Faris Al-Sultan - Ironman World Champion Ironman Lanzarote

At the 22nd addition of the Ironman Lanzarote 14 years after my last participation I was able to win this iconic race. Prior to the race I wasn’t so confident even as everyone besides my closest expected me to win. Persistent back problems that effected my hamstrings and were responsible for my bad result at the San Juan 70.3 caused more prerace thrill than I actually need. Frank my physio in Munich as well as Claudia a german physio living on Lanzarote, who worked on me the day before the race, wouldn’t have bet on me. The race itself developed nicely for me. In the water Stephen Bayliss took over most of the lead work while I only had to work for about a 1000 meters in the second loop. Stephen, Philip Graves and me started the bike course together, but after about 10k I pulled away. I tried to keep the pace up without killing myself decending or being blown away by the heavy wind. My hamstrings were causing some pain, but didn’t seem to affect my performance. I took a lead of approx. 10min into the run beeing chased by Miquel Blanchart and Philip. I considered my speed satisfying and felt good, but Miquel charged wildly and took back about 3min on the first lap. At km18 I entered the darkzone. My hamstrings were painful and I had to stop and stretch, but overcoming bad thoughts and having some Powergel and a Coke I was able to get back on track. Thankfully Miquel also slowed down and wasn’t any faster than me. I apologise to my fellow athletes and spectators for my groaning. I can only say it was painful and that helped.

Congratulations to my former team mate Kristin Möller who was able to win undisputedly with a 30min margin.