Ironman Zurich once again proved to be too strong for the leaders who tried to beat the course.

I’ve been coming to this race now for close to 20 years and the course has reigned supreme on most occasions – the bike course just saps the legs like very few others.

So it was this time for both the male (Manuel Kung) and female (Mary Beth Ellis) breakaway bike leaders whose legs suffered straight off the bike. Honey Badger bravely held off a fast moving Beth Gerdes until the very last few kilometres of the run, but the damage was done.

I was super happy with MBE’s return to Ironman this time back. She swam well and rode the majority of the course as hard as she possibly could getting a much needed 180km effort into her legs. We wanted a real pre-Kona type workout and that’s exactly what we got. A gallant 2nd which Coach believes will kick start her Ironman assault on Kona.

Very well done Honey Badger. We’re on our way.

Out on course at Zurich we had many athletes out there doing their best in what were very, very hot conditions.

Congratulations to Brazilian Pro Athlete Mariana Andrade who despite a drafting penalty and a puncture stuck solid to finish her 10th Ironman Race. Her recap can be found here:

Jane Hansom was the standout performer of the weekend who in her first full Ironman event absolutely devastated her age category to win by 24 minutes and qualify for the big show at Kona.

Age group athletes Rafal and Alicja Medak were also competing this weekend in what proved to be a tough day at the office. Rafal’s back seizing up on him in the first lap of the bike and being told by Coach to save his effort for another day, while Alicja struggled in the non-wetsuit swim, but I’m very happy she stuck it out and raced to the end, finishing 5th in her age category.

Trent Simmons and Lukas Verzbicas completed the 5150 at Zurich. A full recap from Trent’s wife Holly can be found here.

Jane Fardell also competed in the 5150 for fun, and as part of her marathon training program, placing first in her age category.

Recap from Coach Bella Bayliss:

Bella_IMUKRacing this weekend: Victor Del Corral, Andy Hamilton, Dean Edwards.

I went to Bolton to watch 5 of my guys race Ironman UK this weekend. It was great to see them in action. They all impressed me. Ironman is not easy and they all dealt with their races calmly and strong.

Ironman UK has always been one of my favourite courses. It is just so tough, a fair test of physically and mental fitness. Today was made especially challenging by the cold, torrential rain which greeted the athletes as they got on their bikes. I saw people crashing off their bikes all over. Not pretty!

Congrats to all my guys finishing the job off best they could. All of them already discussing what next ūüôā

Victor Del Corral 4th at Ironman UK -8:58:45

Victor did a great effort at Ironman UK. It wasn’t the result he was looking for but this Ironman racing business is not easy! ¬†He put himself into a good position out of the swim, and rode smart, the torrential rain didn’t bother him too much and he came off the bike in 4th place but his fast running legs were not there today. ¬†David Mcnamee ran very well, Fraser held onto 2nd and Joe Skipper held onto 3rd place.

Andy Hamiton –¬†10:00:20

Today Ironman UK was Andy Hamilton’s first Ironman and he came 20th overall, 5th in his age group and qualified for Hawaii. ¬†I thought Andy did brilliant, but Andy is a high achiever, and like many of us he wants to be faster!! ¬†Andy will be back training for his next Ironman soon, he thinks he will leave Hawaii for this year.

Dean Edwards -10:09:29

came 4th in his age category. ¬†Like everyone out on course, he found it a tough day but he battled through and got it done best he could. ¬†He will find out tomorrow if he has qualified for Hawaii, but if he hasn’t he is going to find himself another challenge soon instead! ūüôā

Bella_IMUK2Richard Newey, Callum and Aya Stevens in action.

Callum Hughs -10:28:41

Callum, like many of these guys works a lot and has to fit in training around work, Sometimes life gets hectic and more difficult to get the training in needed, but this never bothers Callum, he goes out to these races and gives it his best, and gets it finished, He will be at another race soon, I know Callum! ¬†ūüôā

Richard Newey -10:33:40

Richard won his age category!!  Richard has already qualified for Hawaii so he was just doing it for fun and for a great training day! What a day!!!  Congrats Richard!   Next Richard goes to 70.3 Worlds then Hawaii!! He is a busy man!

Aya Stevens -10:11:40

Aya raced Ironman Switzerland and finished 6th female overall. A tough day for Aya with a few problems along the way, but she is a tough little thing! She doesn’t let it beat her and she battles it out till the end. Another great result and getting stronger for it. ¬†Congratulations Aya.

Recap from Coach Jo Spindler:

Oli Bike1Oli hammering on the bike.

My athletes saw a very successful weekend with races in Switzerland, UK and the US.

