Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Sunday, October 31, 2010

This Week - Getting Back to a Routine

So have had 3 weeks of no structure. Relaxing, chilling and working on other projects. Are back into the "training" routine on Nov 9th and an't wait but until then the structure will be limited.

This week I plan to get into good eating and sleeping habits and just get the routine going again. Plan on cycle commuting all week, will hop in the pool for some drills and to do a benchmark set and go for a couple short runs.

This weekend brings on Haney to Harrison and will be running the last leg which is 8km and is flat and fast so that should be fun. The next day are going to ride back from Harrison to Vancouver and will be fun to get in some miles on the bike.

So although not that much structure on the agenda will hopefully try and get the routine set ahead of getting in a really solid winter which will revolve heavily around the pool.

Monday Night Lactate Based Run Sessions (Vancouver )

For those that are Vancouver based and interested in working on your running over the winter I am involved in a Monday session that we are holding out at UBC with myself and Jerry Ziak (2:17 Marathoner). For full details of what the session is about and to sign up online please visit http://vanrunning.blogspot.com/ for all the details

We have people running who are at everything from 33 minute 10km pace to 60+ 10km pace. They way the workouts are structured allow for everyone to work to their potential in a group environment and we have a strong emphasis on drills and post run strength work out to build people into better runners and help prevent injury.

Hope to see you out there!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ironman Access - A Analytical Uneducated View

So here I my thoughts on the issue of the day which would appear to be about Ironman Access. In reality there should be many more issues in the world that we should be a lot more worried about but this does seem to be the one in my universe at the moment.

What Do we Expect of WTC

WTC stands for World Triathlon Corporation. Only one word is important in this description which is corporation. Corporations are generally structured to serve the best interests of their shareholders which in this case is a private equity company called providence equity.

Private equity normally targets a brand which it perceives to be undervalued, add as much value as it can in a short time period and then flip the brand. This is what Providence has done with WTC. 

When it bought WTC most of its races were licensed out and most probably at sub maximal value. So by taking back these races and running them itself it created economies of scale and by running them itself replaced the middleman (Independent Race Directors) with its own employees. These savings were not passed on to the consumer (Demand still exists) so this increased profit.

It then expanded the race series, firstly with the expansion of the 70.3 series, with a small expansion of the IM series then to the huge move into the Olympic Distance market. This made sense, in 70.3 they have a product that can have many more repeat visits (Racing 2 IM's in a year is a huge commitment but racing 2 or 3 70.3's may not be) then the Olympic Distance market in the states seemed somewhat fragmented and lacked a brand that had national scope. 

WTC has also branched out to other potential revenue sources, through both aligning their key brand - the word IRONMAN with products that have direct and indirect relevance to triathlon (I would have picked up a IM mattress from the kona expo but was a bit to fit in my luggage). They have looked to maximize their merchandise income (Although I think to some degree they could improve this aspect through a stronger online presence).

So when it came to IRONMAN Access they saw a market. The opportunity was as follows;

Opportunity 

- Many people get stressed out about if they will be able to enter a event online - even going to the extreme of travelling to the race site
- A lot of these people like to be able to control as many aspects of there life as they can and for a certain amount of this demographic money is not really an inhibitor

If we can charge people to alleviate these fears and guarantee entry in their chosen event then we have fulfilled the opportunity. 

Benefit

So we see the opportunity, however how as a private corporation whose boards job it is to maximize value for our shareholders (Not our customers) do we benefit from this opportunity.

The answer was IRONMAN access. By charging $1000 to alleviate this fear they stand to make a tidy sum of money. Lets say that 1000 people sign up each year - that equates to $1 Million dollars of revenue that is essentially 95% profit. That is a pretty impressive figure for setting up a website.

So is the WTC doing the Wrong Thing?

Most likely no. The fact is that WTC has a mission and that mission is nothing to do with triathlon. Its mission is to maximize profit and this move does exactly that for its shareholders. This is what it has done with this product and from that perspective it makes total sense. 

The only risk it has with this product is the potential fall out from its repeat customer base who is offended by this approach to preferential treatment to those who can afford it. However the reality is that this "membership" concept allowing early access to pre-sales is not something new and is seen in many other industries. However it does in some aspect take away some of the tradition around race entry that did exist although with things like CEO, corporate and community fund slots I am not sure how much this really existed.

