Alistair Brownlee Targets Olympic & Kona Double | The GTN Show Ep. 119


– Hello, and welcome back to the GTN show. Now, you will notice that I
am here in the studio solo, and I don’t have any friends with me. That is because Heather and Mark have headed off to Lanzarote this week to make lots of sunshine
videos for you guys for throughout the winter. And, in the absence of
any professional racing from around the globe this weekend, I do have news about a certain two-time Olympic gold medalist and his plans for racing in the future. I also have news of an endurance
record of epic proportions, plus the winners from
our On shoe unboxing. (upbeat electronic music) This week, we saw the announcement
from Alistair Brownlee that he wasn’t quite done with racing for this 2019 season,
with his announcement that he will be starting in the 2019 Ironman Western
Australia in Busselton at the start of December. And this brings with it some
implications, you could say. Now, what are those? Because this isn’t necessarily something that is too surprising
at this time of year. You see athletes who either have or haven’t had a very good Hawaii, but they want to get
another Ironman locked in so that they can try and qualify for that race that is next October. So, that in itself isn’t that unusual. But what was perhaps raising some eyebrows was that Alistair
Brownlee finally admitted that he actually still has his eyes on going to the Tokyo 2020
Olympic games as well, which until now hasn’t
necessarily been clear. Well, why wasn’t this so clear? Well, essentially because
he has raced very sparingly over the short course distance since he picked up that
second Olympic gold medal in Rio over three years ago. Now, this was in part due to the fact that he has suffered quite a
number of injuries since then, but also because his focus
seemed to have shifted, perhaps, towards the longer distance, non-drafting format of racing. Indeed, he raced very well in his debut at the Ironman
70.3 World Championships last year in South Africa, taking an excellent
second behind Jan Frodeno and in front of Javier
Gomez, we might add. Again this year, in his
build-up towards Ironman Hawaii, he raced at the Ironman
70.3 Championships in Nice, and took another second
place there as well. But he has, all the time,
kept his toe in the waters of ITU racing, although as I said, very sparingly. He did the Commonwealth games last year. This year, he won an ITU World Cup, so the level down from the top tier, and he also won a European
Championships yet again to add to a very long and impressive list of wins in that event for him. However, it would have appeared that with his move up to Ironman 70.3 and Hawaii this year, that his focus had finally
shifted to long course racing. Now, it could be that
he has been influenced by some of his competitors. I mean, just last month, we had Javier Gomez
taking on Ironman Malaysia and winning that event, proving that there are other
athletes willing to juggle racing at short course distance, whilst managing to compete and go full distance in an Ironman. The theory being, especially
if you do it right now in the back quarter of a year, that you get that qualification done, and then you don’t have to worry about Hawaii until next year, which, crucially, will be after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, giving athletes the whole
of the start of next year to focus solely on that event. But this really is uncharted territory. We have never before
seen athletes doubling up in the same year as an Olympic Games. Sure, we’ve seen athletes
win medals at Olympic Games, and then go on to win Hawaii. We had Michellie Jones in 2000
taking a silver in Sydney. She then went on to win Hawaii in 2006. And then later still, we had Jan Frodeno, who won Beijing in 2008, and then went on to take his
first Kona title in 2015. Indeed, we are already seeing
a number of other ITU athletes having a look at qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 Champs in New Zealand next November. Because, a bit like Kona, it falls after the Tokyo event. But this is something that we can grasp and get our heads around a lot more than the concept of ITU athletes deciding to give the full
Ironman distance a go, as we’re seeing with
Javier already qualified, and Alistair potentially trying to. One way or the other, it could well make for an extremely intriguing
first half of the 2020 season, should Alistair manage to
qualify in Busselton next month, unlike Javier, who finished
the WTS season ranked third, and will most likely be able to take a slot in the Spanish
team fairly comfortably. Alistair’s ranking in ITU terms has plummeted to well outside the top 100, and he is by no means assured of getting a spot in Great
Britain’s Olympic team. However, it does raise the question, is he able to drag his body back up to the speed that is needed to be competitive at that level, or will the toll of two years of largely Ironman 70.3
