Archive | IM Hamburg

Ironman Hamburg 2019 – Analyzing Results

IMHH_LogoCourse Conditions

Another set of course changes (different swim layout compared to 2017, another new bike course and a slightly tweaked run course) makes it hard to compare this year’s results to other IM Hamburg data and determine course records. The non-wetsuit swim was quite slow and the bike course was made relatively hard with side winds, helping to break apart larger groups in the second loop. After last year’s fast marathon times the run course was lengthened and maybe a bit long this year, resulting in slow run times.

All of this and the high temperatures contributed to a high DNF rate – only half of the 26 MPROs who started the race were able to finish. 

Kona Qualifying

IM Hamburg had one slot each for the men and women. They go to

  • Kristian Hoegenhaug
    and
  • Martina Kunz.

The slot rolled down quite far on the female side: Susie Cheetham (winner), Sarah Piampiao (second) and Caroline Steffen (fourth) were already qualified, and third-place finisher Julia Gajer declined her slot.

Male Race Results

With the fastest bike and run splits, Kristian Hoegenhaug was able to erase his swim deficit. It was a surprise to see him outrun more experienced athletes such as Ruedi Wild who finished second and Andreas Raelert (who DNF’d shortly after the half-marathon mark).

Kristian Bike

Photo: Kristian pushing hard on the bike.

Ruedi Run

Photo: Ruedi on the run.

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time Diff to exp. Prize Money
1 Kristian Hoegenhaug DEN 00:52:03 04:17:29 02:54:03 08:11:26 -09:18 US$ 15,000
2 Ruedi Wild SUI 00:50:13 04:24:16 02:55:37 08:16:34 02:32 US$ 7,500
3 Paul Schuster GER 00:50:05 04:25:32 03:02:37 08:24:25 -00:39 US$ 5,000
4 Arnaud Guilloux FRA 00:52:07 04:34:20 02:55:05 08:29:14 -22:37 US$ 3,250
5 Philipp Mock GER 01:00:51 04:29:13 02:56:54 08:35:11 -15:38 US$ 2,750
6 David Breuer GER 00:52:06 04:30:32 03:06:47 08:36:08 -02:11 US$ 2,000
7 Benjamin Dicke GER 01:03:09 04:31:28 03:01:48 08:43:56 04:43 US$ 1,500
8 Thomas Bosch GER 01:01:49 04:41:32 03:04:44 08:55:53 -01:04 US$ 1,250
9 Sebastian Guhr GER 01:09:13 04:44:54 03:15:40 09:16:58 -14:48 US$ 1,000
10 Grigorii Navrotskii RUS 00:54:59 05:04:36 03:16:47 09:23:04 14:16 US$ 750
11 Philipp Fahrenholz GER 00:58:55 04:51:16 03:27:33 09:24:28 02:40  
12 Stefan Overmars NED 00:58:47 04:44:47 03:46:55 09:38:45 37:06  
13 Lukas Polan CZE 01:03:17 05:28:31 03:26:08 10:06:50 09:17  
  Andreas Raelert GER 00:50:10 04:23:04   DNF    
  Horst Reichel GER 00:50:02 04:28:07   DNF    
  Matt Trautman ZAF 00:56:27 04:29:32   DNF    
  Marc Unger GER 00:58:15 04:31:36   DNF    
  Stefan Schumacher GER 01:01:54 04:33:33   DNF    
  Christian Jais GER 01:04:06 04:45:27   DNF    
  Steeve Brugiere FRA 01:11:03 05:01:30   DNF    
  Michael Raelert GER 00:50:00     DNF    
  Ivan Tutukin RUS 00:51:56     DNF    
  Will Clarke GBR 00:53:19     DNF    
  Andreas Borch DEN 00:55:32     DNF    
  Imanol Sagarzazu ESP 01:04:17     DNF    
  Lukas Pietrek GER 01:12:53     DNF    

Female Race Results

In the female race, Susie Cheetham built a lead on the bike and was able to also have a strong run. In the end, she was able to manage the gap to Sarah Piampiano who had the marathon performance of the day – her 2:56 was just two minutes slower than the fastest run on the male side.

Susie Run

Photo: Susie on the run in front of the beautiful Alster lake in Hamburg.

Sarah Bike

Photo: Sarah getting splits to the lead at the end of the first bike lap from husband Michael.

