As a triathlete myself, I truly enjoyed the research for this article. I watched many of those performances, and I am really curious to know who will beat those next.
This blog post covers all Ironman-branded races. Please note that there are currently no official world records in triathlon. So, as I did for the Half Ironman records (link to my article), I will use the terms “fastest time” or simply “record”.
FASTEST IRONMAN TIME – MEN
|1.||7:21:12||Kristian Blummenfelt||2021||IM Cozumel|
|2.||7:36:35||Ruedi Wild||2021||IM Cozumel|
|3.||7:38:48||Alistair Brownlee||2022||IM Kalmar-Sweden|
The end of 2021 was really exciting for long-distance triathlons. Within 2 weeks, the two short-course Norwegian stars Gustav Iden and Kristian Blummenfelt (who is “only” the Olympic gold medalist), were expected to make their triathlon debut on the Ironman distance. To say the least, they didn’t disappoint us:
Gustav Iden won IM Florida with a 7:42:57, and Kristian Blummenfelt set the fastest Ironman time ever recorded, a 7:21:12 in Cozumel. To put that performance into perspective, here are his splits:
- 39:41 swim (1:03 min/100m) down-current swim
- 4:02:40 bike (27.7 mph or 44.5 km/h)
- 2:35:24 run (5:56 min/mi or 3:41 min/km)
He goes through this particular day on the Youtube video below. I can’t recommend it enough:
If we also look outside the Ironman branded events, Magnus Ditlev would hold the second-fastest time with 7:24:40 in Challenge Roth 2023. Here are his splits:
- 46:47 swim (1:14 min/100m)
- 3:57:45 bike (28.3 mph or 45.4 km/h)
- 2:37:09 run (6:00 min/mi or 3:43 min/km)
FASTEST IRONMAN TIME – WOMEN
|1.||8:18:20||Laura Philipp||2022||IM Hamburg|
|2.||8:22:41||Sara Svensk||2021||IM Cozumel|
|3.||8:26:18||Daniela Ryf||2018||IM Kona|
During the IM Hamburg 2022, Laura Philipp set the fastest Ironman time 8:18:20 with a 54:39 swim (1:26 min/100m), 4:31:14 bike (24.8 mph or 39.8 km/h), and 2:45:39 run (6:19 min/mi or 3:56 min/km).
Looking not only at the Ironman branded events, Daniela Ryf has the “world record” on the distance. In 2023, she finished Challenge Roth with a time of 8:08:21.
Looking at her splits, she had an incredible bike performance:
- 50:15 swim (1:19 min/100m)
- 4:22:56 bike (25.6 mph or 41.1 km/h)
- 2:51:55 run (6:34 min/mi or 4:04 min/km)
FASTEST SWIM TIME DURING AN IRONMAN
It is incredibly difficult to compare Ironman swim times. When I analyzed the average swim time per age group (link to my article), I needed to consider whether or not the wetsuits were allowed and also which type of course it was (river, lake, ocean).
I could make a ranking for each of those categories, but frankly speaking, most triathletes are only interested in the fastest one. So here you go:
The fastest Ironman swim time for both men and women was recorded at Ironman Chattanooga in 2014 with a down-current swim. For the men, Barrett Brandon needed 38:06, which translates to a pace of 1 min/100m. On the women’s field, Anna Cleaver needed 39:56 (1:03/100m).
FASTEST BIKE TIME DURING AN IRONMAN
Andrew Starykowicz holds the fastest Ironman time on the bike with a time of 3:54:59 (28.6 mph or 46 km/h), and Jen Annett with a time of 4:25:10 (25.3 mph or 40.7 km/h) in Ironman Texas 2018.
It is worth mentioning that the bike course was slightly shortened (roughly 2 miles), so the average should be slightly lower. However, Ironman still considered the course to conform enough to recognize the fastest times.
FASTEST RUN TIME DURING AN IRONMAN
On the men’s field, the fastest Ironman run time is held by Patrick Lange with a time of 2:30:32 (5:45 min/mi or 3:34 min/km) in Ironman Israel in 2022.
On the women’s field, the fastest Ironman run time is held by Kristin Moeller with a time of 2:41:57 (6:11 min/mi or 3:50 min/km) in Ironman UK in 2011.
I can’t wait to see how the next Ironman races will unfold.
If you are interested in learning more about the times of amateur triathletes, have a look at this article: Average Ironman Time Per Age Group And Gender