What does it mean to you to hold the course record now at such a long standing Ironman event?
It is a great feeling any time you break a course record. It’s a confirmation that your hard work has paid off and that you truly tested yourself on that course. But to do it on one of the longest running Ironmans and where the record has stood for so long is truly special. It is a unique feeling knowing that I am now part of the long history of this great race.
After a not so great start to the year, did you ever doubt your ability to make it back to Kona this year?
I never doubted my ability, it was more a matter of not having things go wrong. As an athlete you can’t control everything and sometimes you get sick, injured or have a mechanical. It’s how you regroup and keep trying to achieve your goals despite those things that’s important.
The full Ironman is evidently your speciality, with now three course records attained throughout your career and the fastest Ironman debut in history. What do you still want to accomplish that you see as the ultimate milestones for you?
I’ve spent my career as a triathlete trying to win a world title. I have definitely found the format that I’m best suited to for that, so that’s what I’m focused on. A few more sub-eight hour Ironmans would be fun too, especially in Kona.
Will you try to go after the Ironman world record at some point?
I had such a great time doing a different and challenging course in Lake Placid I may look at doing other courses that are similar. I’ve done three Arizona and Brazil Ironmans each and getting some hills was fun. But if there’s another course that suits a fast time I’d still like to have a go at the world record.
You’re heading into Kona soon. Last year didn’t go well for you, what have you changed (if anything) this year to ensure a better performance and what is it your goal on the Big Island this October?
Well, I’ve done an Ironman in July, so that’s a change. We will prepare like always but I think I’ll be carrying a lot of strength forward from this Lake Placid win which will only help my performance in Kona. My goal for Kona stays the same, top step on the podium.