Rank Name Nation Swim Bike Run Time Diff to exp. Prize Money
1 Susie Cheetham GBR 01:00:58 04:46:57 03:03:56 08:58:02 -09:58 US$ 15,000
2 Sarah Piampiano USA 01:06:27 04:50:54 02:56:21 09:00:42 -09:53 US$ 7,500
3 Julia Gajer GER 00:56:57 04:53:30 03:12:31 09:09:39 -08:54 US$ 5,000
4 Caroline Steffen SUI 00:56:56 04:56:16 03:19:35 09:19:28 15:44 US$ 3,250
5 Martina Kunz SUI 01:06:26 04:53:54 03:21:09 09:29:03 -11:26 US$ 2,750
6 Katharina Grohmann GER 01:11:52 05:00:56 03:27:18 09:48:23 07:04 US$ 2,000
7 Gabriella Zelinka HUN 01:00:59 05:14:28 03:52:05 10:14:28 47:25 US$ 1,500
8 Janien Lubben NED 01:16:07 05:14:50 03:52:28 10:31:47 n/a US$ 1,250
  Shannon Chapman AUS 01:19:25 05:39:20   DNF    
1

Ironman Hamburg 2019 (July 28th) – Seedings

IMHH_LogoUpdates:

  • July 25th: Federica de Nicola won’t be racing, Corinne Abraham is going to race Tallinn instead.
  • July 24th: Mareen Hufe announced that she won’t be able to race. She has a slight injury that she doesn’t want to aggravate before her Kona build.
    Just as Mareen, Kristin Liepold and Bianca Steurer have already secured their Kona slots and won’t be racing.

Previous Winners

Year Male Winner Time Female Winner Time
2017 James Cunnama (ZAF) 08:00:36 Daniela Bleymehl (GER) 09:07:49
2018 Bart Aernouts (BEL) 07:05:26 Sarah Crowley (AUS) 08:08:21

Last Race’s TOP 3

The full results analysis for the 2018 race can be found here.

Male Race Results

Rank Name Nation Run1 Bike Run Time
1 Bart Aernouts BEL 00:19:47 04:00:50 02:39:51 07:05:26
2 Joe Skipper GBR 00:19:49 04:01:39 02:45:38 07:12:35
3 James Cunnama ZAF 00:19:52 04:00:44 02:48:44 07:13:54

Female Race Results

Rank Name Nation Run1 Bike Run Time
1 Sarah Crowley AUS 00:22:48 04:34:45 03:05:36 08:08:21
2 Katharina Grohmann GER 00:23:16 04:38:14 03:06:17 08:13:30
3 Maja Stage Nielsen DEN 00:23:59 04:46:26 03:05:39 08:21:23

Course Records

Leg Gender Record Athlete Date
Total overall 08:00:36 James Cunnama 2017-08-13
Swim overall 00:47:38 Carlos Lopez Diaz 2017-08-13
Bike overall 04:24:32 James Cunnama 2017-08-13
Run overall 02:40:58 James Cunnama 2017-08-13
Total female 09:07:49 Daniela Bleymehl 2017-08-13
Swim female 00:55:53 Daniela Bleymehl 2017-08-13
Bike female 04:55:24 Daniela Bleymehl 2017-08-13
Run female 02:58:10 Kristin Liepold 2017-08-13

Course Rating

The Course Rating for IM Hamburg is 05:17.

Race Adjustments for IM Hamburg

Year Adjustment Swim Adj. Bike Adj. Run Adj. # of Finishers Rating Swim Rating Bike Rating Run Rating
2017 05:17 -00:21 00:45 04:54 18 of 20 05:17 -00:21 00:45 04:54

The 2018 race started with a 5k run when algae made the swim impossible.

Kona slots and Prize Money

IM Hamburg has 1m+1f Pro Kona slots. It has a total prize purse of 80.000 US$, paying 10 deep.

Male Race Participants

The strength of the field is 25% of a typical Kona field.

