When injury derailed plans to validate his Kona slot in March, Jan Frodeno put his head down and focused on healing well and ticking off that box in May with a runner-up finish at Ironman Lanzarote. Not one to rest on his laurels of Olympic gold, Ironman 70.3 World Championship, and Ironman World Championship, the German then smashed the long-distance world record at Challenge Roth.

Frodeno passed on defending his 70.3 world championship title this year, with his eye on the prize: the crown of it leaves for the victor of the Ironman World Championship.