As much fall out that there is around this the real impact to individuals is likely quite low. It may mean that 100 or so slots at certain races are pre bought decreasing the available pool of entries by around 3 to 4%. If you are ready to enter in person at the site this likely has no impact (IMC had huge lines this year but I think only 60% of spots were sold at site) and to be honest if you at sat at your computer at 10am on the Monday chances are it would have no impact either.

From a PR perspective they could have done this better (strong alignment with charity) however in the end they are going to make $1 million dollars plus a year.

Should we expect more behavior along this line?

YES .................. WHY

Just read above - Maximizing Profit is the clear mandate of the WTC - PLAIN AND SIMPLE. 

This is not the first thing along those lines, the new pro rules were set up to protect the brand and the prestige of their race series. Making PRO's race 2 WTC IM's a year is designed to prevent them supporting and racing other series. They are making business decisions to protect their brand. 

There was not a huge uproar about the Pro rules because most people did not see a direct impact on them (Although one could argue that by weakening local races there is a potential downstream affect through lower quality fields - which equals less media - whic equals less sponsorship which equates to higher entry fees). 

However the Pro rules are most probably the most aggressive in protecting the WTC product by indirectly preventing pros who wish to compete in Kona (A huge financial perspective from a marketability perspective) from supporting other major series at the HIM and IM distance (Rev 3 , Challenge etc)

In addition to this field sizes should be a concern - from a competitive aspect it is hard to run a fair race in regards to the large swim packs that come out in terms of drafting. To decrease fields sizes is not going to happen so this would seem to be a ongoing issue (more for athletes than the WTC). However there are likely solutions but none of these are easy and to be honest the WTC likely has little motivation around this.


So what is the real problem?

Well if their is a concern about the WTC dominance in the North American Triathlon market place then it could mostly be blamed on KONA. While WTC owns this brand and this race from many Pro's perspective this will still remain a key target. Also form a top age grouper perspective this will also be the case. These individuals (through competing, coaching etc) tend to be the top influencer's in the triathlon marketplace.  

However for everyone else who competes in an IM then why would they do a IM race if they do not have their sites set on KONA? The answer is that WTC tends to put on a good show and has a large stranglehold on the IM distance market. This will not be broken till a series (either a single brand or a collection of races) competes with WTC by attacking from a niche perspective. To some degree this seems to be what Rev 3 is doing by offering a improved customer experience.

Is WTC all bad

I say no - although their prime purpose is not the success of Long distance triathlon they do have a vested interest to a limited degree. There are more IM races than ever before, the sport is growing from a participation and that has to be good. 

They are also definitely not the most community focussed of all organisations and are definitely focussed on a high profit low cost (Maximize volunteer to employee ratio, minimize officiating costs (less referees)) product.

I am still annoyed then what can I do?

If you are not shooting for Kona or Vegas (The new Clearwater) then race independent races or other series. From a Olympic Distance and Half IM perspective there are many options out there that are worth considering and many fantastics races. From a full IM perspective the options are a bit more limited and the race experience may vary but my understanding is that some great races do exist.

Understand who the WTC partners are in your purchasing decisions and let those companies know why you are avoiding their brands. Letters to the partners are likely to be more effective than letters direct to WTC. These partners pay WTC money or provide services in exchange for their partnership.

What do I see as the pressing problem with the WTC - PRIZEMONEY

If you know what it takes to do an Ironman then you should have a appreciation for how hard the pros train. I am not a PRO so this is not self serving but to have the winner of the world championships take in only $110000 is plain embarrassing. Heck if you win something like IMC you only get $12K (total purse $75k) - that is pretty embarrassing for a event which generates $1.75 Million in entry fees (Plus maybe some sponsorship) . even if you assume costs of $1 million dollars (No idea if this is accurate) then that equates to paying out 10% of your profit to who should be stars of the event. 

Now the pros need to do what they can to maximize their value but in terms of winning an Ironman their should be some sort of incentive and $12k sounds like something that would just pay the travel costs in a year for a Pro who is trying to make it. The fact is there is no incentive for WTC to do more on this front unless their is a potential impact to its bottom line.

Conclusion

I have no firm conclusion - this is more of a brain dump. For me my displeasure with this approach by WTC is it more reflects the consequences of having a for profit private company in charge of our sport vs a real governing body who looks out for long distance triathlon (ITU's prioirties are Elite Olympic Distance, Elite Olympic Distance and Elite Olympic Distance). WTC is doing what it needs to do which is to make money.

