Victory at IRONMAN South Africa


I worked hard on my fitness throughout the whole winter. All with one aim in mind: achieving a stunning performance at the IRONMAN South Africa. I didn’t expect to dominate this way, which is why I’m extremely proud of this victory. 

The start of the swim didn’t go smoothly. Apparently, I chose a bad starting position because of which I already had to close a gap after 100 m. At the first buoy, after 600 m, I managed to move into the leading group. I then preferred to follow, as making a difference in the swim is extremely tough and a waste of energy. 

The bike consisted of two laps, of which the first 12 kilometres went steadily uphill. I immediately felt that my legs were up for the job. I decided to sound out how the competition felt during the first lap. After the first climb the leading group already had thinned out from 13 to 4 athletes: Sylvain Sudrie (FR), Bertrand Billard (FR), Kyle Buckingham (RSA) and myself. Four world champions! My plan to attack in the beginning of the second lap turned out to be the right one. I soon managed to open a three minute lead. Not enough to begin the marathon comfortably, so I decided to power on into the T2. The fact that I eventually proceeded onto the run with a 13 min 30 lead over the first pursuer, Kyle Buckingham, gave my confidence a huge boost. With Ivan Rana (ESP), Bart Aernouts (BEL) and Eneko Llanos (ESP), who followed shortly after Buckingham, I knew that a really good marathon was required. 

From the first kilometres of the marathon, I felt as strong as during the bike. I said to myself: if I keep up this pace, I will get a fantastic victory. The huge number of spectators guided me to a marathon of 2 h 49. Winning IRONMAN South Africa makes me feel very confident for the coming season, and it’s a great feeling to be victorious this way, with an eventual lead of just over 14 minutes. 

Thank you to the many supporters online as well as on the spot!


Frederik Van Lierde