CEO and dedicated sportsman, Lars C. Pedersen, went to Nice two weeks ago, excited to race the 70.3 Ironman World Championships. Lars is not new to this event and although he hasn't been racing the Ironman for a while, he can look back at the race in Nice with a smile on his face and with a whetted appetite for more. Read the full interview below!
Tell us a bit about how you ended up qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France.
I have hardly been racing since I participated in the full Ironman World Championship on Hawaii in 2015. A lot of things have happened since back then. I got two kids (1 year and 3 year), my dad passed way, my family moved three times and then SAYSKY started really taking off.
As you know, triathlon is a very time consuming sport so I focused on running, since this is where I find the most joy. My birthday present from my girlfriend last year was a green card for an autumn 70.3 Ironman (Half ironman). I ended up doing two, one in Shanghai and one in Xiamen, both finishing off a week of business trip in the area. The first one I came 10th in my AG (age group) which was enough to Qualify for the Word Championships. The next one I ended up in 3rd position, which I think made me earn my spot a bit more.
You can read about the spontaneous Half Ironman Lars did in 2018 here.
What were you feelings and expectations going into the race? Did you have a specific goal time or what was your objective?
Ironman is super commercial and you can discuss “the world championship” part, but the event is still by far the most tough field of Age Groupers the world have to offer. So in that sense it is special.
I trained specifically for this race the last 12 weeks with around 8-11hours effort a week (Check Lars' Strava for details). My objective is always to reach the finishline just when my tank runs empty. Getting the maximum out of my current fitness. The whole philosophy around SAYSKY and the original “Be a star”-saying is to do your outmost with what you got – no matter if you train 3 hours a week or 20 hours a week. In my work you are a star if you do what you can with what you got.
Please elaborate on your race. What were you thoughts/feelings in the race and after? Did you end up being satisfied with your performance?
The whole race was beautiful. Your start by swimming 800m directly out in the big blue ocean (with no wetsuit!), The bike route had it all, flat sections, steep uphill climbs and long decent. Lastly, you run along the iconic Nice beach-promenade. It is the most spectacular half ironman route I have ever done. It has it all.
I look back at the race being 90% satisfied. Being a bit more prepared, meaning doing another race closer to this race, like trying the route (mostly the decent) and swimming in packs, then I would probably have cut off 5-10min. In the end, I think I got what I deserved, nothing more nothing less. No miracles this time either haha!
Looking at all three components of Ironman/triathlon (swim, bike, run), which do you think are your strongest feature?
My strength is probably the run but the bike is not too bad either. At this event my swim was super bad (due to a fuck up with my googles) but normally my swim is reasonable compared to how much training effort I put in. But running is my favourite and any given day I would choose running before cycling or swimming. Running alone just give you a fucked up body posture if you don't do other things.
You will be running CPH Half Marathon (September, 15). But do you have any more races this season?
Really looking forward to CPH HALF. Such a nice feeling running around in the city, I love so much. I might run Frankfurt Marathon as I will be at the Expo. It really depends if I have time to get in the training.
SAYSKY Note: Lars ran an amazing time of 1.18.57, which was way faster than expected. Lars wrote afterwards on his Instagram: "I love surprising myself". He's in good shape for sure! Check the entire post.
Will you be doing another IRONMAN next year?
I will definitely not do a full, but I hope I get another green card from my Girlfriend to do another 70.3 event somewhere. I really like to feel fit in all 3 disciplines. This year I swam a lot in the ocean before taking the kids to kindergarten. That was an awesome start of the day.
You can keep track with Lars here.