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Ironman racing is back with 70.3 and full-distance races in Europe

Just over 1,500 athletes competed at Ironman events in Talinn, Estonia, while Ironman events also took place in Poland and France

Photo by: Gertrud Alatare/Ironman Estonia

It has been quite a year for our sport, with racing pretty much shutting down in March due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Ironman Group has been especially hard hit – as the “largest participation sports platform in the world,” it has been forced to “postpone” or “reschedule” (the company rarely uses the word cancel, even for races that aren’t taking place this year) hundreds of events around the world.

Related: Triathlon cancellations and postponements due to COVID-19

This weekend, though, there is some good news to report on the Ironman front – three races took place in Europe.

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1,507 athletes compete at Ironman 70.3 and Ironman races in Tallinn, Estonia.

Results don’t seem to be available from the race on either the Ironman.com website or Ironman Tracker app, but we do have some overall finish times from the event in Tallinn, Estonia.

After leading out of the water, Denmark’s Daniel Baekkegard held on for the win (3:40:08) over Germany’s Sebastian Kienle (3:41:54) and Andreas Dreitz (3:43:52). In the women’s race, Great Britain’s Katrina Matthews won in 4:08:14, with Denmark’s Maja Stage-Nielsen (4:13:15) and Estonia’s Kaidi Kivioja (4:16:50) rounding out the podium.

“It was wonderful to have the opportunity to do another competition this year and also to win it,” Baekkegard said after the race. “The bike track was very fast, the run course was difficult due to the turns. Estonians have been extremely hospitable and the organization of the race is very good. Coming back to Tallinn and defending the title next year is definitely on my wish list.”

The full-distance race saw some close racing as Norway’s Jon Saeveras Breivold 8:27:44 finishing time put him clear of Finland’s Toni Pystö (8:32:39) and Great Britain’s John Thelwell (8:34:32). Finland’s Laura Jalasto won in 9:44:04. She was closely followed by Hungary’s Anna Weinhardt (9:46:25) and another athlete from Finland, Johanna Lahikainen, who took third in 9:49:08.

Ditlev and Norden take Ironman 70.3 Gdynia

There were no shortage of big names at this weekend’s 70.3 event in Poland, including Germany’s two-time Kona champ Patrick Lange and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Lisa Norden. The flat, fast course saw Norden and men’s winner Magnus Ditlev power clear on the bike and hold on for the wins.

Even the day’s fastest run, a 1:11:08 half-marathon, wasn’t enough to get Lange within three minutes of Ditlev, who was over six minutes in front off the bike. Great Britain’s Thomas Davis managed to hold off Lange by just under a minute to take second.

Norden’s lead was even bigger starting the run – she was eight minutes ahead into T2 and cruised to the win over Germany’s Carolin Lehrieder, who was with Norden out of the water and almost 10 minutes ahead of Brit Kimberly Morrison. The positions stayed the same across the line – a sign that Norden might be truly getting over the injuries from last year that saw her focus on cycling. (She won Sweden’s national time trial championship.)

Pro Women

  1. Lisa Norden (SWE) – 4:19:15
  2. Carolin Lehrieder (GER) – 4:21:45
  3. Kimberly Morrison (GBR) – 4:29:41
  4. Joanna Soltysiak (POL) – 4:30:05
  5. Ewa Komander (POL) – 4:30:07

Pro Men

  1. Magnus Ditlev (DEN) – 3:42:37
  2. Thomas Davis (GBR) – 3:44:57
  3. Patrick Lange (GER) – 3:45:50
  4. Robert Kallin (SWE) – 3:46:01
  5. Jan Stratmann (GER) – 3:46:57
Rudy Von Berg on his way to a third-place finish at the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

Von Berg and Mathieux take 70.3 Les Sables d’Olonne

It was a three-man race off the bike as American Rudy Von Berg, France’s own Antony Costes and Belgium’s Pieter Heemeryck started the run with a three-minute lead. In the end it was Von Berg who pulled clear to take the win.

In the women’s race Great Britain’s Fenella Langridge led off the bike by a couple of minutes, but int he end couldn’t hold off France’s Justine Mathieux, who got clear by 16 km, or Belgium’s Alexandra Tondeur, who managed to just catch the Brit to take second.

Pro Men:

  1. Rudy Von Berg (USA) – 3:44:12
  2. Antony Costes (FRA) – 3:45:26
  3. Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) – 3:46:54
  4. Yvan Jarrige (FRA) – 3:49:07
  5. Arnoud Guilloux (FRA) – 3:49:27

Pro Women:

  1. Justine Mathieux (FRA) – 4:17:55
  2. Alexandra Tondeur (BEL) – 4:19:11
  3. Fenella Langridge (GBR) – 4:19:21
  4. Sarissa De Vries (NED) – 4:19:54
  5. Manon Genet (FRA) – 4:22:46