Marc Herremans Classic

Vanhoenacker: 'Honouring Marc Herremans'
Marino Vanhoenacker dedicated his victory in the Antwerp Ironman to Marc Herremans. "I have been trying for four years, this victory is for Marc."

"I'm so happy with this success. I already was runner up twice when this event was held in Zolder. Last year I had problems with the bike and I could not realize the big dream but now I did it! This victory honours Marc Herremans", Vanhoenacker said afterwards.

Vanhoenacker is having a great year: "This year has been fantastic so far already and I'm on track for the Ironman in Hawaï where I want to improve last year's sixth place."

Johns: "Vanhoenacker too strong"

"I dug in deep but encountered a stronger Marino. No one could beat him today. When I saw him coming during the bike ride I knew it was over." runner-up Andrew Johns said. About the organisation the Brit only had great comments to make: "This place here has such a special atmosphere, the audience is very friendly. I'll be back next year for sure."
Vanhoenacker wins Antwerp Ironman 70.3
Marino Vanhoenacker has won the Antwerp Ironman 70.3. The Belgian triathlete beat the Brit Andrew Johns.

Marino Vanhoenacker. (photo reporters)

After the swim Frederik Van Lierde was still ahead. Vanhoenacker came out of the water about 30 seconds after the leaders, but already during the bike ride surpassed everyone and went along on his own. At the transition the difference with number two, Andrew Johns, already was five minutes. "I tried to hang on there, but simply couldn't", Johns said.

In the final part, the half marathon, Vanhoenacker did not give in his lead. On the contrary, he even distanced his competitors even further. Vanhoenacker finished in 3h50m06s. Seven minutes later, Johns, the defending champion, finished second. Stijn Demeulemeester was a surprising third. European champion full distance Frederik Van Lierde abandoned the race after the bike ride.

It was a first that a Belgian triathlete won in Antwerp. It was Vanhoenacker's last competition before sailing off to Hawaï. Paul Van Den Bosch, Luc Van Lierde's coach, thinks the Antwerp winner is the main contender for the Hawai Ironman.

"This is a magnificent performance by Marino. This victory will surely make up for a lot of acknowledgement. He is definitely one of the major contenders for Hawai. He worked very hard on his bike ride", according to Van Den Bosch. 

Rebecca Preston from Australië won the women's race. Last year's winner Yvonne Van Vlerken finished second.
Antwerp Ironman 70.3 too popular
On Sunday the Antwerp Ironman 70.3 will be held. 900 triathletes will be participating in the event that sees its profit donated to the To Walk Again foundation. For next year the organisers aim at 1200 to 1300 participants.

The Antwerp Ironman 70.3 is a half triathlon that is part of the Ironman Series since last year. The event is a qualifying round for the Ford Ironman World Championship 70.3 in Florida and has 75 qualifying slots.

For handbikers three slots are at stake. Marieke Vervoort is really pushing for one of those as in last year's Ironman she finished only 11 minutes after Marc Herremans.

ATTRACTIVE FIELD

Of the 900 participants most come from Belgium. Germany, the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands are well represented too. There are even triathletes from New-Zealand, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Canada and the US.

Sadly enough, three Belgian top athletes had to cancel: Rutger Beke, Luc Van Lierde and Gerrit Schellens. Belgians that have to fight for the honour of the nation will be Marino Vanhoenacker, Frederik Van Lierde and Bert Jammaer. They face Andrew Johns (United Kingdom), Luke McKenzie (Australia) and Steffen Liebetrau (Germany).

BIGGER NEXT YEAR?

This year registering for the event have had to be stopped at 900 participant. Organiser Bob Verbeeck therefore also mentions that it is the organisation's aim to increase the amount of competitors to 1200 or 1300.  
Athletes
Participants list:
  • Pro's (PDF)
  • Age Group Men (PDF)
  • Age Group Women (PDF)
  • Handbike (PDF)

  • Waiting list (PDF)


    Main contenders
    MEN 

    BART AERNOUTS
    2006
    Belgian Champion Duatlon
    European Champion Duatlon (espoirs)

    RUTGER BEKE
    2007
    1st Ironman Arizona
    2006
    4th Ironman Hawaii
    2nd Antwerp Ironman 70.3, Marc Herremans Classic
    3rd Ironman Lake Placid

    PETER CROES
    2005
    5th Marc Herremans Classic
    2004
    5th Marc Herremans Classic

    DENNIS DEVRIENDT
    2007
    1st Quarter triatlon Seneffe

    BERT JAMMAER
    2007
    5th California Half Ironman
    4th Ironman Lanzarote
    2006
    4th Antwerp Ironman 70.3, Marc Herremans Classic
    2004
    9th Ironman Germany

    STIJN DEMEULEMEESTER
    2007
    4th SP quarter Triatlon Antoing
    8th SP quarter Triatlon Meerhout
    4th Triatlon Brugge
    15th EC Triathlon Long Distance Brasschaat
    2006
    2nd EC triathlon Long Distance Almere
    6th Ironman Arizona
    6th Half Ironman UK

    ANDREW JOHNS
    2006
    1st Ford Ironman70.3 Florida
    1st Antwerp Ironman 70.3
    3rd EC triathlon Olympic distance 
    2003
    1st World Cup Salford
    1st World Cup Hamburg
    1st World Cup Tiszaujvaros
    2002
    3rd WC triathlon Olympic distance Cancun

