Bart Aernouts
Country
World Rank
35
Weight
75kg
Height
1.84m
Age
36
DOB
06/5/84
66%Swim93%Bike91%Run89%Overall
Athletes are measured as a percentage (for each discipline and overall) based on a relative comparison to the #1 ranked athlete who's rated at 100%.
Biography More

Bart Aernouts

His time of 7:56:41 in 2018 would have won every previous edition of the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona.

However, just a matter of four minutes earlier, the eight-hour barrier had been shattered for the very first time by defending champion Patrick Lange.

But this, on the back of his Challenge Roth heroics a year earlier, was the performance which underlined Bart Aernouts' position at the very highest level of long-distance triathlon.

The Belgian has been a winner throughout his career, across a range of distances - first in duathlon and then triathlon.

The undoubted highlight of his duathlon days was winning the 2010 ITU World Championships in Edinburgh.

And he wasted little time making an impact in triathlon, racking up multiple 70.3 wins in 2011 - in Antwerp, Syracuse and Poconos Mountains.

In 2012 he competed in his first full-distance race, placing 10th in Melbourne, and rounded out the season with an eye-catching second place in IRONMAN France.

Renowned for his calmness under race pressure, the Belgian's relentless rise up the ladder was confirmed when he won the iconic Challenge Roth in 2017 at his very first attempt.

That mental strength has proved an asset throughout, perfectly summarised by triathlon legend Bob Babbitt who says: "Everyone else is playing checkers out there - and he's playing chess."

A fast finish allied to a razor-sharp mind

Bart's journey to the pinnacle of long-distance triathlon has featured many pivotal moments, with Luc Van Lierde exerting a significant influence.

Indeed it was watching compatriot Van Lierde's victories in Hawaii in the late 1990s that inspired a young Aernouts to take up the sport.

He'd run and cycled from an early age and, after a brief initial foray into triathlon, it was duathlon where he first made his mark.

He made an immediate impression in that sphere, qualifying almost straight away for the World Championships in 2005.

And by 2008 he was on the podium for the first time. That opened up funding opportunities and the chance to transition to triathlon, but not before signing off with a World Championship title in the run/bike/run sphere on an emotional day in Edinburgh in 2010.

On a course which three years earlier had seen him crowned the U23 European champion, Bart led home a Belgian one-two-three from Rob Woestenborghs and Joerie Vansteelant.

Understandably the focus in those formative years was on his swimming, with lots of work done in conjunction with coach Ronald Gaastra in Antwerp.

But as he improved and his experience grew, so did the wins tally. There have been 70.3 successes in Austria, Germany (for the European Championship) and Bahrain, while at iron-distance France and Lanzarote have also seen him cross the line in triumph.

That Lanzarote victory in May 2017 came less than two months before his first appearance at Challenge Roth - and what a debut it proved to be.

In front of over a quarter of a million fans, he beat Joe Skipper and Maurice Clavel, all with his first sub-eight-hour finish (7:59:07).

"I think it's going to be hard to find a more special race - the atmosphere was incredible, and there's no finish-line experience like it," he explains. "So many people are on the bike and run routes and all the cheering really does help you."

And he continued to go from strength to strength. The following year Bart advertised his Kona claims with a dominant display at IRONMAN Hamburg.

That event saw him showcase his duathlon background to great effect after a cancelled swim was replaced by an extra 6km run, eventually crossing the line over seven minutes ahead of his nearest rival.

And after three previous top-10 placings, he then went on to make the podium for the first time on that astonishing day in Kona.

The 40th-anniversary edition saw Bart and winner Patrick Lange became the first men to smash the eight-hour mark. "I'd rather win in 8:30!" he said afterwards, but the performance showed yet again that he was one of the sport's very best.

The fact that Aernouts often has significant ground to make up after the swim only adds to the excitement for the watching public - though his rivals may see it differently.

At his Challenge Roth victory, he was in 23rd place when getting out of the water - while he was 40th at Kona a year later en route to second.

His marathon times on those landmark days were 2:44:10 and 2:45:42 respectively.

Another top 10 at Kona - his fifth in eight attempts - followed in 2019.

And Aernouts started 2020 in perfect style, winning back at 70.3 distance with a time of 3:33:45 in Dubai - again displaying his now-customary surge through the field to make up almost three and a half minutes after the swim and beat the previous course record by over a minute.

Guiding light

One of the final pieces of the jigsaw in turning a Kona top-10 into a podium place had been linking up with the man who had inspired Aernouts to take up the sport in the first place – Luc Van Lierde.

He was the first European to win at Kona when he triumphed in 1996, adding a second title three years later.

