Gustav Iden’s incredible rookie Ironman performance in Florida all but guarantees the Norwegian the PTO #1 bonus of $100,000.

Already sitting as the PTO’s world #1 going into Ironman Florida, Gustav Iden put in an astonishing performance in his first iron-distance test. The two-time 70.3 world champ proved he’s just as adept at racing for 140.6 miles, coming third out the water, setting the fourth quickest bike time and then going on to set a new fastest-ever Ironman marathon time of 2:34:50. 

That saw the 25-year-old come home in 7:42:56 – also a record for a first-time Ironman performance and a new course record for IM Florida. Had the swim not been slow due to challenging, choppy conditions, the Norwegian may well have threatened Jan Frodeno’s time of 7:35 from Challenge Roth, the German star’s best in a regular race.

With the PTO’s AIT (Adjusted Ideal Time) for the race set at 07:48:05 – slower than Joe Skipper’s 2019 course record of 7:46:28 to take the day’s conditions into account – Iden’s performance saw him net 107.23 PTO World Ranking Points. It’s the second-largest points haul in a full-distance event in 2021 behind two-time Kona winner Patrick Lange’s massive win at Ironman Tulsa earlier this year.

Gustav Iden winning Ironman Florida 2021
Gustav Iden’s first Ironman victory signals his incredible long-course pedigree. (Photo: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Iden now sits atop the leaderboard with a virtually unassailable average of 109.62 points, comprising his Ironman Florida tally along with his 70.3 world champs win (110.18 points) and his dominating Collins Cup performance (111.34 points). That puts Iden in line to scoop a $100,000 bonus from the PTO’s $2million end-of-year pool.

Previous world #1 and current world #2 Jan Frodeno was the only athlete who had a chance to knock Iden off the top spot with one of the races making up his average, Challenge Gran Canaria, contributing only 88.10 points. Frodeno was set to go head to head with Iden at Ironman California, but that race had to be cancelled due to a huge storm.

Frodeno has indicated that he might race again before the end of 2021 at Ironman South Africa on 21 November. To reclaim his #1 spot, the German will need to score 108.52 or more world ranking points. It’s quite a task, but if anyone is up for it, it would be the iron-distance world record holder!

Lionel Sanders also put in a stellar performance in Florida, his second place in 7:48:49, giving him enough points to move up the rankings from sixth to third. Meanwhile, it looks like the final women’s top spot will be decided at Clash Daytona on 4 December, where we’ll get to see world #1 Lucy Charles-Barclay go up against #3 Laura Phillip and reigning Ironman World Champion,#5 Anne Haug, all of whom are in with a shot at taking the world #1 position and claiming that $100,000 bonus.

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Triathlon Vibe is the home of triathlon training advice for beginner to expert triathletes. From sprint to Ironman, we share how to swim, bike and run stronger and faster.


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