First of all, I accompanied Oliver Klaus to IM UK to chase his dream of the Kona ticket. Originally, he was meant to be racing IM Switzerland. But as this race was forecasted to become a heat race and we knew from previous races that he has a hard time to deal with heat, we voluntarily signed him up for IMUK, as there was supposed to be shit weather, rainy and cold – in brief: Perfect conditions for a guy from the Swiss mountains. Oli put in a lot of time, passion and effort the last 2 years to get that slot, and so I joined him to look at all the little things, that can jeopardize a race and undo all the good work in minutes with even (or because) not thinking about it. The last 7 days leading up to a race are very important and many athletes throw away their race already in those days leading up with rushing their preparation and not paying attention to the details, be it bike, nutrition, training, travel or mental issues. There is no 100% guarantee, but you can reduce all the risks of something going wrong to very close to that. In an ideal scenario I like to carry the athlete to the finish line, without him knowing whats going on, and then open the box on race day and off he goes furiously and strong. Not always I have to be there physically, to make this possible. It depends on the athlete. But with Oli‚Äôs impulsivness and unmatched technical talent I wanted to make sure that all those little things go right. The most important aspect, however, was to take out the stress of that 3 days leading up to the race. To give him the confidence in himself and trust into his body and all the hard work he did. Despite the late shift in travels and race course, it were very confident and relaxed days leading up to the race. Sorting out all those briefings and check-ins without any hurry, catching up on sleep, sorting out race nutrition to the gram. Then on race day, Oli jumped out of his start box like a race horse! Posting a very good swim, sticking to race plan on the bike and then toughening out the run for a 4th place and a secure Kona slot. It was really that easy! ūüėČ Big thanks to Oli for a great time in Bolton and even bigger congrats to finally turning make his dream come true!

Neil's trophyNeil’s trophy!

Neil McLoughling on the other hand didn’t need all that assistance. He had his Kona ticked already stamped earlier this year, but unfinished business at Steelman, a half distance race in UK, where a mechanical (one of those details) took him out of the race last year. And of course, he came, saw and conquered Рwinning his age group! Very well done on that, Neil, now bring on Kona.

Diana 5i50Diana was third at the Zurich 5150.

Diana, another bike bunny amongst my athletes, made the podium at the 5150 in Z√ľrich. As the start had to be postponed due to a thunderstorm and heavy rain, the roads were wet and she rode like that. She shied away from all decents as if any moment there could something pop out the road to pull her down. However, she got some intense work up the hills and on the run and that was what we were looking for.

Then Ironman Switzerland saw 2 of my athletes competing. Rico Giovanoli did his 2nd Ironman within 3 weeks. An exceptional performance for an full time working age group athlete. He had a bit of tough luck, noticing a mechanical short before race start and later screwing up his handlebar by riding through a bumpy hole. He still placed 40 in his AG. Well done on that, Rico!

RicoRico still smiling!

At the same race, Joan Toni, my Spanish crash-happy bunny, toughened out a 40 place in his AG. Only 4 days before the race he sprained his ankle badly. After not daring to confess this mishap for 3 days he sent a photo of his ankle 12h before race start. Luckily Carmen, our ‚Äěteam‚Äú medical professor, spontaneously agreed to examine his ankle, taped it up, and gave him her permisson to take on the race. Joan Toni suffered a lot all day, noticing his ankle already at the swim, even more on the run. Ironman is for iron people and Joan Toni profed yesterday, that he is tough as nails. He had a tough season this year, crashing 2 weeks before Ironman Lanzarote, puncturing 2 times at Ironman Lanzarote, straining his ankle 4 days before Ironman Sitzerland. Next year, he is ready for a Kona slot. Just imagine what he could do when he is fit and helaty, not doing a medical examination the night before race day.

Swollen AnkleJoan Toni’s strained ankle.

Finally, Steven Brandes had a very solid race at IM 70.3 Racine, stormin into the top-10 in his age group. We tried to work out and testrun his race week strategy to get the best out of his soon upcoming season highlight.

Well done to all! Happy and humble coach!

Recap from Coach Lisbeth Kristensen:

IMG_0675                                                                                     Melanie powering through the run.

Super day for my athletes with Melanie Baumann 4th, and Maurice Inzirillo 6th in their respective categories, both with very impressive run splits to come home strongly.


Recap from Coach Robbie Haywood:

A very satisfying result for me this week was Sarah Keller returned to racing at the WTS Sprint Triathlon in Hamburg. After a period of time away from the sport it is wonderful to see Sarah enjoying her training and racing once again.

Mark Richardson lined up for his 3rd Ironman of the year, and had his best performance so far, with a strong and consistent 4th place at Ironman UK in Bolton. He was rewarded with a well deserved Kona slot. Congratulation Mark!

Philippe Blatter had a solid race at Ironman Zurich. He always amazes how he fits training around a career involving international travel most weeks, and a young family who are following in his athletic footsteps.

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