This was a big weekend for me as a coach supporting my athletes at the World Champs in Kona and at Ironman Louisville the day after. I’m still recovering!
With Kona 2015 only held 2 days ago, 3 of my athletes already qualified for Kona 2016! Carmen Grosse had a superb performance at Ironman Lousville, not only winning her age group, but also the age group below hers. She came out of the water with the 2nd fastest swim in the entire women’s field which set her day towards the right direction. She rode hard on the bike, posting the fastest bike split of her age group (7th overall), but keeping enough in the tank to hold off a hard charging Sarah Davidson with the 2nd fastest run of her age group to cross the finish line first in a total time of 10:37h, securing her Kona slot only 1 day after the Champs. As the ambitious athlete Carmen is, she of course is not entirely happy with her 12th place overall(!), and is already holding her coach liable for not having the bike power she’s dreaming of. Yes, she had the fastest bike split in her age group, yes she won the race, yes she got her slot. That is all correct, but the bike was still not as fast as she wants it to be. You cannot argue with her as long as she’s thinking she was not the best athlete she could be.
Carmen is one of the most desperate and dedicated athletes I’ve ever met. Far more professional than many professional athletes. That makes working with her so rewarding. So coach already has stepped up: 12 months of hard work left to make her big dream come true.
That leads directly to the World Champs race in Kona this year:
First of all Philipp Gubler had a Top-100 overall finish! A 1:02 swim, 5:01 bike and 3:17 run gave him a 9:27 overall time and placed him 16th in his age group, which is probably the most competitive next to the pro category. We hoped for a slightly better run, but Philipp took some extra minutes to enjoy and soak up the special energy of this event to take back home the essence of this race and not just sore muscles. I’m very proud of him.
Oliver Klaus did also a strong race. A 1:16 swim, 5:16 bike and 4:03 run gave him a total time of 10:43. Given the heat of the day, which is not exactly the ideal performance enhancer for his particular physiology, he did an exceptionally good race. During his preparation we lowered his body fat level as much as possible which clearly helped him to bear the heat on the run. Oli had some tough days leading up to the race with 5 flat tires in 3 rides. Nothing during the race, but when he came back to pick up his bike, of course one tire was flat again. After a fantastic year of racing and a great finish of his season, Oli will spend some much deserved holidays with his wife Viola on the Hawaiian islands.
For Neil McLoughlin, 20 years of chasing a dream finally came to a happy end last Saturday. With a 1:30 swim, 5:29 bike, 3:45 run and a total time of 10:57. Neil did a fantastic race throughout all disciplines. Having earned himself the priviledge to race on the mythical island of Hawaii meant so much to him and I feel very priviledged that I could help him realize his dream. What an incredible amount of dedication and preseverance! You deserved that finish so much, Neil! Congrats again!
Thomas Ibach had the questionable pleasure to share an apartment with me during the days leading up to the race. He nevertheless had a good race, finishing 16th in his age group with a 1:24 swim, 5:46 bike, 3:44 run and an overall time of 11:07. Besides that, the trip to Hawaii was very worthy for him as he here discovered by chance that he is mentioned in one of the leading German guidebooks about Hawaii next to Faris al Sultan and Norman Stadler as one of the athletes which finished the World Champs here in 2011.
Last but not least, in her first participation at the big dance, Sandra Schöni finished 42th in her age group with a 12:15 overall time, consisting of a 1:24 swim, 6:19 bike and 4:20 run. She already is eager to come here next year again. Leading up to the race, she was very nervous, but mastered the additional stress very well and raced very smart and controlled. She played it safe and smart all the time. When she caught up with a group of athletes short before reaching T2 a referee came along and showed an athlete at the very front of this group, some 50 meters away, a blue (drafting penalty) card. Sandra, not sure if the card was directed to only 1 specific athlete or the whole group went straight away to the next penalty tent to check if they had her number there. Not finding her number, she still had the patience to wait 5 minutes there, serving a penalty she was not given. At least that gave her great piece of mind and aworry-free marathon to enjoy her first finish at the Ironman World Champs of Hawaii.
