured second place ahead of Kristian Blummenfeldt.

Sebastian Kienle deserves a special mention - it was his last start in Hawaii as a triathlon professional. With the best time he ever achieved in Hawaii (7:55:40), he fought his way to 6th place (for comparison: his time when he won in 2014 - 8:14:18). An outstanding achievement.

1st place

IRONMAN World Championship - Farewell to Hawaii?!

Credit: Ingo Kutsche

This news hit like a bomb and surprised the entire triathlon world: on November 30th, IRONMAN announced in a press release that the world championship would be divided up for women and men from 2023 and Hawaii could only host one of the two races. In 2023, the women's World Cup race (professionals & age-groupers) is to take place as planned in October in Hawaii, while the men's race (also professionals & age-groupers) is to be held at an alternative venue and also at a different time. Nice in September 2023 is currently the favorite. In the following year, 2024, this division will then be swapped, ie the men's World Championships in Hawaii, the women's race at a venue that has yet to be defined.

The main reason given for this drastic change was the overloading of the local infrastructure on the Big Island and the significantly increased need for coordination of the event in this year's format. With the double race in October 2022, the island, but also the organizer Ironman, reached the capacity limits, which was reflected in a loss of quality throughout the event: lack of accommodation, lack of helpers / volunteers, organizational deficiencies - never before has there been so much criticism the World Cup race, like this year.

Why so many qualified athletes? Twice as many athletes competed this year as in previous years. On the one hand it was due to the corona-related postponements: in 2020 the World Cup was canceled completely, in 2021 the race was postponed to another date - here many qualified athletes did not want to redeem their slot until October 2022. On the other hand, there are more and more qualification opportunities. The number of races is growing steadily, the Ironman brand is expanding. The main attraction of each event is of course the qualifying slot for the Ironman World Championships - in Hawaii.

But that's over now, at least for half of the athletes. According to the current status, the authorities on the Big Island have only approved one race day for 2023 - so a format like this year is not feasible.

The outrage in the triathlon world is great. Organizer Ironman is increasingly perceived as a company that is primarily concerned with maximizing profits and less with the sport itself. Hawaii is undisputedly the birthplace of triathlon, the history of the sport began here in 1978. Most athletes are primarily concerned with having completed the Ironman on this island.

In parlance, qualified athletes tend to say "I qualified for Hawaii" rather than "I qualified for the Ironman World Championships".

In the meantime there is already a petition from athletes asking the organizer Ironman to reduce the starting fields and to bring the entire World Championship race back to Hawaii. It is questionable whether Ironman can be dissuaded from the separation of the World Cup and the partial farewell to Hawaii. The fact is: a new era is ushered in with this strategic step. In the end, however, it is the athletes worldwide who decide whether "Ironman" will continue to be successful as a brand that creates identification for triathlon.

Starting offers 2023


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