Ben Collins successfully defended his title, while Jenny Fletcher proved that age is "just a number" in taking the women's race.
January 27, 2017 | NEWS|
Ben Collins and Jenny Fletcher both led from start to finish to take the Israman 113 in Eilat, Israel. Considered one of the toughest triathlon events in the world thanks to a 20 km opening climb on the bike that's followed by rolling hills in intense winds, all followed by run that heads down that same climb for 8 km, the Israman has become a popular test for triathletes from here in Israel and around the world.
"It was harder the second time - it's hard to push yourself when you know what's coming," Collins said of defending his title. "What a great way to start the year. I think I was faster than last year."
"This is absolutely a strength course," Collins continued. "I wouldn't want to do a race like Panama right now because I don't have that kind of speed, but I can grind on a hill. I have the strength for it."
"It hurt bad," Fletcher said of her effort. "I cramped almost the whole run thanks to the downhill, so it made it very hard. I was really happy with my swim and bike and then held on through the run."
"It's a great way to start 2017," she continued. "What can I say - I'm 41 and I just won a race!"
Both Collins and Fletcher acknowledged that the event has a special feel.
"The spirit here is really good," Collins said. "Ironman puts on a consistent and great race, but its good sometime to remember what its like at a local scene and that spirit you get from an event that is almost a culture here. People love it and come out and support it. It was fun to come back for a second time - people know me now and were cheering for me out on the course."
Israman 113: Men's Results
Israman 113: Women's Results