Carfrae takes second at Hawaiian Ironman
Photo Source: EPA
Australian triathlon great Mirinda Carfrae admits she and her coach must go back to the drawing board after Daniel Ryf's crushing Hawaiian Ironman win.
It was a bittersweet race on Sunday (AEDT) for Carfrae, who returned to the podium with second place after last year's disaster.
The three-time champion is the only Australian to have finished in the top three at Hawaii seven times.
But Ryf destroyed Carfrae's race record, with the Swiss star successfully defending her title in a time of eight hours 46 minutes 46 seconds.
Carfrae had set the previous mark of 8:52.14 in 2013 when she won for the second time.
The Australian used her trademark blazing run speed to work through the field after starting the last leg of the event outside the top 10.
But unusually, Ryf had a faster run split than Carfrae and the Swiss still looked fresh at the finish.
"She (Ryf) is a class act, all-round ... it was very impressive racing," Carfae told AAP.
"It leaves me thinking I have a lot of work to do.
"I don't even know if 'at my best' right now is enough."
Carfrae suffered through a 30-mile bad patch on the bike when she cramped, but the Australian doubted a flawless race would have been enough to beat Ryf.
She finished the 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km marathon race in 9:10:30, a whopping 23 minutes 44 seconds behind Ryf.
The Swiss ran a 2:56:31 marathon split, more than a minute faster than Carfrae.
Carfrae did not finish last year's race, thanks to injuries she suffered three days beforehand when a car knocked the Australian off her bike.
An Australian has finished on the podium at Hawaii in every race since 2004.
Carrie Lester also had a breakthrough race, finishing 10th.
She and Carfrae were the only Australian top-10 finishers.
Jan Frodeno led a German podium sweep in the men's race when he successfully defended his title.
The husband of Australian triathlon great Emma Frodeno (nee Snowsill) broke away from Sebastian Kienle on the run and won in 8:06:30.
Kienle was second and Patrick Lange was the bolter among the top finishers, breaking one of the Hawaiian Ironman's most famous records with his third place.
Lange ran into third place with his marathon split of 2:39:45.
That eclipsed the mark of 2:40:04 that triathlon legend Mark Allen set in winning his famous 1989 Iron War with fellow six-time winner Dave Scott.
Tim Van Berkel, a former top-10 finisher at Hawaii, was the best-placed Australian in the men's race with 19th.
Carfrae's American husband Tim O'Donnell was sixth.
Less than two years after ending his AFL career, former West Coast hard man Beau Waters made a stunning debut at Hawaii as an age grouper with his 10:14 finish.