Ali Brownlee qualifies for Kona 2020 and announces intent to also race Tokyo Olympics
Alistair wins Ironman Australia in a course record-breaking time of 7:45:20, and secures his 2020 Kona slot. He now intends, he says, to focus on the ITU circuit with his eye on the Tokyo Olympics
For a period Alistair was on Tim Don’s Ironman world record pace, but with discretion being the better part of valour, he cooled his jets and concentrated on getting safely across the line and grabbing his Kona qualification. Alistair set a new time of 7:45:20, lowering the old mark by more than six minutes.
“I woke up the day after Kona and I wanted to do another Ironman, so I had two goals coming here. The first was to get around an IRONMAN without capitulating and I was pretty close, so I am happy with that. The second was to qualify for Kona and I have done that, so I am chuffed.”
“This event is fantastic, the sea is beautiful out there and I stood on the beach this morning and it was so calm and the water was gorgeous. The course is beautiful, flat and well organised and well supported. Right out there in the middle of the ‘outback’ there were tri clubs set up and cheering us on.”
“Having Sam Appleton and Clayton Fettell to swim was perfect and I said ‘Let’s get out on the bike and get rolling’. We did that and Sam rode really well, I was pretty impressed with him. He was riding quick.”
“On the run I wanted a bit of space and I didn’t want to get to caught on running to a pace. I just wanted to run to what I kind of felt was comfortable. The first few kms I didn’t feel great but for 20km after that I got into a really nice rhythm. I thought ‘I am flying here’, so I checked myself a little bit and thought ‘No, no, don’t get carried away, you want to finish this and don’t want to be walking the last 10km’. I pulled it back a little bit and it was good.”
Alistair was very happy with his race and his first trip to the West but he thinks there is still room for improvement and more time to be gained on the quick Busselton course.
“It was quite windy today and I honestly think that if it wasn’t so windy, there is five more minutes in the bike there easy. No doubt about it. Five minutes on the bike and run a bit quicker, and this course could be really quick.”
“I have never been to Western Australia before. I had been to the east coast a lot over the years and I came because I thought it was a race that would fit in and I hoped it wouldn’t be too bad coming from the UK with a direct flight. I just wanted to get the job done but I have really enjoyed it. Busselton has a very different vibe to the other part of Australia. It is really relaxed and the people are nice, chilled out and the countryside is beautiful. I have really enjoyed being here and I would like to come again.”
“I have a few days before I go home so I will be exploring the area and I am going to Margaret River and drink red wine and eat some steak. I go to Bahrain next weekend but I won’t be racing, and then it is home for Christmas. When the new year rolls around I will focus on trying to race the World Series as well as I can, with an eye on Tokyo,” he said.