Yesterday Ironman World championships in Kona, Hawaii! Thé race of the year in triathlon. One day that the whole world learns to know what triathlon is about. The performance, the spirit and the lifestyle of sportsmanship.
Simply being able to get to the startingline means you are one of the world’s best athletes in your category.
The race always leaves us with big emotions before, during and after. Getting there demands massive smart preparation, sacrifice and a great willing to simply race in this strong field!
7athletes qualified for Kona ’18, on a rather small traininggroup of triathlons. 4 racing the championships! For years now, our athletes prooved this squad is among the very best AGsquads in the world. This because of training, determination and a good spirit
Before heading to Kona, our athletes all felt great. They picked up shape very well and were ready to travel to the other side of the world to race. Once arriving there, the heat fell down on all athletes but the athletes all managed fine, only Sam. One of or absolute topAG racers felt difficulty on the bike. But ok, still 1 week before the race and overall feeling was good!
At raceday the swim is not unimportant in Kona, massive groups you need to pass if you come out of the water late. So being capable of putting down a good swim can make your cycling effort be more relaxed!
Our athletes came out of the water in +/- the time they needed to come out!
For Tony, his first Ocean race, Alejandro, Bert and Sam already raced in Kona before!
Bert: 54′ – Sam 1h06′ – Alejandro 1h07′ – Tony 1h09′
Most AG athletes participating in Kona, swim +/-5-6′ slower than in their qualifying race, an Ocean will of course never have the same waves or current.
Once on the bike it became clear that Bert was in thé day of his life, moving up and also daring to take the lead within 60K on the bike! Risky of course, but he was in shape and prooved in Vichy and Lanza he can put down the 180K effort on his own.
Sam from his side moved up strongly, Alejandro and Tony followed closely behind!
In Kona there’s always the drafting discussion, that’s why I really want to post the honest pacing of our athletes!
Bert had a very strong ride and put down 273NP ~ 72kg , Tony at 253NP ~71kg, Sam at 241NP ~75kg and Alejandro 72kg ~236NP
For Alejandro ànd Tony the message was clear, both athletes have a good run in their legs and are athletes who can grow into the race. Steady pacing and only looking at their own HR/watt monitor and ahead should be the best recipe to use their strong run in the end of the race! Both athletes followed the plan correctly, nutrition was spot on it.
At the beginning of the runcourse, Bert (AG40) was followed with 45″ of Bruno Clerbout (a Belgian former Pro Ironman, finishing 12th overall 6years ago). This opponent surely was someone to respect and not to underestimate. For Bert message was clear, running a top top marathon to get on the podium. Clerbout came within 10″ very soon, but a few kilometers further it was Bert who surprisingly accelerated and made a +3′ gap before Energy Lab. Unfortunately it was Clerbout who had something left in his tank and overtook the race with +/- 6km to go and take AG victory, Bert takes a very well earned 2nd place!!
Behind Bert it was Alejandro and Tony who ran very close to eachother during the marathon, but after 20K Tony made the difference and moved up from a spot just outside top100 towards 42nd at the finishline. With a marathontime of 3h15′ tactics worked out fine!
For Alejandro, who had a zombie-experience last year in Kona, this also was the tactics and it worked out! A 3h21′ marathon made him move up during the whole marathon to finish 46th and raising the hand high!
Sam from his side put down the bike after 4h41′ and started running with the same feeling as he had on the bike. With a tough marathon ahead of him he litterally stopped his race after 8km…and as we thought Sam was dropping out of the race it was his girlfriend who ‘gave him some slapping to get him to the finishline’, as he described.
Sam is and stays a legend in Ironman, 2018 was not his year in Kona but Texas was with his recordrace! This also is Ironman, and Iron doesn’t bend easily!
I am very satisfied of the results of these athletes, Bert performed extraordinary to take silver in Kona, Tony and Alejandro prooved they own their spot among the very best IMracers in their AG and also that Ironmanracing is made how you get off the bike!
Sam bounced back, finished his 9th race in Kona and with some rest ahead he’ll put down another astonishing race in 2019!
Already looking forward to the following emotions…