After winning the gold medal in Tokyo last summer, Blummenfelt turned his attention to the longer Ironman distance. With the Ironman World Championships postponed the past two years due to the pandemic, he began to focus on the May 7 event in St. George, Utah, the first time the race has been held outside of Hawaii since its debut in 1978.
Blummenfelt began training for the Ironman Worlds last fall. In November, he entered his first full-distance Ironman event in Cozumel, Mexico, and won the race with a record-breaking time.
In addition to adjusting his training regimen following his Olympic victory, Blummenfelt also began working with CADEX on a prototype, purpose-built triathlon bike built up with a prototype CADEX Aero WheelSystem. The Ironman race in Utah was the first time he raced with it.
The St. George course was a very different challenge than the usual Ironman Worlds course in Kona. The hilly bike leg featured more than 7000 feet of elevation gain, and the run had 1400 feet of vertical gain.
Blummenfelt came out of the 2.4-mile swim at Sand Hollow about two minutes behind a five-man lead group. Late in the 112-mile bike leg, he began closing in on the leaders with his prototype bike. He hit the 26.2-mile run 4:26 behind a lead group of five, and that’s when he began to pour it on.
By the midway point, Blummenfelt had closed to within two minutes of the race leader Braden Currie of New Zealand. He continued to charge forward with times that were around 20 seconds faster per mile than the racers ahead of him. The Olympic champ caught and passed Currie with about 9 miles to go, and never looked back.
Blummenfelt continued to burn up the run the rest of the way, posting a finishing time of 7:49:16. Canadian Lionel Sanders finished second, nearly 5 minutes back, followed by Currie in third.
Next up for Blummenfelt is the Sub7 project in early June, an attempt to break the 7-hour mark in the Ironman distance for the first time ever. To learn more about it, click here.