IRONMAN 70.3 UK RACE PROGRAMME | June 2013
Was 2012 the first time you qualified?
Yes. I'd previously raced Ironman 70.3 UK in 2007 and 2009, so course familiarity was definitely an advantage for me in 2012.
Where did you come in your age group? What is your age group?
I won the 18-24 age-group. I'd previously won the 18-24 age-group at three international Ironman events, but this was my first age-group win at the 70.3 distance.
Did you expect to qualify?
The goal going into the race was to qualify for the World Championships in Las Vegas, although there was a scare 3 weeks before the race when I was hit by a car whilst training, but I consider myself fortunate to have escaped with only a few stitches and a separated AC joint. It did however hamper my training in the weeks leading up to the event and made race day even more painful than I anticipated!
Did you get a slot straight away or did it roll down?
I picked up the first of two qualification slots available in the 18-24 age-group.
How did you feel knowing you had qualified for the Worlds?
It's always a great feeling to come away from a race having achieved your objective. As pleased as I was with the result, I knew there was a lot of work to do in order to be competitive in Las Vegas, so I left Wimbleball hugely motivated to improve in the 3 months until Las Vegas.
Did you enjoy the race (Vegas)?
It was a blast! I spent the summer training in Boulder (Colorado, USA), which helped me arrive at the race with good fitness. The course in Las Vegas isn't quite as challenging as Wimbleball, but temperatures approaching 40 degrees made it one of the hardest races I've competed at. It's an honest course worthy of being a World Championship venue.
How did you do in Las Vegas?
The race started well with a decent swim and once on the bike I made my way past my age-group competitors and reached the front. Our age-group was the last wave to start, so we had the hottest conditions and being from the Seychelles that played to my strengths. The run course was very challenging, which coupled with the heat made the times quite slow. I dug in deep and managed to get the age-group win and World Championship title, finishing 35th overall, which to this point is the highlight in my triathlon career.
Are you back to qualify again?
2013 is my debut season racing pro, but I'm not seeking qualification for either the Ironman or Ironman 70.3 World Championships this year. As a long distance triathlete I of course intend to return to these races in the future, but I'll do so when I'm able to compete right at the pointy end of the field. This year is an opporunity to gain experience racing in the pro ranks and there are certainly some differences between racing as an age-grouper and as a pro, as I learned in my debut race at Ironman South Africa where I finished 12th in 8:48. At 24 I'm still relatively young, but long distance racing is where my heart is and I'm loving every moment of it!