Dark horse Chelsea Sodaro surprises the world as she wins Ironman Hawaii 2022, race favorites struggle

(Photo: Livestream)

Some may have had her in the back of their mind a little, but she was mostly flying under the radar: America’s Chelsea Sodaro just surprised all triathlon fans by running to the win of the 2022 Ironman World Championship on Hawaii. In what was only her second-ever Long Distance race, and therefor also her Kona debut, Sodaro celebrated a big victory. She attacked on the run, slowly moved up, and then didn’t let anyone get in her way anymore. She out raced experienced athletes like Daniela Ryf, Lucy Charles, and Anne Haug, who all stood no chance against this impressive athlete. Sodaro crossed the finish line after 8:33:46 hours.

It came as no surprise to see Lucy Charles lead during the swim part. After 50:57 minutes she was the first woman out of the water and 41 seconds ahead of a little group of four: Lauren Brandon, Pamella Oliveira, Rebecca Clarke and Fenella Langridge. It was the latter who moved to the front during the bike part and joined Charles.

Only after 170 km, Daniela Ryf – who was 7 minutes behind after the swim – had bridged the gap and moved past Charles and Langridge. She ended up creating a little buffer for the marathon before entering T2.

During the bike discipline, it was raining penalties. Laura Philipp was one of the athletes to receive a five-minute penalty, just like Lisa Norden, Rebecca Clarke, Jocelyn McCauley and Sarah Crowley.

On the run, the positions soon shuffled. Charles took over from Ryf and led the race for a little while. Sodaro was running in fifth place at a distance of three minutes behind Charles at this point, but she ran an impressive pace and therefor started to move up. 12K into the race, she flew past Charles. For a while it seemed like Anne Haug could be a threat from behind, but Sodaro showed to be able to run a steady marathon, while Haug had to drop the pace slightly. Sodaro ended up winning in 8:33:46 hours. Charles took second and Haug finished in 3rd place.

You can read a full and detailed race report here.