ZAt the end of the triathlon season, two athletes from DSW Darmstadt once again achieved great success. At the Ironman Israel on the Sea of Galilee, which was held for the first time, Patrick Lange won after an outstanding mileage in a time of 7:42:00 hours ahead of Dane Daniel Baekkegard, who finished 1:39 minutes later.
In the women’s race, Daniela Bleymehl only had to give way to Ruth Astle from Britain after 8:50:13 hours. While Lange, as a two-time Hawaii champion, only had to finish to secure a starting place for the 2023 Ironman World Championship, Daniela Bleymehl was under pressure. She needed a top three finish to start planning for Hawaii again after retiring from running at the season’s peak this year.
Proof on the big stage
Second place now makes it easier for her. Qualifying early will save her the stress of fighting for a spot in Kona over the coming year. For the Darmstadt native it was already the third top place in an Ironman race this year after her victories in Frankfurt and South Africa.
For Patrick Lange, after his disappointing tenth place in Hawaii, where he was thrown back by a controversial five-minute time penalty, the race in Israel was an opportunity for Patrick Lange to show once again on the big stage that he’s still in the running, including for the big titles. “I didn’t want to end the year with the result in Hawaii, where I didn’t feel like I could show what I was actually capable of,” said the Hesse, who lives in Salzburg, of the FAZ
What he is capable of, and what the competition is now looking at again, is above all the last discipline in the three-way battle, the marathon after 3.8 kilometers of swimming and 180 kilometers of cycling. On the running track, the race in Israel turned into a big Lange show. When switching from bike to running shoes, the Dane Baekkegard, seventh at the Ironman World Championships in Utah earlier this year, had a lead of six and a half minutes over Lange. The Swede Robert Kallin, an excellent cyclist, was the only one who was faster. His lead over the Germans: 8:03 minutes. But then Lange got going.
He ran the first ten kilometers in 37 minutes. After 24 kilometers he was still a minute behind Baekkegard. At 30 kilometers he overtook the Dane and finally distanced him by 1:39 minutes. Leading the bike, Swede Kallin, who finished sixth, ran a whopping 23 minutes slower than Lange, whose 2:30:32 run for the marathon turned out to be the fastest time ever when looking at the stats in a competition over the Ironman course.
Bleymehl’s conciliatory end to the season
With that, Lange managed to make another exclamation point at the end of the season. “The run and this time mean a lot to me,” he said. “It shows me that I’m able to push my limits further and further. The sport is developing rapidly at the moment and I showed in Israel that I can keep up with this development. I can now start the break and the new season with a feeling and a lot of confidence.”
The same applies to Daniela Bleymehl. The 34-year-old could not forget the trauma of Hawaii with another win, but second place also ensures a conciliatory end to the season. If the Darmstadt native hadn’t had to stop running after 20 kilometers in Hawaii, exhausted and demoralized, she would have gone on winter break after the season’s highlight. “But it didn’t feel right to go into the break with a bad feeling.”
Because of this – and because of the qualification for the next Hawaii appearance – she registered for Israel, ending up with a place on the podium. With her time of 8:50:13 hours she finished nine minutes behind the dominating winner Ruth Astle. Bleymehl rode her bike around Astle in the leading group of six for a long time before the Brit picked up the pace in the last thirty kilometers and opened up a lead of three minutes. Since she also ran the marathon six minutes faster than Bleymehl, her victory was a sure thing.