It’s been nearly a month since the big show now and this will be my last post before drawing a line under Kona till 2015. But reflecting on the race earlier this week I was asked an intriguing question:

‘What performance at Kona surprised you most on the day?’

To me it was obvious that Ben Hoffman’s 2nd place performance was phenomenal. Surprising not for being good, but for just how good and I believe represents a great lesson for pro men trying to put together an IM career.

While I have never met the man, I’ve watched ‘The Hoff’s’ career from a distance for some time now and have always been quietly impressed with the professional way he goes about his business. No fuss, no fanfare, just turns up and consistently delivers. Over the years he has adjusted his training intelligently and has trusted in time to help him develop the weaker parts of his game.

Each season one could detect improvements, as little by little he built upon the solid foundation of a powerful bike. Two breakthrough runs in the last 12 months should have alerted everyone to the fact that his time was soon to arrive. All credit to him that he was able to do so on the biggest stage available.

But this was no overnight success. ‘The Hoff’s’ performance came off the back of several hard years of racing, mirroring previous winners’ road to glory and similar to that of another tough-as-nails racer in Luke McKenzie. These are guys who learn their craft the hard way, know their bodies inside and out and how to squeeze everything they have out of them. These athletes will always represent a threat, as you can depend on them using their hard-won knowledge to produce the race of their athletic lives when it counts.

So hats off to Ben Hoffman on an amazing journey over the years. Look forward to watching you compete in 2015.

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