Action on Rügen – Ironman 70.3

Hard to hold with anticipation and rays in the eyes our sport enthusiast … even more … ironman enthusiasts and even triathlete, Caren, set off for Rügen on September 9 to be part of the Ironman 70.3 live. Of course she wants to share it with you!

Binz in a different light

“Anyone who knows the Baltic seaside resort of Binz knows that September is a peaceful time. After the summer holidays you meet a somewhat older audience and a little peace after the season with late summer flair returns. It’s been completely different on Ironman Weekend for the last four years. Suddenly the place is full of hundreds of triathletes and their friends and relatives who come to cheer. Suddenly there is muscle tension in the air and there is pleasant excitement on the last day before the race. The whole place turns into a big arena, the streets on Rügen are full of racing cyclists and people are busy swimming in the Baltic Sea.

start of the swimmer © TMV/Caren Bakker

This year again the fourth edition of the beach robber Ironman 70.3 Rügen was like this. After last year’s bombastic weather and the world’s best rating as Ironman 70.3 races an extra large number of athletes found their way to the island. 1400 registered individual starters, 120 relay races and an extremely high-calibre field of professional athletes both for women and men promised a top-class triathlon weekend. And then on the day before the Ironman there was also the final of the Triathlon Bundesliga – the highest national racing series with 14 women’s and 16 men’s teams á 4 starters. Thus the German triathlon heart clearly beat this weekend on Rügen in the Baltic seaside resort Binz!

Bundesliga: changing zone © TMV/Caren Bakker

But the Ironman on Rügen wouldn’t be the Ironman on Rügen if there wasn’t another little change of weather. After two years of moderate weather and Caribbean flair last year, the days before the race were again “rough Baltic Sea weather” this year – you have to scare the athletes a bit about swimming in the open Baltic Sea, which despite cool temperatures, was at least as slippery as glass. So the German elite had to put up with rain and cool temperatures at the Bundesliga races. But the boys and girls run at their limits anyway so nobody gets cold. And best of all: despite the coming rain all spectators stopped at the track and frenetically cheered on the athletes on the 750m swim, the 20km bike ride and the final 5km run – even the older audience! A great atmosphere which was super motivating for the athletes and welded the whole place together.

Bundesliga: bike racinging © TMV/Caren Bakker

The world class in Binz

Then came day 2 of the spectacle: Go-ahead for the Ironman 70.3! And I’m sure Peter is a triathlete. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, the Baltic Sea was as smooth as glass, the athletes were excited in the pre-launch area and the pier and beach were full with thousands of spectators. Goose bumps pure as the Baltic Sea began to cook and gradually all athletes were sent into the race. After the 1.9km in the Baltic Sea the first change was on the bikes and then on two laps towards Bergen and Putbus on the 90km bike course. Then another change and on 2.5 laps to the half marathon through Binz. The atmosphere was gigantic, the running track is super compact and the athletes always pass the crowds. Cheers and applause then carry them towards the finish. Especially on Klünderberg which has to be run twice from each side with an 11% gradient – this is bitterly necessary. Who thinks the track on Rügen is even he has been far from it. Even the pros had to bite here and some amateurs had despair written in their faces.

Patrik Lange on the bike © TMV/Caren Bakker

Finally Patrik Lange who finished last year’s Ironman World Championship in Hawaii in third place finished first in 3:43:46h. His conclusion immediately after the race: “The atmosphere and spirit brings it close to Hawaii” – THE KNIGHTBEAT! Hawaii – that’s the ultimate in triathlon but Binz is damn cool too! Anja Beranek who finished fourth in Hawaii last year made the women’s race in 4:16:37h and was also welcomed at the finish with wild cheering. And even if the pros all finished at some point the amateurs were still there for some time – always carried by the never-ending atmosphere in Binz. Pure adrenalin and endorphins, the personal moments at the finishline, the happy faces of the arriving athletes – these are also goose bumps for spectators.

The winner of men – Patrik Lange © TMV/Caren Bakker

So folks, even if you are not a triathlete: There and on 09.09.2018 in Binz on Rügen refuel the mood and atmosphere like on Hawaii. If you are a bit sporty you can of course also be there – simply take over one of the 3 disciplines in a season and then run across the finish line with two friends and celebrate. I can warmly recommend the less sporty readers as helpers. So you are part of the event and very close to the athletes who are very grateful to you for your commitment. But also “just” watching is really cool. So… aren’t we all a little Ironman?

Die Siegerin der Damen Anja Beranek © TMV/Caren Bakker

Die Siegerin der Damen Anja Beranek © TMV/Caren Bakker

Information and Registration for the Ironman 70.3
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