Bart Aernouts finally has his day in Kona

For BMC-Vifit team member Bart Aernouts seven times was the charm in Kona as the Belgian athlete took second at the Ironman World Championship.

| October 24, 2018 | PERSONALITY

Bart Aernouts takes second at the Ironman World Championship.

Bart Aernouts takes second at the Ironman World Championship.

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

Bart Aernouts had proven himself a winner more than a few times on the world stage, including a huge win at Challenge Roth in 2017, numerous top-10 finishes at the Ironman World Championship and Ironman titles in France, Lanzarote and Hamburg. But he'd never had the day many thought he was capable of on the Big Island until this year, when he ran his way to second place. We caught up with the BMC-Vifit team member after the race to chat about his big day:

Sub-8 and the silver medal:

Of course I am very happy with the super-fast times in the race today, but I’m more happy with second place, because to make the podium in Kona is very special. You dream about it. I’ve said a few times, I wanted to come back to Kona because I like the race and I hope that one day I have the perfect day. It’s my seventh time racing here. Some guys have the perfect day the first time or the second year. For me I just needed some experience.

Kona challenges:

It’s not the easiest race for me because I am not the best swimmer, and the packs in front get bigger and bigger, but I am used to having to keep fighting during the race. Today I had the energy to keep going and make it to the podium.

I think I had my best day ever. This is Kona, this is special. Everybody tries to be here in their top shape and I think to make the podium is, till now, the perfect day. I hope to have an even better day in the future.

Going for the win:

I was really running for the win in the first half of the marathon, but in the end, I think the difference was enough to say that I was the best of the rest today. Patrick (Lange) was impressive. He knows how to run a race in Kona and he knows how to run a marathon. You have to keep fighting because you never know what will happen. In the past you’ve seen a lot of surprises in the last part of the marathon, so I tried keep pushing a little bit, but also was careful not to mess things up for myself. I had the chance to be on the podium today. If I had done something stupid – if I had followed him, maybe I would have missed the podium. It was hard to let them (Lange, Braden Currie and Tim O'Donnell) go, but it was the best idea.

Big day for BMC-Vifit:

I’ve been on the team since the first season. It’s my eighth year on the team. They’ve had girls on the podium, but they’ve never had a guy on the podium. They were working so hard on that and dreaming about it, so today I think they are very happy. I am happy to make them happy.

You have to come back year after year, with your team, and give it a shot. In Kona, some guys struggle and they don’t want to come back any more. I struggled a lot here, but I always come back because this is the race that we all dream of. I wanted to come back till I had a great day.