22/04/2017: Tine has finished fifth in the 2017 Ironman North-American Championship Texas. Jodie Robertson (US; 8:56:32) took the title. Michaela Herlbauer (Austria; 8:59:31) and Maja Stage-Nielsen (Denmark; 9:01:00) completed the podium. Tine’s final time was 9:06:08. “The new generation is here and it is strong, but I will be ready.”
Last month, Tine crashed into a volunteer during the Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico. She left the island with a slap lesion and severe shoulder contusions. She was unable to lift her arm and thus swim for three weeks. Still, after a good training camp in Lanzarote with a ton of bike and running kilometers, Tine was ambitious going into the Ironman Texas. When she did get back in the pool, her swimming felt okay. Still, the race would be the real test.
And what a test it would be. Lauren Brandon left the entire field behind in the water. The Olympic swimmer even outswam all pro men. But it also meant Tine came out of the water in 11th position, trailing by almost 12 minutes. First and foremost, she had to get herself back in the race. She did just that. Halfway the bike leg, Tine had moved up to third place. In the second half, riding a little more conservatively, she was joined by a few strong cyclists. She entered T2 together with Robertson, Stage-Nielsen and Kaye, 6:30 behind Brandon. After the first loop of three, a podium finish still seemed possible, but then the strong runners got the upper hand. Tine had to dig deep to catch up to Brandon and take fifth place in the final stretch of the race.
Despite going for the podium, a realistic Tine was pleased with her Ironman Texas. “I don’t have the exceptional bike strength I had in 2016 yet, but I can tell I am close. The Puerto Rico crash cost me a few minutes in the swim. But truth be told, I am mostly happy my shoulder held up. The hard work I put in these past few weeks, the suffering too, paid off. I gave it my all the entire race and didn’t make any mistakes. That is why I am happy with my fifth place. I feel I earned it. It is clear the new generation is coming. But on tough bike courses, I know I can take them on. Today’s race showed me I am getting close to my best shape. My shoulder held up. My marathon was solid and I showed mental strength going for and taking that fifth-place finish. Those are confidence boosters. But first I need to recuperate because I can tell I had to dig deep. After that, we will look at the calendar and pick the next race.”