A finish time of 8:30:35 and a bike time of 5:01:40: on paper not so very special for a pro athlete – or not at all – but for Dutch Evert Scheltinga, who did participate at Ironman South Africa last Sunday, it was pretty impressive because he rode the last sixty kilometers of the bike course without a saddle. Indeed….without a saddle.
After about 120 kilometers on the bike, the Dutchman’s saddle broke off, so he had two options: abandon the race or continue the race only standing on his bike, and Scheltinga chose the latter. It wasn’t easy and of course his pace dropped significantly, so he lost contact with the fastest athletes of the day, who he had been keeping up with up until that point. Nevertheless, he kept going and so he eventually returned to T2.
Despite the very tough bike ride, Scheltinga still managed to run a marathon of 3:00:27 and thus make up some time as well as regain positions. Afterwards, he commented to the Dutch website 3athlon.nl that he was ‘really sick of the disappointment’.
Earlier this year Evert Scheltinga finished fourth at the World Championships Long Distance in Almere, The Netherlands. There he finished in 7:49:33. Thanks to this time he crushed the former Dutch record, what makes Scheltinga the fastest Dutch Long Distance athlete ever.