Thursday, July 26, 2012 12:00:00 AM
7/26/2012: KMD Challenge Copenhagen - Will a Dane win on home soil or does Berkel three peat?
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Last year's top-4 in the mens' race will once again be on the startline to fight for the win at KMD Challenge Copenhagen - the biggest iron distance race in Northern Europe and second largest in the Challenge Family.
The race again attracts the attention of the sport loving Danes and KMD Challenge Copenhagen has since the inaugural race in 2010 boosted triathlon in Denmark.
2,000 athletes will start the race from the lagune with a 3,8 km swim at Amager Beach Park, head through Copenhagen and north at open roads and rolling hills on the two looped 180 km bike course before heading out on the marathon course by the Copenhagen harbour front. KMD Challenge Copenhagen has developed into the biggest annual sports event in Denmark and one of the biggest iron distance events in the World. The 2,000 athletes, the over 150,000 spectators and the beautiful course in the heart of a major European capital makes this a giant event.
"Iron distance triathlon is very special and has an energy and a soul like no other sport. The combination of some of the fittest athletes in the world competing alongside 'ordinary' people makes iron distance triathlon a tale of big performances and personal victories and is a place for the big emotions and life changing experiences. When all the emotions, the suffering, the tears and the personal fights are unveiled at the finish line is a unique place to be and magic appears again and again," said race director, Thomas Veje Olsen.
The men's race has the top-4 from last year back fighting it out for the win in the Copenhagen streets. Only two minutes separated all four men last year but is was Aussie Tim Berkel who snatched his second consecutive win only 35 seconds in front of Dane Jimmy Johnsen. The two had battled out a nerve wrecking final run shoulder to shoulder, testing each others limits late in the run before Berkel broke away on the final few kilometers to take the win. Jimmy Johnsen was second and took home the Danish Championship title while Croat Dejan Patrcevic took 3rd just in front of the fast runner, Mads Vittrup-Pedersen who clocked a race best marathon of 2:38:59.
The Danish favorites are once again Johnsen and Vittrup-Pedersen with Berkel and Patrcevic among the international favorites along with the runner up from 2010 Keegan Williams and Joseph Spindler. Can Berkel three peat or will one of the Danes finally be able to take top honor in the biggest race in Denmark? Both Johnsen and Vittrup-Pedersen are fast on the bike and can run the marathon in the low and mid 2:40'ies. With Vittrup-Pedersen's 2:38:59 is a course record Johnsen managed a 2:44:01 last year.
In the women's race two-time champ Rebekah Keat will not defend her title. The pre race favorites must be: Diana Riesler and Edith Niederfriniger.
The race climaxes in front of the Danish Parliament Building at around 3pm Sunday August 12. For further information visit www.kmdchallengecopenhagen.com .