In the final installment highlighting the best stand-alone discipline performances of 2012, we take a look at some of the most mind-blowing runs we saw this year. Take a look at these phenomenal displays of speed and tenacity.
Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee at ITU World Triathlon Kitzbuhel and at the London 2012 Olympic Games
There were doubts over Brownlee’s fitness this year as he was forced to sit out the early part of the season with an Achilles injury, but they were quickly squashed in his Kitzbuhel return. However, his 29:51 split in Austria wasn’t even that impressive compared to his gold plated London performance. After a swim and bike that did not do much to split the field in the Olympic race, Alistair sprinted away from Gomez and brother Jonathan halfway through the 10km leg and didn’t look back. His time there was 29:07, a full 43 seconds quicker than his time in the Hyde Park test event in 2011.
South Africa’s Richard Murray, ITU World Triathlon Hamburg
Murray showed he had serious chop in Sydney when he stunned the field to claim his first ITU World Triathlon Series medal. After that race he said his career goal was to win three series titles, and he knocked off part one later in the year in a Hamburg sprint. In the final Olympics hit-out against a quality field, Murray left T2 with Javier Gomez and Steffen Justus. In no time at all, they reeled in a four-man lead group, before Justus dropped. While Gomez tried to leave Murray behind with about a kilometre to go, the South African just kept pushing and his crazy-fast pace paid off. He became the first African athlete to win a World Triathlon Series race. Oh and the time? 14:05 on a course that was correctly measured at 5km.
“I just went absolutely all out for the first two kilometres, and then I wanted to see who would still be hanging on,” Murray said. “Because I realised the pace was not really sustainable for five kilometres.”
The USA’s Lukas Verzbicas at the Banyoles ITU World Cup
Ever since Verzbicas’ thrilling run to win the 2011 ITU Junior Men’s World Championship title, the triathlon world was watching for the teenager’s elite debut. Banyoles was his first ITU World Cup race and he didn’t disappoint, pulling out the only sub-31 minute run of the day to claim his first World Cup win. The rest of Verzbicas’ year was thrown dramatically off course after a serious bike crash during training, where injuries included a broken collarbone, a severe spinal fracture...