TRI247
Search
shop

The best Age-Group performance from Rotterdam?

After being inducted to the ITU Hall of Fame, Rob Barel proved just days later that at approaching 60 years of age, he's still an incredible athlete

Chief Correspondent
Last updated -
SHOP
Advertisement

Rob Barel is still crushing it at (almost) 60

To be fair, how you select the ‘best’ in Age-Group triathlon is highly debatable. Sure, the clock gives you one (objective) measure, but how do you then factor in gender, age, race distance and more?

Analogous to Boxing’s mythical pound-for-pound champion, it’s an interesting discussion rather than a mathematically solved solution. Thus, consider this a “significant performance of note” rather than a precision definition of “best”!

Ahead of the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam, the ITU Hall of Fame inducted six new members – one of whom was the seemingly ever-young Rob Barel.

Rob has been a true pioneer of the sport in Europe, winning the first three European Championship in 1985/6/7, winning the first ever ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championship in 1994, and he finished third (to Great Britain’s Simon Lessing) at the ITU World Championships in 1992 (Muskoka). Thinking that the introduction of Triathlon to the programme of the Olympic Games in 2000 had probably come too late in his career, he proved that wrong by qualifying for and racing in Sydney aged 42. Eight years later, he was the European ELITE Cross Triathlon Champion.

Retiring gracefully and letting go is athletic life after a long career would have been the norm… but at approaching 60 years of age, Rob Barel is still racing incredibly fast!

We noted last year (HERE), Rob’s fantastic performance at IRONMAN 70.3 Budapest when he won the 55-59 AG with a stunning 4:06:51 clocking, to win by 30 minutes. At IRONMAN France, Nice, earlier this year Rob – now in 60-64 – finished in 9:56:01 to win that category by well over two hours.

Rob Barel

Kona-bound this year (which will be an added challenge for anyone racing in his category), Rob also raced over the Standard Distance in Rotterdam and (no surprise), took the Gold (2:05:03) by almost eight minutes, setting the fastest swim, bike, run and T1 times in the process. ‘Only’ (!) second fastest in T2, he might have completed the ‘grand slam’ had he not gone down the wrong aisle in transition. As I joked with him on Facebook, always room for improvement….!

I look forward to watching Rob race again in Hawaii next month.

Rob Barel

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
Discover more
Sumarpo vanguard vs Zone 3 Vanquish X triathlon wetsuits
ZONE3 Vanquish X wetsuit vs Sumarpo Vanguard wetsuit – how do these triathlon wetsuits match up?
Essential Beginner's Triathlon Gear & KIt
Triathlon gear for beginners: essential kit for getting started
open water swimming Sumarpo wetsuit
How to improve swimming endurance – PRO tips to help you swim further in open water
sumarpo triathlon swimming wetsuit
Wetsuit buying guide – How to choose the best wetsuit for triathlon, open water swimming, SwimRun and cold water
Aviles Duathlon
What is a duathlon? Beginner’s guide to distances, training plans and kit
latest News
Alex Yee WTCS Pontevedra 2023
Olympic Games triathlon: British gold medal favourite Alex Yee warms up for Paris 2024 with another win
Hannah Berry took the win at IRONMAN Cairns in Queensland,
IRONMAN Cairns 2024 Results: Burton and Berry take Asia-Pacific titles as Skipper misses podium
Lucy Charles-Barclay wins IRONMAN France 2024
IRONMAN France 2024 results: Lucy Charles-Barclay validates World Championship spot with CRAZY run
Gustav Iden Kona athlete sign in 2022 photo credit Donald Miralle for IRONMAN
Gustav Iden shares heartfelt message after major milestone on the journey back to the top
Sam Long celebrates at the San Francisco T100.
Sam Long targeting two major T100 races after season break to resolve personal problems
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

SBRX
RUN247
GET RACE READY - SHOP WITH SBRX
GET RACE READY - BUY WITH SBRX
Share to...