yo, that’s it now. I can blow out that candle on the cake.
my first season as a pro is over and I want to take a look back.
all in all, I reached my targets. sometimes a bit better, sometimes a bit worse. There have been highpoints like Challenge Bahrain 2014, TriYas 2015, Lux LD champs 2015, Challenge Almere 2015. But at the same time lowpoints such as the swim in Challenge Dubai 2015, DNF at Challenge Roth.
targets with 70.3 race were to finish in all the races in the top 10, did that. goal at TriYas was top5, did top 5 and I wanted to learn how to race Ironman more competitively, did that. plus in the world class races ( i.e Challenge Bahrain, Challenge Dubai, Challenge Roth ) finish as high as possible. did that only in the Challenge Bahrain with a top 20.
Most importantly I have learnt for myself that there is a difference between Olympic distance/70.3 and Ironman racing. Olympic distance racing and 70.3 are totally different in strategy/performance output than Ironman. totally different ballgame.
this weekend in Challenge Almere, we were 3 athletes over 40 in the top 10 overall in a high profile Ironman race. Dirk Wijnalda, 42 and Gerritt Schellens, 49 and myself, 40. age aint nothing but a number.
as mentioned before already, the performance output in pro triathlon has become very dense at the top. the fields are close together and proper detailed prep makes the difference to set yourself apart. there are no more ” easy ” triathlon races. Worldwide, year round, there are deep fields everywhere. My training has to keep pace with this circumstance and gives me the motivation to get better on a daily basis. Furthermore, the influx of more and more ITU guys into middle- and Ironman distance racing raises the bar even more, because ITU athletes are athletically and fundamentally better athletes than athletes from outside the ITU developments. This trend will continue and proof of that is that guys like Jan Frodeno and Javi Gomez rip the middle and long distance apart for years to come.
living and training, racing in the UAE year round is a huge advantage. it is a tough environment and prepares you adequately for races in ANY part of the world. no need to go anywhere.
if you race on a professional level, next to all the performance stuff, there is also a ” business ” side, if you so want to be involved in that. not my favourite part. while writing the following, I don’t mean it as being apologetic. Despite the fact that I am a good looking, eloquent, producing good results and top performances, honest, solid, emotionally dependable character, I don’t seem to be able to entice anyone to support my cause and triathlon career. quite honestly, that frustrates me sometimes. but I am very well aware, that you truly can’t have everything in life, and I do not want to overextend the credit that I get from the game. I can live very well with that. Also, I do not walk around with the expectation that people would owe me something. that is definitely not the case. my mom always said: ” Olivier, if you are really good at something, the others will come to you. ” today, I am not so sure if that is the case anymore. Today, it seems more the case that you have to be more ” likeable ” aka be schmoozy with all the people on a personal level instead of focusing on the facts of being good and producing top results. I think today’s self publishing and the possibilities resulting out of that have a great deal to do with that.
I prefer the latter: be productive and produce performance.
I am not really a cuddle bear and I don’t like to open to open myself to people on a very broad basis. in plain English, I like to do my own thing and it speaks for itself.
Even in this day and age of self publishing, there is no substitute for physical experience. When the gun goes off or the door to the cage closes, it is still a race. All the self publishing in the world is not going to be of any help. if you want to be worthy in that very moment, you have to be prepared on every level, physically and mentally and perform what you have learnt. This will not change. It was there with the Neanderthals when they tried to hunt down a mammoth, and it will stay with us until the end of our days, no matter how technological advanced we are.
now, I look forward to the new season and want to attack new goals and accomplish them. Thanks for all your support and I wish truly everyone all the success with your endeavours in the future.