Triathlon: title and record for Marten Van Riel


In winning the first middle distance triathlon competition of the year in Dubai, the Antwerp native set a time that appears to be the new world benchmark of all time in this discipline.

An Ironman 70.3 (or Half Ironman) competition consists of a combination of three races: swimming, cycling, and running, with a total distance of 70.3 miles (113 km), or half a traditional Ironman (226 km). For information, the Olympic triathlon event takes place over a total distance of 51.5 km.

Marten Van Riel has just achieved a real feat In Dubai, where the year's first international event in this very demanding sport has just taken place. Although considered a specialist in shorter distances (he finished 4th in the Olympic triathlon at the last Olympics), he finished this Half Ironman in 3h26'06.

He was first out of the water after a 1.9 km swim in 22'49 and then got on his bike to complete the 90 km distance at an average speed of 47.45 km/h. Still in the lead, the 29-year-old Antwerp native ran the half marathon (21.1 km) in 1h07'56 to claim the second title of his career in this discipline, after winning in Xiamen (China) at the end of 2019.

Moreover, his performance is currently considered by the sports world as the best ever achieved at this distance. Many people discredit the official record (3h 25'21) by the Norwegian Blummenfelt because it was achieved on a course whose cycling section was 4 km short.

Congratulations to this Belgian athlete for this exceptional performance that can be described as a new world benchmark!