Last year Marino ‘Bink’ Vanhoenacker narrowly missed out on the Ironman World Record by 98 seconds but at the weekend he returned with avengeance. His winning time was 7:45:58, smashing the old Ironman world record by over 4 minutes!
A 6th consecutive Ironman Austria win seemed like a formality for the Team Commerzbank athlete as the pro athletes lined up for the swim under blue skies and with virtually no wind.
It proved to be perfect conditions for a fast race. Marino exited the water in 46:49min. That was already a minute faster than in 2010.
He soon caught the leader Marko Albert as he pushed hard on the bike, early on averaging 43km/h. Even though he slowed down a little towards the end of the bike leg he still set the second fastest bike in Ironman history (4:15:37) and improved last year’s time by 3 minutes!
Marino’s closest challenger was Michael Weiss but even he was 7:34min back after transition 2 and continued to lose time on the run as the flying Belgian was setting a pace of 3:43min/km.
It was a memorable performance and the large crowd at the finish celebrated their champion in style.
Marino was clearly ecstatic with his time, "This race surpassed anything in my sports life. It was perfect conditions today, I was in perfect shape at the right time, my material was excellent again and the crowd in Kärnten was better than ever. This definitely is my second home," His next target will be the Ironman World Championships in October where he’ll be looking to improve on his 3rd place last year.
High5 is one of Marino’s strategic partners and he worked closely on his race nutrition plan with their team of nutrition experts. Tim Atkinson, High5 director, commented on the new world record:”This is a fantastic achievement for Marino and very well deserved. After his result last year we did some testing on his race nutrition and this helped us make some important changes. We learnt that we could optimise his carbohydrate uptake using our new generation of 2:1 Fructose drinks with a moderate caffeine content. A higher energy supply means that he should be able to push harder on the bike and the run.”