American Chris Lieto looks back on his 11th place finish from the 2010 Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
Read an excerpt below. Click here to read the complete interview.
BS: Now it’s been a few weeks since the Ironman, and I know that you have had some time to think and reflect on the race. Can you tell us what went right and what went wrong?
Lieto: Yeah, last year I finished second and this year I was trying to go for the win. If you want to win you have to put it all out there, you have to challenge yourself, take risks, and I put it all out there. I had a game plan of what I thought it would take to win, but the day didn’t unfold exactly how I had planned.
The first part of the day went well, I was feeling good on the bike, didn’t feel like I pushed myself too far, I was riding well and I was in my element. Part of the day is also affected by the conditions. Last year it was windy and this year it was hardly windy at all; that made it harder to separate myself from the other riders. There is no drafting in the race but there are groups that took advantage of the conditions.
Just the way it unfolded, I didn’t get to start the run the where I would have liked, but I was confident in where I did start.
The littlest things over the course of an eight-hour day can really affect you; they really start to add up. I was leading the race and finished 11th because of those small issues. On a normal day they may not affect you, but in a race like this they can take you out of winning the event. I had some GI stuff going on and some hamstring stuff going on, I finished 11th and I am proud of that, first American to finish, but it was not what I wanted.
Every year I’ve learned lessons and every year I have improved. It was difficult, not getting the result I wanted, but after some reflection I am happy with the effort I gave.