Posted 26th September 2014

The current World Champion and the Kona Pro Rookie

Frederik Van Lierde exchanging thoughts with Kyle Buckingham.

Frederik please meet Kyle Buckingham who starts this year the first time at the Ironman World Champs in Kona as a Pro. Kyle, please meet Frederik Van Lierde, the current World Champion who will defend his title in Hawaii.

Kyle "Hi, Frederik. Of course, I do know you because of your achievements. We never actually met, but i also know you are a father of two kids. Back in 2011 my wife and I sat next to you and your family at the airport. Very nice to talk to you!"

Frederik "Hi, Kyle. I also heard a lot about you. You are the South African Ironman Winner of your age group of 2013. Congratulations to you, to have turned pro this year and for having won immediately the Ironman Lake Placid! Great job! It must be very exciting for you to start as a pro this year. How do you feel?"

Kyle "Yeah it is indeed very exciting. Last year, I came in 16th overall as an amateur so i would like to get that number down to single digits. I'm going to be patient, watch and listen to my body as the race unfolds. It will be very different for me starting with the big guys. It’s a game of chance and opportunity so I will just have to go with the flow on the day and play the game. Do you have any tipps for me, Frederik?"

Frederik "Well, racing with the pro’s will be different of course compared to last year but don’t let that in, just do your own race! You're an experienced triathlete and have the experience in Kona so I think you’ll be able to race at 100% of your capacities. I think you're one of those athletes who can deliver the ‘surprise of the day’ and finish very very close! Which shoe do you race in, by the way?"

Kyle "Thanks mate, for encouraging me. I think I will surprise myself on race day as I feel I am in fantastic shape this year. I will be wearing the new color On Clouds - same brand as yours. I find the shoe super comfortable and very lightweight which is good for racing. I have chosen the Cloud because of the comfort for the whole duration of the marathon. You will be running in the Cloudracer again, I guess?"

Frederik "Exactly, the Swiss On Cloudracer is my running shoe of choice! I became the Ironman World Champion with these shoes last year. It’s made for athletes and it is the perfect model for me to run (even barefoot) my marathon in."

Kyle "Well, I think you're a very consistent athlete and I have no doubt we will see you on the podium again. What's your race strategy?"

Frederik "This is hard to say but I believe I can do it again. My strategy is to keep contact with the front of the race, be patient and make the right decisions during the race."

Kyle "I think you will do very well, you have a great reputation and your results prove you are one to look out for. I wouldn’t think about last years win and let the pressure get to me, you should just race like you would normally race as you know what works. Be patient and wait till the time is right to take the risk."

Frederik "I surely will defend my title the best way I can possibly do on the 11th of October. I don’t want to focus too much on a new victory, just give all I have on the day. And after the race I am going to eat a big American hamburger with French fries and lots of mayonnaise! That's what I am really looking forward after the race. What's your piece of peccadillo after Kona?"

Kyle "I don’t stop myself from eating anything while I train but straight after the race I crave watermelon and about 2 hours after that a nice juicy burger and a box of Oreo’s."

Frederik "Well then, let's meet for a burger then ;) Keep cool and stay calm, give it your all on race day! Enjoy this hard day as much as you can!"

Kyle "You too. Have a great race. Fingers crossed!"

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