For Harry Wiltshire it’s been an exciting, challenging and exhilarating year! Currently lined up in Hawaii for the 2017 Ironman World Championship, Harry has had an exciting set of races which have led him to qualify for Ironman Kona 2017. During his qualification period he has battled injury, bike failure, crashes and equipment losses. All to achieve his ultimate goal of qualifying and racing in the 2017 Ironman championship in Kona, Hawaii.
For those of you who don’t know, Ironman Triathlon is an endurance race organised by the World Triathlon Corporation. An Ironman triathlon consists a 2.5mile swim, 112 mile bike leg and a 26.2 mile marathon run! All of this is done without a break and sometimes in extreme temperatures. It is widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world! And Harry does this professionally!
An Ironman race usually has a time limit of 17 hours with mandatory cut off times for each section of the race. Any participant who can complete the triathlon within the time limit is deemed an ‘Ironman’. The winner of the Ironman World Championship will complete the course in Kona close to 8 hours!
So, let’s put some prospective on this. In his last Ironman race, Ironman Maastricht, Harry finished in 4th place. He swam the 2.5mile swim in 47minutes, cycled the 112mile bike ride in 4hours and 41 minutes (approx. 24mph) and he ran the final marathon in 2hours and 53 minutes! That’s 8 hours 35 minutes to finish a race that can last up to 17 hours, no wonder he came 4th.
So why are you reading about this on a procurement consultancy website? Odesma sponsor Professional Triathlete Harry Wiltshire, and are very proud to support him in all his races, and are especially proud that he has qualified for the World Championship in Kona for the third time. In addition, Harry shows those attributes which we live by in both our business and personal lives. These attributes are persistence, determination, ambition and a drive to succeed.
With only days to go before the big event we took five minutes to catch up with Harry and have a chat about all things Triathlon:
So Harry, What training do you do to prepare for Kona?
Well, it can be up to 35 degrees and 95 percent humidity out here when it gets going, so I’ve been working hard to acclimatise for the heat. There can also be very strong winds during the bike race. I’ve been practicing staying stable in an aero tuck at 40mph when there are gusting cross winds.
What equipment do you need to take with you to Kona?
I flew out with two bikes! Things get damaged when you travel and I wanted to make sure I had everything covered. Other than race kit you can pack quite light. Flip Flops, shorts and a horrendous shirt seem to be the Hawaii uniform.
When you are in training what do you eat?
It’s hard work to get enough calories in out here in Hawaii. You just don’t feel like eating big meals in the heat and by the time you have hydrated properly you don’t feel like food. A big problem for athletes getting ready for the event out here is that they lose weight and strength because they don’t manage to eat enough. I managed to force down a chicken curry last night. Breakfast is always a pleasure. Fresh mango and pineapple from the market with the local natural yogurt and a Kona coffee.
What is your favourite part of any race?
It doesn’t happen very often, but the feeling when everything has come together and it is going well. There are so many things that can go wrong and most of the time you are suffering so when it clicks and you find yourself going fast but still in control and you look over to see the faces of your competitors and can tell that you are on top of it and they aren’t. That people is a buzz.
How many times have you done Kona before?
Third time lucky I hope!
What’s your best tip for someone participating in Kona for the first time?
Don’t get too excited too early, going too hard in the first half is easy to do, but you will pay for it with a long slow walk.
Thank you Harry and Good Luck in the race.
To watch the race live on Saturday, simply visit the following link at around race time www.ironmanlive.com.