Norwegian triathlete Kristian Blummenfelt already held the half IRONMAN record. This month, he claimed the IRONMAN world record for the full-distance race — competing in it for the first time.
On the afternoon of Sunday, Nov. 21, Kristian Blummenfelt cut the tape at the IRONMAN race in Cozumel, Mexico. After 140.6 combined miles of cycling, running, and swimming, the clock read 7:21:12. Blummenfelt had broken the world record for a full IRONMAN by more than 6 minutes.
As soon as his time registered, a celebration ensued. To many onlookers, though, the result didn’t come as a surprise. The Scandinavian already held the half IRONMAN record. He’d broken his own mark to claim it in 2019.
He’d also won gold in the triathlon at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics and first place in two 2021 World Triathlon Championship Series races.
Regardless, the 27-year-old faced significant challenges. Oppressive humidity in Cozumel appeared to promise slow times across the board — especially, it seemed, for Blummenfelt, who trains at home in Norway.
On top of that, he had never competed in a full IRONMAN before (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run).
World Record Splits: Blummenfelt’s Cozumel IRONMAN
Blummenfelt started the race with a solid down-current swim in the crystal-clear waters of Marina Fonatur, finishing in 39:41.
The following bike stage tackled seeping asphalt, slick from the humid air. On top of that, it was steep, with over 1,200 feet of elevation change. Blummenfelt dispatched it in 4:02:40, for an average speed of 26 mph.
Finally, he cranked out a 2:35:24 marathon in 80 degrees Fahrenheit air at 81% humidity to make history.
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Blummenfelt took the IRONMAN world record from Germany’s Jan Frodeno by 6 minutes, 41 seconds. Frodeno first set the record in 2016, then broke his mark in July.
Blummenfelt won the race by 15:12, ahead of Switzerland’s Ruedi Wild (who, for the record, finished with the world’s fourth-best time). Notably, the top 10 men all clocked times under 8 hours.
His next goal? Reportedly, he’ll try to break the iconic 7-hour mark in 2022. He will sit out the next sanctioned IRONMAN, though, which takes place Dec. 4-5 in Busselton, Western Australia, on the shore of the Indian Ocean.