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Marlene de Boer met podiumplek in Ironman Cozumel gekwalificeerd voor WK full distance in Nice

Marlene de Boer qualified for the World Full Distance World Championships in Nice with a podium finish in Ironman Cozumel

, by Johan Boef, 5 min reading time


Marlene de Boer took third place in Ironman Cozumel, Mexico, completing her first pro season. She exceeded her goals with two World Cup qualifications and multiple completed races, despite physical and mental challenges.

It is a wonderful culmination of an incredible season: Marlene de Boer's third place in Ironman Cozumel in Mexico. You could also call it ending the season in style, because that first professional year exceeded all her expectations. I am extremely happy and grateful that I have been able to continue this season's trend towards a podium finish and a World Cup slot!”

I have more than achieved all my goals for this year,” says Marlene enthusiastically from a sun-drenched Mexico. I have qualified twice now: for the 70.3 World Championships in Taupo, New Zealand and the Long Distance World Championships in Nice, France. This season I have completed the full distance four times and the half distance five times. Really, really bizarre!”

Marlene Cozumel Bike

Mental resilience

The race in Mexico was not easy, says Marlene. Uncertainty about the swim, which was ultimately cancelled, a warm, oppressive heat and a lot of wind made it quite an ordeal. The fact that it was the last race of an exhausting season made it extra physically difficult. Where I was resilient in Almere, I was not that resilient now,” she admits. I felt everything that it was the end of the season. I noticed during the marathon that I lacked a certain flexibility, it was just hard work. I think it is also nice: sometimes you have days when things are going well, but you also have days when things are not going well and you can do it based on mental resilience.” 

' Not an Easy Day '

Perhaps that is the big win of Ironman Cozumel, that Marlene persevered purely through willpower and even ended up on the podium. I really wanted that podium spot,” she says with conviction. A start on the bike that is slightly different, a blue card with a 5-minute penalty and all this under very tough conditions, but it does not prevent Marlene from performing exceptionally well. It was not an easy day. I have looked at what it changes for my tactics. I am very used to getting out of the water with my swim in a certain way, something like that forms in your head. Now the swim was completely canceled and it was decided to start based on your starting number, each time 15 seconds apart, with a time trial start.”

First penalty ever

Adjusting a mindset to reality can be difficult, but Marlene switched the switch immediately, she says. I was able to drive up to Diede Diederiks in the first lap, but she got a penalty. Later I sat too close behind a lady in front of me in an aid station. She braked very hard while the jury was driving next to us and I also received a blue card. My first ever, that was quite a shock. I counted to 10, drove fast to the next penalty box and served it there. It gave me confidence that I was not overtaken by other pro-women in those 5 minutes. Then I got back on to complete the cycling part.”

Tough marathon

The marathon was hot and tough. Hard work. It wasn't the marathon I had hoped for. In Vieux Boucau my running form was super good, now I had to let go of my expectations in terms of time and just complete it as best as possible. During the marathon another woman got out, I was able to overtake two more and I was in third place . I then agreed with myself: I am going to keep this up and not give up. That worked. I wasn't going super fast, but the girls behind me weren't going faster. It's actually that easy,” she analyzes with a cheerful laugh.

Incredible first year as a professional

Ending the season on the strength of will with another podium finish, it offers a nice perspective for the next season. But first it is time for some much-needed rest, Marlene indicates. I have done nine races. You drain your entire hormonal household considerably. To recover on a deeper level and prevent injuries in the future, it is good to exercise at least for two to three weeks, relax and enjoy yourself. I will try to reflect in the coming days that we have succeeded,” she says, laughing.

Because she can rightly look back on a season in which she consistently competed at the front, where she took her first professional victory in Cork and silver at the European Championships in Almere. I have more than exceeded my expectations. If I had doubts in the beginning: do I belong here, do I fit here and can I do this, then I have grown into it. Although I have occasionally found myself quite disappointed. But I got over that and continued to grow,” she concludes with appropriate pride. It has not been an easy year, but I have learned a lot and am very grateful for everything I have achieved.”

Marlene and Marieke Brouwer Cozumel

You can read her previous blogs about last season here: 

RACING TOWARDS IRONMAN COZUMEL: MARLENE DE BOER COMES FOURTH AT CHALLENGE VIEUX BOUCAU

MARLENE DE BOER BECOMES VICE-EUROPEAN LONG-DISTANCE CHAMPION IN ALMERE AND WANTS MORE: 'THIS IS NOT THE END POINT'

MARLENE DE BOER'S FIRST PRO VICTORY IN CORK 'THIS GIVES A LOT OF CONFIDENCE

LEARNING MOMENTS AS LEGO BRICKS FOR CONSTRUCTION: EK IRONMAN IN FRANKFURT MAKES MARLENE DE BOER MORE COMPLETE

MARLENE DE BOER CLOSE TO WIN IN NIEUWKOOP'S TRIATHLON AFTER IMPRESSIVE CATCHING RACE 

FIRST YEAR TRIATHLON PRO MARLENE DE BOER'S EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES, AMBITIONS AND LESSONS 

TRIATHLONWORLD STARTS COLLABORATION WITH PROFESSIONAL TRIATHLETE MARLENE DE BOER 

LEARNING MOMENTS AS LEGO BRICKS FOR CONSTRUCTION: EK IRONMAN IN FRANKFURT MAKES MARLENE DE BOER MORE COMPLETE

Marlene 3rd at Ironman Cozumel

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Marlene de Boer qualified for the World Full Distance World Championships in Nice with a podium finish in Ironman Cozumel