Norwegian Olympic gold medalist Kristian Blummenfelt became the first man to go sub-seven hours in an Ironman distance triathlon
Photo by Hannah Mckay/Reuters
(Reuters) – Norwegian Olympic gold medalist Kristian Blummenfelt became the first man to go sub-seven hours in an Ironman distance triathlon while Briton Kat Mathews went sub-eight to rewrite the history books at the Sub 7/Sub 8 event in Brandenburg on Sunday.
The event allowed the triathletes to use pacemakers in all three disciplines—a 3.8-kilometer swim, a 180-kilometer bike ride, and a 42-kilometer run—and Blummenfelt finished with an astonishing time of 6:44:25.
His British rival Joe Skipper, who took on the challenge on a week’s notice after twice-Olympic champ Alistair Brownlee pulled out with an injury, also finished under seven hours (6:47:36).
“It was full gas from the gun and I almost went down there early on the bike. That got my heart rate up,” Blummenfelt said.
“And it was a tough day… It was brutal just to stay on the wheel to these guys. And also a massive thanks to Joe and his team for the tough battle.”
Earlier, British army captain Matthews benefited from 10 pacemakers and became the first woman to finish in under eight hours, clocking 7:31:54.
“I’m feeling a whole load of emotions, but the main one in gratitude for the whole team around me. Honestly of all the triathlons of the whole world, this is about the team,” she said.
“I felt like I was letting them down all day. I was hitting the limit and I thought I was going to lose it, but the support on the sideline gave me the motivation to push on.”
The times recorded will not be considered world records as the event format was designed to break the sub-seven and sub-eight barriers.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)