IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships 2023
Lahti Finland – How did we get here and thoughts for the week …
IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships 2023
Lahti Finland – How did we get here and thoughts for the week
Build up and preamble
So, its race week and although its easy to say this has come around quickly, its not really, I qualified for this race in Staffordshire 70.3 in 2021. We were still in some level of lockdown restrictions but some racing was taking place.
The race went well, 2nd in the M50-54 age group, the race consisting of 1.2mile swim, 56mile bike and 13.1mile run, however, all very well coming off the bike in 1st place but its not a ‘swim/bike’ race, its a triathlon. and a marauding Scott Whittlestone ploughed through me and most of the field taking the win by 8 mins !!
Job done though and I got my slot for, at the time, New Zealand 2022, over the next few months, due to NZ closing its borders for another year, that became Utah 2022, then the final option, if you have already qualified, either go to Utah, Finland or NZ in their respective years, we picked Lahti in Finland. And thats where we are right now, sitting in my hotel room in Helsinki ready to move to the race location tomorrow.
Staffs 70.3 pics
Struggling with the heat at Staffs 70.3 on the way to 2nd
Job Done !
Since Staffs 2021.
Moving into the M50-54 age group in 2021 was planned so that I hit races hard, being the ‘baby’ in the group gave me a certain age advantage over some and mentally it helped me attack that little bit harder.
I raced in Ironman Tallinn in the August, had the best race imaginable and posted my fastest Ironman time in 9hours 14mins. I also won the age group which was a great feeling, it was my first AG win in an international race. I’d won in UK in 2016 but this felt better somehow. If you fancy a read on the race, the post is here.
I pushed the training on into October training hard for IM Portugal in Cascais feeling pretty good, however, the guys in the age group didn’t make it easy. Solid swim and bike again but man I was pushed all the way in the marathon. Second win of the year and again, this one felt even better, I had to dig deeper and suffered more as the runner in second never backed off and I ran scared right to the line.
Coming into 2022 I chose a bigger goal, the course in 2021 at Ironman Tallinn led me to believe that going under 9 hours for the ironman was possible so i made it my goal for the year. I completed Manchester Marathon aiming to work on my running and with a 2:57 I was confident I could do it.
Going into Tallinn I was super fit and ready, however it wasn’t quite enough, even winning the age group by 45 minutes couldn’t make up for missing the goal by 3 mins !! 9hours 3 mins !
We move on, 2023 became a year of ony 70.3, get some speed and see what you can do, here we are. Its race week, whoop !!
How winning makes you feel !
What to expect in Lahti 2023
I have raced in Kona a few times and although the weather sometimes played a part in me not being able to give ‘everything’ as I would have liked, I am not sure I would have improved my position, it was more the time was slower due to conditions. I dont expect Lahti to be any different, I will place as well as I race in amongst some of the best triathletes ever assembled. There are so many just from the UK that I would love to be in the same postcode as come the finish line so being realistic, I have no idea !
Race day is 4 days away, I’m feeling fit currently and super motivated, weather will only play a part in bike handling I reckon with the chance of rain, the rest is down to desire and fitness. Just looking at racing in an amazing place, with my family, surrounded by friends, racing and supporting and I’m gonna enjoy all that Finland has to offer.
As always, thanks to XEndurance and Bikmo for helping me get here and supporting me for many years, as an age grouper its phenomenol to have that kind of support. My coach, Chris Standidge, pushes me when required, goads me when needed and points me in the right direction for my training.
Great to be here with the family as well, its not a cheap place to come, more on that I am sure after a few more days here but having Kelly and the kids supporting on race day will be the best part of why I do this !!
Another post in a day or so. Thanks for reading x