Last week we reported that two-time Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee was planning on a crazy double over the weekend – and while he didn’t manage to win both races, a top-10 finish at the “world” championships followed by a win at one of the most challenging triathlons in the world is, even when your sites are set as high as Brownlee’s, a resounding success.
The weekend started off at 4 PM local time in Hamburg, Germany, where Brownlee led out of the water at WTS Hamburg, which was serving as this year’s world championships. Looking very much like the Brownlee of old, he drove the train for the breakaway of eight that formed, setting up the Vincent Luis, Vasco Vilaca and Leo Bergere for their eventual podium finishes. Brownlee would “only” run 14:59, which put him in ninth place.
From there it was back home to Great Britain – Brownlee had been a key player in getting athletes out to the event that would feature a $15,000 prize purse courtesy of the Professional Triathletes Organisation. Adding to the fun, the women were given a 28:03 head start and the prize money was allocated based on the first 10 across the line.
— Alistair Brownlee (@AliBrownleetri) September 6, 2020
It’s been reported that Brownlee didn’t get to Helvellyn until after midnight, grabbing a bit of sleep before the 8:30 AM start in the Lake District.
While Saturday’s race was all about speed, Sunday’s was surely a test of strength. After the two-loop 1,500 m swim the racers embarked on a 61 km bike with almost 3,300 feet of climbing, followed by a crazy 14.5 km run/ climb up and down Helvellyn with over 2,800 feet of climbing.
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?♂️?♂️?♂️ #HelvellynTriathlon ? A breakdown of what our PTO Pros and Age Group athletes will experience in the Lake District this Sunday. . . . #PTO #Triathlon #TriathletesUnite #Helvellyn @brittri @trihardevents #saturdayvibes #swimbikerun #England #LakeDistrict #BattleOfTheBrits ? Drone Op – Peter Newbold
Brownlee won the Helvellyn triathlon in 2007 in 3:28 and destroyed that time this year, finishing in 3:16:28 to take both the men’s and overall wins. George Goodwin (3:18:14) just outsprinted Jack Wills (3:18:16) for second place. Nikki Bartlett topped the women’s race in 3:51:05 with Ruth Astle (4:02:39) and India Lee (4:08:01) joining her on the podium. Bartlett would finish fifth in the standings based on the 28:03 time differential.
The word is that the UK is likely to shut down groups of more than six as of today, so it’s probably good that Brownlee got all that racing done last weekend. As much as we’re hoping we’ll see him taking on some of the world’s top distance athletes in Daytona in December, the big question will be whether people are able to travel to the United States later this year.