Daniela Ryf crosses the finish line to win her third Ironman 70.3 World Championship. (Photo: Staff)

Hundreds of people packed downtown Chattanooga to watch the Ironman 70.3 World Championship women’s race Saturday, when Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf took home the top prize.

Ryf won her third Ironman 70.3 World Championship with a time of 4:11:59.

The victory makes her a five-time Ironman world champion because she also has two full Ironman world titles.

“I am really happy to show such a great performance,” Ryf said after crossing the finish line. “I am very thankful for the support here, from the people on the course, and especially … to my friends and supporters, and … my coach who got me through this hard time when I was injured and now coming back strong. It makes it even more special to me.”

Ryf was soon followed by Emma Pallant, a contestant from England, with a time of 4:18:36, and Laura Philipp, a contestant from Germany, who came in third with a time of 4:19:40.

The first American to finish was Sarah True in fourth place with a time of 4:21:40.

Another top contender for first place, Holly Lawrence—who was the defending Ironman 70.3 world champion—pulled out of the race around the 45-mile marker during the biking portion of the triathlon.

“I just didn’t have it from the start,” Lawrence said, according to the Ironman’s Twitter account.

Saturday’s athletes tackled a 1.2-mile swim in the Tennessee River, followed by a 56-mile bicycle ride through Lookout Mountain and into downtown Chattanooga, capped with a 13.1-mile run along the Tennessee Riverwalk and Riverfront Parkway, finishing at Ross’s Landing.

The men’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship will begin Sunday at Ross’s Landing at 7:30 a.m.

Updated @ 6:59 a.m. on 9/11/17 to correct the spelling of Daniela Ryf’s name.

Lauren Brandon, a contestant from the United States, was the first out of the 1.2-mile swim with a time of 25:23. She finished in 28th place with a time of 4:50:31. (Photo: Staff)
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