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Update from Kyle Buckingham

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An update on my trip so far in Tucson Arizona.

 

Well it all started great when I flew to Boston to compete in the Half Ironman Timberman 70.3. I was quite exhausted from the travel from South Africa but still managed to pull off an amazing result :)

I could tell after halfway on the run that the legs were getting really tired, signs from the travel from SA.
 
I arrived in Tucson and got greeted with some scorching temperatures averaging around 40 degrees everyday! I've got to say the first 2 weeks was quite a struggle on some days but other days I was fine. It's also about 900m above sea level.

The training has been amazing, the running is really nice around this area where Leanda Cave lives, quite undulating so good training for Kona.

I started swimming with the masters at the university of Arizona and there are some really strong swimmers so its good for me to swim in a squad. There are tons of biking routes to do but since I've only been here on my own most of the time I've had to take a map with me and try figure out the routes on my own.

I joined the famous Saturday shootout that has about 100 cyclists every Saturday doing this hectic ride and trust me its insane. I've had quite a few rides around the 6.5hr mark and when you riding that long you have to stop a few times to stock up on some fluid, otherwise you will have cotton wool mouth, and trust me its not very nice.

I've done the famous Mt Lemmon climb twice, its a 38km climb and I've only managed to do 18km up so far because of the intervals involved but next week I'm sure I will make it pretty much to the top. The climb reaches about 2500m above sea level and I've got to 1618m so far with very heavy breathing ;)
Its such a beautiful climb and I can see why its so famous, not many 38km climbs around the world!
 
Vegas 70.3 World Champs was awesome, I got there on the Wednesday before the race and stayed right at T1 where the start was so was very convenient.

 I was really tired on the Wednesday after a big weekend of training and some specific sessions on the Monday and Tuesday so I couldn't wait to get to the hotel and put my feet up and chill.

 Vegas was not my A race it was only a prep going into Kona but I still managed to have a good race and win my AG.

I had a terrible swim especially after swimming 23.45 in Timberman, I know it was wetsuit swim in Timberman but still! So to exit the water in 27:31min was a bit of a shock and I was very stressed out, and took my anger out on the very wet and rainy bike course :)

 I have to say I didn't feel my absolute best and I know its because of this massive block I'm putting in for the big show down in Kona Hawaii.

 I still had a good race and ran pretty well. On my first lap on the run just leaving T2 Sabastian Kienle the winner of the WC 70.3 was about 50m behind me and was not closing the gap for the first 4km so at the turn around and with 1.5km to go to the finish I slowed down a touch and thought it would be awesome to run with the world champ and pace him back to the finish. He seemed happy and I got to shake his hand and say well done before he finished.

I was fresh and that's why I was running well for my first lap and pretty much the same pace for the other 2 and he was on his last lap to win.

What can I say but very happy with the last 6 races I've done this year, just one more big one to go and I'm done for the year :)

Apart from the 200km Double Century road race in November with the great Raynard Tissink Coaching Academy Team and Velocity Sports Lab my main sponsor, then after that it will be a month off to chill and relax to focus on next year.
 
I arrived back in Tucson on Monday and Dirk Bockel a professional triathlete is also staying here, training for Kona ,so its nice to finally have some company and sometime to talk too.
Otherwise so far its been a wonderful journey here, actually maybe sometimes not so wonderful, more like a sufferfest in the heat.

The highest so far its reached is probably 45 degrees so you got to get the training done early and then train again in the evening.

 I've just finished a track session, no idea how hot it was, but very lucky I took fluid proudly sponsored by GU. You have to otherwise you die out here ;)

 I've seen quite a few dead snakes - no live ones just yet, and no scorpions but I'm sure I will come across something soon!
 
Eat, Sleep, train and repeat until Kona and that's all it is! Put in the hard work and you will see the rewards.
 
Kyle Buckingham (AG 70.3 World Champ) ;))
 
 

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