Team Ribble – Adam Bowden on the podium at IM70.3

On the 6th April 2019 Adam competed in Ironman 70.3 in Oceanside, Southern California and after a strong, swim and run came home in a fantastic 3rd place against a strong international field. Here, Adam takes you through his race report and despite his disappointment at not having achieved the win (as he states in his own words) it bodes well for the rest of the season. We at Ribble, congratulate Adam on this fantastic performance.

Going into the race this was a nice opportunity to see if I could maintain my good early season form, off the back of the early season win in Dubai. Preparation wasn’t perfect with a couple of niggles in training, but these things happen in training and racing. Ironman 70.3 Oceanside is the first big race in the North American Ironman circuit and a great opportunity to test myself in a stacked field, lining up against some great athletes. This was also my first race on the Ribble Ultra Tri and I was looking forward to taking it out on course for the first time to see how it performed.

I had an absolutely flying start hitting the water first as I normally do from a beach start. With the choppy swim conditions, there were some big waves waiting for me when I hit the water, which is something I haven’t had to negotiate for quite some time. After a brutal, choppy start I looked to settle in to my rhythm on the swim. I could tell that my body wasn’t feeling quite right early on in the swim, but focused on the feet in front and getting on with the race. I could tell that the group I was in alongside Ben Kanute, Sam Appleton and Eric Lagerstrom was going to break away from the rest and I continued to push hard to make that happen. I kept pushing all the way to the swim finish, exiting the water in third position.

Adam in the tuck, enabling him to achieve the most aero position possible. / Photo Credit: Activ images.

It was a long run into transition which I would normally like, but the body was still feeling flat. That said, I still managed to get my wetsuit off quickly and out onto the bike in good time.

I was sat not too far back from Ben and Sam on the road early on. There were plenty of long stretches of road out on the course and sometimes when you can see someone in front they seem like they are closer than they actually are, so I focused on my own race and doing what I had to do. I continued to press hard through the rolling hills, but was a little isolated for a large portion of the race.

I was eventually caught by Rudy Von Burg and Ruedi Wild alongside one other athlete and ended up riding with them for the majority of the bike leg. Von Burg put a huge surge in over one of the latter climbs to dislodge himself from the trio, as we finished the bike together. A solid bike leg, and the Ultra Tri felt fast and responsive as I put it through it’s paces.

Out of the saddle for the climb, but remaining focused on the task at hand. Photo Credit: Activ images.

Into T2, it was socks off and trainers on quickly, before grabbing my gels and getting ready to run hard to close the deficit on the front two that I knew there would be.

Going into the run hard, I was slowly eating into the gap between myself and the leaders. I distanced myself from athletes around me early on, and established a good gap to cement third place. I continued to chase the two in front, and around halfway I picked up a pain in my side. Once it subsided I was able to push on again and race hard to the finish, crossing the line in third position.

I’m pleased to be on the podium after a tough race. It’s not the result I was hoping for having gone out there to win, but I gave everything I had and can only put the feeling of not quite being 100% down to the lengthy travel and changes in timezone. I clocked the fastest run of the day with 1:11:55, despite not feeling in great condition and a few setbacks in the weeks leading up to the race so this bodes well for the rest of the season. I’ll be working with the team at Ribble over the coming weeks to eke the most out of the Ultra Tri, making a few changes to my set up and take full advantage of it’s aerodynamic and aggressive set up to maximise watt saving going into my next race…


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