Follow us on: facebook icon twitter_icon Instagram you tube icon

 > Home Page > About > Latest News > Tough Return to 70.3 World Championships in Utah for Aussie Pros

Tough Return to 70.3 World Championships in Utah for Aussie Pros

Tough Return to 70.3 World Championships in Utah for Aussie Pros

Two years on since the last IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in 2019, Australia’s Sam Appleton, Joe Gambles, Tim Rea, Tim Reed, Ellie Salthouse and Grace Thek raced in stacked professional fields of over 100 world-class triathletes.

Featuring a stunning backdrop and unexpected weather, the Land of Endurance lived up to its reputation; and it was defending champion Gustav Iden (NOR) who topped the podium after an impressive 3:37:13 and Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) who dominated the women’s race to secure her first world championship title, confidently crossing the finish line in 4:00:20.

Professional Men’s: Following his quick rise and stunning 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship win as a seemingly unknown challenger, Norwegian professional Gustav Iden crossed yesterday’s finish line with an unrivaled race that has cemented him as a force for others to catch. Coming out of the swim pack in 17th, Iden made up lost time by battling it back on the bike, passing fellow athletes early on. Even though heavy showers and hail poured down on athletes for a portion of the run, Iden remained undeterred and unstoppable, crossing in 3:37:13, nearly four minutes ahead of second place athlete Sam Long. The podium rounded out with an impressive performance by Daniel Baekkegard (DEN), who finished in 3:42:24.

Sam Appleton challenged early, the top placed Australian came out of the water second with the lead group, keeping in contention on the bike, and finishing just inside the top 10 men in ninth position, followed by experienced campaigner Joe Gambles (14th), Tim Rea (30th) and 2016 Champion Tim Reed (DNF) over a tough and brutal course.


Sam Appleton | Swim 23:50 / Bike 2:02:40 / Run 1:16:33 // Finish 3:45:18

Joe Gambles | Swim 25:32 / Bike 2:07:09 / Run 1:15:28 // Finish 3:50:16

Tim Rea | Swim 25:34 / Bike 2:17:08 / Run 1:23:13  // Finish 4:08:20

Tim Reed (DNF)

Professional Women’s:
From the firing of the start cannon to the finish line tape, Lucy Charles-Barclay dominated the women’s professional field with prowess and a determination to win that wouldn’t be denied. Charles-Barclay put together a stellar race that was years in the making after one second-place IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship (2018) and three second-place IRONMAN World Championship (2017, 2018, 2019) finishes. Crossing the finish line on Main Street in 4:00:20, Charles-Barclay soaked in the roar of the crowd, leading to tears of joy as she embraced her husband, Reese, and realised her goal of an IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title. South African Jeanni Metzler had an impressive day of her own, running her way into a second-place finish with a time of 4:08:39. Meanwhile, Taylor Knibb in only her second ever IRONMAN 70.3 finished the world championship in third just 11 seconds behind Metzler.

A heartbroken Ellie Salthouse didn’t have the race she hoped for finishing in 14th overall, with Melbournian and LA based Grace Thek not far behind in 16th - improving one place on her 2019 Ironman 70.3 world championship finish, and both Aussies, already setting their sights on 2022.


Ellie Salthouse | Swim 27:05 / Bike 2:21:01 / Run 1:30:54 // Finish 4:21:12

Grace Thek | Swim 27:23 / Bike 2:29:40 / Run 1:25:35 // Finish 4:24:56

Joining the Australian contingent in St George, Utah was Tokyo Paralympian and Silver medalist Lauren Parker, who can add 2021 champion to her list of accolades after her first 70.3 world championships. It was a race that will be long-remembered as one of her hardest ever – with her feet in bandages from burns she sustained in an unbelievable week leading into the event, Parker crossed the finish line in an agonising 7 hours 54 minutes and 53 seconds (read more on Lauren’s dramatic IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship).

Competitors endured a 1.2-mile (1.9km) ROKA Swim Course in the Sand Hollow Reservoir in Hurricane, Utah, followed by a 56-mile (91.3km) Ventum Bike Course with 3,442 feet (1,049 meters) of elevation gain and an unforgettable climb into Snow Canyon State Park. The event was capped off with the two-loop, 13.1-mile (21.2km) HOKA ONE ONE Run Course through Red Hills Parkway and saw athletes finish in historic downtown St. George, Utah.

In 2022, the event returns to the spectacular Red Rocks of St. George, Utah in the United States with a two-day event on October 28-29, before shifting to Lahti, Finland on August 26-27 for the 2023 edition.