The major RUN BIKE RUN brand in the world debuted in Portugal today, the 16th February, Powerman Portugal 2020. The international duathlon event exceeded the expected participation of about 300 athletes. More than 450 registered, in a difficult course that required physical and very technical cycling. Powerman Portugal included 16 nationalities from all over Europe, as well as Japan, Australia or Canada. This event feature two distances: middle distance with 10km of running – 60km of cycling – 10km of running and sprint distance with 5km of running – 30km of cycling – 5km of running.
The race was essentially urban, starting in the beautiful surroundings of the imposing Royal Palace of Mafra, continuing to the Municipal Sports Park where the athletes ran on dirt with almost no flat areas. In turn, cycling went through the beautiful and peaceful roads of Mafra, on a very challenging route, which included very steep climbs and some steep descents.
The athletes started the cycling route in front of the Royal Palace of Mafra taking a winding route through the surrounding and charming villages. They finally arrived to the Mafra Palace after the intense effort and they reached the reward of crossing the glorious finish line.
The route of the first Powerman in Mafra will probably became ‘famous’ among athletes for its intensity, with very hard climbs and descents and very technical curves that “it is necessary to approach with caution mainly by less experienced athletes”, said José Estrangeiro, international triathlete now dedicated to long distance, and Powerman ambassador for Portugal.
The first athlete to reach the goal and the big winner of the first edition of Powerman Portugal was the Belgian Seppe Odeyn, with 02:44:08, followed by João Ferreira, who completed the race in 02:44:43 and José Estrangeiro, ambassador of the event, which closed the podium with 02:45:44.
In the female elite, Nina Zoller, 2nd place in the Powerman ranking, remained isolated throughout the course, winning the victory of this event with 03:06:23.The Austrian Sigrid Herndler was the second woman to pass the finish line with 03:09:20 and to close the podium was Ann Schoot Uiterkamp duet from Holland, with 03:10:40.
Seppe Odeyn, very happy to have wined the first Powerman Portugal, said: «I was running for the podium, but it was difficult to be sure because I didn’t know what the Portuguese athletes were capable of!» The Belgium athlete considered the Portuguese athletes very strong, «even in the technical course and the downhill, where I lost some time». Seppe was very pleased with the Powerman Portugal. «The atmosphere was very nice, and near the palace, we had a really warm public. The Portuguese athlete José Estrangeiro is very popular so everybody was screaming for him and very enthusiastic»!
Nina Zoller, winner of this event, affirmed “that it was the best event that she participated”, praising the route, the environment and the organization.
Daan de Groot, Holland, number 1 in the world ranking of long distance duathlon, after his first experience of the route, told us «The route is spectacular, very beautiful, always with a green landscape on both sides». Unfortunately, he fell early in the cycling route, having given up after completing the entire segment already injured. The athlete is visiting Portugal for the first time and he´s going today to Tavira to stay a week and a half, in the south of the country, taking advantage of the fine weather and good conditions for training in the region.
The results of this first Powerman were viewed as very positive. According to John Raadschelders, president of the International Powerman Association, the event has “the possibility of doubling the participants already in 2021!” For Vasco Rodrigues, president of the Triathlon Federation of Portugal, “it is an excellent partnership that makes possible to relaunch the sport of duathlon in our country and put Mafra on the international map of this modality of the Triathlon”.
About Powerman Portugal location: Mafra is a pretty little Portuguese town where it’s located one of Europe’s largest and most extravagant palaces, the Palace of Mafra. This vast complex includes a huge monastery, an ornate basilica and a library that contains over 36,000 ancient books and its own colony of bats! Nearby, 12km far from Mafra is located Ericeira which has some of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal, a very famous place for surf sport, with excellent sport conditions for running and cycling.