# Bib Name Nat Expected Rating ESwim EBike ET2 ERun Consistency Overall
1 43 Ivan Tutukin RUS 08:10:17 08:27:44 00:48:58 04:41:12 05:35:10 02:35:07 26% +0% -74% (6) (40)
2 38 Ruedi Wild * SUI 08:18:08 08:21:14 00:49:25 04:36:59 05:31:25 02:46:43 84% +9% -7% (7) 18
3 21 Clemente Alonso McKernan (KQ) ESP 08:18:48 08:22:18 00:48:46 04:37:43 05:31:30 02:47:18 56% +3% -41% (18) 22
4 1 Andreas Raelert GER 08:20:50 08:40:30 00:49:08 04:33:13 05:27:20 02:53:30 11% +5% -83% (23) (79)
5 2 Matt Trautman (KQ) ZAF 08:22:02 08:28:34 00:51:15 04:35:14 05:31:29 02:50:33 30% +34% -36% (8) 45
6 3 Will Clarke (KQ) GBR 08:22:25 08:31:36 00:49:00 04:39:57 05:33:57 02:48:28 34% +18% -48% (10) 53
7 6 Kristian Hoegenhaug DEN 08:23:59 08:43:14 00:54:42 04:30:36 05:30:18 02:53:41 50% +0% -50% (5) 86
8 31 Horst Reichel GER 08:26:54 08:49:39 00:49:14 04:41:11 05:35:25 02:51:29 26% +20% -55% (20) (111)
9 29 Giulio Molinari * ITA 08:27:48 08:30:58 00:48:50 04:34:11 05:28:01 02:59:47 84% +0% -16% (8) 52
10 40 Paul Schuster GER 08:29:54 08:53:12 00:49:36 04:36:10 05:30:47 02:59:07 38% +0% -62% (2) (125)
11 42 Anders Christensen DEN 08:31:53 08:46:09 00:53:16 04:38:43 05:37:00 02:54:53 24% +67% -10% (4) 96
12 19 Samuel Huerzeler * SUI 08:32:56 08:42:41 00:53:04 04:42:48 05:40:52 02:52:04 77% +23% -0% (13) 85
13 13 Roman Deisenhofer * GER 08:33:09 08:44:06 00:52:13 04:36:07 05:33:21 02:59:48 26% +50% -23% (11) 88
14 16 Bryan McCrystal IRL 08:34:32 09:01:03 00:57:16 04:27:05 05:29:22 03:05:10 30% +19% -51% (9) 148
15 37 Diego Van Looy BEL 08:34:59 08:44:56 01:02:03 04:45:36 05:52:38 02:42:21 100% +0% -0% (7) 90
16 17 Esben Hovgaard DEN 08:37:51 09:00:06 00:53:18 04:42:59 05:41:16 02:56:35 31% +16% -53% (14) (142)
17 7 Markus Liebelt GER 08:39:46 08:55:18 00:53:06 04:39:05 05:37:11 03:02:35 40% +0% -60% (5) (132)
18 9 Alexander Schilling GER 08:41:24 08:55:27 00:48:54 04:43:01 05:36:56 03:04:28 48% +0% -52% (4) 133
19 26 Christian Haupt * GER 08:42:20 08:55:36 00:54:42 04:46:47 05:46:28 02:55:52 100% +0% -0% (2) (134)
20 5 David Breuer GER 08:43:15 09:01:44 00:49:03 04:43:18 05:37:21 03:05:54 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (152)
21 33 Marc Unger GER 08:43:18 09:11:59 00:53:01 04:41:36 05:39:38 03:03:40 13% +39% -48% (5) 182
22 25 Benjamin Dicke GER 08:44:14 09:02:46 01:00:17 04:43:16 05:48:33 02:55:41 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (152)
23 15 Victor Arroyo Bugallo ESP 08:44:50 09:05:18 00:57:12 04:51:24 05:53:36 02:51:14 31% +0% -69% (5) 162
24 27 Sebastian Norberg SWE 08:45:57 08:55:56 00:55:54 04:45:13 05:46:06 02:59:51 41% +21% -38% (5) 134
25 18 Michael Raelert GER 08:47:41 08:50:31 00:46:42 04:52:00 05:43:42 03:03:59 86% +0% -14% (5) 114
26 36 Philipp Mock GER 08:54:01 09:09:06 00:59:22 04:35:54 05:40:16 03:13:45 63% +0% -37% (4) 174
27 11 Hannes Cool * BEL 08:56:16 09:18:04 00:53:02 04:52:50 05:50:52 03:05:24 33% +18% -49% (9) (204)
28 23 Arnaud Guilloux FRA 08:56:37 09:21:07 00:53:01 04:44:01 05:42:02 03:14:35 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (211)
29 14 Vicenc Castella Serra * ESP 08:58:37 09:12:12 00:57:46 04:59:28 06:02:14 02:56:23 69% +0% -31% (4) 184
30 39 Thomas Bosch GER 08:58:51 09:15:40 00:58:43 04:54:16 05:57:59 03:00:52 39% +25% -37% (7) (197)
31 34 Jacob Frandsen DEN 08:59:05 09:17:51 00:57:43 04:44:53 05:47:36 03:11:29 26% +0% -74% (7) (203)
32 41 Andreas Borch DEN 09:02:36 09:20:44 00:51:16 05:02:29 05:58:46 03:03:50 58% +1% -41% (9) (208)
33 32 Stefan Overmars NED 09:04:28 09:15:32 00:54:43 04:47:58 05:47:41 03:16:47 61% +0% -39% (6) 196
34 10 Grigorii Navrotskii RUS 09:12:13 09:28:10 00:52:23 05:07:46 06:05:09 03:07:04 100% +0% -0% (2) (225)
35 30 Christian Jais GER 09:15:09 09:46:23 00:57:04 04:52:14 05:54:18 03:20:51 9% +16% -75% (4) (246)
36 35 Philipp Fahrenholz GER 09:27:13 09:47:15 00:58:28 04:55:52 05:59:20 03:27:53 n/a (1 IM Pro race) (247)
37 8 Sebastian Guhr GER 09:32:39 09:45:38 01:06:14 04:56:42 06:07:56 03:24:43 61% +24% -15% (4) 245
38 24 Lukas Polan * CZE 09:44:05 10:05:56 01:02:38 05:19:21 06:26:59 03:17:06 33% +9% -58% (19) 256
39 22 Marek Nemcik * SVK 11:20:57 12:05:23 01:13:29 05:41:52 07:00:21 04:20:36 32% +12% -56% (53) 267
4 Lukas Pietrek GER n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)
12 Imanol Sagarzazu ESP n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated unrated 0% +0% -100% (2) (n/a)
20 Steeve Brugiere FRA n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (1 IM Pro race) (n/a)
28 Stefan Schumacher (KQ) GER n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)

