Ironman Hawaii, the race all triathletes are or following or dream about competing in it!
Well for Vadim (Can), Pirmin (Sui), Javier (Col), Alejandro (Esp) and Sam(Bel) it was hard reality!
4 out of 5 who qualified by geting on the podium in their qualifying race!
Preparations were going very well, except for Alejandro who crashed and broke his collarbone but was on his bike after 2days in recovery.
Only 4 weeks before the race Sam got injured in the hamstringtendon. First we thought a muscular issue but later it became clear the tendon was damaged because of the saddle that was slightly too high on his new fast bike (Ceepo). Above this he got sick 7 days before the race, but fortunately athletes recover fast. No running untill the last 4 days before the race, which made it unclear of finishing would be an option.
Our athletes took a good dive in the Ocean and had good swims: Javier (1h02), Pirmin (1h03), Vadim (1h04), Sam (1h07) and Alejandro (1h09).
During the bikecourse it was in first place Pirmin (AG45) who moved up very strongly, he was chasing (former) professionals such as Alexandre Vinokourov and Mike Schifferle. Riding in top 10 untill T2. Vadim (AG 45) followed closely behind and positioned 13th before entering T2.
Earlier in the bikecourse our AG35 athlete Alejandro got sick, immediately on the bike it was impossible to eat and hydrate well. In a world championship in hot conditions that of course has a big impact on your race. But Alejandro kept going and at the end of the bike he started moving up again. Feeling in shape but not being able to eat and drink properly is frustrating of course.
In AG 40 Javier came out of the water first, but fast Sam was once again going fast on the bike. This year Sam suffered from a sudden injury on the hamstring tendon in the last 4 weeks and being insure if running would go a (slightly more) conservative pacing was followed than normal.
With 257NP in the first half of the race and 256NP in T2 he did what was planned. And was ready to try running.
For Javier Ironman World Championships was a new thing, on the bike first everything seemed to go well but abdominal pains started to play a role.
On the run course heat appears, and that’s the same for all athletes…every year! It starts around Hawi on the bike and then it never gets cooler again.
Pirmin didn’t have his best day with pain in his back, and had to adapt his ambitions today. Or as he describes ‘Fitness was supreme today, and DNF was NEVER an option’! That shows the mental capabilities of an athlete and still finishing in 10h13′!
Vadim, 13th off the bike has the run as his weakest link in triathlon! Warmth and the marathon wasn’t his best friend today but he still manages to finish in 10h40′! Even at age 46 progression is to be made!
Sam (AG40) was uncertain how his hamstring would react on running a bit faster for the first time in a month. Adaptations in planning with a lot of ellipticalsessions and some aquajogging are good of course but never replace the whole run. Sam his plan was to start at 4’35/km and so he did, kilometer by kilometer and he moved up slowly. Halfway he positions himself 18th. but he and Olivier Godart (Lux) were the only 2 athletes not slowing down. The hamstring felt doable and pace was taken to a higher speed. So he moved up, towards 12 and with 5K to go a top 10 didn’t seem impossible. His wife Cai cheered on him and could tell him a top 10 was still in it. Fighting untill the finishline made Sam finish in 9th position! Another top 10 in the World Championships in his 10th year qualifying in a row.
Javier from his side suffered on the runcourse, abdominal pains and hamstring didn’t feel well but he maintained the drive towards the finishline in his first World Championships. In Kona many athletes crack down because of raceday facts, as we saw in the pro field with Lange, Ryf,…but Javier kept going and finishes his first world championships in Kona in 12h! Being there was a real dream for Javier. A dream he made come true!
In AG 35 Alejandro, uncapable of eating/drinking properly on the bike, was doubtfull approaching T2. DNF or trying to run and see what happens. We wouldn’t expect anything less than the 2nd idea of course! Alejandro started running a 3hà3h05 time schedule for the marathon. With a little drop of pace in the 2nd half of the race this perseverance was rewarded with a 3h15′ run, finishing in 9h27′!