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Ironman

2014 Ironman World Champion Sebastian Kienle Shares His Kona Favorites

In honor of what would have been Ironman World Championship race week, we're checking in with former podium finishers to find out some of their Kona favorites.

As racing slowly returns around the world, we’ve been checking in with a pro every week to see how they’re coping with this strange year—and hopefully learn a couple of fun facts. This week, in honor of what would have been Kona race week, each day we’ll be checking in with a former podium finisher to find out how they’re spending their time and what they’ll miss most about the iconic race. First up, 2014 Ironman world champion Sebastian Kienle.

Instead of traveling to Kona, this week I’ll be…
Training in the German autumn, something I have not done since 2012 and it fits the mood pretty good this week.

My favorite Kona race-week tradition is…
Race week is about resting and not leaving the apartment that much. I enjoy long breakfasts on the terrace with a nice view on the ocean.

The thing that surprised me most about Kona my first time racing was…
That I was able to get a fourth place and the fastest bike split despite loosing five minutes due to a flat tire. I realized how much in this race happens in your head.

My favorite part of the course is…
Never thought I would say this: the swim course

The thing I’ll miss most about traveling to Kona is…
Everything really.

My favorite off-the-beaten path spot in Kona is…
Running the trails in Waimea.

My race morning breakfast in Kona is…
My wife makes a good bread, peanut butter, banana, some coffee, and PowerBar after check-in.

The biggest mistake I ever made racing Kona was…
Being way too busy during the 2015 race week.

My Sunday post-race routine is…
That depends a lot on the result.

The things that make this race so special are…
The competitive field, conditions, the vibe on the island, and the attention it gets.