Note: Athletes with a ‘*’ are also registered for another race within 8 days.

Female Race Participants

The strength of the field is 23% of a typical Kona field.

# Bib Name Nat Expected Rating ESwim EBike ET2 ERun Consistency Overall
1 66 Corinne Abraham * GBR 09:05:08 09:13:14 00:59:43 04:57:59 06:02:42 03:02:26 69% +31% -0% (17) 11
2 51 Caroline Steffen (KQ) SUI 09:07:12 09:11:50 00:53:13 05:01:19 05:59:31 03:07:41 97% +3% -0% (22) 8
3 55 Susie Cheetham (KQ) GBR 09:11:30 09:15:48 00:56:06 05:06:07 06:07:13 03:04:17 75% +0% -25% (11) 17
4 52 Sarah Piampiano (KQ) USA 09:12:39 09:18:25 01:02:47 05:05:56 06:13:44 02:58:55 87% +4% -9% (25) 20
5 53 Mareen Hufe (KQ) GER 09:16:19 09:25:26 00:58:53 05:00:09 06:04:02 03:12:17 79% +17% -4% (29) 30
6 54 Julia Gajer GER 09:17:08 09:26:31 00:53:35 05:09:49 06:08:24 03:08:44 47% +0% -53% (13) (32)
7 61 Kristin Liepold (KQ) GER 09:20:06 09:33:38 01:04:36 05:16:05 06:25:41 02:54:25 68% +22% -11% (27) 48
8 56 Bianca Steurer (KQ) AUT 09:25:27 09:32:58 01:00:10 05:09:57 06:15:06 03:10:21 57% +43% -0% (11) 47
9 68 Gabriella Zelinka HUN 09:28:36 09:41:42 00:58:25 05:11:29 06:14:54 03:13:42 64% +36% -0% (3) 58
10 65 Simona Krivankova CZE 09:41:25 09:53:24 01:06:27 05:18:37 06:30:04 03:11:21 95% +5% -0% (10) 73
11 58 Katharina Grohmann GER 09:43:35 09:49:51 01:11:18 05:16:46 06:33:04 03:10:31 81% +19% -0% (18) (70)
12 62 Martina Kunz SUI 09:43:52 09:54:37 01:01:46 05:15:30 06:22:16 03:21:36 52% +0% -48% (5) 75
13 67 Federica De Nicola ITA 09:44:00 09:54:31 01:01:00 05:15:56 06:21:56 03:22:04 78% +0% -22% (4) 74
14 64 Shannon Chapman AUS 10:50:15 11:23:36 01:09:28 05:48:24 07:02:52 03:47:23 44% +0% -56% (2) (126)
57 Janien Lubben NED n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (no IM Pro race) (n/a)
59 Natalie Seymour GBR n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (1 IM Pro race) (n/a)
63 Sarah Lewis GBR n/a unrated unrated unrated unrated unrated n/a (1 IM Pro race) (n/a)

Note: Athletes with a ‘*’ are also registered for another race within 8 days.

