Emma Pal­lant tack­les in­fa­mous Hawaii Ironman

Athletics Weekly - - Contents -

MID­DLE-dis­tance run­ner turned triath­lete Emma Pal­lant is pre­par­ing to take on the Ironman World Cham­pi­onship but she hasn’t ruled out switch­ing her at­ten­tion to one of the dis­ci­plines – the marathon – in fu­ture, writes Jes­sica Whit­ting­ton.

So far, the 29-year-old’s ex­pe­ri­ence of rac­ing over 26.2 miles has come after a 2.4-mile swim and 112 miles on the bike, but the for­mer Euro­pean un­der-23 cross coun­try cham­pion is in­ter­ested to see what she might be ca­pa­ble of in a run-only sce­nario.

“I hadn’t been think­ing about run­ning races on their own and then last year I was in Lan­zarote and the half-marathon was on so I was like ‘yeah, I’ll do that’,” says Pal­lant, who switched from run­ning to triathlon in

2012 fol­low­ing in­jury strug­gles and clocked 73:43 on her half­marathon de­but.

“I didn’t taper for it. I think the bik­ing can make you a stronger run­ner and if I can be com­pet­i­tive and get good times on the road and if it doesn’t in­ter­rupt my sea­son, es­pe­cially long-term I’d like to see what I could do in a marathon with­out hav­ing a bike in front.”

But for now her sights are firmly set on her first taste of the Ironman “ul­ti­mate” in Kona, Hawaii, on Oc­to­ber 13, for which she qual­i­fied by fin­ish­ing third in Aus­tria – her first full Ironman after she started the South Africa event but was forced to drop out through in­jury.

“Ironman is hard, Kona is like the ul­ti­mate,” says the two-time world duathlon cham­pion.

“Only 35 peo­ple get a spot and no one would turn down the Olympics, so you can’t turn it down.”

Her aim for Hawaii this time is to use the race as ex­pe­ri­ence as the Po­lar pro triath­lete con­tin­ues to learn about the Ironman dis­tance.

She laughs as we dis­cuss the tran­si­tion of the main ‘BMC’ in her life switch­ing from be­ing the Bri­tish Mil­ers’ Club – at which she last raced in 2012 – to the bike brand and name of her elite team.

“Ev­ery time some­one would men­tion BMC, that’s what I’d au­to­mat­i­cally think about

(Bri­tish Mil­ers’ Club),” says the BMC-Vi­fit Sport Pro Triathlon Team ath­lete, who en­joyed con­sid­er­able ath­let­ics suc­cess as a teenager, in­clud­ing win­ning 1500m bronze be­hind her Alder­shot, Farn­ham & District club-mate Steph Twell at the 2008 IAAF World Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships in By­d­goszcz.

“They used to be such big events and now all I think about is bikes when you say BMC!” the Kona-bound triath­lete con­tin­ues.

“I never planned it and even when I did my first one I thought ul­ti­mately I was go­ing to go back to run­ning.

“I still love run­ning but I can’t imag­ine not do­ing the triathlon now.”

Learn more about Po­lar’s new Van­tage Se­ries at po­lar. com/uk-en/van­tage

Emma Pal­lant: teenagetrack run­ner is now tack­ling Ironman Hawaii

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