Race Recap from Coach Bella Bayliss:
Dean Edwards had a very impressive race at Hawaii, Dean went 9.45.03. A 53 minute pb on last years Hawaii. Dean is a real hard working guy. Full time job, his little boy and totally determined. To get the training in, 5am starts and late nights in the garage have not been the odd occasion for the past 10 months. Congratulations on a great race Dean, I wish you all the best in your continued progressions.
Jason Wilkes went 10.45.22. Another great performance. A 21 minute pb from last years Hawaii. Jason had to work through some problems earlier in the race, problems with sickness that may well have ended some peoples race, but he overcame the problems and got his race finished. With a pb! Congratulations Jason on a great year of racing and training.
Richard Newey went 11.06.39. Richard didn’t have the race he had dreamt about. But like many of us know. Tough days do happen! He did the best he could and finished the race off. Richard has had a very good year, qualifying at Ironman South Africa, winning his age group at Ironman UK and many more successful days.
Hollie Craddock finished Hawaii in 14.12.22. She had a tough day with punctures, but kept her head together and finished the race off. After some injury problems through the summer Hollie did really well to get this tough race finished. Hollie was raising money for SUDEP Action in memory of Rosie.
Lucy Biddlestone and Esther Rodríguez won the women’s team event at a trail running team event on Lanzarote on Saturday.
Race Recap from Coach Michelle Barnes:
So unbelievably proud of Theresa Abbott on her first Kona debut!
She signed up with Trisutto for coaching after following Brett’s 20-hour Ironman plan which qualified her for Kona! She had never run the whole marathon in an Ironman and was terrified of the heat & conditions in Kona so thought it was a good idea to hire a coach.
With only 5 weeks together with no more run training than she was already doing, Theresa finished Kona with plenty of time to spare, ran the whole marathon, with a PB marathon to boot! She even negative split the run!!! I am just over the moon with excitement for her- way to follow the plan and listen to your coach Theresa!!!
Race Recap from Coach Robbie Haywood:
This weekend two of my athletes competed in running races and both had personal best times and super results.
Sandy Benz ran a new personal best by almost 1 minute at the European Masters Games in Nice, to win Gold in her category.
Sarah Keller a new personal best by almost 4 minutes at the Brienzerseelauf Half Marathon, in her own words:
It was just great. From the beginning on, I could feel how much the training ( especially also from last month) improved my performance. There was just more energy/power that I was able to get out of my legs. As you suggested I tried it with the 3Ms (moderate, medium, mad) and it worked very well! I was able to keep the pace. Already at 10 k I was very surprised to see that I had a new PB, gaining another minute compared to my 10 k PB a month ago, even though I had to go on for another 11k. So I was just hoping that I really would be able to keep the pace. It got hard but I was able to „fight“ through it. At the end I got rewarded with a new PB for the half marathon of almost 4 min :-))))) I am so happy to see the progress we made in this short period of time – I think we are going the right direction – let’s keep going!!!!! :-)))))))))))))))
Race Recap from Coach Brett Sutton:
Obviously a huge weekend for our team with Daniela Ryf taking out the World Championships. My recap of her performance can be found here.
I’ll also follow up on the performances of our charges Mary Beth Ellis and Matt Trautman at Kona in another blog, as while both ended up having tough days they were able to take big positives from the race. MBE for 85% of the race had a great performance. But Ironman is not ITU. You don’t fight with Kona, you work with it. Similarly, the Captain (Matt Trautman) came to Kona and did 100% what was asked. That is ‘go and learn what is needed to be successful here’. That was achieved. So overall we’re very happy with our performances.
Congratulations to Jane Hansom who caps off a super debut Ironman year with a World Championship podium. In her maiden attempt at the distance she decimated the field at Ironman Zurich, which qualified her for the big one. She handled the heat and Kona experience with total aplomb and by following Coach’s instructions will continue to improve.
Finally, a big well done to Alicja and Rafal Medak who finished a marathon effort of 5 Ironman races this year by enjoying a final one at Hawaii. Their focus being Ironman Wales earlier in September, where Alicja was able to secure her 6th Kona qualification for 2016. Coach’s instructions were to simply finish Kona and enjoy the experience. Achieved on both counts. Now time for a rest as we regroup for 2016.
Congratulations to all our athletes competing this weekend.
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