Harry Wiltshire’s route to Kona has been slightly unorthodox. He’s raced an awful lot this season and sealed qualification comparatively late in a hectic August week where he finished Ironmans in Sweden and Japan.
But chatting to him sat in a condo he’s sharing with Dan Halksworth on Ali’i Drive, one thing becomes apparent: Wiltshire is a man with a plan, and he’s determined not to be here to just make up the numbers.
He’s obviously put a lot of thought into the race, and come up with a plan that, if executed, will see him come away with a result he can be proud of. He shared his thoughts on the race with 220…
220: So what are your thoughts going into the weekend? Exitement? Something else entirely?
Well I’ve had quite a journey to get here, and the first two weeks I was out here everything just hurt. My back is still pretty stiff.
When we saw you at the Long Course Weekend, you were in a pretty bad way…
That was the weekend after, and I still couldn’t move! I was going to try and do Bolton [Ironman UK], so I had to get out and ride that weekend but it didn’t quite work out.
As it was it eased off enough that I could do Sweden in eight and a half hours and then back it up the following weekend to qualify.
But it means that I’ve come here not being able to do the quality run sets for really fast speed as I’ve either been recovering from a race or tapering for one.
At first, the idea was just to come and see the thing that’s Kona, the thing that people talk about.
And what’re your expectations going into the race?
I suppose expectations for the race for me, looking at previous results, is that if you were to go for the win and it goes wrong, it can go hideously wrong. There are guys who will just die out there, especially if they’re trying to hang on past a level that they can hold – in this sort of heat you just can’t come back from it.
So for me I think if I can get in that front group [on the bike] and stay in the line without killing myself – and the sooner the line breaks up because someone attacks really hard the better as the pace will drop a bit.
And if I can be sat with good athletes, come off the bike with a group and run three hours, that might get top 15 and I’d be over the moon.