After conquering the world of Triathlon in short-distance races at the Olympics, two-time Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee debuted in long-distance racing and notched a victory at the Gloria Challenge Mogán Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands of Spain.

Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee debuted and won half-iron Gloria Challenge Mogán Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands of Spain.(Majphotography)

The men’s Olympic triathlon which Brownlee won in 2012 and 2016 – involves a 1.5km swim, a 40km cycle and 10km run. The distance raced in Spain is regarded as ‘IRONMAN 70.3’ or half-IRONMAN distance with 1.9km swim, a 90km cycle and 21km run.

Not only did Brownlee cross the finish line in an impressive time of 4:03:09, he also established a new course record and a margin of more than eight minutes to second-place finisher Pieter Heemeryck (BEL). Fellow Briton Mark Buckingham finished third to complete the podium.

“This is my first attempt at a middle distance race and there is a lot to learn. I chose Gloria Challenge Mog​á​n Gran Canaria as my first middle-distance race because I really like what Challenge Family is about and considering we are coming into the summer race season the timing is perfect.”said Brownlee.

Brownlee will next face a bit of a bigger challenge against a top-notch field at May 6’s Ironman 70.3 North American Championships in St. George, Utah.

Daniela Ryf finished third at Gloria Challenge Mogán Gran Canaria in Spain. (Instagram)

In the women’s race, defending two-time IRONMAN world champion Daniela Ryf led the majority of the race but struggled on the run. Great Britain’s Emma Pallant was strong in the final leg, moving from third to first during the half-marathon—crossing the finish line in 4:35:15 and setting a new course record. Fellow British athlete Lucy Charles finished second, with Ryf rounding out the top three.