Chelsea Sodaro of the United States won the women's Ironman World Championship title in Hawaii on her debut ©Getty Images

A stupendous concluding marathon in hot and humid conditions enabled Chelsea Sodaro of the United States to become the first woman to win the Hawaii Ironman World Championship on their debut in 15 years as the race returned to its traditional venue.

Showcased by the decision to hold the women's race two days before that of the men, the 33-year-old from Davis, California covered the 42.195 kilometres (26 miles 385 yards) distance in 2hour 51min 45sec despite a temperature of 29C and 81 per cent humidity to finish in an overall time of 8:33:46 on the Big Island course.

She is the first woman or man to win in their debut since Britain's Chrissie Wellington took the first of her four titles in 2007.

COVID-19 restrictions had meant the postponed 2021 Championship was held earlier this year in Utah.

Britain's Lucy Charles-Barclay earned her fourth runner-up placing in 8:41:37, with Germany’s Anna Haug earning her third bronze in 8:42.22 and compatriot Laura Philipp taking fourth place in 8:50:31.

"My mind is a little bit blown right now, but I think this is the culmination of things being right in my life and having perspective," Sodaro said moments after the finish.

"This is freaking incredible.

"The greatest gift at the finish line is my little 18-month-old."

Hawaii welcomed back the Ironman World Championship for the first time since 2019 due to COVID-19 restrictions ©Getty Images
Hawaii welcomed back the Ironman World Championship for the first time since 2019 due to COVID-19 restrictions ©Getty Images

Commenting on her training arrangements, Sodaro added:

"This is a real family operation.

"I don't have a super big, flashy team around me, but I have an incredible team.

"My dad has sagged all of my rides for the last month.

"My mom has helped with childcare.

"My husband is a Reno firefighter.

"This is for them."

Sodaro had begun the marathon run along the coast of Big Island from Keauhou to Keahole Point and back to Kailua-Kona in fourth place after the 180.25km (112 miles) bike ride across the Hawaiian lave desert in company with Sweden's Lisa Norden and Sara Svenk.

Switzerland's five-times winner and defending champion Daniela Ryf, who had come out of the water following the 3.86km (2.4 miles) swim in Kailua-Kona Bay almost seven minutes adrift of the leader Charles-Barclay, finished the bike ride in 4:36:11 with a 17-seconds lead from Charles-Barkley and a minute ahead of Britain’s Fenella Langridge, with Sodaro and the Swedes three minutes behind her.

Ryf was soon overtaken by Charles-Barkley, whose time of 50min 57sec had given her a 40-second margin on her nearest opponent after the swim, and after four miles the defending champion was also overtaken by Sodaro, who passed the British leader four miles further on and gradually built her lead as she became the first American woman to win this title in more than a quarter of a century.

Meanwhile Charles-Barclay, who has been plagued with injury this year, was reflecting on what was a personal triumph in the circumstances.

"At the start of the year I didn’t think I’d be here," she said.

"Just never give up, when things aren’t going to plan, have some patience, believe in yourself, and you can get there."