Learn­ing from harsh Kona ex­pe­ri­ence

Multisport Mecca - - Ironman World Championship - Grant Ed­wards

ARMED with ex­pe­ri­ence, Barry Oelof­sen has headed to Hawaii with an eye on the podium.

This will be his third trip to the Big Is­land and knows it will take more than luck to beat home the world’s best.

The last time he com­peted at Kona was 2015, and ad­mits he was “cooked” af­ter get­ting there five weeks be­fore the race.

“It’s al­ways hot and windy and a tough race,” Barry said.

“It’s bru­tal. It’s not a re­ally tough course in terms of el­e­va­tion but the heat and the wind make it next level.

“This year is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent be­cause I’m fly­ing in later... I’m more pre­pared this time.

“2014 was my first time and I went two weeks be­fore. Be­ing your first time you do the undie runs and spon­sored stuff. You wear your­self out. This time I have a few spon­sor­ship re­spon­si­bil­i­ties then I’m go­ing to re­lax and fo­cus on the race.”

The elec­tri­cian, who works for Bom­bardier Trans­porta­tion

Aus­tralia, moved to the Sun­shine Coast with elite triathlon part­ner Katey Gibb last Novem­ber and has just bought a home at Bud­erim.

While lov­ing the mild weather and ev­ery­thing the Coast has to of­fer, Barry does the ma­jor­ity of his train­ing in­doors – with only long rides and runs out­side on week­ends.

Most rides are on the wind-trainer, while he runs pre­dom­i­nantly on a tread­mill.

“You can never re­ally push your­self on the road,” Barry said.

“On the wind-trainer you can shut your eyes and grid it out and de­stroy your­self and fall off the trainer and be al­right the next day. “Same thing on the tread­mill.” The 35-year-old said the con­di­tions were in the hands of Madame Pele, but was fo­cussed on a strong re­sult.

“I’m not go­ing just to fin­ish,” he said.

“I have had the same rou­tine for a few years, and feel I’m get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter. I’m qui­etly con­fi­dent I have done ev­ery­thing that I can.”

South African-born Barry Oelof­sen now calls Bud­erim home, and is gun­ning for an age group podium po­si­tion this week­end.

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