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Race Results

4th place, age group M30-34, Kona qualification

3rd place, age group M30-34

3rd place, Finnish Championship

Winner, age group M30-34

2013 IRONMAN Kalmar
2nd place, age group M30-34, Kona qualification

Finisher in 9 hours 30 minutes

5th place, Finnish Championship

Winner, age group M30-34

More results here.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Road to Kona, Part II

Season 2013. A Leap Forward In Performance

Early Season Racing

The race season kicked off with Ironman 70.3 Mallorca. As an early season race in May, my performance was still expectedly modest. I just love the race though and all the possibilities the beautiful Spanish island offers. The feeling there is superb and I will definitely return for more.

My bike power seemed to get a jump-start from Mallorca and I was suddenly pushing over 20 watts more during training. The training plan seemed to work well. This transferred also to race efforts and I started to see some good results. First came the win in Vantaa Triathlon, which is an Olympic distance race. This was a C-category race for me so I didn’t do any tapering for it. A quick consultation with Omegawave’s application told me I was ready enough anyway. The result proved the assessment correct.

The next race was in early June in Berlin. It was again an Ironman 70.3 race. This was my early season A-race and I was hoping for a good result. Winning my age group of M30-34 was still more than I expected. I was especially pleased with my bike performance, which seemed to have stabilised to this new level. I even qualified to the 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas but I had to turn it down because I was committed to go to Hawaii and couldn’t afford to do both. After Berlin I had a well-earned week off of training.

Ironman Build-up

I got back in the saddle a few weeks later in Kisko Triathlon and it seemed that one circle was complete when I won also that race since it had been the very first triathlon I participated in back in 2008.

This year’s Finntriathlon, half-iron Finnish Championships, promised to be a spectacle with its record braking number of entrants and a stacked elite field. I really wanted to do well there. I figured that if I had a good day and a few of the others didn’t do so well, I could reach top 5.  And that’s exactly what happened! I finished sixth overall but one of the guys in front was Estonian so he wouldn’t count in the championship results.

After Finntriathlon it was only a month to go before Ironman Kalmar. I needed to get back training as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Omegawave’s readings were showing I wasn’t ready for any hard training still on Tuesday after the race so I had to downscale my sessions for a few days more. We then headed to Tuscany to spend some time together with the family and I used of course the spectacular surroundings for my final build-up training. Especially my bike got its part of the endless roads that were winding between vineyards and castles. I started to feel that I was ready for Kalmar.

Eyes On The Slot

Ironman Kalmar presented a rather different side of itself this year when it comes to weather conditions. While last year’s race had perfect conditions, this year we had to fight very strong winds and it definitely slowed the whole field down. The sea felt like a big washing machine with the choppy waves. On the bike course, I realised immediately that today was going to be a longer day at the office. Just getting over the bridge to Ă–land seemed to take forever and a bit dangerous as well.  Finishing within last years Kona qualifiers’ time would be tough.

I decided to just keep going at my target zone and not worry about the finish time, as I was confident it would be enough to get me qualified. And it was! After digging deep in the marathon I finally reached the finish line in the crowded city centre with my wife and daughters cheering me on. Five slots were on offer and I had finished second in my age group and third amateur overall in a time of 9:06.  I felt tired and battered but happy. I was heading to Kona!

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