I like racing so will continue to do so but in the years I am not targeting Kona or Ironman Canada I will likely try and support races that support the sport at a more grass route level while at the same time making a commitment to paying a reasonable amount to the pro field (As i believe that is important)

So those are my intial thoughts - until something replaces KONA or KONA is brought back into a not for profit organisations hands I sense these issues will continue to exist. 


--------------------------------------------
Note - I did not research or reference this blog so figures, numbers and history may be incorrect. However I have commented to the best of my knowledge.


Also IRONMAN ACCESS is not a product I would buy. However in a consumer society that demands certainty and access I can see why there is a market









Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kona 2010 - Racing at the Show

The Background Story


KONA






For anyone who is involved in the sport of triathlon they know the place Kona has in this sport. The word Kona is so much more than just a race venue in the world of triathlon. It is where Julie Moss collapsed within site of the finish in 1982 on Ali'i Drive. It is were many of the sports great have come and face disappointment on multiple occasions before eventually getting a win. 


Kona has names that are iconic in the tri world, whether it be Ali'i drive, Palani hill, the Queen K, Hawi or the energy lab it is a place I felt like I knew even before I first landed there. Growing up in Australia I remember watching Kona on TV with my Dad, I remember Greg Welch coming close to winning on a few occasions before finally breaking through in 1994. 


At that time and until I landed in Kona race week that place seemed so far away. So far away from growing up in Australia where a road trip to Melbourne was a big journey, so far away when I decided to sign-up for Ironman Canada 2008 even though I could swim about 50m. Throughout the whole time (probably 20 years ago) from when I first saw Kona on TV there was something that resonated within me about Ironman Hawaii, the lava fields, the energy lab and the like.


The Recent Journey





After 18 months in the sport of Triathlon in March 2009 I decided to set some goals in terms of getting faster. On my blog I call it the "process of getting faster" and that is what I focussed my goals around. This involved a bit more structure and focus to see what was possible. I came out of Ironman Canada 2009 (10:26) knowing I could go faster and also knowing that I loved this sport. 

The thing about triathlon is that it doesn't lie, while natural talent and ability plays a role in triathlon like all sports it is hard to fake it when you are racing for 2 to 10 hours (or more). The sport doesn't care who you are, what you have done, what potential you have. Come race day all it cares about is did you do the work day in day out. Did you get out of the bed to go to the pool? did you get that ride done in the 3 degree weather or did you cut it short? did you push that interval to 100% or just 98%? Basically triathlon is honest, it tells you by your results if you came prepared, if you race smart and if you were prepared to hurt.





So post Ironman Canada 2009 I decided to put a real focus on the process of getting faster. That meant making sure the process made sense in terms of my aim of getting faster. I started to work with Clint Lien - Mercury Rising Triathlon. At this point as if you are investing 15 to 20 hours a week into training you want to do it in a structured objective way. Through working with Clint I have been able to focus my energy into executing the plan and hence removing a lot of the potential excuses.

Through out 2010 I had some solid races (UBC Olympic (2:07) , Shawnigan Lake Half Iron (4:20)) and coming into Ironman CDA felt like I could put in a good day. With 9:34 at Ironman CDA I had the opportunity to take a Kona slot and get to go to the island.

The Build to Kona





The build to Kona went well, as always there were some crap days but I thought I executed well. Coming into race week I had done what I thought could be done to race strong. As always there are a few things in retrospect I would change but overall I was very happy with my prep. 

I knew I wasn't going to swim the lights out but at least I felt relaxed and fit in the water. Bike wise I felt strong although it is hard to get an exact gauge until you get into race mode and form the run perspective felt like I was pretty strong. 


I had a good hit out at  the Vancouver Olympic Triathlon (2:09) in miserable conditions were I spent half the day just trying not to step on more barnacles after slicing my foot 50m in and avoiding laying the bike done in the wet.

Race Week






So it was time as the plane came into land at Kona airport I got my first view of the Lava fields. It was an exciting time seeing the blackness that the lava fields provide to the landscape. That day I got to run down Ali'i drive and start to soak in some of the atmosphere of Kona in race week. The next day I swam at the pier and started to fully appreciate the type of vibe that having 1500 or so fast people in the one place creates. 