Winning Odds

Male Race Participants

  • Ruedi Wild: 21% (4-1)
  • Ivan Tutukin: 21% (4-1)
  • Clemente Alonso McKernan: 21% (4-1)
  • Matt Trautman: 14% (6-1)
  • Will Clarke: 10% (9-1)
  • Andreas Raelert: 6% (17-1)
  • Horst Reichel: 5% (18-1)

Female Race Participants

  • Corinne Abraham: 44% (1-1)
  • Caroline Steffen: 24% (3-1)
  • Kristin Liepold: 12% (7-1)
  • Sarah Piampiano: 8% (11-1)
  • Mareen Hufe: 6% (14-1)
  • Susie Cheetham: 4% (24-1)

Ironman Hamburg 2018 (July 28th) – Entry List

Updates:

  • July 8th: Added Julia Gajer (WPRO), Thomas Bosch, Benjamin Dicke, Philipp Fahrenholz, Jacob Frandsen, Christian Haupt, Christian Jais, Philipp Mock, Giulio Molinari, Sebastian Norberg, Stefan Overmars, Lukas Polan, Horst Reichel, Stefan Schumacher, Paul Schuster, Marc Unger, Diego Van Looy, and Ruedi Wild (MPRO)
  • June 25th: Added Corinne Abraham, Sarah Lewis, Angela Naeth, Caroline Steffen (WPRO) and Clemente Alonso McKernan, Victor Arroyo Bugallo, Vicenc Castella Serra, Will Clarke, Arnaud Guilloux, Samuel Huerzeler, Bryan McCrystal and Matt Trautman (MPRO)

Kona Slots and Prize Money

IM Hamburg has 1m+1f Pro Kona slots. It has a total prize purse of 80.000 US$, paying 10 deep.

Male Race Participants

Name Nation
Clemente Alonso McKernan (KQ) ESP
Victor Arroyo Bugallo ESP
Thomas Bosch GER
David Breuer GER
Steeve Brugiere FRA
Vicenc Castella Serra ESP
Will Clarke (KQ) GBR
Hannes Cool BEL
Roman Deisenhofer GER
Benjamin Dicke GER
Philipp Fahrenholz GER
Jacob Frandsen DEN
Sebastian Guhr GER
Arnaud Guilloux FRA
Christian Haupt GER
Kristian Hoegenhaug DEN
Esben Hovgaard DEN
Samuel Huerzeler SUI
Christian Jais GER
Markus Liebelt GER
Bryan McCrystal IRL
Philipp Mock GER
Giulio Molinari ITA
Grigorii Navrotskii RUS
Marek Nemcik SVK
Sebastian Norberg SWE
Stefan Overmars NED
Lukas Pietrek GER
Lukas Polan CZE
Andreas Raelert GER
Michael Raelert GER
Horst Reichel GER
Imanol Sagarzazu ESP
Alexander Schilling GER
Stefan Schumacher (KQ) GER
Paul Schuster GER
Matt Trautman (KQ) ZAF
Marc Unger GER
Diego Van Looy BEL
Ruedi Wild SUI

Female Race Participants

Name Nation
Corinne Abraham GBR
Shannon Chapman AUS
Susie Cheetham (KQ) GBR
Julia Gajer GER
Katharina Grohmann GER
Mareen Hufe (KQ) GER
Simona Krivankova CZE
Martina Kunz SUI
Sarah Lewis GBR
Kristin Liepold (KQ) GER
Janien Lubben NED
Angela Naeth CAN
Sarah Piampiano (KQ) USA
Natalie Seymour GBR
Caroline Steffen (KQ) SUI
Bianca Steurer (KQ) AUT

Kona Kings & Queens: Susie Cheetham

This is an excerpt from my “Kona 2018 Rating Report“. You can download your copy here.

