Norway’s Olympic champion Kristian Blummenfelt wrote triathlon history in his “laboratory test” in Lower Lusatia and clearly broke the seven-hour limit, at the Ironman European Championships in Hamburg Laura Philipp scratched the regular world record when she won the title again.
Blummenfelt covered the classic distance of 3.86 kilometers swimming, 180.2 kilometers cycling and 42.2 kilometers running in 6:44:26 hours. Philipp triumphed in a very strong 8:18:20 hours.
After his Olympic gold medal in Tokyo and victory at the Ironman World Championships in St. George/Utah, Blummenfelt advanced into new areas. With support and adjusted rules, the Norwegian swam, cycled and ran against the clock. In 7:21:12 hours, Blummenfelt already held the record in a regular Ironman race, now he was almost 40 minutes faster. The Brit Joe Skipper also stayed below the target mark of the “Sub7” project in 6:47:36 hours.
Rules for record attempt softened
The athletes were supported by pacemakers, and other rules were also relaxed: For example, riding a bike (180.2 km) in the slipstream and swimming (3.86 km) allowed a thicker wetsuit, which provides additional buoyancy.
The route also favored the record: in Senftenberger See it was straight ahead, no turning should cost time. It was 20 kilometers by bike to the Lausitzring, on the race track the helpers were able to achieve best performances on the bike and in the final marathon over 42.195 km to beat the official record.
The “record” attempt was also successful for women. Katrina Matthews, second in the European Championships, finished in 7:31:54 hours, Nicola Spirig (Switzerland) finished in 7:34:19 hours. The goal was a time of less than eight hours. The world best time in a race over the Ironman distance under competitive conditions is held by Matthews’ compatriot Chrissie Wellington (8:18:13/2011).
Philipp was struggling with the consequences of Corona
Philipp just missed this mark in Hamburg. The Heidelberg native prevailed over Chelsea Sodaro from the USA and Manon Genet from France after winning the half-distance Kraichgau triathlon just the week before. A good month ago, the 35-year-old had to survive a corona infection.
“After last week’s win I thought I could do the full distance, but I never expected the race to be so fast,” said Philipp.
Before the race in Hamburg, Philipp had criticized the competition because only a few of the 27 elite starters who won the European Championship title came from Europe. “That’s complete nonsense in my opinion. It devalues the race for us Europeans,” she told the “Hamburger Morgenpost”. The men’s title will also only be awarded at the Ironman in Frankfurt at the end of the month.