Early in the week I tried to soak as much in as possible. This included a ride in the winds at Hawi, the only way I could describe the gusts is to set up your trainer on a slight angle then get a fried to try and push you off while you fight to stay upright - only one word describes it and that word was - WOW!!!!. Having said that I found it it a lot of fun to ride in and was a little bit disappointed it was a little calm out there on race day.


We had a good crew there from Vancouver and combined with the hospitality of Lifesport and their Victoria, BC contingent had an awesome time in the lead up to race day. To be able to share this experience with Les and people I am super happy to call my friends was awesome!!!








Race week workouts all went well, I felt relaxed and ready. Come check in on the Friday got to soak up the atmosphere that is the day before the show with the bike count and all the associated activities that you need to do on the day before a race.


The Show is Here - Race Day


Overall 10:05:34
500 of 1847 - Overall
462 of 1344 - Male
100 of 162 - M30-3
4









It was then time to race. I seem to be lucky that I sleep well the night before races. after about 7 hours I was up, went for a quick jog then got down some pre race food. Made sure to get to the race site early, got my bags and bike finalized then chilled for 20 minutes before the pros left. At this time it was time to make my way to the water, and with about 10 or so to go I got in my warm - up then went out to float in the bay.


I was relaxed and excited at this point. Floating in the bay, helicopters overhead, people everywhere, US anthem plays and before you know it is time. A cannon goes and the madness starts!!!




Swim - 1:19:48



1350 of 1847 - Overall
1036 of1344 - Male
148 of 162 - M30-34






The first 300m or so was pretty damn rough. I had expected it to be a little bit more civilized, had seeded myself towards the back but was just warfare out there. Once the madness stopped it was about finding a rhythm. I thought I focussed pretty well throughout the swim, kept my concentration up and swam pretty strong in the last half. Based on a quick glance at my watch coming round the far buoy I think I may have negative split the swim. However it was not what I had expected but in the end 5 minutes over a Ironman is a short time so exited the water and got into T1


T1 - 2:55


265 of 1847 - Overall





Just had a slowish T1. Stopped to get sunscreen put on and also had one of my bike shoes on before had taken off swim skin. Other than that no major errors and proceeded to get out of there. The M30-34 racks were at the back of the pier so this meant a long run with the bike through transition.


Bike 5:17:00


546 of 1847 - Overall
520 of1344 - Male
96 of 162 - M30-34





Set out on the bike and just aimed to do nothing stupid until I got out of town. In fact aimed to do nothing stupid all day but this is the part were it pays to be the most alert. By nothing stupid I meant not going out like I was in a 40km TT and avoiding getting taken out or going down.


After having navigated town it was time to hit the queen K. The plan was to ride patiently until 40km to go then pick up the pace if all felt good. The weather on race day looked like it would bring headwinds for that last 40km so being cooked at that point was not an option. Heading out on the queen K felt good. got my nutrition in, made sure to cool down with two bottles over my head at every station and kept hydrated.


I was passing a lot of people which I had not fully expected so made sure to keep and eye on my HR and perceived effort. In hindsight I played it a little safe out there but I made the decision based on what feedback I was getting from around me so it made sense at the time. Going out to Hawi it was cool to see the pro race going the other way. Was starting to pass more people in this section as well. Had to play it cautious at times when passing as people were getting blow about a little and didn't want to get side swiped int eh act of passing.






On the return just tried to stay aero and then it was time to hit the Queen K once more. At this point I started to pick up the pace and was just flying past people who seemed to have blown up early n the bike. Kept on getting fluids down, staying aero and making sure I was going through my calories.Looking at my return trip from Hawi I seemed to hold pace with those who rode around 5:05 to 5:10 so definitely think held back a little too much on the journey out.


The bike was fun, its a weird feeling just riding through the lava fields on a closed highway when you are in a rhythm. Had a few moments, especially when seeing the pro race going back the other way were I was just thinking "WOW - I am racing Kona". Just tried to soak it up as much as I could while trying to execute the plan. 


Riding done it was time to come back into town, get the legs ready to run and hit into T2. I just tried to keep the effort up on the last couple mile while getting ready. Unstrapped the feet then hit T2.






T2 - 1:55


3 of 1847 - Overall


This part is going to take longer to write than the time I spent in T2. I suppose it is due to my swim being so slow but I always feel like I am chase mode when racing. Transition is something that I feel I can save time in by being calm, relaxed, organised and acting with a sense of urgency.


