The American goes under eight hours for his best-ever result at the Ironman World Championships
After an injury-plagued year and competing in only his third race, Tim O’Donnell was ecstatic with his second-place finish at the 2019 Ironman World Championships in Kona Saturday.
O’Donnell grabbed a USA flag and draped it around his shoulders as he crossed the line – for the second year in a row he was the highest placed American – and although it was not the win he’s been chasing for years, after fighting through all the injuries and doubts, it certainly felt like it.
I am at a loss of words! A couple weeks ago I didn’t think I was going to be able to do this race.
German Jan Frodeno won in a record-breaking time of 7:51:13 with O’ Donnell the only other competitor to break the eight-hour mark, stopping the clock at 7:59:41. It was the fastest finish ever for an American at the Ironman World Championship.
O’Donnell came into T2 around 90 seconds behind Frodeno, but in the run, the lanky German put in a dominant performance to take the win by nearly eight and a half minutes.
It was apparent O’Donnell was racing, at most, for second place, but in an Ironman everything can change in an instant, and with O’Donnell recently recovered from a foot injury, the podium was never a sure thing.
He was feeling pressure from behind from German Sebastian Kienle, but O’Donnell never faltered, crossing the line over two minutes ahead. It was his 8th Ironman, and he achieved his best-ever finish and only second podium after a third in 2015.
Still over the moon with the 2nd place at the IRONMAN World Championships! Breaking 8 hours in Kona has always been a dream, and I can’t believe it is reality! Huge congrats to Jan Frodeno for the amazing record-breaking performance, and Sebastian Kienle for keeping me motivated on the run!