Anchorage triathlete Jeni Winegarner won her age group Sunday at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
Winegarner, 55, claimed the championship in the women’s 55-59 age group in the world’s most famous triathlon.
She ranked fifth after the 2.4-mile swim but surged into the lead during the 112-mile bike and kept it during the marathon-length, 26.2-mile run.
Winegarner's total time: 10 hours, 33 minutes, 10 seconds, which ranked her 961st among all racers and 565th among all women. The race featured more than 2,100 participants.
Four other Alaskans also competed:
• Chelsea Ward-Waller of Anchorage placed fourth in the women’s 18-24 age group in 10:25:40, finishing 876th overall.
• Rebecca McKee of Anchorage placed 29th in the women’s 40-44 age group in 11:01:20, placing 1,207th overall.
• Klaus Wuttig of Fairbanks placed 87th in the men’s 45-49 age group in 10:15:31, 773rd overall.
• John Bursell of Juneau placed 120th in the men’s 45-49 age group in 10:35:22, 968th overall.
Winegarner’s effort marks the second straight year an Alaska triathlete has shined on the sport’s biggest stage. A year ago, Anchorage’s Shannon Donley placed fifth in the women’s 40-44 age group with a bike time that ranked fourth among all women except the pros.
Overall victories went to Belgium’s Frederick Van Lierde, who won his first world title in 8:12:29, and Australia’s Mirinda Carfrae, who won her second women’s title in a record-setting 8:54:14.
Carfrae’s time lowered the women’s Ironman record by nearly two minutes. Her effort included a women’s course-record 2:50:30 in the run, which was the day’s third-fastest marathon among men and women.
• Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey of Hell’s Kitchen fame finished his first Ironman in 14:04:48.
• Hines Ward, who won a Super Bowl MVP with the Pittsburg Steelers, finished in 13:08:09 in his Ironman debut, which came after he spent a year training with eight-time Ironman champ Paula Newby-Fraser.
• Canadian triathlete Milos Kostic won his seventh straight age-group title, this time winning the men’s 70-74 division.