And in 2013 he notched a notable double when he coached Frederick Van Lierde (no relation) to Hawaii glory.

He linked up with Aernouts in late 2017 and the two quickly forged a hugely effective partnership, with subtle changes to the training regime and that experience as a winning athlete and coach paying huge dividends.

Van Lierde describes the process as "fine-tuning the engine", and the combination of factors all helped Aernouts produce that perfect race for his 7:56 at Kona.

All the time, his mental strength and composure have proved invaluable. "What makes the difference on race day is having the right mindset - right from the start and for all eight hours. Patience is the key at Kona" Bart explains.

“A race is only over at the finish line. Never forget this when you have a tough time, try to stay positive and keep fighting.”

And while Aernouts has the uncanny ability to focus on his race rather than get drawn into an unnecessary battle, he does relish the epic nature of long-distance triathlon. "I just love the competition; I think that's why I really enjoy what I do."

But away from the sport, it's all about trying to make as much time as possible for his daughter and family.

"The biggest sacrifice we make is being away from them for races and training."

Current PTO World Ranking Points
35
Average best 3 races 2019/2020
86.10
2021 IM 70.3 Texas
82.39
Average
84.25
Ranking History
#1#106#211#31620122013201420152016201720182019202020212012Overall133.554 pts#68Swim59.4129 pts#227Bike111.225 pts#74Run179.05 pts#32013Overall215.911 pts#16Swim82.6898 pts#172Bike126.489 pts#45Run186.968 pts#12014Overall232.732 pts#20Swim118.67 pts#181Bike146.87 pts#37Run186.646 pts#22015Overall252.481 pts#23Swim121.514 pts#228Bike164.431 pts#37Run172.909 pts#132016Overall257.555 pts#23Swim104.345 pts#326Bike162.91 pts#58Run178.656 pts#182017Overall266.729 pts#19Swim107.726 pts#358Bike166.232 pts#61Run182.344 pts#152018Overall292.772 pts#8Swim107.751 pts#332Bike183.107 pts#22Run192.656 pts#92019Overall290.414 pts#9Swim89.6619 pts#399Bike186.896 pts#27Run185.3 pts#172020Overall258.302 pts#29Swim73.6522 pts#393Bike178.718 pts#31Run172.951 pts#232021Overall84.2458 pts#35Swim33.9313 pts#416Bike90.5057 pts#23Run85.755 pts#20
Results
48 Races9
1
7
2
6
3
2021
Points: NaN
DateResultRaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPoints
18 Apr
1
IM 70.3 Florida29:261:59:461:13:013:47:41
82.2135
03:41:4682.21
11 Apr
6
IM 70.3 Texas27:582:03:171:11:473:46:02
82.3911
03:40:1382.39
12 Mar
15
Challenge Miami24:121:24:0956:532:47:24
68.0022
02:39:4468.00
2020
Points: NaN
DateResultRaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPoints
6 Sep
17
IM 70.3 Les Sables D'Olonne26:352:08:331:20:423:59:24
41.4319
03:40:0441.43
7 Feb
1
IM 70.3 Dubai26:011:52:341:10:513:33:44
83.7035
03:28:3883.70
26 Jan
4
IM 70.3 South Africa28:482:17:281:17:574:09:09
69.9385
03:58:2469.94
2019
Points: NaN
DateResultRaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPoints
12 Oct
9
IM Hawaii57:034:19:472:51:088:12:27
86.9565
08:03:0086.96
8 Sep
6
IM 70.3 World Championship27:002:19:461:10:364:01:14
87.4232
03:56:4687.42
7 Jul
4
Challenge Roth56:114:17:572:47:498:04:48
83.9219
07:53:2383.92
19 May
1
IM 70.3 Barcelona27:222:21:341:12:294:05:07
72.3835
03:55:2272.38
4 May
2
IM 70.3 St. George26:322:05:461:14:533:50:58
78.5491
03:43:4678.55
7 Apr
9
IM South Africa28:364:37:282:46:017:56:20
71.8728
07:37:0371.87
2018
Points: NaN
DateResultRaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPoints
18 Nov
2
Laguna Phuket Triathlon26:451:10:3643:362:23:28
0
--
13 Oct
2
IM Hawaii54:074:12:252:45:417:56:41
