Patrik Nilsson claims a fantastic 8th place finish at the Ironman World Championship in Kona. In his debut year, he finished the race in 8:18:21. His BMC-Etixx teammate Bart Aernouts crossed the line in 8:26:28 to secure 12th place after setting the 6th fastest run split of the day. Ronnie Schildknecht fought his way to 30th position in a time of 8:50:30.
26 year old Nilsson claims 8th place finish in his roockie year
Patrik Nilsson had a perfect start to the day as he exited the water in 7th place, just 1’ behind the leader. He settled in the big chase group at the start of the bike. The first 70k Patrik rode an attentive race staying in the big front group. Heading up the climb to Hawi the race broke open and after a few accelerations Nilsson chose for his own pace knowing there was a lot of racing left. At the turnaround, halfway through the bike, Nilsson settled in the second chase group battling for 11th place. Entering T2 the Swedish athlete looked at a deficit of 3' to the top 10. Tying his running shoes in 13th place, Patrik started the marathon in a steady pace. He kept closing in on that top 10 spot. Entering Energy Lab at the 26k mark, Nilsson made his move to take over 10th place. The BMC-Etixx athlete wanted more and absolutely went for it. He kept digging deep to give everything he had, resulting in passing two more athletes. In his rookie year in Kona, Patrik Nilsson crossed the finish line in an outstanding 8th place finish.
Bart Aernouts and Ronnie Schildknecht had to charge through the field all day. Riding almost the whole bike course together the teammates started off the run around 30th place, separated by only 1’. Aernouts battled his way through to the front and began knocking on the door of top 15 with more than 5k to go. Bart kept going and made up some places. The Belgian rounded of his comeback race in 12th place at the finish line, posting the 6th fastest run split of the day. Ronnie Schildknecht didn't have the perfect day but kept battling to finish the race in 30th place.
Very satisfied and lessons learned
Patrik Nilsson was very satisfied with his performance on the Big Island: "I started my race well. The swim was good and I came out in the lead group. I put in a very solide performance on the bike but a couple of rookie misstakes perhaps made it harder that necessary. I ran out of water during the last 15k on the bike as I thought there would be one more aid station.
The first 15k on the run was perhaps the hardest I have ever done. I drank and drank and drank some more to rehydrate and ended up with four toilet stops along Alii drive. But after that the flow got back and I could keep and ok pace for the rest of the marathon. Really happy with my first race here in Kona. It really lived up to everything I wanted. A tough race, a lot of lessons learned and I look forward to coming back and do this better next year.