Sports - 15/10/2012

Emotions run high in Kona

Scandinavia’s top triathlete and ECCO brand ambassador, Rasmus Henning, may have completed his last competitive race at the prestigious Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, but it was fellow Scandinavian and ECCO ambassador Michelle Vesterby who really made her mark on her Kona debut, finishing in 12th place.

Rasmus completed the race in 8:53:39. Although positioned in the top 10 for a large part of the race, the run took its toll and he crossed the line in 22nd place, a respectable finish for the Danish athlete who has given his all to the sport in a 13 year career.

After completing the race, Rasmus said:

“I would of course, have liked to finish better, but my body didn't give me any more to work with. My swim was great, and I actually felt better on the bike than I have during the previous two years here, but half way through the marathon I simply ran out of energy. I did my best to take in the atmosphere and enjoy the final bits of the race. Crossing the finish line was really quite emotional. It was fantastic to hear the love and good thoughts from my fellow racers and the spectators.

“It is a perfect time to retire, and I am absolutely happy about my decision. I stop at the end of a great season with 3 big victories, while my body is still in a condition which will allow me to do more recreational sports for all the years to come.

"I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me in my career as a triathlete over the past years”.

Michelle Vesterby made her debut at Kona. Tackling the challenging course for the first time, Michelle finished in 12th place with a time of 9:42:22, a great result for the athlete who completed her first ever Ironman distance in November 2011.

“I want to say thank you for all the support; it meant the world to me! I was really happy with my final position but it really was a hard day, with many ups and downs. The mental fight was hard and made even more tough by the high temperatures and strong winds. But, all in all, I'm happy to be the 12th best girl in the world.”

Matthias Schwarte, Marketing Manager ECCO Performance, says: “We’re extremely proud of Michelle and Rasmus’s performances at Kona as the only two Scandinavian pro-athletes to qualify."

”It’s been a pleasure working with Rasmus since 2009 and he has provided invaluable insight as an elite athlete into the development of BIOM Running Range. We wish him every success in his next venture. Michelle is a rising star in triathlon and we’re delighted with her success this season and at her Kona debut. We are sure that Michelle has a bright future in triathlon and ECCO look forward to supporting her along her journey.”

Rasmus and Michelle premiered the ECCO BIOM EVO RACER at Kona, available from spring 2013.