Diego Van Looy successfully defending his Israman 113 title, Martina Dogana won another and Christian Altstadt made a winning debut in Israel. We caught up with the champions after their big races.
January 25, 2019 | RACES|
Christian Altstadt - Israman 226 (full-distance) champion
I came in here as a bit of an underdog, but I looked at the start list and thought that if I had a good day it would be possible to win. My cycling was OK, but honestly I couldn’t keep up with Erik-Simon (Strijk) and Till Schramm on the second loop and I had a bit of a gap to make up.
I was determined to follow my coach’s advice and go at my own pace. He said that this was going to be an especially long day because my other long-distance races have all been done in under 8:30 and this one adds another hour.
I was able to catch Till – I was able to beat him last year at the Osteeman triathlon – but I was still afraid on the downhill. My coach told me to control my pace and make sure I didn’t go too fast. My strength is the second half of the marathon, so I was happy to see the gap was growing to the other guys.
I was a bit afraid about Dan Alterman because I think he started out very fast, but he had a big gap to make up and I was calculating that he wasn’t going to be able to catch me.
But it was hard – Israman is hard!
In terms of the rest of the season, one of my highlights this year will be Challenge Roth. I was 11th there in 8:20 last year, in a very competitive field. I’ll also try to defend my title at the Osteeman Triathlon in Austria.
Antonnina Reznikov, the women's 226 champion, had to go to medical after her finish, so we weren't able to get an interview with her. We'll for sure follow up at tomorrow's press conference.
Martina Dogana - Women's Israman 113 (half-distance) champion
I really enjoyed it – it’s a hard course, I knew that going in, but I won, so I am very, very happy.
This is my first long-distance race since the accident. (A bike crash in which she broke both her elbows.) Last year I did some sprints and Olympic-distance races just to have fun and to know if I could come back to my love of long distance. I worked a lot to be here – and I have a lot of work still to do – but I am very satisfied with the day.
In Italy, half of the country is lying in bed with a fever and last week I was one of them. Three days of completely relaxing and sleeping helped me recover. Today I was fine.
There are 22 people from Italy here with us. 12 people were racing today, including two other pros, Massimo Cigana and Marco Corti, who is doing his first race as a pro (he ended up third) and the others are age groupers and supporters, so we are really enjoying our stay here in Israel.
Diego Van Looy goes two-for-two
I am very happy I could win again here again. Jeremy Morel had a bit of a crash (low point) from 13 to 16 km and that was the point that I was able to pass him. I know the race is only over at the finish line and in a race this hard it’s possible for anyone to crash.
I didn’t have that great a feeling on the bike, but the run is my "joker" – I can always run fast at the end.
I came off the bike in third place, five minutes off the lead (Morel) and four-minutes behind second (Gabor Feldman).
I passed Gabor at 12 km and then I passed Jeremy at 16 km.
Normally I would be better at the full, but the thing is this is so hard that I need to take two months off afterwards to recover. If I do the half here, I'm able to get back to racing much sooner. Next year, though, I will for sure do the full-distance here.