    STEFFEN LIEBETRAU
    2007
    2nd Kraichgau Triathlon Festival
    2006
    1st Triathlon Buschhütten
    1st Celler Triathlon
    2nd Ironman Lanzarote
    2005
    2n Ironman Florida
    2nd Ironman Lanzarote
    8th Ironman Germany (Frankfurt)
    1st Celler Triathlon
    3rd Paide Triathlon, Estland (half ironman)

    LUKE MCKENZIE
    2006
    2nd Desaru International Long Distance Triathlon, Malaysia
    4th Ford Ironman Florida 70.3
    1st Colorado Springs Triathlon ,USA
    2005
    1st Cairns Half Ironman, Australia
    2nd Gold Coast Half Ironman, Australia
    2004
    3rd Ironman Western Australia, Busselton
    1st San Diego International Triathlon, USA
    1st Carlsbad Triathlon, California USA
    2de plaats Wisconsin Half Ironman, USA

    GERRIT SCHELLENS
    2007
    1st Ironman South Africa
    2006
    3rd Ironman Lanzarote
    1st Ironman South Africa
    2005
    3rd Ironman Lanzarote

    LUC VAN LIERDE
    2006
    16th Ironman Hawaii
    7th Ironman Lanzarote
    2003
    1st Ironman Malaysia
    1999
    1st Ironman Hawaii
    1996
    1st Ironman Hawaii

    FREDERIK VAN LIERDE

    2007
    1ste plaats EK Long Distance Triathlon Brasschaat
    5de plaats St.Croix Ironman 70.3

    MARINO VANHOENACKER
    2007
    1st  Quarter triathlon Brugge
    2006
    6th  Ironman Hawaii
    3rd Canberra ITU Long Distance World Championship
    1st Ironman Klagenfurt
    2005
    1st Ironman Florida

    WOMEN

    TIINA BOMAN
    2007
    3rd Volcano Triathlon, Lanzarote
    1st Ironman Lanzarote
    2006
    18th Ironman Hawaii
    2nd Ironman Lanzarote
    2005
    4th Ironman Lanzarote
    3rd ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championship

    TINE DECKERS
    2007
    3rd Ford Ironman 70.3 Florida
    2006
    3rd Antwerp Ironman 70.3

    ANNE FALLOWS
    2006
    4th Elbaman Ironman
    7th Monaco Ironman 70.3
    5th Ironman UK
    7th Ironman Switzerland
    5th UK Ironman 70.3

    MICHELLE FANGMANN
    2004
    3rd EC Duathlon
    3rd WC Duathlon

    SILKE HINRICHS
    2007
    5th Cross-Duathlon Murr
    3rd Illinger Cross-Duathlon

    2005
    5th Ironman UK Shearborne, England
    1st Emser-Therme-Triathlon, Bad Ems
    2nd Ladenburg (Rhein-Neckar-Cup)

    MARISKA KRAMER
    2006
    2nd Ironman Nice
    2nd Powerman Duathlon Horst
    2005
    1st Ironman Nice
    1st Allgau Triathlon Germany

    MONIKA LEHMANN
    2007
    4th Ironman 70.3 Switzerland
    2006
    7th Ford Ironman World Championship 70.3 Clearwater Florida
    2nd Ironman 70.3 Wimbleball Lake/UK

    MICHELLE LEE
    2007
    7th WC Duathlon Gyor, Hungary
    5th Ironman 70.3 Switzerland

    YVONNE VAN VLERKEN
    2007
    1st Triathlon Roth
    2nd Duathlon Lanzarote
    3rd WC Powerman Horst
    1st Duathlon Bastendorf
    1st Triathlon Gemunde Germany
    1st Duathlon Bath Haring Austria
    1st NK triathlon
    2006
    1st Antwerp Ironman 70.3
    1st Triathlon Brasschaat Belgium (Belgian championship)
    5th WK Ironman 70.3 Florida, USA
  • Second edition of Antwerp Ironman
    At the Antwerp city hall the second edition of the Antwerp Ironman 70.3 has been introduced. The event will take place on 5 August 2007.

    Already 700 athletes have enlisted and the organisers only allow for another 150 participants. Organising director Bob Verbeeck believes the success of the race is due to the fact that it is part of the Ironman 70.3 Series and that this medium distance also counts as a qualifying event for the WK 70.3 in Florida on 10 November.

    For this the Antwerp Ironman received qualifying slots. There also are three 'slots' for handbikers (the same category as Marc Herremans) for the Iron Man in Hawaii on 13 October 2007.

    On the 5 of August, the start in Antwerp will be at 11am with the 1.9 km swim in the Galgenweel, followed by a cycling leg of 90 km, which also leads to Berendrecht. After the transition area at the Gedempte Zuiderdokken the third part, a 21 km run, continues the feat, passing by the Grote Markt four times and arriving there.

    At this very moment athletes from 24 different countries already will be participating, as are all the Belgian top triathletes. The race has a money prize of 25,000 euro. Rutger Beke (who just won the Arizona Ironman), Marino Vanhoenacker, Gerrit Schellens (the winner of the South Africa Ironman), Luc Van Lierde, Bert Jammaer and Peter Croes will be present that day.

    Other athletes that will come for sure are Australian Luke McKenzie, New-Zeelander Brent Sheldrake and the German Steffen Liebetrau (who finished second twice in the Ironman of Lanzarote).
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