IRONMAN Barcelona: Van Vlerken takes top spot once again

IRONMAN Barcelona 2017

Van Vlerken wins – and goes Sub-9 for the FOURTEENTH 

‘Flying Blonde Dutch Girl’ wins again, three weeks after Almere ETU Champs…

…and a strong IRONMAN debut from Great Britain’s Kimberley Morrison

Having seen three men break the eight hour mark at IRONMAN Barcelona today, it probably won’t come as a surprise to find that it was a rather swift day for the women in Calella today too…

As with the Pro men, the 3.8km swim saw a close group exit the water together, and they were headed by Great Britain’s Kate Comber, with Kimberley Morrison – in her first full distance start – just 23 seconds back. Daniela Sammler (GER) was part of that lead group, with Lisa Huetthaler (AUT) and Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) at 1:43 and 3:38 respectively, of the pre-race favourites.

Things became very clear, pretty quickly on the bike – and at 100km, the trio of Sammler, Morrison and Huetthaler were at the front of the race, eight minutes ahead of Van Vlerken. That remained the situation until T2, though Van Vlerken had reduced that gap slightly to just over six minutes. A fine runner with incredible experience, she was in contention for yet another major result to add to her impressive CV.

The first half of the run saw Sammler and Huetthaler separated by little more than a minute, but the Dutch master was closing in fast. As perhaps expected, Morrison had fallen back in her weakest discipline, but was sticking to her own plan and targets and running well. Just after the halfway mark, Van Vlerken had Sammler in her sights, moved past – and would not be seen again. She pushed on and, via a 3:05:02 marathon, would take the victory in a swift 8:46:18, the third fastest of her career.

Sammler dropped off the pace slightly in the second half (3:20:11), allowing Huetthaler (AUT) to move back into second place, with Sammler completing the podium. Fourth placed Katja Konschak (GER) ran a swift 3:03:27 marathon to also go Sub-9 for the first time, with Great Britain’s Morrison crossing the line fifth in 9:12:49 after splits of 52:28 / 4:37:23 / 3:37:17.

Van Vlerken shaved a few seconds from her 2015 winning time to set a new course record.

IRONMAN Barcelona, Calella, Spain – Saturday 30th September 2017
3.8km / 180km / 42.2km

PRO WOMEN

1st – Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) – 8:46:18
2nd – Lisa Huetthaler (AUT) – 8:51:21
3rd – Daniela Sammler (GER) – 8:55:11
4th – Katja Konschak (GER) – 8:57:12
5th – Kimberley Morrison (GBR) – 9:12:49

11th – Kate Comber (GBR) – 9:40:56
16th – Rachel Hallam (GBR) – 10:41:20