Return to racing. Lisa Norden and Magnus Ditlev too strong in Gdynia!

Submitted by karol@sportevo… on Sun, 09/06/2020 - 19:32
Impressive performance by Magnus Ditlev (DEN) to claim victory at 2020 Enea IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia while Lisa Norden (SWE) completed a Scandinavian doublet leading the female field from swim to finish. Poland welcomed athletes with extraordinary safety measures during the first IRONMAN racing weekend since lockdown.

Potential surprises in the pro race were perceptible already during the press conference – streamed online – on Friday afternoon before the race as main favorites to win were not very eager to make promises about their performance:

 

Boris Stein, Enea IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia 2017 winner
Winning on Sunday is not my main goal. The key thing is that we are finally able to race after such a long break.
Patrick Lange, two-time IRONMAN world champion
just cannot wait for race day. I heard many good things about this event so I look forward to it.

 

Many others could be seen as potential podium finishers but hardly anyone expected Magnus Ditlev to challenge the favorites. 23-year-old Dane came out of water on 18th place but roughly 40 seconds behind the leader. However, what he did on the first, uphill part of the bike course was simply beyond belief. He hammered extremely strong taking the lead quickly and building the gap up to over 6 minutes in T2 before he took on the 2-loop run course leading around the city centre and sea boulevards in Gdynia. He indeed paid a price for this crazy bike ride on the run, having a chasing group of Jan Stratmann (GER), Robert Kallin (SWE), Thomas Davis (GBR) and Patrick Lange attacking from the 10th place after bike. The two-time IRONMAN world champion finally made it to the podium, finishing third in 3:45:50, over 3 minutes behind Ditlev (3:42:37). Thomas Davis took 2nd place in 3:44:57.

Magnus Ditlev, Danish rising star
It was pretty tough on the run but if you want to win you can motivate yourself.

 

Women’s race was more one-sided with Lisa Norden setting her own pace that proved to be too much for her competition. She finished the swim in 26:23 and continued with a very strong bike, averaging 39,75 km/h on a hilly course outside Gdynia. Her quest for victory was completed with a 1:31:43 half marathon. Behind her back, Carolin Lehrieder (GER) finished second in 4:23:45 while Kimberley Morrison (GBR) took the third podium spot.

 

Lisa Norden, Enea IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia 2020 winner
It’s been a very difficult year but everything worked out for me today. It’s amazing to win and to be able to put on a wetsuit again.

 

2020 Enea IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia was organized under special COVID-19-related sanitary regimen based on the local restrictions and recommendations as well as the global IRONMAN Athlete Smart: Return to Racing guidelines that are based on several pillars: education, density reduction, touchpoint minimization, athlete self-reliance and screening.

 

Michal Drelich, race director

would like to express my biggest thanks to all the athletes, volunteers and staff members for their excellent cooperation and understanding for the extra security measures that we introduced for this event. I do believe we made another step forward this weekend showing that IRONMAN events can be organized in a safe manner, even in the pandemic situation, while still being attractive and allowing athletes to enjoy the competition and make their dreams come true.

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