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Wereldkampioen kiteboarden Youri Zoon voltooit de Ironman Emilia-Romagna!

World kiteboarding champion Youri Zoon completes the Ironman Emilia-Romagna!

, by Ronald de Graaf, 4 min reading time


While the preparation did not go completely without a hitch, former World Kiteboarding Champion Youri Zoon completed the Ironman Emilia-Romagna!

While the preparation did not go completely without a hitch, former World Kiteboarding Champion Youri Zoon completed the Ironman Emilia-Romagna!

In other words, 3.8 km swimming, 180 km cycling and 42.2 km running, a full Triathlon!

Last year during the corona period there was a lot of time for me to train. This way I was able to spend a lot of training hours, which allowed me to make a lot of progress.

After participating in the 1/8 triathlon, 1/4 triathlon and Ironman 70.3 competitions, it was time for a full Ironman! With the goal of sub 9 in mind, that should be quite achievable at my level...

No sooner said than done, the search for the “perfect” location began. 

Well, the family also had its preferences… and there we came across a beautiful location in Italy, the Ironman Emilia-Romagna! A flat course in an area where it can be quite warm, but that shouldn't be a problem!

The road to IM was a bit different than I had hoped. Where I used to be able to consistently complete my training schedules, this was now quite a challenge for me. I have worked and traveled a lot for kitesurfing.

Physically speaking, things did not go smoothly either. I was not fit after being very ill a few times. All in all, that threw a bit of a spanner in the works, because it had a major impact on my training for a full IM.

Still, I was able to train well a few weeks before my competition. Amazingly enough, I turned out to be able to build up my old level quite quickly, everything felt good! Okay, this was not yet the level for a sub 9, but I had set my target at 9.30/9.45.

Professional kitesurfer for 20 years and still, tjsaa…morning ritual… just checking the weather! Where does the wind come from and how strong? I always know that, so even now before the race day I kept a close eye on the weather. I can tell you… it wasn't good, actually it was just really bad!

I already knew on Thursday that there would be no racing on Saturday because then accidents would happen...

A big storm was coming, wind force 7/8 with lots of downpours. What I feared happened. The race on Saturday was cancelled. There were even trees across the course. It was a sad, dirty, wet mess.

Unbelievable...IM Italy has done everything possible to ensure that the race can go ahead on Sunday.

The only disadvantage was that the course had to be shared with the 70.3. This sometimes led to dangerous situations due to the crowds.

Race day!

Swimming, how wonderful it was! From the first stroke I knew, this is good! Everything

felt smooth. I swam just outside the crowd and lay there wonderfully without any participants in front of me. Slowly insert yourself at the buoys and turn sharply around them! Not one meter swam too much and no nuisance from other participants.

I got out of the water exactly after 60 minutes. Nice pace without it costing me too much energy. The transition went smoothly and I was on the bike quickly, although…fast…it was actually a very, long transition zone that never ended. 

On the bike I immediately got into the rhythm and was immediately able to reach my target wattage of around 210W.

After 120/130km it became a bit busier on the course and you had to focus carefully to avoid accidents.

After 176km I was back in T2 with an average speed of 38.2km/h and the transition went well again. On the way to the marathon!

From the start of the marathon until 22km I ran easily and smoothly at an average pace of 4:42, but after that it started to slow down and it really started to take effort. After 32km it really started to look a bit like a survival. Anyway...I thought...keep moving, because that finish line will be reached no matter what!

I knew I had built up some margin with cycling and swimming to improve my fitness target time to be achieved.

And that worked and how! Finish time: 9:21H 

Very happy with it for the first time! Especially with the amount of training I've done. 

There's more to it... when? Who knows!

Now time to relax and have some wines!

Ciao

Youri Son

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World kiteboarding champion Youri Zoon completes the Ironman Emilia-Romagna!