They might be training partners and good friends, but most triathletes can’t wait to see them compete against each other – in part because it hasn’t happened very often over the last year. Now triathlon fans can look forward to Olympic gold medalist and Ironman world champion Kristian Blummenfelt lining up against two-time defending Ironman 70.3 world champion Gustav Iden at the Professional Triathletes Organisation’s Canadian Open in Edmonton on July 24. The full line up for the race in Edmonton will be release on June 27 and 28.
Iden finished eighth at the Olympics last year behind his Norwegian team mate. The two were expected to duel for the win at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship last September in St. George, but in the end Blummenfelt would be slowed by a flat tire and dropped out of contention on the bike.
The two chose different Ironman races to make their full-distance debut – Iden won Ironman Florida, setting a new course record with his 7:42:47 that came despite a challenging swim thanks to strong currents. Blummenfelt headed off to Ironman Cozumel, where he shocked the world with his 7:21:12 finishing time.
While there was much talk about the two dominating the day at the Ironman World Championship in St. George, the much-anticipated showdown in Utah evaporated when Iden had to pull out of the race due to sickness. Blummenfelt went on to win that race despite being sick himself.
After the world championship event in Utah, Blummenfelt went on to break the 7 hour barrier at the Sub7 Project, while Iden recovered and took the Challenge Championship. Now we’ll see the two compete over the 100 km distance (2 km swim, 80 km bike and an 18 km run).
It’s not as though we can expect a knock-down, trash-talking lead up to the race – as mentioned, the two are good friends and training partners who share the same coach, Olav Aleksander Bu. They are currently training at altitude in France – no-doubt gearing up for some fast racing in Edmonton and later this year at the Ironman World Championship in Kona.
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