Regardless of what place anyone finished in, history was going to be made on Saturday at the Ironman World Championships in St. George, Utah, as it was the first time the event was held outside of Hawaii.
Kristian Blummenfeld made sure two items of history occurred.
The Norwegian was the first person to cross the finish line Saturday, finishing with a time of 7:49:16 and in the process became the first person ever to win an Olympic gold medal and Ironman within a year of each other after he won at the Summer Games in Tokyo last July.
The 28-year-old Blummenfeld won by almost exactly five minutes on Saturday, by far a larger separation than anyone else in the top 10 from their next closest finisher.
Canada’s Lionel Sanders (7:54:03) edged out New Zealand’s Braden Currie (7:54:19) for second.
On the women’s side, Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf continued her dominance of the sport by winning her sixth world championship with a time of 8:34:59.
Great Britain’s Kat Matthews (8:43:49) and Germany’s Anne Haug (8:47:03) finished second and third, respectively.
Americans took in fourth on both the men’s and women’s sides, with Chris Leiferman finishing in 7:57:51 on the men’s side and Utahn Skye Moench finishing in 8:55:21 on the women’s side.
Saturday’s event — which was officially titled the 2021 iteration — was held outside of Hawaii for the first time ever because of pandemic-related uncertainty in Hawaii, but the 2022 iteration will take place in October in Hawaii.