it was a day to remember for Jan van Berkel (CHE) as he was crowned IRONMAN Switzerland Thun champion for the fourth time. A heroic achievement on his last IRONMAN event as a professional athlete. Beating Leonard Arnold (DEU) and Andrea Salvisberg (CHE), who finished second and third respectively.
Switzerland played host to the 5th edition of IRONMAN® Switzerland Thun today. This race previously took place in Zurich for 23 years before moving to its new home in Thun. The day saw Switzerland’s Jan van Berkel take the spotlight by taking the top podium spot and finishing in a time of 08:05:02 in his last ever professional IRONMAN event.
Jan van Berkel: “The win is important but for me, the beauty of the race was having everyone here who gave me a boost, a training plan, helped prepare my bike, closed my wetsuit, or prepared a meal for me. It was nice having everyone here today. The race was close and painful, but I don’t really care how it went. The only thing that matters is that I had the finish line tape in my hand… Today is one of the days I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Leonard Arnold: “The race was so tough; the last few weeks have been mentally so stressful leading up to this. I crashed and destroyed my bike, but I managed to get a bike from my girlfriend. I wasn’t sure how that was going to play out today but in the end it was incredible. The crowd out there was amazing, and I have no words to describe how good the run course was.”
Andrea Salvisberg: “I am so happy; it was a great race. It was beautiful scenery on the bike, and it was amazing to have my brother out there on the course. It was a perfect race, but I need to train a bit harder for an IRONMAN because it is so much harder than the IRONMAN 70.3 events that I am used to [he laughs]. It is amazing to see what Jan [van Berkel] has achieved in the last couple of years. He is an amazing athlete and good luck to him on the next step of his career.”
The day began with a one-loop 3.8 km swim at the newly renovated lido where athletes entered the pristine waters of Lake Thun in the heart of the Alps. Followed by a two-loop 180.2 km bike course taking athletes towards Spiez and into Gürbe valley. Lastly, a majestic three-loop 42.2 km run course awaited with the picturesque backdrop of the majestic Alps.
IRONMAN Switzerland Thun results:
1. Jan van Berkel (CHE) – 08:05:53
2. Leonard Arnold (DEU) – 08:07:14
3. Andrea Salvisberg (CHE) – 08:10:25
4. Samuel Hurzeler (CHE) – 08:12:31
5. Jon Sæverås Breivold (NOR) – 08:13:43
Full swim-bike-run results for IRONMAN Switzerland Thun can be found on https://www.ironman.com/im-switzerland-results. Alternatively, download the IRONMAN Tracker App (available on both Android and iOS).