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Russell Places 17th In Day Of Records At Ironman Worlds

BY DAVE SHEA

Lisbon native Matt Russell placed 17th overall in a record-setting day the 2019 Ironman World Championships at Kona, Hawaii on Oct. 12.

Russell placed 17th in 8:22:18 and continued his strong showing against the world's elite in the sport. Last year he placed sixth in 8:04:45 in a spectacular showing after recovering from a horrendous accident on the course in 217.

On Oct. 12 Russell stood 32nd after a 52:23 swim, pedaled the 10th fasted time in 4:17:25 and ranked 17th in the marathon run in 3:07:22.

"The day started out well with a great swim in 52 minutes. The bike was going very well and I was able to catch the main chase group consisting of Cameron Wurf, Sebastian Kienle, Lionel Sanders, etc. Right before turning onto the Queen K (about 35 miles left) I had mechanical gearing issues that cost me a couple minutes and I ended up riding solo the whole way back. By the time I got to the run, I didn't have my normal low 2:50 run legs. I reminded myself that this race is a celebration of the gift of life and it made me smile on the run regardless of not having the day that I wanted. I had a very emotional happy finish in 17th place. Compared to 2017, this is a very good day as I have lots to celebrate with my family. Thank you all for the support!," tweeted Russell after the race.

Jan Frodeno registered an an astonishing course record time of 7:51:13 to win his third World Championship. Fellow German Sebastian Kienle rounded out the podium in third.

Germany as celebrated a women's winner in Anne Haug taking first world title. Lucy Charles-Barclay of Great Britain came in second, while Australia’s Sarah Crowley got the bronze.

It was also an unforgettable day for the U.S. as Tim O’Donnell (Boulder, Colo.) broke the eight-hour mark for the first time in his career in Kona, crossing the finish line in 7 hours, 59 minutes, 40 seconds to set an American course record and finish second overall.

It’s the second time O’Donnell gained a podium place.

Russell was the fifth American finisher following O'Donnell, Ben Hoffman third, Chris Leiferman 10th and Andy Potts 14th. Potts finished in 8:19:30 and two other triathletes were ahead of Russell in a close group: Dan Beakeguard of Holland in 8:19:38 and Tim VanBerkel of Australia in 8:20.16.

American Heather Jackson (Bend, Ore.) had a great race on her way to fifth place, finishing in 8:54:44 as the top U.S. woman.


Matt Russell shares a championship at Lake Placid in July with his family. (Adirondack Daily Enterprise Photo)

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