World Championship IRONMAN Hawaii


It is now 5 days after the race. The initial feeling of disappointment has mostly gone, I have gone over the race to analyse what happened, and already new plans are taking shape.


It goes without saying that it did not turn out the way I hoped/expected and trained for. I am still convinced I was in top shape, but unfortunately in Hawaii that just is not always good enough. Both the swim and the bike went mostly as planned. I felt strong and easily stayed in the leading group, really taking part in the race. After 80 km on the bike, however, I missed 4 aid stations in a row. At that moment I did not consider this as alarming, but after 130 km, I experienced a first dip. Luckily, at the next aid stations I managed to grab the necessary water and was able to finish the final 30 km of the bike strongly.


I started the run in 6th position, 2 minutes behind the leader. Soon I managed to move up to the 4th position. At that moment, things looked very promising. Shortly after though, it all took a turn for the worst… I literally ran from aid station to aid station, still able to make the hard moments up with the good ones. However, here on Hawaii, such situation wreaks havoc sooner or later. For a while I was able to stay in 7th position, still hoping to keep a constant pace. When I left the Energy Lab (12 km before the finish), I had already fallen back to the 10th position and shortly after, the lights went out. There was nothing else I could do but walk. As much as I tried to fight it, I was beaten by the lack of drink during the bike race. I had managed to postpone this for a long time but my body simply stopped me from continuing.  However, I still managed to find the last bit of energy and motivation to finish the race, out of respect for my sponsors, the organisers, my fans, my family, etc. From that point onwards, neither time nor place mattered. A tough nut to crack but I will certainly draw the necessary lessons from this experience.


On October 25th, I will finish this year’s season competing in the IRONMAN 70.3 in Turkey. After that, a period of rest will follow, allowing me to start preparing for the new season with a brand new lease of motivation!


I’ll keep you posted.


See you soon,
Frederik Van Lierde