While Kailua-Kona’s Brenda Avery was the first to cross the finish line Saturday at the VinFast Ironman World Championship, her overall ranking among Hawai‘i Island’s competitors was third.
Eleven Big Island triathletes were among the 2,039 women who competed in the first all-women’s championship race held in Kona. Starting with the 2.4-mile swim in Kailua Bay, the athletes battled the heat during the 112-mile bike ride from Kona to Hawī and back only to head out again for the 26.2-mile run.
At the start, the women were divided up into age groups and began the grueling course at different times.
The first Big Island triathlete with the fastest time was Laura Birse, 45, of Hilo. She ranked 50th out of 332 in her age group and 513th overall.
Birse’s finish time was 11 hours, 32 minutes, 26 seconds. She crossed the finish line minutes after Avery.
Birse had a 1:13:11 swim, 5:33:04 bike and 4:36:48 marathon.
Melissa Schad of Papa‘aloa also competed in the race. She was not included in previous local triathlete lists as an oversight. Out of all the Big Island competitors, she had the second-fasted time of 11:52:43, two minutes faster than Avery.
Schad ranked 86th in the 45-49 women’s division and 691 overall. Her swim was 1:09:27, her bike ride was 5:39:53 and her marathon was 4:53:40.
Fifty-eight-year-old Avery ranked 20th out of 223 women in her age group and 707 overall. She completed the race in 11 hours, 54 minutes, 3 seconds. Her swim was 1:00:55, her bike ride was 5:45:08 and her marathon was 4:55:18.
Skye Ombac, 27, of Hilo, crossed the finish line in 12 hours, 23 minutes, 40 seconds. This was her second Ironman Championship and she beat her goal this year to complete the race in under 13 hours.
Ombac ranked 96th out of 123 in her age group and 943 overall. She had a swim of 1:19:17 and bike ride of 6:18:34 and a marathon of 4:32:44.
Lynn Mattix, 42, of Kailua-Kona, finished the race at 12 hours, 53 minutes, 54 seconds. She ranked 216th out of 324 in her age group and 1,171 overall. This was Mattix’s first Ironman Championship and was selected through a lottery system.
Mattix had a 1:26:45 swim, a 6:17:10 bike ride and a 4:59:00 marathon.
Carleigh Rittel, 35, of Kailua-Kona, crossed the finish line in 13 hours, 43 minutes, 58 seconds. She ranked 224th out of 263 in her age group and 1,500 overall.
Rittel had a swim of 1:30:21, a bike ride of 6:37:35 and a marathon of 5:20:30.
Esra Lynch, 55, of Kamuela, ranked 138th out of 223 in her age group. She crossed the finish line at 14 hours, 5 minutes, 53 seconds. She ranked 1,617 overall.
Lynch had a 1:28:14 swim, a 7:32:36 bike ride and a 4:48:11 marathon.
Monica Price, 51, of Kailua-Kona, finished the race at 14 hours, 32 minutes, 24 seconds. She ranked 231st out of 297 in her age group and 1,716 overall.
Price had a 1:20:12 swim, a bike ride of 6:52:08 and a marathon of 6:03:38.
Brenda Bettencourt, 64, of Kailua-Kona, beat her time last year by an hour finishing the triathlon in 15 hours, 22 minutes, 9 seconds. She placed 16th out of 37 for her age group and ranked 1,873 overall.
Bettencourt’s swim was 1:21:10, her bike was 7:13:55 and her marathon time was 6:28:13.
Greta Friesen, 36, of Hōnaunau, finished the race at 16 hours, 44 minutes, 28 seconds, one hour later than last year. A week before the race, Friesen said she was recovering from COVID-19 and considered it a victory if she crossed the finish line.
The 36-year-old ranked 263rd in her age group and 2,021 overall. Her swim was timed at 1:29:21, her bike at 8:19:31 and her marathon at 6:31:15.
Sonja Correa, 44, of Kailua-Kona, didn’t cross the finish line. She completed the swim at 1:50:09 but didn’t make it to the bike and run portion of the race.
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