Zell am See-Kaprun welcomed a first-class field of professional starters to the 10th edition of IRONMAN 70.3 on 28 August 2022. The best of the scene battled it out for the title despite the rainy weather. German Frederic Funk once again proved that he is one of the best triathletes in the world and secured first place. In the women's race, Britain's Emma Pallant-Browne lived up to her role as favourite and prevailed over her rivals after a contested race.
Zell am See-Kaprun once again became a hotspot for the world's sporting elite. With its glacier, mountains and lake, Zell am See-Kaprun has been one of the most popular triathlon destinations in the world since it hosted the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in 2015, and was the venue for this first-class sporting event for the 10th time on 28 August 2022.
SPORTY HIGHLIGHTS - FUNK COMPELLING FROM THE HALFWAY POINT OF THE RACE ONWARDS
In the professional men's field, the trio around the two Germans Hannes Butters and Magnus Männer as well as the Swiss Sven Thalmann pulled away early and gained more than one and a half minutes on the first chasers by the time they finished swimming. The nine-strong chase group also included co-favourites Frederic Funk and defending champion Jan Stratmann, as well as Gregory Barnaby (IT) and Lukas Kocar (CZ). The quartet quickly made up time on the leading trio on the cycling course, and almost completely closed the gap by the 15th kilometre mark before they could finally pull away from the strong swimmers. Funk secured the lead early on after an overtaking manoeuvre, but the quartet remained within striking distance until kilometre 60. From then on, Funk was able to increase the pace again, gaining a lead of 2:00 minutes until the second change. Behind Funk, defending champions Stratmann & Barnaby started the run together. While Barnaby was able to distance himself from the German, he was also steadily gaining time on the leader Funk. The latter, however, ran consistently over the entire 21.1 kilometres and secured first place after 3:50:24. Barnaby (+ 00:41) crossed the finish line in second place after a strong race, but his joy was short-lived - the Italian was subsequently disqualified for crossing the centre line on the descent from the Filzen Saddle.
STRONG HOLLAUS CROWNED NATIONAL CHAMPION AND COMPLETES THE WINNERS‘ PODIUM
Local hero Lukas Hollaus came out of the water together with Andreas Dreitz, 2:15 behind the leaders - followed by IRONMAN World Champion Sebastian Kienle. On the bike, however, Dreitz and Kienle played to their strengths and worked their way up score by score. Hollaus, for his part, was able to keep up with the two superstars, so the trio formed the second chase group with other athletes and started the run with just over four minutes ahead. During the run, Hollaus had the strongest legs and ranked an excellent fourth at the end - until the Italian Barnaby was disqualified. So, in the end Hollaus was able to celebrate twice and was rewarded for his world-class performance with third place.
PALLANT-BROWNE UNBEATABLE IN HER SPECIALITY EVENT
The top favourite took the lead on the running course right from the start and left no stone unturned with a pace of 3:46 minutes per kilometre. After 4:21:43 she crossed the finish line and secured first place at the 10th anniversary of IRONMAN 70.3 Zell am See-Kaprun. Grace Thek (AUS) also showed a strong running performance and crossed the finish line 1:24 minutes after Pallant, followed by the Italian Giorgia Priarone (+ 3:18).
DORNAUER SECURES NATIONAL CHAMPION TITLE
In the run-up to the race, Simone Kumhofer had often been mentioned as the favourite to win the national champion title, but Dornauer's strong performance on the bike put her in an excellent starting position. Although she could no longer keep up with the best towards the end of the race, she showed a solid running performance and finished the race in eighth place, which was tantamount to the national champion title. Kumhofer changed from the bike to the running shoes four minutes behind and made up time again, but could not close the gap. In the end she was the second-best Austrian.
COMEBACK OF THE SIDE EVENTS AT THE 10TH IRONMAN 70.3 IN ZELL AM SEE-KAPRUN
Just in time for the anniversary year, the event weekend could be enjoyed to the fullest again and all side events could take place. At the Iron Girl Run on Friday, the ladies mastered the course through the old town of Zell am See to the lake and back. Afterwards the party started with the Ö3 disco on the town square. On Saturday, it was time for the IRONKIDS to take part in the aquathlon at the lido in Zell am See. In addition, the IRONMAN Expo presented all the latest triathlon innovations to participants and spectators throughout the weekend. Tips & tricks could be exchanged and the latest sports fashion trends could be bought in a relaxed atmosphere.
Mag. Renate Ecker, Tourism Director Zell am See-Kaprun: "The 10th anniversary of IRONMAN 70.3 in Zell am See-Kaprun was a complete success. The athletes showed top performances and we are very happy about the 3rd place of local hero Lukas Hollaus, who also became Austrian national champion. We are also very happy that we were able to organise the event weekend again this year with all the side events such as the Iron Girl Run, the Ö3 Disco, the IRONKIDS competition and the EXPO. The unique atmosphere that prevails in Pinzgau at this time of year underlines the great importance of this event, which generates added value of around 4.5 million euros and approximately 22,000 overnight stays. A very special thank you goes to all the volunteers as well as the neighbouring communities; such an event would not be possible without them."
ALL RESULTS OF THE 10TH IRONMAN 70.3 ZELL AM SEE-KAPRUN 2022:
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(c) Zell am See-Kaprun Tourismus | Picture credits from left to right: Andreas Wimmreuter (Mayor of Zell am See), Gertraud Salzmann (Member of the National Council), Gregory Barnaby (ITA, disqualified), Frederic Funk (Winner IRONMAN 70.3), Jan Startmann (2nd place), Lisa Weddig (Managing Director Österreich Werbung), Maximilian Posch (Chairman TVB Zell am See), Christoph Berner (City Councillor & Deputy Chairman TVB Zell am See).