Two-time Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee kicked off his season of long-distance racing on the right note with a victory at today’s half-iron Gloria Challenge Mogán Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands of Spain.
Brownlee was impressive, crossing the finish line in 4:03:09, establishing a new course record and beating out second-place finisher Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) by more than eight minutes.
“This is my first attempt at a middle distance race and there is a lot to learn,” Brownlee said after the race. “I chose Gloria Challenge Mogán Gran Canaria as my first middle-distance race because I really like what Challenge Family is about and considering we are coming into the summer race season the timing is perfect.”
Brownlee will next face a bit of a bigger challenge against a top-notch field at May 6’s Ironman 70.3 North American Championships in St. George, Utah.
In the women’s race, defending two-time Ironman world champion Daniela Ryf led the majority of the race but struggled on the run. Great Britain’s Emma Pallant was strong in the final leg, moving from third to first during the half-marathon—crossing the finish line in 4:35:15 and setting a new course record. Fellow British athlete Lucy Charles finished second, with Ryf rounding out the top three.