The great history
Almost for everyone these “battles” can give a huge amount of motivation to beat both yourself and your opponent and this is what drives the sport further. The intrigue is created by the unpredictability of the results and brings a lot of attention from spectators and sponsors.
Dave Scott and Mark Allan — the heroes of IronWar, who ran shoulder-to-shoulder the whole marathon during the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii in 1989 — are still the most famous triathlon personalities.
The duel between Andreas Raelert and Chris McCormack during the running stage at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii in 2010 was the reason for many age-groupers to join the global triathlon movement.
For me personally, these two became not only a living example, but also a reason and driver to come to a triathlon world.
The ideal copy
On the 18th of July 2021 something similar has hapenned in Allgau, German. Tri Battle Royale 2021 was clearly an attempt to meet the success of the past. The race in Hawaii has not been held for the past 2 years in a row, still the heroes of today are longing for the fame of the amount not smaller than of Mark Allen or Chris McCormack.
The 2 of the strongest triathletes — Jan Frodeno (Germany) and Lionel Sanders (Canada) — have called each other for a 1-on-1 fight in the German pre-Alpine place called Allgau.
Jan Frodeno (40), Beijing Olympic Champion, 3-times winner of the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, 2-times winner of the Ironman 70.3 Chamopionship, a record holder with the result of 7 hours 37 minutes for the full distance in triathlon.
Lionel Sanders (33) , the true “american cowboy” and the rising star of the global triathlon. The number of his awards is less interesting compared to his history of coming to the triathlon world — from drugs to champions in just 5 years.
They were given the ideal conditions for the race:
✅ a swimming trajectory line at the bottom of the lake
✅ flat bike track with the pre-built wind protection and the perfect asphalt on the road , made right before the race
✅ flat running leg with the minimum climb;
✅ the average power at the bike stage was within the range of 300–310 Watts in the beginning and 290–300 watts in the end
✅ with the weight of 75 and 73 kilos those are the great figures for the distance of 180 km
✅ Sanders’ average running heart rate was as low as 120–125 BPM for 2 hours and 50 minutes marathon.
✅ Frodeno was clearly nervous: his helmet fell out in the transit area and he could not pull the suit normally
✅ he slipped on the rubber carpet and fell down, continuing to run with the pain grimace
✅ Jan was digging into his stuff, trying to get rid of his cycling pads
✅ Lionel was suffering as usual. But he had no chance to win from the very beginning.
All-in-all it couldn’t be compared to IronWar in 1989 or “Macca vs Realert” in 2010. There was no intrigue, no ‘shoulder-to-shoulder” run , and no heat of the Hawaian lava fields.
It was a one-sided game for Jan. He had an advantage of 5 mins on the swimming stage , he added another 5 minutes on the bike and 6 mins on the run. He has achieved a new world record showing the unbelievable 7 hours and 27 minutes, yet it was boring.
It all resembled the run of Iliud Kipchoge, when he ran the marathon under 2 hours. Pacers, drafting, super flat track and special running shoes — that’s what helped him. Of course, it was a record, but a superficial one.
What truly inspires and what doesn’t?
So, it is not enough to have great sponsorship and 2 world stars for the success. You must have the atmosphere of a real competition, spiced with the intrigue and the unpredictability of who is going to win. And — on thop of this — you need a Hawaii.
We hope for the best and looking forward to seeing these guys competing face to face with motivated young guns on Hawaiian Lava fields. These are Gustav Eden and Kristian Blumenfelt from Norway, Dave Long and Rudy von Berg from USA, Magnus Ditlev and Bakkegaard from Denmark.
That is going to be truly inspiring! This will motivate others to go for triathlon, and achieve great results!
OMY! Sports Team