I think I handed my bike off to somebody - the fact it was in one piece post race indicates this was the fact. I then proceeded to get to the bags and tents in a fast controlled manner. Grabbed my bag, got to the end of the change tent, shoes on, plastic bag with hat, nutrition, sunscreen, salt tabs and on my way.


In the end i had the 3rd fastest T2 on the day. This was even with putting my left shoe on my right foot to start. Got everything done i needed to do and out onto the run course it was.


Run - 3:23:54


311 of 1847 - Overall
278 of1344 - Male
61 of 162 - M30-34






Out on to the run it was. The first couple hundred meters I used to empty my bag, start to get another layer of sunscreen on. It was then time to find a rhythm. After the first mile i had got down my initial bunch of liquid nutrition and was about to head out on Ali'i drive. My main aim was not to run to fast in this section and just hit a rhythm, to be honest I never felt a great rhythm out there. It was just a diesel type of day, normally I come good form this feeling but it was just not happening.


I was still passing people but the one thing you notice in Kona is very few people are walking. Everyone there is willing to work hard and keep on moving so the normal carnage you see on an Ironman course is not there. Heck if they ran a normal Ironman on that course the finisher rate would be pretty low but luckily most people out there know what they are doing.








Coming upon Palani i was focusing on keeping my core temp down and made sure to take it easy up the hill. Then I hit the Queen K!!! this was the one part of the course I had not run any of in training and heck was it hot!!! (Somewhere around 40 degrees before accounting for the reflective heat of the pavement)  I was just baking up there and focussed all my attention on getting my core temp down. In the end I think I lost around 9 minutes in the 6 miles before I hit the energy lab. Cooling down involved putting ice were ice should not live, creating man cans with sponges and showing off way too much chest hair.


I had run the energy lab early in the week and i can only describe it as an oven. Already cookin from the outside in I was a little worried about what would happen but I seemed to come good. There was slight breeze which may have helped just enough and before I knew it was passing people once again. I was hopping to see my kiwi mate Tony as I was entering the lab, as I knew I was not on track for a super fast day and if I saw him coming out as i was entering it would mean he was on track for about 9:30.





I will admit though when I did see him I took a split (2 minutes or so) and my next goal was to keep moving and bridge the gap. After stopping to grab my bottles out of my special foods bag I exited the lab and back onto the queen k. At this point in the run it is pretty much all about moving forward as fast as possible - its just that that is not always that fast. One thing I do is to make sure I keep getting calories down so focussed on that. I came upon  Tony with about 6km to go. Tony put in a crap load of work this year and in the end it was a stomach that did not want to play on race day that slowed him down. he had an awesome year with rock star performances at ITU Long Course Worlds, IMC (Winning his age group) and Kona. He gave me push to go for sub 10 and I managed to keep the speed up for a couple more miles but just could not hold at that pace.

I then hit the last climb before Palani. After a good 90 minutes of very limited crowds it started to thicken up again. As I came over the crest and down Palani it was a mile to go and I just made sure to enjoy this as much as I could. At this point sub 10 was out of the question so just free wheeled it down Palani and made sure to enjoy Ali'i Drive.






A buddy got me an aussie flag (Dazza the IRONFAN) before the shoot and just soaked it all in. Was an awesome mile being able to run down the drive that has so much history. The day didn't bring the exact result I was looking for but had one of the most enjoyable days of my life.


Racing Kona is something I hope I will do again, but regardless I think every opportunity will be a once in a lifetime experience. To be part of the show is something special and I definitely enjoyed it!!!






The Wrap

Its been an amazing journey thus far. I am going to write a individual thank you notes to as many people as I can. Here is the high level view but I am sure I have missed some people. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to follow, encourage, inspire, volunteer, put up with me, compete against etc etc over the past few years.




Leslie (My Wife) - ROCKSTAR!!!!! Thanks for all the support
Mum and Dad - Taking me to all those sports finally paid off

Family in BC - Thanks for all the support. Especially the Penticton Crew for all the support when I am up there training
Non Tri Friends - Your support is hugely appreciated. This sport is a bit anti social come race season!!!

