Last month our super talented SquareOne triathlete, Owain “Waino” Matthews was just about to race the Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii as we went to print. After a very successful build up and race a month earlier at the Sunshine Coast 70.3 Waino was planning for a top age group finish in Kona. Despite still producing an outstanding performance on the day Waino’s result wasn’t quite what he was hoping for by his own high standards. Kona is a very tough course made up by often variable gusting and unpredictable winds, a bike and run course that is rarely flat and has lore climbing in it than is suggests and heat and humidity that can waver between 32 and 40 degrees depending on the amount of cloud cover on the day.
Waino’s day started well with a 1:03 swim in choppy water which saw overall swim times slightly slower than usual. Out on the bike Waino managed to reel in plenty of places and posted a 5hour 5 minute bike split before heading out onto the 42km run course. Having come from an elite running background this leg is where Waino shines and he managed to pull in over fifty athletes in his age group and posted a 3hr 10 minute marathon run leg. Given the lack of cloud cover on the day and resulting 38 degree temperatures the run leg was a casualty zone with 18 of the 55 professional men’s field not making the finishing line. Waino managed to cross the line in 13th place in his 30-34 age group and 92nd overall including the pro field in a time of 9 hours and 25 minutes which in itself is an outstanding result given the level of competition. Waino has spent plenty of time with us over the last few months addressing a few injury niggles and generally keeping his body in good condition to allow him to race at this level. While the result wasn’t as good as he was hoping for he said post race that he learnt plenty from the experience and that perseverance in tough conditions paid off on the day. We are sure that after a break and family holiday Waino will be back to training and building on the improvements that he has made over the last twelve months. We will continue to wish him all the best on his journey.