Top Welsh Triathlete Returning To Ironman Wales In 2012
Professional Welsh Triathlete Oliver Simon has announced that he will be taking part in Ironman Wales for its second year, when it returns to Tenby on 16 September 2012.
Simon riding the Ironman Wales course last year (Photo: FinisherPix)
Oliver Simon has been competing in triathlon for almost 12 years, and before last year had only ventured as far as a middle distance race. He had always thought about taking part in the longer distance but it was only in 2011 that he decided to take the plunge. He said, ‘When it was announced that Ironman Wales was coming to Tenby I knew it was time for me to step up to the challenge. I qualified for my pro licence and went on to compete in Ironman UK for my debut, finishing in fifth place which I was really pleased with. Ironman Wales was my next race, and it was a ‘must’ for me, being located in my home town”.
So, in September 2011 Simon joined 1500 other athletes at the start of the inaugural Ironman Wales, and prepared for his second Ironman experience. Located on Wales’ southwest coast, Pembrokeshire is best known for the breath-taking landscape of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, featuring miles of sandy beaches and a spectacular coastline. Living in Tenby meant that it was a course that Simon was already well familiar with, having done the majority of his training sessions on those very roads.
But did this familiarity help him on race day? Simon said, “Ironman Wales was an incredible experience for me personally as coming out of the water first was quite emotional with all my family and friends lining the route through to transition, The course was challenging as there are a lot of short sharp climbs along the way. The wind on the day made sure there was nowhere to relax, and I found myself digging deep the whole way. The course is brilliant though, passing through different small towns, all offering a great amount local support for us all. The run was tough for me, and although I felt strong until the halfway point I soon ran out of gas and had to really focus on digging deep, giving it everything that I had to finish the race.”
Oliver Simon will be looking to the podium this year at IM Wales (Photo: FinisherPix)
So does the Welsh professional have any advice for those athletes taking on the course this year “Yes, my tip for any first timer would be to take it really easy on the hills and ensure that they have the right gearing on their bikes for those steep climbs. On top of that, take in the beautiful views and enjoy it – remembering that you have trained hard for the experience.”
And what else does 2012 hold for Simon, who only went professional for the first time last year. He said, “I decided to go full time in January, balancing this with some casual work to keep me on top of things. I will be racing Ironman Lanzarote in May and plan to take part in many other races including Ironman Wales 2012, I have got an excellent range of sponsors now and hope to be a fully-fledged full time pro by the end of the season.”
To find out more about racing alongside Oliver at Ironman Wales this September, visit www.ironmanwales.com for further information, or follow the ‘Ironman Wales’ page on Facebook.
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on Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 at 2:38 pm under Pro Triathlon News, Triathlon News.
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Tags: Ironman Wales, Oliver Simon, Pro Triathlon