GEMERT – On March 4, Coen van Schijndel competed in Ironman 70.3 in Taupo on New Zealand’s North Island. On the other side of the world, Triathlon Group triathlete Gemert surprised friends and foes alike with a thrilling performance.
By Ties van Schijndel
Coen van Schijndel has already participated in various triathlons in many countries, but New Zealand was not yet on his list. Of the 750 participants, only three came from the Netherlands. In the early morning, he started in a good mood. It was a little foggy at the start but later cleared up and warmed up as well. We swam in a wetsuit in clear Lake Taupo at 19 degrees. Coen completed the 1.9 km loop in 37 minutes and after a switch he started the 90 km long cycling part on a rolling course with no less than 600 meters of elevation gain and a two kilometer descent at the end. After 2 hours and 51 minutes he was able to walk, two laps around the lake with some vicious climbs in a beautiful 25 degree temperature. With a final time of 5.25.00, he took second place out of 32 participants in his age group. For example, he attributed a great performance to his track record. This makes him one of the few within the Triathlon Group Gemert to have ever finished on the podium in an Ironman. Along with Laurens van Herpt, Coen has been a member of this triathlon group since its founding in 1987. He is also a co-founder.
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