Ironman World Championships 2019, a strong squad racing!

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.

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Vadim moving up strongly on the bike with 257NP – a fast first 20K followed by a regular bikesplit.

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.

Sam averaging 256NP during the 180K bike course

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′!

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Pirmin finishing in Kona in 10h13′ after stunning swim and bike performance, but above all mental strength in the run

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.

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: tekst
Sam finishing after a 3h15′ marathon, finishing 9th (AG) in Kona

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!

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We are proud to have this motivated Colombian in Kona, a strong season with 12th place in Cairns (Australia) as main dish and Kona as a tasty dessert!

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′!

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: 6 mensen, lachende mensen, buiten
Alejandro finishing in Kona in 9h27′ after a 3h15′ marathon!

A nice weekend behind us with athletes daring to race hard!
Well deserved rest now and loading mind and body for Kona 2020? 🙂



Ironman world championships 2019 Kona, Hawaii – An international squad of freebooters!

Upcoming saturday, October 12th, our athletes will appear at the starting line of the Ironman World Championships!
Getting at this starting line is the silent (or loud :-)) dream of most triathletes! In Kona, the physical format and psyche of the sport was born. Without Kona, there would be no triathlon as we know it today.

To get there once hard work, talent and dedication is key. And even then, there’s no guarantee on success. Our squad of athletes is known as the very best in Belgium, with a large % of athletes being able to qualify and to perform. This season 7 of our athlete qualified for Kona, 3 got very close and one day will get there (again). Perseverance is key in endurance sports. Not 1 of our athletes racing this saturday got it all served on a golden plate!

This year we have a very international group of athletes racing, since we began coaching setting up an international approach has been one of our missions. The composition of this squad confirms we approached that mission.

Our 5 athletes racing on saturday are almost ready to go, motivated and meanwhile tanned. To make sure they don’t burn theirselves raceday may come now 😉

VADIM SURAEV (Canada – AG 45)
Qualification: 3rd AG in Ironman Boulder (USA)
Strength: Very strong cyclist, mental strength and used to training hours and hours indoor during the tough Canadian winters.
Weakness: Perfect months leading up to the race, will be at full force!

JAVIER CEPEDA ( Colombia – AG 35)
Qualification: 12th Continental Championships Ironman Cairns (Australia)
Strength: Used to train on altitude in Bogota (+2000m) every day!
Weakness: Arrived late on tuesday and didn’t have his training equipments untill today! Stressy situation of course. Furthermore perfect prep!
Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: een of meer mensen
SAM GYDE (Belgium – AG 40)
Qualification: 1st AG IM Boulder (USA)
Strength: 10th time in Kona, former AG winner and podia.
Weakness: A perfect summerprep got interrupted by a hamstring injury, did his first run in 4 weeks yesterday…4days before raceday!
Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: een of meer mensen, fietsende mensen, fiets, boom, buiten en natuur
Qualification: 2nd AG Ironman Lanzarote
Strength: Very good months leading up towards the race with good consistency
Is capable of putting down his bike in front of the race and then survive the run! Looks very relaxed!
Weakness: Perfect months leading up to the race, af full force!
Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: een of meer mensen en buiten
Qualification: 2nd AG Continental championships Ironman South Africa
Strength: Conquered a serious setback after a serious accident with a broken collarbone as result. He can conquer each setback during the race now.
Weakness: is turned into strength

We have no glass bowl of course, and I hate pre-race talking about results. Let’s hit the race, be focussed and dig deep! Work is done now and I have full confidence in this strong and motivated squad!

Shaka shaka,

Cu saturday!

Pro debut for Bert and Swiss reliability for Pirmin with a Kona ticket in his pocket!

A long gap between Ironman South Africa and the start of the European Ironman season! In South Africa it was Alejandro who amazed with a 3h03′ marathon and taking his World Championships ticket in style!
Who will join him? Who can play this role untill the finishline…that was the question of course!
Bert…not, simply because this year he made the decision to realize a dream at age 43 and race his first season as a pro athlete! So racing back to back among the pro’s to see what’s possible and measure with the very best in Ironmanracing! Not an easy decision, but a very challenging and respectable decision!

Pirmin? Our swiss athlete who wanted to make the step back towards a high level AG athlete. AG 45, but when Sam Gydé says to me ‘he’s a good athlete, strong,…he can’ then it must be possible! And so it is, a very good built up through autumn and winter and a first test in Cannes (France) finishing 2nd AG.

During the swim, both athletes did a great job.
Bert (former swimmer) was clearly in a good stroke and gets out of the water in 53′. Pirmin was swimmin very well on training and confirms this with a 1h00′ swim, directly aiming towards top10 in his AG.

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: buiten, water en natuur
Bert swimming 53′ and getting out of the water just outside top 10 in Lanzarote

The cyclingpart in Lanzarote is known being the toughest and most difficult in the world. Not only altitude but also the strong winds make it to what it is! Only the strong survive. On this course you need to be a strong cyclist-runner to simply come to the end of the race!

Bert clearly felt good in his new role and moved up during the first half of the bikecourse. Being spotted 12th halfway the bikecourse, with behind him former Full distance winners such as Raña, Vistica,… Normalizing +/-300NP during this part of the race and HR slightly up is risky of course…but in the game trying is no shame!
Pirmin, not so far behind, was moving up very strongly and was on his way riding the strongest bikesplit in his AG, by far! He moved up so strongly that once the athletes passed halfway he took the lead and kept making the gap!

Afbeelding kan het volgende bevatten: een of meer mensen, fietsende mensen, fiets, boom, buiten en natuur
Both athletes went hard on the bike – Pirmin taking the AG lead during the bikecourse

In the 2nd part of the bikecourse Bert needed to control the body do not overdo it before the marathon! Delay of lactic acid production of course is critical in longer distance events.

Good to conquer the last climbs a bit more moderat before parking the bike! Pirmin stayed in pace and made a huge gap with his opponents. Not too many slots in Lanzarote, so being top of the ranking is a need if you want to qualify for Kona! There’s no in between.

Bert normalizing +/-270NP in Lanzarote on his way towards 17th place

Off the bike Bert could start running his pace and he was amazed some of the other pro athletes didn’t pass him earlier in the race! At kilometer 32 spotted in 15th position, but with many athletes very close it would be racing ‘full gazz’ untill the finishline! Pirmin was aiming for a 4’50-5’00/km pace to keep control of the body and keep the HR stable! At km 32 Pirmin was still in the lead, BUT 4 athletes came very close and slots would be played ‘life or death’. Pirmin grabbed the chance with both hands, kept faith and pace and ran towards 2nd place! Kona is calling, Pirmin is in after an excellent race!
In front of him Bert came in 17th, right in the middle of the Pro field!

Stable heart rate of Bert during his marathon, well paced after a hard race in the front!

Ironman Lanzarote wasn’t the only Triathlon today!
In The Netherlands Brouwersdam triathlon 1-80-10 was held, our athletes did a good job in this new ‘crazy format’ triathlon and also prooved that youth is there to step up towards Ironman in a few years? Our youngest triathlete, Rens 19years old, did an excellent race to finish 9th overall among the Dutch (Sub)top on the long distance!

Dutch Rens (19yo) averaging 39.7km/h on the fast racecourse – finishing 9th!

A happy coach, having some exceptional glass of champagne tonight. Some moments you simply need to enjoy 😉