American Ben Hoffman and Finnish athlete Kaisa Lehtonen dominated the Ironman South Africa triathlon in Port Elizabeth on Sunday, securing victory in the men’s and women’s categories.
Hoffman, a former Ironman World Championships silver medalist, covered the grueling distance – including a 3.8km swim, a 180km bike ride and a 42km run – in 8:12:37.
Australian Tim van Berkel took second position in 8:14:51, a little more than two minutes off the pace in a tightly-fought contest.
Matt Trautman was the first South African home, earning fourth spot in 8:19:25, just 33 seconds outside a podium place. It was the third year in a row he finished among the top five at the event, which incorporated the African Championships.
Lehtonen won the elite women’s race in 9:06:50, nearly three minutes ahead of Great Britain’s Susie Cheetham (9:09:49).
Annah Watkinson was the first local woman to finish, taking eighth place in 9:44:11.