If the first ever Ironman distance race for Magnus Ditlev is a sign of things to come, then we should all get the popcorn ready.
The Danish star spent Saturday afternoon in an epic battle to the finish line with Ben Hoffman at IRONMAN Texas. Eventually he was beaten in a sprint over the last 200m after being locked in combat with the American star for the final five miles.
It was a classic confrontation, and it came after Ditlev’s hopes had been badly hampered by a mechanical during the bike leg which cost him around nine minutes. He still finished in 7:58:12 after a stellar recovery on the run.
Ditlev on Texas thriller
Not surprisingly he was delighted by his debut at the full distance, and what he described as “the biggest experience” of his career so far.
Writing in an Instagram post, he said: “IM debut didn’t disappoint! I’ve always been told that Ironman is a long day and everything can happen if you keep digging until the end which couldn’t be more true for my race.
“5km to go on the bike I got a huge cut in my front tire while leading the race forcing me to wait for the mechanical support to get a new tire for my spare tube. Got back on the bike after 9 min of waiting and entered T2 with @bhoffmanracing and from there on we basically stayed within 30 sec of each other the entire marathon running the last 10 km shoulder to shoulder and ending in a sprint finish where I had to settle for 2 place with a 2:40 marathon. Also claimed my ticket for Kona.”
The whole experience left the 24-year-old Ditlev almost speechless, and it was another race which bodes well for a huge future in the sport.
“I’m pretty much still out of words, but this is by far the biggest experience in my short career as a professional triathlete and I couldn’t be more happy about how I tackled the race,” he said.
Special times for Magnus
Finally Ditlev was classy in defeat, and also paid tribute due to the work done by his coach Jens Petersen-Bach, who was with him in Texas on Saturday.
“Thanks for the battle @bhoffmanracing and congrats @jesper_s90 for the podium!
Lastly I just want to thank my coach @jenspetersenbach.
“It’s hard to describe in words how much he has meant for my development as an athlete and human being. Having his support out on the course for my IM debut was very special to me.”