Heat rises for Kona debutante
LAST week the reality of competing on Ironman triathlon’s biggest stage began to sink in for Peregian Springs’s Paul Davies.
As he busily prepared for the journey to Hawaii, the blinds sales representative was thinking about the task ahead.
“The heat is not normally my friend,” the 36-year-old said.
“Looking at the temperatures last week, it was saying 29 and 30 and I was thinking that’s not going to be too bad, and then you click on the real feel and its 38.
“It will be a big learning curve for me.”
Qualifying for his world championship debut after winning the 35-39 age group at Ironman Australia in May, Paul has been preparing under the guidance of coach Brad Kahlefeldt.
Only joining Brad’s ranks about five weeks before his success at Port Macquarie, the lead-up to Hawaii has been consistent and gradual. Paul’s training partners have included the likes of elites David Dellow from Kawana and Noosa’s Callum Millward.
“They all left a few weeks ago to race overseas so there have been a few long, lonely rides,” Paul said.
“Just being around those guys keeps your pretty motivated.”
At Ironman Australia, Paul finished as the second fastest age grouper on the day with a time of 9:10:47 (58:02 swim, 4:53:02 bike, 3:14:18 run).
But the change in conditions means new tactics.
Regularly a slow swimmer, the former Kiwi relies on a strong bike leg to bring him back into contention.
“I would like to think I can go a top 10 in my age group. It’s all relative to the day, in terms of speed and conditions, and when you look back at the results there aren’t too many who have great days in Hawaii,” Paul said.
“If I try to race a bit slower then hopefully I can come out the other side. I know I will be chasing coming out of the water... I don’t swim anywhere near quick enough.
“It’s going to be hard to relax a little bit more than normal. But if you go too easy you never make that time up on the run.”
The training regime has seen Paul rack up between 21-23 hours of training each week.
Racing 70.3 Sunshine Coast was part of his preparation, finishing fifth in his age group with a time of 4:15:36 (27:02, 2:15:30, 1:28:17) in a solid hit-out.
Describing his training as the most consistent he has ever achieved, Paul also paid tribute to strong supporter John Ferguson who heads Fusion Multisport apparel in Australia.
Paul is a member of Fusion Team Aus, a team dedicated to supporting the nation’s leading age groupers.
Paul Davies of Peregian is excited about his prospects at his Ironman World Championship debut.