Kiwi Bryan Rhodes has been around the triathlon world for 16 years now and just a few days ago recorded his 4th Ironman title. Meet the man with the big smile and a very determined attitude.
ST: Bryan, you just won Ironman Canada in a very impressive manner. Can you talk us through your race?
Bryan: I came into the race with a game plan and it went pretty well. I had a slow start to my swim and lost the lead group that I wanted to stay with but it made me focused. I rode strong and didn’t know how much time I was getting on the group behind. I would have liked 10mins but came in also knowing I could run a 2.55, that’s as hard as I wanted to run. So think I will have to go to more Ironmans with strong game plans.
ST: So far you have 4 Ironman titles to your name. Which one of them do you cherish the most and why?
Bryan: I cherish them all, as they are very hard to come by. The guys’ fields are always tough, but I really have special memories of my 1st win in Malaysia and also my latest victory in Canada as I worked so hard all day for it!
ST: Being used to be the first guy out of the water, do you find it hard now to loose time to some others?
Bryan: I knew this field was stacked with swimmers and I thought I could come out on there feet but just didn’t have a speed on race day.
ST: We had a heated debate in the ST forum about drafting issues at IM Canada. Did you notice any drafting on the course among the Pro men?
Bryan: I saw a group of Pro Men on the out and back section but it's hard to say they were drafting. But knew that it's faster in a group than riding on your own and I knew the runners were in that group, so I was a little worried.
ST: What should be done to prevent drafting in general, and are the penalties steep enough?
Bryan: It's always going to be a heavily debated subject so maybe they should arm the officials with paint ball guns and if you draft you get shot and have to serve your penalty as well!
ST: What is next for you?
Bryan: I’m doing Singapore 70.3 as have a few things to do there and also love racing in Asia. Then Hawaii!
ST: Talking about Hawaii, do you think you can recover in time?
Bryan: I’m sure that my recovery will be fine. The concern is if I’ll have better legs and be a contender.
ST: What is your athletic background and who or what inspired you to race triathlons?
Bryan: Swimming is my background but I played every sport going. I got into triathlons at high school as hung out with cyclists and used my friends top racing bike back then and won the 1st tri I did and was hooked.
ST: Please describe a typical hard training week for us.
Bryan: Swimming: 5 times a week 25k, cycling: 6 times a week 500 – 700ks, and running: 6 times a week 80 – 100ks
ST: What do you do to overcome a disappointing race?
Bryan: Well I had a few and it is really hard I usually eat a heap of bad food and have some drinks then after a few days I’m smashing myself in training to get it out of my system.
ST: How are things going for you in terms of sponsorship?
Bryan: I’m always looking for a title sponsor but have been really lucky to have the longest running sponsors in the sport. Saucony (12 years), Cervelo (11years), Cliff bar, Profile Design, Fuel Belt, Blueseventy, HED wheels, Oakley, Computrainer, Continental tires, R&A cycles, 54x11 Coffee, Keywin pedals and Kona Endurance.
ST: How do you think how the triathlon sport could be improved?
Bryan: I think we need to get a World ranking system for Ironman so if you have a issue in Kona you still get a World ranking.
ST: How do you typically spend the off-season?
Bryan: I get back home to New Zealand in December and have the month spending time with my family. I go hunting & fishing with my Dad and then Christmas catch up with everyone else. This NZ summer I’m probably going to spend in Christchurch where I was brought up as Paul Amey is going to come over and train with me.
ST: Do you follow any other sports?
Bryan: I watch all sports but I really like to follow the Tennis and of course Rubgy.
ST: Can you share with us some of your food likes and dislikes?
Bryan: I like food and eat a lot of it! One of my big treats is Nutella but I only buy it close to a big race. I don’t like Brussels sprouts, but who does?
ST: What about music? Anything you listen to more often?
Bryan: I listen to everything but my favorite group is U2, and I listen to them a lot.
ST: What was the last book you read?
Bryan: Tucker Max! I hope they serve beer in Hell!
ST: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Bryan: I still hope to be involved in triathlon, coaching young athletes or working for triathlon NZ!
ST: Is there anything else we should know about you?
Bryan: Yeah I like to race hard and I’m pretty outspoken but I love what I do and have done it for 16years! I always have time to talk with fellow triathletes.
Bryan Rhodes' website is rhodsey.com