Gray and Steinberg win Ultraman World Championship

Rob Gray moved up a spot from last year and won a close race over Jeremy Howard, while Steffi Steinberg dominated the women's race at the Ultraman World Championship in Hawaii.

| November 29, 2017 | NEWS

Steffi Steinberg dominated the Ultraman World Championship, winning the women\'s race by over four hours and finishing ninth overall.

Steffi Steinberg dominated the Ultraman World Championship, winning the women's race by over four hours and finishing ninth overall.

Photo >Bob Babbitt/ Babbittville.com

Just six minutes separated the first two men, Rob Gray (USA) and Jeremy Howard (USA), at this year's Ultraman World Championship, while the women's race was dominated by Steffi Steinberg.

Gray hangs on for the win

Rob Gray was second at last year's race and came perilously close to finding himself in that spot again this year after Jeremy Howard's huge double-marathon effort. Gray trailed Howard after the Day 1's 6.2 mile (10 km) swim, but was much stronger on the day's 90-mile (145 km) bike and moved ahead to hold first place at the end of the first day of racing.

Day 2 featured a 171.4 mile (276 km) bike, which saw Gray pad his lead to over 40 minutes on Howard, but he was only 10 minutes up on Arnaud Selukov going into Day 3's double marathon (52.4 miles/ 84.4 km). Howard dominated the run with a 6:24:17, but came up just a few minutes short of taking the title from Gray, who hung tough for a total time of 22:19:48 - Howard's final time was 22:25:16. Selukov finished third in 23:17:51, while the age-less Canadian Tony O'Keefe - he's 56 - took fourth in 23:42:59. 

Steinberg dominates

Jessica Deree led the swim on Day 1, but Germany's Steffi Steinberg didn't take long to move to the front of the race - from there she never looked back. By the end of Day 1 she was 65 minutes up on Deree and the gap would just keep growing from there. By the end of Day 2's bike ride Steinberg's lead was up to just under three hours over Meredith Terranova, who held a lead of just over a minute on 51-year-old Fiona Siemelink.

The final day saw Steinberg continue her domination of the event as she posted a 7:47 run split and opened her gap to over four hours on the rest of the women, finishing in 26:02:27. Amy Craft used an 8:15:15 run split to work herself to second place, finishing in 30:37:09, while Siemelink did the masters crew proud by rounding out the top three, finishing in 30:45:15.

Rob Gray hangs tough for a six-minute win at the 2017 Ultraman World Championship.

Rob Gray hangs tough for a six-minute win at the 2017 Ultraman World Championship.

Photo >Bob Babbitt