106.166
08:01:08106.17
29 Jul
1
IM Hamburg19:474:00:502:39:517:05:26
96.8248
07:03:2596.82
17 Jun
3
IM 70.3 Elsinore24:572:01:191:13:083:44:38
73.3539
03:36:0073.35
3 Jun
11
Challenge Samorin30:182:03:341:17:163:56:19
60.3477
03:43:0360.35
20 May
3
IM 70.3 Barcelona26:072:22:051:14:294:06:40
68.537
03:55:3368.54
21 Apr
4
Challenge Gran Canaria29:362:17:501:11:384:02:32
67.5722
03:51:1767.57
2017
Points: NaN
DateResultRaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPoints
29 Oct
2
Challenge Sardinia27:062:16:131:15:074:01:08
65.9014
03:49:2465.90
14 Oct
12
IM Hawaii56:194:32:342:52:578:26:28
80.1417
08:11:4980.14
9 Jul
1
Challenge Roth52:554:19:022:44:107:59:07
89.7809
07:51:5389.78
20 May
1
IM Lanzarote50:344:48:232:48:288:34:13
89.7318
08:26:2589.73
2016
Points: NaN
DateResultRaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPoints
8 Oct
8
IM Hawaii53:584:32:372:48:448:20:30
87.2165
08:11:0587.22
14 Aug
10
IM 70.3 Wiesbaden26:362:23:391:15:204:09:03
55.2985
03:53:2455.30
26 Jun
6
IM Austria56:484:28:272:46:428:16:32
66.0658
07:52:2966.07
7 May
2
IM 70.3 Mallorca26:512:19:581:14:494:06:51
58.3453
03:52:2058.35
29 Jan
3
IM 70.3 Dubai18:552:07:041:15:063:43:58
0
--
2015
Points: NaN
DateResultRaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPoints
5 Dec
1
IM 70.3 Bahrain--:--1:55:141:14:003:11:15
0
--
10 Oct
DNF
IM Hawaii--:----:----:----:--
08:15:44-
30 Aug
4
IM 70.3 World Championship25:382:12:071:14:553:56:28
80.0121
03:49:3580.01
25 May
3
Challenge Rimini28:082:21:531:13:544:08:09
66.8147
03:56:2366.81
29 Mar
3
IM South Africa52:074:44:302:55:048:35:59
75.0232
08:17:2175.02
27 Feb
4
Challenge Dubai25:252:07:231:11:173:47:13
90.3259
03:43:5890.33
25 Jan
3
IM 70.3 South Africa26:222:20:161:20:344:11:37
49.7079
03:53:5849.71
2014
Points: NaN
DateResultRaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPoints
11 Oct
9
IM Hawaii55:434:37:472:50:128:28:28
77.8741
08:12:0877.87
7 Sep
8
IM 70.3 World Championship24:382:06:071:13:183:48:05
82.1429
03:42:0882.14
10 Aug
1
IM 70.3 Wiesbaden24:062:22:231:15:254:05:27
62.1604
03:52:1662.16
29 Jun
1
IM France51:584:46:102:49:588:33:22
64.1945
08:07:1264.19
1 Jun
8
IM 70.3 Switzerland24:592:11:391:12:473:52:50
41.3292
03:34:0041.33
10 May
2
IM 70.3 Mallorca24:392:14:271:10:083:53:33
60.3307
03:40:2660.33
2013
Points: NaN
DateResultRaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPoints
12 Oct
8
IM Hawaii57:264:39:462:44:038:25:38
76.3351
08:08:1876.34
8 Sep
13
IM 70.3 World Championship27:362:14:581:14:544:01:03
0
--
23 Jun
2
IM France51:324:38:292:37:018:12:28
78.3834
07:57:0078.38
2012
Points: NaN
DateResultRaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPoints
13 Oct
11
IM Hawaii1:00:154:45:112:47:108:37:31
72.5957
08:17:0572.60
9 Sep
6
IM 70.3 World Championship26:302:13:021:18:104:01:17
0
--
24 Mar
10
IM Melbourne55:254:35:462:42:448:18:17
66.6831
07:54:3466.68
2010
Points: NaN
DateResultRaceSwimBikeRunOverallAITPoints
13 Nov
19
IM 70.3 World Championship27:212:07:321:13:363:52:05
0
--
Ranking per Season
Overall
Year
Points
Position
2021
84
35
2020
258
29
2019
290
9
2018
292
8
2017
266
19
2016
257
23
2015
252
23
2014
232
20
2013
215
16
2012
133
68
Swim
Year
Points
Position
2021
33
416
2020
73
393
2019
89
399
2018
107
332
2017
107
358
2016
104
326
2015
121
228
2014
118
181
2013
82
172
2012
59
227
Bike
Year
Points
Position
2021
90
23
2020
178
31
2019
186
27
2018
183
22
2017
166
61
2016
162
58
2015
164
37
2014
146
37
2013
126
45
2012
111
74
Run
Year
Points
Position
2021
85
20
2020
172
23
2019
185
17
2018
192
9
2017
182
15
2016
178
18
2015
172
13
2014
186
2
2013
186
1
2012
179
3
TEST