Liz Blatchford’s Canadian Connection
Liz Blatchford finished third at the Ironman World Championship this year and in 2013 – both times after a great race at Ironman Mont-Tremblant.
The race organizers in Mont-Tremblant should expect to see Australia’s Liz Blatchford at the start line next year based on her current track record – in 2013 she finished fourth at the Quebec event and went on to a third place finish in Kona. In 2014 she skipped Mont-Tremblant and struggled on the Big Island, finishing 10th. This year she returned to Tremblant, finishing a close second to the same woman who won two years before, Mary Beth Ellis, and returned to the podium on the Big Island with another third place finish.
“I don’t know if it’s typical, but it worked in 2013, so I hope it works again this year,” Blatchford said in an interview before the world championship. That year Blatchford needed to have a good race in Tremblant just to make it to the world championship – her win in Cairns a few months earlier hadn’t netted her enough qualifying points to get a spot on the start line.
Her third place finish in Kona on debut put her in the spotlight as a potential winner of the race, which piled on the pressure as she prepared for the 2014 event.
“I felt the pressure last year – I thought the only way was up, and it didn’t turn out the way I wanted and I had, what I felt was a disappointing race, finishing 10th. That took the pressure off this year.”
Blatchford has enjoyed her time with the Uplace-BMC Pro Triathlon Team.
“The equipment is top-notch, the support – no stone is left unturned,” she says. “Around Kona it (being on the team) works so well, I see other athletes with eight to 10 sponsor appearances. We have just the one day where we have three hours of commitment. We’re not running around trying to fulfill sponsor requirements.”
A former world cup champion, Blatchford is yet another example of the balanced athletes who are entering the sport, capable of swimming at or near the front, then rounding the day out with a fast run after a solid ride. Blatchford was the fifth fastest woman in the water in Kona last week, and posted the fastest run of the day (3:06:25) to run her way from ninth to third during the marathon.
While she might not see her pre-Kona race prep as being typical, Blatchford is proving that you can have a great race in Mont-Tremblant in August and follow it up with a great day in Kona.