and Ironman training prove too much for his body? The incentives, one way or the other, are clearly high for him, though, because there is the new
mixed relay team event at the Olympics, which he could race in alongside his younger brother Jonny, and, should he go on to medal in the individual event, well, he would be the first triathlete to win three medals from
three Olympic Games. So, if he is able to stay
injury-free and healthy, I am not the person to
doubt Alistair Brownlee in his ability to do this. So that takes me on to the
question for this week’s poll, which is quite simply, “Do you think that Alistair
is going to be able to qualify “for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games?” And that is a simple “yes” or “no”, and you can let me know
by clicking on that link which is somewhere up
there above my shoulder. And on the note of polls, if you remember, last
week, Mark and I asked you, “Do you think that if
you cross the finish line “in an Ironman with anything
other than yourself, “should you be disqualified?” Well, you gave us your answers, and 56% of you think yes,
you should be disqualified, and that leaves the remaining 44% of you saying no, that you shouldn’t. (upbeat electronic jingle) Now it is time for tri news. Now, I told you in the introduction that there was an incredible
feat of endurance, and I wasn’t lying,
because I have got news about Laura Knoblach
from Boulder in Colorado, who has just broken, now wait for it, a Double Deca Ironman record. That is 20 Ironman
distance events in one go, and that absolutely
staggeringly blows my mind, I promise you, to the extent
that I can’t even remember the full distances of this event, so I am going to refer to the laptop. It was 48 miles of swimming
in a swimming pool, 2,240 miles of biking around a 4.3-mile loop, and then 524 miles of running around a 1.3-mile loop, which is just incredible to think that people are able to do that. I wasn’t really very aware of the logistics of these type of events. I kind of wondered if there
was mandatory stops build in, but there isn’t. Once the gun goes, and you start swimming, it is all the way to the
finish of this entire event. It took her some 633 hours, which is 26 days of continuous activity. The swimming alone took her over 50 hours. She built in a nap in the middle of that for an hour and a half. Which meant that when
she got out of the water, her skin was really badly chlorine-burnt, which I have never heard of
before, but it makes sense when you’re in that water
for that length of time. She gave herself 12 hours in between that and starting her bike ride, to try and let her skin settle down, and then had some 12
days of riding her bike, with some sort of sleep of
about six hours each night. And then again, she had
another 12 or so days, I think, of running, where she was only getting
four to six hours of sleep. But agonizingly, towards the end of that, she actually, this is in her words, threw an all-nighter, where
she didn’t have any sleep, because her competitor was
getting really pretty close. In the end, she still took first place. There was only four females and four males managed to complete this event, which really doesn’t surprise me, because, quite frankly, I do not know how people manage to get through feats
of endurance like that. So now, moving on to something a little less lighthearted, I’m afraid, because it involves an anti-doping issue, and these are usually things we’re expected round about our pros, and elites that are racing in our sport, but, increasingly more often, we’re seeing this cropping up within the amateur or
age group ranks as well. And this story is one
of an amateur duathlete from Australia, Margo Mackintosh, and it really serves as a
cautionary tale, I feel, for any athlete to be completely aware that is their responsibility to know what it is that they’re
ingesting into their system at any time, before racing,
during racing, whatever. It is your responsibility as the athlete. She had won the World
Duathlon age division that she was competing in in Spain, Pontevedra, Spain, should
I say, back in may. And once she’d gotten home, she was served with an
anti-doping violation by the ITU. Now, she says that she
had absolutely no idea of where this must have come from. She had trawled back
through all of the things that she could remember
having used prior to race day, and was left stumped. She had no idea how something
had entered into her system. And I’m going to read this here. It was basically containing “a recently banned substance, Higenamine,” which was “found in a
variety of plant sources “used in traditional Chinese medicine “and increasingly utilized
in the supplement industry.” Now, this what was found in
a pre-workout sports drink that she had used. Now, she basically says
that that ingredient had been listed by the manufacturer under an alternative name, and that’s why when she went to check what it was that she’d been banned for, she couldn’t find it. So, she completely understands that it is her responsibility, and that she should take, or does have to take, full responsibility. But I suppose I just looked