Susie Points Susie Bib

Last year Susie raced to her second sixth place in Kona after 2015. She has improved her swim and bike: Her Kona bike split in 2017 was eleven minutes quicker than in 2015, an indication of the level of racing in Kona getting higher and higher.

This year she finished second behind Lucy in South Africa, setting a new run PR barely missing the 3-hour mark. Her summer race at IM Austria left her frustrated as the female Pro race was overshadowed by a drafting controversy.

Susie BikeSusie has been working hard to improve her bike leg and it’s hard to properly balance that with keeping her run strength. If she can manage another five-minute improvement on the bike in Kona, she could ride with a faster bike group and start the run still in touch with the podium spots. If she runs to her potential and is maybe even able to run her first sub-3, she will be in a great position to step up from her previous Kona results.

Photo: Susie on the bike at Kona 2017. 
Credit: Jay Prasuhn


Thorsten: Why have you decided not to race 70.3 Champs even though it’s in your “second home” South Africa?

Susie: The timing and travel aren’t ideal for preparation for Kona. For me, the focus has to be on Kona. I know I can have a better race at Kona and that means a solid build without too much travel and the risk of illness etc that comes with traveling and racing.

T: How do you view last year’s Kona result and your racing in 2018?

S: I was happy to come sixth for the second time! On the other hand I would have loved to improve my position. I do think it was a better performance than 2015 for the same position but that just shows how the standard continues to progress.
To be honest I think IM South Africa in April was my best Ironman to date. I was strong across all three disciplines, seconds away from breaking the 3-hour mark on a relatively tough run course. My decision to focus on a second Ironman that I didn’t need to do was probably the wrong one in hindsight but the timing has allowed me to come back and put in my best training block I’ve ever put together in the run-up to Kona.

T: How fierce is the rivalry between the British women? Sometimes there seem to be parallels to the German males in the 90s when being the first German was almost more important than finishing on the podium in Kona …

S: It’s funny, someone asked me which British women were going to Kona this year. I reeled off a couple of names but because we don’t compete as a team I wasn’t sure I’d covered everyone. The British women are really very strong, but I wouldn’t say I have an ambition to be the best Brit. If that was the case we’d all compete domestically and save the travel to Kona! For me finishing on the podium is a much stronger motivator, but in order to do so, you’ll probably have to be just about top Brit!

T: What’s the goal for this year’s race in Kona? What performance do you think will be needed for a podium in Kona?

S: You won’t make the podium in Kona unless you go sub-9 I would say. On the day you just give your best race, Kona is a race rather than targeting a specific time. But when you get the best women going head to head in the best shape of the year, you’re going to have to find something pretty special to make the podium. I think I’ve got that in me but it also means producing the best Ironman performance I’ve had to date. Everyone says it going into Kona, but I am training faster than I’ve ever done and I’ve had the best block of training I’ve ever done. All I can do is control what I’m capable of, I’m capable of more than I was last year but it depends where the rest of the women are which is something nobody will know until race day.

T: With ten IM finishes you are already one of the more experienced athletes who are racing at the front of the race. Do you have any advice for the Kona rookies?

S: It’s hot and windy! To be honest it’s the same as any Ironman in that it’s just an Ironman. What makes it tough is that you have the best women in the shape of the year on a hot and windy island. It’s when you start changing your prep (because you’re taking 16 different peoples advice) that you get into trouble!

T: With your long list of low-3 marathons (3:03 South Africa 2015, 3:02 in SA 2016, 3:02 in Brasil 2017, 3:00 at SA 2017), when will you be able to finally run a sub-3 marathon?

S: I know, right! If I’d known in SA .. had no idea I was so close! Start running with a better idea of what time I’m running maybe!? I’ve mixed up my run training a lot in this block. I’ve gone back to running training like I was when I was a runner. I’ve been cautious in the past because of injury but I’m more robust now than I’ve ever been. 2017 was about adapting my bike, I’ve been adjusting to that for the last year and now have got to the place that I can absorb that training and also get the run quality in (something that suffered at first when I moved to my bike coach). My run has been on a bit of a plateau because of that, but with some changes I have begun to see a shift in my running so I’m excited to see what that brings.

T: What changes have you made since becoming a full-time athlete?

