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Ironman 70.3 Boulder: The Pro Panel

  • By Holly Bennett
  • Published Aug 4, 2012

The professional field set to race tomorrow’s Ironman 70.3 Boulder includes a highly competitive cast of characters. Five of the top seeds – Leanda Cave (GBR), Melanie McQuaid (CAN), Joe Gambles (AUS), Ben Hoffman (USA) and Matt Reed (USA) – attended a pro panel on Saturday afternoon at the race expo, where they were each asked to share their plans in regards to pre-race nutrition and relaxation, as well as post-race celebrations. Here’s what we learned of their tried and true tactics:

Joe Gambles:

(before) I’ll be heading home after this, getting in the recovery boots and watching the Olympics. I’ll be sure to stay hydrated and I’ll probably eat pretty early. I actually made a mistake going into Vineman. My homestay made this amazing dessert, so at nine-o-clock at night I had some and I had the worst night’s sleep. It had about 1,000 calories in it, and my sugar high was ridiculous. I couldn’t sleep all night. I’m going to avoid sugar this time and not have dessert. Maybe tomorrow!

(after) Usually immediately after I’ll do all the right things – rehydrate, make sure I get plenty of protein and maybe take a dip in the Boulder Creek to ice the legs a bit. But then if it turns out alright tomorrow, I’ll probably go out for a few beers later on. I’ve got my dad and his best mate in town, and they’re both doing the race tomorrow, so I’ll show them the nightlife on Pearl St. for sure!

Ben Hoffman:

(before) Real quick, I just want to mention that I’m pretty sure Joe’s going to have ice cream tonight. I don’t think a day goes by that he doesn’t eat ice cream! But same for me – I’ll go home after this and just take it easy and try to eat some light meals. Definitely some salty snacks with plenty of water is a good idea to get yourself good and hydrated and balanced on the electrolyte side. Especially at altitude for people that are coming from sea level or other places that are not quite as high, hydration is your biggest friend, both before the race and during it as well.

(after) I think it depends a lot on how the race goes, whether there’s something to celebrate or not. For me, I’m in the middle of an Ironman build – I’m doing Ironman Wisconsin on September 9th – so I didn’t taper a lot for this race. I’ll get right back into training afterward. I probably won’t be doing a lot of celebrating until Wisconsin is done.

Matt Reed:

(before) My normal thing to do is have pizza before a race. It’s good for my stomach, as long as I don’t eat too late. Usually six-o-clock is as late as I want to start eating, to give myself time to digest by morning. I’ll keep on the fluids, and I’ll record the Olympics tonight. This past week I’ve been staying up too late to watch the Olympics. It’s been great, but tonight I’ll definitely go to bed by nine.

(after) I’m too old to celebrate! I have three kids and I like to go to bed early and recover. Monday I’ll be training, so I’ll go to bed early Sunday. The only time I’d celebrate is if I won a race like Hy-Vee – it’s $150,000 to win!

Leanda Cave:

(before) I try not to eat too much because I don’t want to have a lot of stuff in my gut. I try just to have light meals between now and the race. I’m not a big fan of carbo-loading. I don’t think that’s really ideal, at least not for me, because I don’t like to have a lot in my gut. Otherwise I end up in the port-a-loos, which is not ideal!

(after) I think I’m going to join you on Pearl St., Gambles!

Melanie McQuaid:

(before) I don’t get to visit Boulder very often, so I’ll probably head down to Pearl St. and crush, you know, 12 or so beers. Have some curly spicy sweet potato fries and a burger – or five. Something like that!

(after) I have to get on a plane after the race, so the party will be in the United lounge in the Vancouver airport on my way home tomorrow! You have to have something to celebrate first – you can’t make the party plan until you have a party to plan. For right now, the plan is to go home.

* * *

Check back for a full race recap following Sunday’s competition, which also includes such notable names as Clayton Fettell (AUS), Josh Rix (AUS), Leon Griffin (AUS) and Eduardo Sturla (ARG) on the men’s side and Mel Hauschildt (AUS), Joanna Lawn (NZL) and Liz Blatchford (GBR) among the women contenders.

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