Winegarner wins age group at Ironman

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.

Other highlights:

• 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.


Anchorage Daily News