Clint - Awesome working with you as a coach - have and will continue to learn a lot
Jerry - thanks for all the informal advice and feedback - beers are coming soon
Training Partners - Thanks all, is not possible without you all. Big shout out to Rachel who have done a heap of sessions with this year and have learned a lot from. Also a huge shout to Tony, even though on other sides of the world think we helped motivate each other across the season

Forerunners - Thanks for the support over the past couple years
Newton Running - Shoes rocked and helped me hold it together on a tough run day 
Speed Theory - Thanks for all the support - great to be affiliated with such a nice group of people 
SpiderTech - Thanks for all the support, especially the support during race week. The tape helped prevent the hamstrings form cramping in the last few miles of the run
Podium Imports - Thanks for doing the work to get us a Orca swim skin come race week 
Mercury Rising Triathlon - Clint's coaching company - good crew of athletes with 3 of us racing in Kona
Lifesport - Thanks for all the help during race week and access to the lounge for Leslie and I 
Dr Carla Cupido - For all the positive vibes and keeping my body healthy week in week out



Les and I after the day - Thanks for getting up at STUPID O'Clock on Race Day to come support!!!!
What Next

So are still working out the answer to that question. Next year will likely be a "developmental year" were I focus on my swim and my general speed. That will likely mean racing local in the West Coast Triathlon Series as well as a few other small events around BC. Half Ironman will be my distance of choice and hope to be able to lay down some good results locally.

Depending on how the year progresses my thoughts are I may then aim for the 30th anniversary of Ironman Canada in 2012. Lot of time, lot of training and a lot of fun to be had between now and then. 

Thanks again for all the support, this sport is absolutely FANTASTIC and I feel lucky to be a part of it. I can't wait to get back training but having a break is an important thing so at the moment my bike commute to work will suffice in terms of exercise for the moment. 

Thanks for coming on the journey and look forward to to continuing it in 2011 and beyond


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Its not a race report but it is the thought process

So Kona 2010 is now in the past. Have struggled to get to writing a race report as wanted to fully digest the day and the experience.

Speaking to Les (my wife) during the week of the race she said to just make sure I enjoyed the day as much as every other IM I had done. With A races I find this easier, with B races if you do not do everything perfect it is easy to dissect them in the hope that can find that extra % for the A race. I was defientely somthing that I made sure I did as the day went on.

So did I enjoy it? Definitely, in fact it is the only IM where I never once asked why am I doing this. In fact I never felt the race had any true "dark" moments. In fact the race and race week was one of the most awesome experiences of my life and leaves me more motivated about this sport than ever.

In terms of overall result I go away not totally content. Had thought would do a bit better out there but in the end racing doesn't lie and I was about 5% slower than I thought I would be and what I could do.

I thought I would swim around 1:15 or so and was just simply slower than that at 1:19. Plain and simple I just need to work out this swimming thing and if getting my butt kicked at Kona is what it takes then that should be inspiration enough to make it work.

In terms of plan execution I thought I did a good a excellent job of following the plan. My effort in the first 140km on the bike was a little low, however understand why that was. Essentially I was not anticipating passing as many people as I was so was cautious about going any harder as had to respect the course especially the last 40km where people have been caught out before. In some regards maybe i had a little bit too much respect for the bike course however not having the opportunity to ride the full course before race day certainly was a factor. So a 5:17 bike is what I delivered vs the close to 5 that may have been possible.

The run was a weird one - never hit my stride and  was a big cloud of grey were I never felt super but was able to diesel it out.I made a big point of soaking up the last mile down Palani and through Kona and making sure I enjoyed and remembered that as clearly as I could. Before IM CDA (3:11 Run) if you had given me a 3:23 IM marathon anywhere I would have taken it. So the fact I felt I had a bad run and ran 3:23 is a good thing! The takeaway form this perspective is just have to get stronger and fitter and be able to get cadence going on those tough days.

So in the end it is my second fastest IM time with a 10:05 in Kona so any disappointment is all relative. I actually debated with doing this post at all as it may look a little bit ungrateful or the like. Let me assure you that I had the most awesome time in Kona and especially the process leading to it. It is an honor to get to race on the Big Island and run down Alii drive at the end of an Ironman. So from that perspective I could not be happier.

What the result does give is motivation and a sense of being able to step it up to another level is possible. In the end it is just about getting stronger, fitter, smarter and more experienced. My bad day needs to be faster and my good days faster still.

You only achieve what you aim for in life and that is why we have goals, just because you miss them the first time does not mean you give up on them. You just get back to business and work harder to acheive them. Not sure when I will be back at Kona but my thought is want to be able to confidently go for a 153 as my good day. That is a Sub 1 hour swim, sub 5 hour bike and sub 3 hour run.

Next up will be the race report which will focus on the experience!