Tim Berkel (AUS) has reclaimed his title at KMD Challenge Copenhagen in a race that was closely fought until the final few metres. The final 8 kilometres on the run was shoulder to shoulder as defending champion Tim Berkel and home town favorite Jimmy Johnsen of Denmark battled it out for a close and very exciting finish of the 3,8 km swim, 180 km bike and 42,2 km run that had over 100,000 spectators on the edge of there seats in downtown Copenhagen today.
Fast swims were followed by fast bike times and after Johnsen caught Berkel coming into the final 8 km on the run, the two triathletes tried to do serious damage to each other’s legs, each trying to get the gap that would secure the win. Finally in the last few km Berkel found the extra speed and pulled away from Johnsen and got a good lead very late in the race and took home his second consecutive title at KMD Challenge Copenhagen despite a four-minute penalty on the bike. Finish time: 8:11:15 (swim 48:24, bike 4:33:18, run 2:46:16).
“I’m over the moon to defend my title because I’ve never done that before. I love this beautiful city of Copenhagen and the crowd was amazing again this year. Jimmy made me work hard today, I was grinding my teeth towards the and was going as hard as I could,” the happy two time winner Tim Berkel said after the race.
A four-minute time penalty for drafting meant a frustrated Berkel was going hard on the run.
“I was a little disappointed by the penalty. I felt good on the bike and Bastie and I rode away towards the end so the penalty was very frustrating. After I served I started running angry and ran a ridiculous pace and had to calm myself down and settle in at a slower pace. I had Jimmy and Dejan breathing down my neck, so I got my nutrition and water in and I think Jimmy had worked hard to catch me. I managed to pull away towards the end but sprinting that last 8 km is something you don’t wanna do in an iron distance race,” Berkel tells us.
For Jimmy Johnsen it was as close as it could be for him to win his home ground race, but the strong Dane had to settle for second place only 35 seconds back after one of the most exciting iron-finishes of the year. Johnsen swam 47:40, biked 4:36:55 and ran a 2:44:02 marathon. The top two athletes recognised great performances from the opponent and hugged at the finish line while third placed Dejan Patrcevic (CRO) crossed the line just in front of Danish future hope Mads Vittrup-Pedersen who took 4th with an amazing 2:38:59 marathon.
Biking powerhouse Björn Andersson (SWE) had a solid swim in 3rd position, hammered the bike for a 4:19:47 best-of-the-day bike split, but faded heavily on the run and withdrew after about 28 km of the run.
The women’s race was much less close as last year’s winner Rebekah Keat from Australia hammered the course like it was 2010 and finished off with a 3:05:02 marathon to reclaim her title with a blistering 8:52:42 finish.
It was her fifth iron distance race under nine hours, two of them here in Copenhagen.
“I tried to focus on having a solid swim and not having to work too hard on the bike. I wanted to try to get my run legs back in this race and run around the three hours that is my level so that was great. Each lap the crowd just got bigger on the run, the second lap was good, third amazing and fourth incredible, I have never seen a crowd this big and it was fantastic today,” said Keat.
“Despite my big lead late in the run I’m not the type that’s backing off, it’s not in me, and I always run as hard as I can. I wasn’t happy with my last two 3:13’ish marathons, so I wanted to show I could run fast. I’m happy about my marathon performance today but would love to crack three hours again.”
KMD Challenge Copenhagen is part of the global Challenge Family of long distance triathlons featuring 13 races on three continents. For further information visit www.challenge-family.com or www.challengecopenhagen.com.
Final Results – Men
1 – Tim Berkel (AUS) – 8:11:15
2 – Jimmy Johnsen (DEN) – 8:11:50
3 – Dejan Patrcevic (CRO) – 8:12:18
4 – Mads Vittrup-Pedersen (DEN) – 8:13:21
5 – Esben Hovgaard (DEN) – 8:21:07
Final Results – Women
1 – Rebekah Keat (AUS) – 8:52:42
2 – Asa Lundstrom (DEN) – 9:35:31
3 – Linda Schuecker (GER) – 9:38:15
4 – Karina Ottosen (DEN) – 9:42:59
5 – Helen Pallesen (DEN) – 9:45:54
Fastest swim: 45:22 – Stephen Bayliss (GBR) and Fredrik Seistrup (DK)
Fastest bike: 4:19:47 – Björn Andersson (SWE)
Fastest run: 2:38:59 – Mads Vittrup-Petersen (DK)
Fastest Swim: 46:34 – Jodie Swallow (GBR)
Fastest Bike: 4:54:41 – Rebekah Keat (AUS)
Fastest Run: 3:05:02 – Rebekah Keat (AUS)