On a windy and cold day in the Eastern Cape, Natascha Badmann takes the lead from her fellow countryman Simone Brandli at the 23km mark on the run to win by 5 minutes and 16 seconds, finishing at 9 hours 47 minutes and 10 seconds. Diana Riesler rounds out the podium for 3rd. At 45 years old, Badmann proves that age is no obstacle for champions and that experience pays off.
After a bad bike crash due to a misplaced orange cone at Kona in 2007, it was thought that Badmann might be on the road to retirement. But she fought back to recover, showing up in 2008 and every time since. With the new KPR points system, past Kona winners are no longer able to toe the line unless they’ve received enough ranking points. How do you feel about this controversial rule? Should past winners continue to be able to start at Kona without qualifying? Or should those only with enough qualifying points?