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Ironman World Championship – September 10th, 2023

Second participation to the Ironman World Champs’ after qualifying in Klagenfurt at Ironman Austria.

I arrived on Thursday to soak in the IM World Champ atmosphere, see the pros, the gear. The venue was awesome and the city was 100% committed to the race.

IM World Champion Parade in Nice

I had the chance to see Ian Frodeno, the G.O.A.T., multiple world champion, for his last race.

The day prior to race day, the atmosphere in the city, was electric. So cool to be there! Bike check-in with the pros was exciting, the field was so deep.

Race day ! Early rise, lots of (very painful) security, and then the bad news: no wetsuit. Of course most people had planned for a backup plan with a skinsuit… which I didn’t bring. So I was going old school: Speedo !

Swim time was 1 hour 10 minutes.

On to the bike: of course, a challenging one with 180 kilometers with 2,500 meters of climbing, with nearly all of it coming in the first 65 kilometers. That’s about double the climbing in Kona. But what was crazy were the descents. Super technical and fast. I saw some bad crashes. Scary. At some point I thought I would go under 6 hours despite the elevation, but ultimately cloked in 6:14:46.

RUN time ! Four loops under the blazing sun on “Promenade des Anglais”, with an incredible atmosphere, foreigners and locals cheering. THere were some “shower” stations setup to cool down… I started on a 3:40:00 pace, but quickly came down and had to dig deep on loop #3 to stay below 4:00:00. Cecile and the kids were cheering on each lap, twice, but I ended up being to slow to see them for the finishline as they had the last Nice – Paris flight to catch. Marathon time 3:56:15

Overall time: 11:34:58. I had secretley hoped to go sub-11 at Nice… but it’s fine, that was a good one to get in the books with the legendary win of French aathlete Sam Laidlow, first French Ironman World Champion !