Slowly, but steadily, he came closer and closer and with the finish line nearly in sight it was done. Dutch Menno Koolhaas just celebrated his victory at Ironman 70.3 Cascais. He managed to stay ahead of France’s Mathis Margirier, who ended up in second (+0:15), but led most of the race.
Right from the start, Koolhaas – who always swims strong – was well in the mix, because swimming 20:33 minutes he was first out of the water. He was closely followed by four athletes, after which a group followed at one minute distance.
During the bike part, Koolhaas saw Margirier fly by. The French athlete went for a solo attack and lasted the entire bike discipline in front. Meanwhile, Koolhaas found a position in the chase group of eleven men. The athletes were about one minute behind Margirier at the halfway point. Just before T2 Koolhaas created a little gap of ten seconds to the pack. Margirier was still 2:12 minutes ahead, but that was about to change, as Koolhaas took off strong on the run.
Koolhaas ran faster than the French athlete, and with a pace that was initially ten seconds per km faster, the gap quickly shrunk. After 15 km, it was clear that these two were going to have a tight battle for the win. Koolhaas was only 28 seconds behind Margirier at this point, but their pace difference was noticeably lower. It was the question whether Koolhaas would end up catching Margirier or settle for silver.
Koolhaas eventually managed to bridge the gap just before the finish. After 3:45:28 hours, it was Koolhaas who broke the tape. The French athlete finished 15 seconds later to take second. Koolhaas noted a run time of 1:10:54 hours.
Koolhaas slaagde er vlak voor de streep in Margirier op te rapen en zo mocht hij na 3:45:28 uur het lint boven zijn hoofd tillen als winnaar. De Fransman finishte vijftien seconden later als tweede. Koolhaas liep uiteindelijk 1:10:54 uur over de halve marathon. The last podium spot went to Swiss Andrea Salvisberg (+0:53).