Aliaksandr Vasilevich (BLR) won the second edition of Enea 5150 Warsaw with a new course record. The women's competition saw a dominant performance by Polish olympian Agnieszka Jerzyk. Nearly 1000 athletes entered the water on a warm and sunny race day in Warsaw.
It was a perfect morning with a clear blue sky when the pro athletes rushed into the water of the Lake Zegrzynski, located to the north-east of Warsaw, followed by hundreds of age groupers grouped for a rolling start. A young Pole Mateusz Rak came out first and headed to T1 followed by a fellow Polish Tomasz Brembor and Sean Donnelly of Germany. Filip Ospaly, a titled Czech triathlete at the end of his career, was out of top 10, then.
The competition heated up during the bike stage. After Donnelly withdrew due to a flat tyre, it was Aliaksandr Vasilevich who imposed a furious pace and made it to T2 at the Theatre Square in Warsaw with more than 2 minutes lead over a group of 7 athletes who finished the bike separated by only 12 seconds.
Running out of T2, Filip Ospaly was in the chasing group and made his probably „last dance” on the picturesque streets of the historic part of Warsaw. The 41-year-old Czech used all his experience to be able to overtake a few athletes on a 10k run and finally finished 5th losing a photocell finish to Tomasz Szala (POL) and being just 3 seconds away from the podium. At this moment, Vasilevich was already celebrating his victory at the feet of the Grand Theatre and National Opera in Warsaw. The Belarussian also smashed the course record finishing in 1:53:08, nearly 3 minutes faster than last year's winner – Elliot Smales (GBR, 1:55:57). The second place was taken by Łukasz Kalaszczyński (POL) while Marcin Ławicki (POL) finished third.
- I am very happy to win today. I was sixth out of the water but I managed to push very hard on the bike, despite a bit windy conditions. The edge I had after T2 allowed me to control the situation on the run. The race itself was perfectly organized and I look forward to coming back to Poland for Enea IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia powered by Herbalife – said Vasilevich.
The women's competition saw a number of top Polish triathletes on the starting list, including last year's winner Paulina Kotfica. But it was Agnieszka Jerzyk (POL), the best local olympic-distance athlete who put in a dominant performance and took the win in 2:04:52. Kotfica was able to move from 5th to 3rd on the run with Maria Cześnik (POL) taking the second place.
- I am extremely satisfied with my race. Especially with my swim as it's the first time I've been on the lead when exiting the water. It is a rare opportunity for me to race in my home country. Today I had a pleasure to run in this majestic scenery of Warsaw's Old Town – said the female winner. - Warsaw is my lucky place. I won my first competition here and I still have my half marathon PB from Warsaw. Today's women field was extremely strong, you can say it was unofficial Polish Championships. So this only makes my joy even bigger – she added.
Enea 5150 Warsaw gathered over 900 individual athletes and more than 60 relay participants. On the starting list, there were also some Polish celebrities and local politicians. One of them was Maciej Dowbor, a popular Polish TV presenter and a keen IRONMAN age grouper, who is also a host of the number of Polish triathlon-related online video productions:
- A relay competition was a brand new experience for me. Team work and the responsibility for the result of your relay members are very motivating. However, I regret a bit I could not race individually this year. My performance in 2016 was very strong and I must say Enea 5150 Warsaw is my favorite race in the calendar – admitted Dowbor.