Ben Hoffman of the U.S. won his third Ironman Africa Championship and Lucy Charles-Barclay of Great Britain won her second in a row at Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa.
On a day when rough surf conditions caused race organizers to cut the swim to half length, Hoffman overcame a 1:03 deficit to swim leader Josh Amberger of Australia with a second-fastest 4:24:25 bike split and a dominating 2:39:18 marathon to finish in 7:34:20 with a 5:53 margin of victory over 2014 race champion Nils Frommhold of Germany and 8:16 over Michael Weiss of Austria.
Hoffman battled Amberger and Germans Frommhold, Andreas Dreitz and Maurice Clavel until the last 25km of the bike leg where the American sprinted off to a 90 seconds advantage at T2. Frommhold, Dreitz and Amberger whittled Hoffman’s lead by a few seconds in the first 8km of the run before the U.S. star increased his pace and never relented.
The victory was Hoffman’s third at this venue after wins in 2016 and 2017.
Lucy Charles-Barclay fought a familiar early race duel with super swimmer-biker Lauren Brandon of the U.S. which was interrupted by German top biker Anja Ippach who wrested a 3:15 lead at the end of the bike leg. By 10 km of the run, Charles-Barclay took charge by a 48 seconds margin over Ippach and 3:39 over Brandon. After a women’s 3rd-best 2:59:33 marathon, Charles-Barclay finished in 8:35:32 with a 5:16 margin of victory over Gurutz Frades of Spain, who closed fast with a