As a former 70.3 world champion Tim Reed knows what it takes to win a championship race—but so far a strong performance on the Big Island has always eluded him. He’s looking to change that tomorrow as he lines up for his fourth Ironman World Championship. The Australian has built his season around this race, even sitting out the 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France, last month, so that he could hit Kona in optimum shape.
“I’ve had a solid year of racing with wins at 70.3 Subic Bay and 70.3 Coeur d’Alene, and easily my best Ironman performance so far at Ironman Australia,” he says. “Of course, Kona has been my focus for the year; it’s the one race that’s bugged me. I have never had the performance I’d like here. Fingers crossed I’ve done the work to make that happen.”
After a DNF in 2016, 23rd in 2017, and 18th in 2018, Reed knows how to suffer on the Big Island, but always finds a silver lining—no matter how tough it gets. “Even on a bad day out there, there’s an awesome camaraderie among all the pros and a great deal of respect when you see everyone grinding away and suffering together,” On some of the bad days you end up really helping each other out and talking to each other. I have a lot of friends out there and, of course, I’d like to try to beat them, but if I’m not going well it’s nice to share the pain and suffering together.”
Reed will have a huge group of family and friends cheering him on from Down Under, none more so than his wife Monica and their three boys, seven-year-old Oscar, Arthur, four, and Edgar, one. “Oscar is now at the age where he thinks it’s pretty cool when I’m at the finish line and I’ve won a race, but I think when it comes to Kona they just can’t wait to have me back home. It’s nice in a way because I race, but with a bigger perspective about life and realizing that, yes, this race is important but ultimately I still have a family at home that loves me, and the sun will rise the next day, even if the race doesn’t go great.”