3. Andreas Raelert
Raelert stole Marino Vanhoenacker’s thunder by breaking his week-old iron-distance world record at Challenge Roth. And he did so in stunning fashion, turning in a blazing 7:41:33 (that’s a 46:18 swim, a 4:11:43 bike and a 2:40:52 run). At the Ironman World Championship in October, he rounded out the podium with a third-place performance behind Craig Alexander and Pete Jacobs, notching a new Kona PR in the process. The 35-year-old German impressed on the half-iron-distance scene as well, picking up wins at 70.3 Mallorca and in Cologne, Germany, among others.