The Brazilian completed the 515 km race in 21 hours and 48 minutes, only seven minutes over the world record. He demolished his old personal best of 22 hours and 36 minnutes.
With his personal best time, the 43 year old Alexandre Ribeiro became a part of history after his 3 time World Championship title in Hawaii.
After covering 515km and three long days of competition( swimming, cycling and running) Ribeiro set his personal best time and was only seven minutes off the world record, held by the German Holger Spiegel set in 1998.
This was Ribeiros 4th year competing in the Ultraman World Championship. He won the event in 2003 , 2005 and finished second last year. The 25th edition of the Ultraman started Friday (11/28) and finished Sunday(11/30) around nine o'clock at night in Brazil.
The event is always held on the Thanksgiving holiday. It covers 10 km of swimming( first day), 421 km of cycling( 145km in the first day and 276km on the second) and 84km of running( all in the last day).
Very happy and emotional , Ribeiro dedicated his victory to his 11 year old son Kaillani, who has already started triathlon practice and for the first time accompanied his father throughout the entire event.
" He was my good luck charm and biggest motivator over the 3 days of competition. He was my support staff, running alongside and in the staff car he participated efficiently in my hidrating and feeding process during the whole event. He was also the champion. I'm sure he will keep this experience with him forever". Said the champ after crossing the finish line.
Ribeiro also thanked his friend José Carlos Ponciano, who alongside his son, worked together with his support team. The Brazilian claimed that his race was his best performance ever. " The race was perfect, except for the 10km swimming, where we faced strong currents. I left the water in seventh place after a time of 3h and 12min , 20 minutes off his personal best. Even with the strong currents I left the water pain free and feeling great and excited for the 145km cycling part left to be completed today". Right after jumping on his bike Ribeiro noticed he would have to overcome some difficulties. His bike wasn't properly adjusted and the gears were off. Bad timing, it was time for the uphill part of the race towards the National Volcano Park at Big Island. Nevertheless, Alexandre, known for being a great cyclist, finished the day in second place with a time of 8h13m25s only five minute behind the leader, Canadian Tony O'Keefe.
On the second day of competition the 41 competitors had to face 276km of uphill and downhill cycling. Up to the 150km mark Ribeiro, the Spanish Josef Ajram and the American Peter Kotland were pretty much together but suddenly the Brazilian took off and opened up a seven minute gap from Kotland. He finished with a time of 7h20min41s, only 28 seconds behind the wolrd record held by the Eslovenian Uros Veledec.
After two days of intense competition Alexandre was leading 10 minutes ahead of Canadian Tony O'Keefe and 30 minutes in front of American Peter Kotland. Ribeiro said he went to sleep worried about being only 30 minutes ahead of Kotland, knowing that the American is considered one of the best ultra-marathonists ever.
Everything worked out in the end. The Brazilian also known for his great performances in ultra marathons , performed unbelievably and finished with a time of 6h and 12min, finishing with an overall time of 21h and 48min. Eslovenian Miros Krever and Canadian Tony O'Keefe finished second and third. Despite winning the event Ribeiro wasn't satisfied with his tme and said " Next year I'll be back stronger than ever".