Henderson completes 13th Ironman in 13 hours

Wednesday March 07, 2018 Written by Published in Other Sports
Local triathlete Kevin Henderson after crossing the finish line in his 13th race on Saturday in Taupo. PHOTO: Tim Bardsley-Smith/Ironman. 18030532 Local triathlete Kevin Henderson after crossing the finish line in his 13th race on Saturday in Taupo. PHOTO: Tim Bardsley-Smith/Ironman. 18030532

Local triathlete Kevin Henderson successfully completed his latest New Zealand Ironman on Saturday in Taupo.

 

Henderson, the only Cook Islands-registered athlete to attend Ironman this year, finished in a respectable time of 13 hours and four minutes.

Despite picture-perfect conditions, Henderson was unable to get under the 12-hour mark but said he was still pleased with his performance.

“I had a feeling early on that I was in about the middle of the pack for my age-group. I didn’t see anyone pass me on the bike or the run so at that point it became all about finishing,” he said.

“No point in busting my gut when I wasn’t going to climb any places. I kept an eye out for anyone coming past and then I would pick up the pace but it just didn’t happen.”

As with each race, Henderson said it was also enjoyable to catch up with friends made over the years who also compete as well as making new ones during the race.

“I always enjoy the run leg. I make it a point to stop and chat to other competitors that are walking.

“One of the great things about Ironman is the camaraderie and even during the race everyone is just pushing each other along.

“Because I have done my fair share of races in Taupo you also tend to see the same people out supporting on the sidelines, so it always gives you a bit of an extra boost when they remember you as well,” he said.

Henderson said it is already likely he will compete again next year but will make some changes to his approach.

“I will probably look at my race-day nutrition and fluid intake for next year, particularly on the bike when I typically don’t take on much fluids – I really started to feel it on the bike.”

With the race record being broken, getting under the eight-hour mark for the first time in the race’s history, Henderson said he wasn’t surprised considering the weather conditions.

“For the elite guys, especially from New Zealand, it would have been conditions they were after. Considering the talent in the lineup it isn’t surprising it got beaten, as well as Cam Brown beating his own personal record,” he said.

After he returns to Rarotonga on Saturday, Henderson said he will give his body some added time off from training.

“I will have a break from training for a little while, but will still tick the body over on weekends for the odd run and swim – but nothing too serious.”

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