Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i provided the stage for a historic day in triathlon as it welcomed over 2,000 registered athletes to participate in the first-ever female-only race at the VinFast IRONMAN® World Championship triathlon.
Beginning in the crystal-clear waters of Kailua Bay, athletes that took part in the 2023 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship triathlon tackled the 2.4-mile (3.8km) ROKA swim course before heading out on the 112-mile (180.2km) FulGaz™ bike course, renowned for its historic long sustained climbs, strong crosswinds, and exposed terrain beauty with lava fields on one side and the ocean coastline on the other. The final leg of their race saw athletes take on the 26.2-mile (42.2km) HOKA run course, an out-and-back that took athletes past the spirited crowds on Ali`i Drive, up Palani Road to the Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway which lead them to the long-awaited HOST Park at the National Energy Laboratory Hawai`i Authority (NELHA). Athletes completed their journey to the roar of thousands of spectators as they crossed the historic Ali`i Drive finish line.
Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) quickly established a gap between the entire female professional field in the 2.4-mile ROKA Swim Course, as she made her intentions for the race known early on, posting the fastest swim split with a time of 49:36. She then led from start to finish through the 112-mile (180km) FULGAZ bike course, recording the fastest bike split at 4:32:29, all aiding her historic win, securing a course best IRONMAN World Championship time of 8:24:31. Lucy was met by husband, Reece, at the finish line for an emotional embrace.
The female professional field featured defending and past IRONMAN World Champions, as well as a host of IRONMAN winners creating for one of the deepest and most talented fields in race history.