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Ronnie Schildknecht 4th in IM 70.3 Switzerland, Bart Aernouts 8th

Ronnie Schildknecht and Bart Aernouts have finished 4th and 8th respectively in the 2014 Ironman 70.3 Switzerland. Boris Stein (Germany; 03:44:42) took the title. Silver and bronze went to Ruedi Wild (03:45:31) and Mike Aigroz (03:46:31) of Switzerland.

Local favorite Daniela Ryf won the women’s race in 04:00:14. Emma Pooley (GB; 04:12:01) and Nicola Spirig (Switzerland; 04:21:17) completed the podium.

Ronnie was in the mix for a podium finish the entire race. Bart, on the other hand, fell ill this week, which made for a tough day to race. Ronnie came out of the water in sixth position just 10 seconds behind a lead group of five with Van Berkel, Fernández-Cortés, Aigroz, Wild and Potrebitsch. Bart followed two minutes later. On the bike, a group of seven, including an active Ronnie, quickly formed at the front. Going into T2, he was still part of the leading seven. In the meantime, Bart was feeling less than race fit. Determined to finish, he started the marathon with a deficit of more than five minutes. Ronnie ran for a podium spot but ultimately fell a little short on race fitness. His final time: 03:47:42. Bart settled for a tough training day and, clocking in at 03:52:50, an 8th spot.

After being forced to abandon the South Africa and Lanzarote Ironmans earlier this year, Ronnie Schildknecht was pleased to be competing with the best again: “I am really happy. Of course I would have preferred to finish on the podium. But right now it feels great to have the momentum on my side again after a few bad races. I can tell my form is not 100% yet, but I’m getting close. I felt great in the swim. On the bike I tried to be aggressive. Being in that front pack from the beginning was a big deal and a great sign for me. That is usually not the case. In the half marathon I felt really good early on. I even ran in second place for a bit. I started cramping, but I was able to fight through the cramps and come back a little. In the run is where my lack in race-specific fitness showed. But I know all I need is some more training to add that last 5% to my conditioning.”

A hoarse Bart Aernouts reflected back on a race that really wasn’t. “There is not much you can say about a day like this, no conclusions to draw. I have been under the weather for a few days now, but I wanted to at least give it a try. But I couldn’t really race today. Hopefully I got a good training session out of it. My swim actually wasn’t bad, and I felt okay early in the bike leg. But after that things quickly deteriorated. I didn’t want to quit though, just because I wasn’t feeling well. Of course I am disappointed. I want to do well in every race. But there’s nothing you can do about this. I have been doing well in training, so I know my conditioning is good. I just have to care of myself and focus on my three weeks of altitude training in Font Romeu to be ready for Ironman Nice on June 29th.

Complete results

Check out our Ironman 70.3 Switzerland photo special

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