On November 4th, Jackson Laundry will start the final race of his 2018 season, the Ironman 70.3 South American Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This year, the Guelph, Ontario, native has a breakout season with his first professional 70.3 win in Raleigh, NC, and three-second place 70.3 finishes. In his most recent race, Laundry finished behind the eventual fourth-place finisher at Kona, Tim O’Donnell.
Now six weeks following Laundry’s last race, the Canadian is well trained and rested for Argentina. “After Augusta, I took a week off from any hard training sessions, and then went into three hard weeks of training. Last week, I began to ease it back and right now I’m in my full taper,” says Laundry. Despite the long season, he says he feels surprisingly fresh. “Last year, around this time I did 70.3 Los Cabos and was pretty beat up. But right now, I’m feeling great and nailing my big workouts.”
Having already had an impressive season, Laundry feels the best is yet to come. “My run mileage is up, and I’m feeling strong. I’m confident I can have my best race of the season.” That’s a pretty intimidating thought, especially considering the bumps and bruises many pros have at the end of a long year of racing. Laundry, however, is one to never underestimate anyone. “Rudy Von Berg I think is the favourite. He’s had some big performances this year, and has no weaknesses. He’s running a 1:12 half marathon off the bike, a strong swimmer and a solid cyclist. He (Von Berg), along with some local 70.3 pros will be tough to beat on a fast course.”
The Ironman 70.3 South American Championship begins in a small, protected inland lake. “I expect the swim to be pretty fast, regardless of it being wetsuit or non-wetsuit legal. With no waves and little current, the field will be moving fast,” says Laundry. The 90K bike is on a flat three loop course with just over 200m of elevation gain. “The bike is pancake flat, but the wind could play a factor, and that could make things challenging. I typically like some adversity in my bike courses, so hopefully, I can find a way to get away.” Much like the bike, the 21.1K run is flat. “The temperature high for the day is supposed to be in the low 20s. With the cool temperatures, a flat course and my recent form in training, I hope to get into a rhythm and run a personal best,” says Laundry.
Despite the success, Laundry feels no pressure heading into the last race of the year. “I’ve accomplished a lot this season. I’ve got a big win in Raleigh and have shown consistency with three second-place finishes. So, coming into this race, I have nothing to lose, and I’ll be going all in for the win. I’ll take more risks and if fall flat on my face, then so be it, but I will learn from it and apply those lessons learnt into 2019.” Earlier this year, Laundry qualified for the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France and will be targeting this race in 2019.