High hopes for Ironman 70.3

BRING IT ON: East London local Kyle Buckingham is ready to take on the Ironman 70.3 on
Sunday Picture: SUPPLIED

Buckingham also aiming to reclaim African champ title

The gruelling annual Ironman 70.3 race is back for the 13th time on Sunday and local fitness enthusiast Kyle Buckingham is ready to take it on. Buckingham has taken part in 30
Ironman events around the world since 2009 and has also completed 40 Half-Ironman races.

“Most of the physiological effect happens when I’m out there training every single day,” he said. “I do a lot of my training sessions alone, and so I think about the race that I’m training for in my head quite a lot.

“Physically, I’m ready because I’ve logged all the training and put in the hours of hard work, so when I get to the start line before the gun goes off, I have no regrets
because I’m satisfied with what I’ve done,” he said.

Buckingham said he first started competing in Ironman while living in a house share
in London. One of his friends was training for the event and convinced him to give it a try.

“From day one I was hooked on the challenge of completing it, and it wasn’t until 2011 that I knew I could possibly do it as a professional. “I spent many hours cycling indoors in the
cold London winter, watching movies of the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii and said to myself ‘I want to race those guys’.”

Speaking to The GO!, Buckingham shared some advice for Ironman beginners.

“Ironman racing is no easy task, but what’s so satisfying is knowing that you had this incredible opportunity to train and put in all the hard work, and then being able to stand at that start line knowing you have the support of family and friends.

“Be proud of yourself for taking on the challenge,” he said.

His highlight so far, he said, was crossing the finish line first at the Ironman African Championships in Nelson Mandela Bay in 2018.

“After this weekend, I’m ready to get that title back again on March 29,” he said

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