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British triathlete breaks Alistair Brownlee record with INCREDIBLE performance at Challenge Roth

Great Britain's Tom Bishop, who recently stepped up to long course racing, finished second in a new British long distance record at Challenge Roth on Sunday, clocking a phenomenal time of 7:37:54.

Staff Reporter
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Tom Bishop put together the best performance of his non-draft racing career so far on Sunday, as the 32-year-old finished second behind three-time champion Magnus Ditlev at Challenge Roth.

Finishing his first Ironman, the Derby man broke the British record for the distance in the process, besting the previous mark set by Alistair Brownlee at IRONMAN Sweden back in 2022.

Clocking an astounding time of 7:37:54, the former short course athlete picked up his third podium of 2024 and looks set for more success as the rest of the season unfolds.

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Breaking new ground

On his debut over the full distance last season, Bishop was a DNF at Challenge Almere, withdrawing in T2 due to injury concerns after a strong swim and bike leg.

Tom Bishop finishing Challenge Roth 2024
Photo Credit: Christoph Raithel / Challenge Roth

In Roth, the PTO World #253 was able to produce the full package on race day, and come up with a performance that surprised even himself.

Asked after the race what his objectives had been coming into the race, the Brit said that his only goal had been to make it to the finish line.

“I had no idea, no expectations coming into this race, I just wanted to complete my first [full distance].” 

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Staying safe on course

After a straightforward swim which saw him exit the water in the main pack, Bishop said the bike presented more problems, with pacing his effort and staying safe on the two-lap bike course a priority.

“I found it quite tricky at the start of the bike to find my pace and I was on and off the pack and then I was just trying to be safe. 

“You had to concentrate all the time and you had to be super careful with the age groupers to make sure you stayed upright.”

Daniel Baekkegard, one of the pre-race favourites, saw his race come to an early end, after the Danish athlete reportedly crashed with an age-grouper on the bike course and was forced to withdraw.

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Clinching the British record

Bishop, safely off the bike alongside Rudy von Berg, battled with the American over the marathon before pulling away in the closing stages, and said the finishing straight was a sight to behold.

Men's Pro podium at Challenge Roth 2024 - Magnus Ditlev, Tom Bishop, Rudy Von Berg
Photo Credit: Christoph Raithel / Challenge Roth

“I was taking it each kilometre at a time on the run, my GPS wasn’t working, so I was kind of looking for every mark that the volunteers had put out and I was getting a rough idea of how I was running.

“The running by the end was not so much fun, I don’t think I’ve got any toenails left now, but crossing the finish line and entering the stadium, the atmosphere was incredible. I got goosebumps when I was finishing and it was an unreal experience.”

Running 2:42:42 after a 46:17 swim split and a 4:05:46 bike, Bishop broke Brownlee’s record by 53 seconds in his first full distance finish, and will now be regarded as one of Britain’s brightest prospects on the men’s side to clinch more Ironman successes in the future.

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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