After a disappointing Ironman World Championships in Kona, Eneko Llanos carried his fantastic fitness from Kona to Tempe, Arizona and set a new US soil record winning time for the Ironman distance- 7:59:38!
Eneko came to Arizona looking for the win, but never underestimated his rivals and focused on his own race. He says he never enters a race believing that it is already won because there are too many other strong atheletes in the race with him. That focus delivered him to victory today on a beautiful Arizona fall day.
Coming out of the water in 48:47, Eneko headed out for the bike leg in 12th position. It didn't take long for him to pick off the riders in front him and take the lead. Eneko scorched the bike leg in an impressive 4:20:54 and headed into T2 with a little more than 1:30 to carry onto the run.
In the closing moments of the race, a broad smile began to appear across Eneko's face periodically between the grimaces of pain. He began to realize that he was closing in on the record and fought fatigue, shaking his arms out regularly, to keep the pace high enough for the win and the record. Amey fought bravely to the end, but Eneko claimed one of his most brilliant wins to date and took the record into the books as well. The headwinds of the bike leg were not enough to slow him down, nor was the dry heat of the run. In the end, Eneko proved his postition as a world class athlete.
All of us at BH are extremely proud of Eneko and his accomplishments today. It is worth mentioning the efforts of Nicholas Ward Munoz as well. Nico is a strong competitor, winning a 4000M open water swim on the Ironman AZ swim course just a week before the race, but succumbed to the fatigue of "one too many races this year". Though Nico did not get the glory of being among the winners, we are still very proud of his efforts today and this season. He's a bright star for the future and we're proud of his efforts today.
Nico with BH staff during Ironman expo.