S: I went full time mid-2015, so it seems a lifetime ago now. I suppose it’s all the little things. I have time to go and tweak my bike position, time to allow me to get away in the winter (northern hemisphere athletes will appreciate this is important!). The sleep is a big thing, when I was working I was training at 5 am, working a full day and getting on the bike at 7 or 7:30 pm which at the time I convinced myself was normal but in hindsight I have no idea how I did it!

Kona Kings & Queens: Patrik Nilsson

This is an excerpt from my “Kona 2018 Rating Report“. You can download your copy here.

Patrik Points

Patrik Bib

Thorsten: Last year was the first time you raced in Kona (with a great Rookie result!). What have you learned from that first time in Kona, what has surprised you?

Patrik: Kona last year was a great experience. Far from a perfect race, so of course there is a lot of small things to take with from that race .. I lost a crucial water bottle on the bike, did some “less clever decisions” on the run and so on. All things that could be forgiven in a “normal” Ironman race, but something I had to pay for during the race in Kona.
This year, I will for sure be more aware of the small details during a race and remember to follow the plan: Take that salt, ice, drink, keep cool and so on. I guess Kona is a race where all small decisions also will have another side that will be shown later during the race.

Patrik Run IMFrankfurtT: How much pressure was there on you for a good race in Frankfurt after the DNFs in early season races?

P: Of course it’s been some disappointing races during the first half of the season. My focus has always been Frankfurt and Kona. So even if the 70.3 races during the first half of the year didn’t go as plan, my shape was still better than ever and the schedule clear.
Teresa [Patrik’s partner and coach] and I did a couple of changes during the start of this year, some good and some less good for short-term performance. They have all developed me as an athlete, but also something we had to find the right level to perform in races. It did for sure have an impact during the first couple of races, but towards Frankfurt Teresa and I found a balance and awere able to show it out on the course.
There was no pressure on me towards Frankfurt. Neither from the team or anyone around .. I had to work with the pressure I put on myself though, but before the race it was under control and I could start for the right reason. Also regarding Kona there was no pressure .. I pretty much just needed to finish the race and should then be qualified.

T: How will you prepare for Kona? Another Texas camp with last year’s group?

P: No camp in Texas this year. I was with the Norwegian short distance team (Blumenfeldt, Iden, Stornes and others) in altitude earlier in August. So the plan towards Kona will be an altitude camp and then off to Kona for the least two weeks before the race.

T: What’s the Kona goal for this year?

P: I think most professional athletes aren’t satisfied to repeat what they did the year before. An eighth place last year was for sure good, but the aim will for sure be a bit higher this year. My “goal” for the race is another thing: It’s usually not based on a pure result (“to win”), but instead based on things I can control (like my feeling on the bike, technique in the swim or stride in the run).

T: Last year you rode most of the bike in a good group with Patrick and David, but then you weren’t “the best runner” in that group. Does this mean that you’ll be more aggressive on the bike this year? Or is the goal to be the best runner in a similar group this year? 

P: I don’t think there is a reason to be more aggressive on the bike, only thinking of the run …  I do know my capacity during the run (maybe not 2h40h in Kona like Patrick, but 2h45?) and would love to start the run in a group together with Patrick and David. Last year I lost a bottle the last 20k on the bike and rode the last 30min without any drink. Getting to T2 I felt like dying and drank everything I could see. After two steps out on the run my stomach said no to that amount of cola, sportdrink and water and that was followed by a toilet stop, then more drinks, another toilet, more drink, another toilet and so on until we got out on Queen K. So this year, I am confident about my run. I also know that my biking is better than last year. So we have to wait and see what kind of fun the race can bring…

T: What are you working on to improve in the long-term, and how “Kona specific” are these goals?

P: My biking has for a long time been my weakest leg during a race which has made it natural for me to work on the bike. Then of course my biggest goal has always been Kona – which again has made it natural again to work on the bike, since the race in Kona usually offers a challenging bike ride.
But my overall working points are to improve the swim a percent or two, improve the bike and stay a good runner. So I guess it also fits pretty well for Kona!

T: Any insights on your teammates? It looks as if the BMC team is well represented in Kona this year!

P: I think everyone can agree that “BMC – Vifit sport pro triathlon team powered by Uplace” is very well represented with seven athletes racing!! Haha and I think everyone will be doing well…. what I have heard everyone’s shape is good and motivation on top! So I look forward to a team championship and combine that with a world championship at the same time.

Photo: Patrik running towards a second place finish in Frankfurt. Credit: James Mitchell

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