Learning from harsh Kona experience
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.