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Kona World Champs and Crazy Ironman News

Kona Champions to be crowned, Ironman launches new race series, and ironman-winning diet secrets

Good morning everyone,

Some days, it’s not always easy to find exciting and engaging triathlon news. Today isn’t one of them. Kona is tomorrow and Ironman just dropped a new pro series, so lets get into it.

In today’s edition:

  • 🏆 World Champions to be crowned at Women’s Ironman World Championships.

  • 🏁 Ironman announces huge new pro race series for 2024.

  • 🍕 And the Ironman-winning diet secrets of Jan Frodeno.

Thanks for being here.

-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor

Headshot of Matt Sharpe

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Women’s Ironman World Champions to be Crowned in Kona


What is it: After the men took on the hills of Nice last month, it’s now time for the Women to take on the iconic lava fields and the mystical energy lab of Kona.

  • With a world-class start list, the professional women’s race is shaping up to be an incredible show with plenty of intrigue.

  • It’s also the largest-ever women’s field at an Ironman World Championship, with over 2,100 athletes registered to compete.

When: The race starts on Saturday, October 14th at 6:25 AM local time (9:25 am EST, 18:25 CET, 2:25 am AEDT)

How to watch: You can watch the live broadcast for free on Ironman’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Pro prize: The total prize purse for the event is USD $750,000,

  • 🥇 $125,000

  • 🥈 $65,000

  • 🥉 $45,000

Race favorites: Chelsea Sodaro (USA), Anne Haug (GER), Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR), Daniela Ryf (SUI), Taylor Knibb (USA), and Laura Phillip (GER).

Race preview: For an in-depth analysis of the athletes, check out the race preview from Klemen Suligoj.

Tempo’s take: Last year’s surprise winner, Chelsea Sodaro comes in with seemingly less hype than a typical champion would. And there is a pretty interesting reason why,

Taylor Knibb.

The addition of the Olympic medalist, and 70.3 World Champion provides incredible firepower to the race that could see her blowing up the competition on the bike. Only an athlete like Lucy Charles-Barclay will benefit from having Knibb in the race, as they could potentially work together to grow the deficit against the stronger runners.

  • Haug and Phillip were on the backfoot last year as Sodaro was clearly ahead out of the water. They will need to keep her in their sights if they want any chance of winning.

  • And what about the legend, Daniela Ryf? Will we get another wire-to-wire win? Or has the game changed too much?

Our pick for the win? Chelsea Sodaro. After her? It’s anybody’s guess.

Saturday can’t come soon enough!


🍕 Frodeno’s food: One of the greatest triathletes of all time, Jan Frodeno, was known to be meticulous about his diet. Special pre-race overnight oats, a day’s worth of carbs equal to 16 cups of rice, and more. This profile spills the nutrition secrets of the multiple-time Ironman champion. [GQ]

If you like that nutrition story, you’ll love out

👏 Champion volunteer: So, how does Kona actually work if you’re a volunteer? It’s not too complicated, as evidenced in this super interesting Reddit thread. [Reddit]

🤸 Activation station: We all know we SHOULD be warmed up well before training, especially before a quality workout. Here’s a tip on what the best athletes are doing…muscle activation! Among other benefits, proper muscle activation will help you prevent injury. [Fleet Feet]

🦈 Cutthroat racing: This isn’t your typical pro triathlete YouTube race recap, and that’s a good thing. Check out this unique race recap from Loren Nelson on his recent outing at Ironman 70.3 Michigan, with tons of great insight on the intense and cutthroat nature of pro racing. [Loren Nelson]


It’s getting close to that time of year for a lot of triathletes! 💪💪💪


Ironman Launches New Professional Series for 2024


What is it: Yesterday, against the backdrop of the women’s Ironman World Championship in Kona, Ironman announced it would be launching a new professional series for 2024.

  • The series will be made up of 18 Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events.

  • Athletes will accrue points from the first series race at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside, until the last event at Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Taupo.

How it works: The Ironman Pro Series is a points-based system that runs in parallel to the regular Ironman and Ironman 70.3 race calendar.

  • Each athlete has five races that count towards their final score, with a maximum of three being full Ironman’s.

  • Athletes can earn 6,000 points for winning the Ironman World Championships and 5,000 points for winning a standard Ironman.

  • An Ironman 70.3 World Championship win will net 3,000 points, while a standard 70.3 win will result in 2,500 points.

  • Athletes will collect points based on their finish position.

  • Every second an athlete finishes behind the winner, they will lose 1 point.

  • All professional athletes will be allowed to compete in series races, and there are no caps on field sizes.

The big prize: Ironman understands money talks, and they’re hoping pro triathletes will listen. Athletes will battle over the course of the series for the USD $1.7 million dollar bonus pool ($850,000 for each gender).

  • The prize for the first in the series is a cool $200,000 dollars 🤑🤑🤑

  • 1st through 10th overall in the series will be paid uniquely, while 11th-50th overall will be paid $5,000 in what Ironman is calling “travel financial assistance.”

Reading between the lines: Is Ironman saying something about how it allocates points? It clearly wants athletes to race full-distance events.

  • An athlete who finishes 42(!!!) minutes behind an Ironman winner will receive the same amount of points as someone who wins a 70.3 event.

Tempo’s take: This was a massive announcement from Ironman on the eve of the World Championships. Was it in the works for a while? Or is this a direct result of the Professional Triathletes Organization’s rival professional triathlon series?

  • According to Ironman CEO Andrew Messick, when they looked at the behavior of their professional athletes, they found they weren’t racing with them as much as Ironman wanted to.

  • Spoiler alert…the athletes were racing in the better-funded PTO series instead!

Our early thought was that Ironman was trying to stick the dagger into a potentially weak PTO. By creating a rival series, Ironman will draw high-exposure pros that the PTO desperately needs to legitimize their races.

  • But with Ironman heavily focusing on full-distance races, it actually clears the lane a bit more for the PTO to claim the best middle-distance professional athletes.

  • So is Ironman actually playing nice with a competitor? Hah! Probably not…

  • Ultimately the PTO should be commended for putting the pressure on Ironman to bring more money into the sport for pros.

The intrigue this announcement brings to the pro side of the sport is incredible. Surely it’s time for triathlon’s version of “Drive to Survive?'“ Do we know anyone at Netflix?

Is this new series good for the sport?

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Kona vibes: “A straight highway with smoking bitumen” is how Vannetaise triathlete Alizée Kervevan describes the bike course at this weekend’s Ironman World Championships. Her training regimen was intense and included running in the heat of the day. [Ouest France]

7 Ironman’s 7 continents: This Vancouver man aims to be the first person to do just that. That’s right, he’ll be doing an Ironman on Antarctica 🤯🤯🤯 [Globalt]

Brazil rising: Brazilian Olympians like Manoel Messias and Vittoria Lopes will be looking for hometown support as they compete this weekend at the World Triathlon World Cup in Brasilia, the first World Cup hosted in Brazil in 19 years. [World Triathlon]

NCAA action: The NCAA West Region qualifier is this weekend in Springfield, Missouri. It will be a final tune-up for athletes ahead of the upcoming NCAA Championships. [The Sun Devils]

Inspiring Sarah: Sarah Wittingham is gearing up for the biggest race of her life, this weekend’s Ironman World Championships. The race is never easy for any competitor, but she’ll be attempting to become the first athlete with Parkinson’s to complete the race. [Cleveland Clinic]


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