Aernouts and Charles dominate Lanzarote

Bart Aernouts easily handled a class field while Lucy Charles signaled she is the real deal with an impressive win at Ironman Lanzarote.

| May 21, 2017 | NEWS

Photo >Diego Santamaria

Long renowned as one of the world's toughest Ironman events (the moniker for the race is "normal limits do not apply"), Ironman Lanzarote typically greets athletes with high winds, more than 2,500 m of climbing on the bike and hot conditions on the run. The race has become a "bucket-list" race for pros and age-group athletes alike - past winners include a number of Kona champions including Paula Newby-Fraser, Thomas Hellreigel, Peter Reid and Faris Al Sultan.

Bart Aernouts (BEL) added his name to the prestigious list of previous champions as he posted the second fastest time in Ironman Lanzarote history. Super-swimmer Lucy Charles (GBR) turned a few heads by breaking the bike course record to take the women's title, signalling to many her potential in the world of Ironman racing.

Photo >Diego Santamaria

Charles from start to finish

As she did in taking Challenge Lisboa a few weeks ago, Lucy Charles flew through the swim, coming out of the water in 47:06 and with the men's swim leaders. That time was just 16 seconds slower than Paula Newby-Fraser's swim course record set in 1994.

As a former member of the British national open water swim team, Charles' swim performance was expected by pretty much everyone. What most weren't ready for, though, was her bike - a 5:23:29 split that broke Tara Norton's bike course record 5:26:23 set in 2010.

That split put Charles off the bike 20-minutes up on Lucy Gossage (GBR), who came into T2 just ahead of Jeanne Collonge (FRA). Corinne Abraham (GBR) was almost 25 minutes down in fourth starting the run.

Charles hung on through the marathon, opening with a quick 22-minute first 5 km, which seemed to send a message to her competition that they shouldn't expect her to fold out on the run course. (She would run 3:18:15 and finish in 9:24:39.) Abraham would use the day's fastest marathon (3:03:53) to run her way to the runner-up position (9:44:29). Gossage, who earlier this year returned to work as an Oncology doctor three days a week, hung tough for third in 9:50:22.

Aernouts rides away with the win

All week long the buzz on the island when it came to the men's race was to watch for Bart Aernouts because of his fearsome run prowess. Turns out people were forgetting that in coming a close second to Frederik Van Lierde in Nice in 2013, then winning the Nice title in 2014, Aernouts has posted some sizzling bike splits on that extremely hilly course.

First out of the water was Russian Georgii Kaurov, but he was quickly dispatched by France's Romain Guillaume, the 2014 Ironman Lanzarote champion who has been living on the Canary Island for much of 2017, so enjoyed a bit of a home-field advantage on the tough course. Aernouts, though, also made a quick move to the front - after coming out of the water very close to another two of the pre-race favorites, Alessandro Degasperi (ITA) and Jesse Thomas (USA), Aernouts steadily gained time on his BMC-Etixx teammate, leaving everyone else behind. 

Aernouts moved ahead of Guillaume on the steady, long climb up the first of two mountain climbs on the Lanzarote course (Mirador de Haria) and never looked back. While Guillaume was able to stay close through the end of the bike, the Belgian quickly pulled away on the run and was never really challenged for the win, cruising to an 8:34:13 clocking that has only been bettered here in Lanzarote by course record holder Timo Bracht.

Behind Aernouts there was quite a battle for the runner up spot. Guillaume struggled with stomach issues on the run and would end up with a 3:11 marathon split and fifth place. Thomas (7:53 down after the bike) initially seemed on track to make a move towards the front, but would eventually fade and be passed by Degaspari, who was over a minute behind the American into T2. The Italian added a runner-up finish to his win here in 2015 after a 2:47:40 marathon, the day's fastest run. Thomas hung on for third.

Ironman Lanzarote | Women

May 20, 2017 | Lanzarote, Spain

Name

Country

Total

3.8 km Swim

180 km Bike

42.2 km Run

1

Lucy Charles

GBR

9:35:40

0:47:06

5:23:29

3:18:35

2

Corinne Abraham

GBR

9:44:29

0:57:14

5:37:17

3:03:53

3

Lucy Gossage

GBR

9:50:22

1:00:40

5:29:45

3:13:04

4

Jeanne Collonge

FRA

10:04:46

0:58:12

5:31:43

3:26:30

5

Saleta Castro Nogueira

ESP

10:11:45

0:55:41

5:47:29

3:21:00

6

Kate Comber

GBR

10:22:34

0:52:26

5:52:14

3:29:22

7

Katrine Meldgaard Lund-Nielsen

DNK

10:49:50

1:07:07

5:57:55

3:33:57

8

Pia Englyst

DNK

10:52:16

1:05:08

6:11:03

3:26:47

9

Kelly Fillnow

USA

10:56:28

1:06:28

6:11:41

3:28:44

10

Katrine Brock

DNK

10:58:16

1:09:47

6:12:38

3:26:07

Swipe me

Ironman Lanzarote | Men

May 20, 2017 | Lanzarote, Spain

Name

Country

Total

3.8 km Swim

180 km Bike

42.2 km Run

1

Bart Aernouts

BEL

8:34:13

0:50:34

4:48:22

2:48:28

2

Alessandro Degasperi

ITA

8:43:23

0:50:33

4:59:19

2:47:40

3

Jesse Thomas

USA

8:49:02

0:50:35

4:55:54

2:55:25

4

Peru Alfaro San Ildefonso

ESP

8:52:31

0:47:04

5:02:27

2:55:29

5

Romain Guillaume

FRA

8:57:01

0:48:29

4:50:54

3:11:15

6

Samuel Huerzeler

SUI

8:59:07

0:52:08

5:05:06

2:53:53

7

Timothy Van Houtem

BEL

9:01:13

0:57:12

4:59:53

2:55:57

8

Cedric Lassonde

FRA

9:14:50

0:53:29

5:08:09

3:05:19

9

Guillaume Lecallier

FRA

9:15:46

0:55:38

5:07:06

3:06:07

10

Trevor Delsaut

FRA

9:19:17

0:50:32

5:09:16

3:11:52

Swipe me