at this story and thought, “You know what, that could
be anybody out there.” But you definitely need to have a think about what it is you
might be wanting to take if you really need to take something, and really think long and hard about it before you decide to go
and race having used it. So now, moving on to a story which discusses the
environmental footprint that, much more increasingly, race organizers of
mass-participation events, much like triathlons, are having to become aware of with the events that they’re laying on. And in particular, this weekend, there was a running event in North Wales here in
the UK that caught my eye, because this was the largest running event of its kind in North Wales. Some 3,000 athletes at
the Conwy Half Marathon. And, all of them, they were faced with the threat of
disqualification from the event if they were caught littering outside of designated aid stations
or water stations, or anywhere where there was a marshall, in fact, out on the course. So, that’s quite a interesting
step to have taken things, because there’s nothing that’s
going to force your mind more in a race than perhaps the threat of not seeing your name on the results. And this is exactly what the
organizers there in Conwy said, that your name would
not be on those results if you were spotted
dropping your water bottles, or any litter that is
not in designated areas. So, I think this is a really
interesting precedent to start, and we’ve seen it already at other mass-participation events. The London Marathon, this year, in 2019, was forced to act on
the fact that last year, they counted some 47,000 plastic bottles that were collected after the event all around the course. So, they tried to implement
measures this year that meant that there was
far more recycled plastic used in the water bottles. If not fully recycled plastic bottles, partly or almost partly
recyclable bottles, or compostable cups as
well that could be used. Other events have started to bring in recycled metals for their medals, as well. So, there’s just a much
larger understanding and recognition, now, that we have to have some sort of real, tangible contribution back to environmental causes if we want to do these sorts of big events that we really enjoy. So, now it’s time to get some news about the Zwift Tri Academy, because Heather has been getting
some training in for that. And while she’s down there in Lanzarote, she has been on the treadmill, and I believe that she’s
going to let us know how that is getting on for her. (footsteps) – Okay, I have just
finished my very first… Well, almost finished my very first Zwift Triathlon Academy run workout, and it was harder than I expected. This was the Threshold Waves, and it’s basically waves
of running at threshold, four lots of one mile, but
broken up a little bit. Now, I’m hoping I can
come back to revisit that, but anyway, a little
bit about why I’m here, and what I’m doing on a treadmill abroad. So, I obviously realize that I’ve got to keep
up my calorie workouts. I’ve got to do the six
bike and the four runs. And this week, we’re out
in Lanzarote filming, so no Turbo, so I saw
a perfect opportunity to get my first run workout in. And that’s kind of the great thing, because actually, all
I needed is my phone, which I’ve got here, and my Foot Pod, which
doesn’t take up any room in your luggage, so as long
as you can find a treadmill, you can pretty much do
the run workouts anywhere, which is cool. You just need to find the Wi-Fi. But, as I’ve discovered, you really need to be in
the right frame of mind to do the run workout, because it was quite a bit
tougher than I expected, and as a result, I’m hoping if I finish all four workouts before, I guess, before
January, 12th of Jan, then I’m going to come back
and revisit this workout, ’cause I know I can
definitely do it better. But it’s a bit of a shock to the system, but still, feel-good factor
after getting that run done, and as you can see,
I’ve worked pretty hard, so I can at least go and cool down before we go and shoot our next video. So hopefully I’ll catch
up with you guys soon! – So now for some exciting news, because a couple of weeks ago, when Mark unboxed the brand
new On Cloudflow trainers, he said that there was five pairs for some lucky people to win. Well, I have got the list of those names right here in front of me. So, if I get your name wrong, please don’t be too offended, because I’m not the best
with pronunciations. But we have got Joanna Koj-Staszak, Daven Oskvig, Leau Chee Keong, Miranga Hendawitharana and Benjo wells. So, if that was your name just read out, congratulations, ’cause
you’ve got a brand new set of On shoes coming your way. (upbeat electronic jingle) – Well, as you can see,
I’ve cooled off a little, and made myself slightly more presentable, and it’s now my turn to have a little bit of fun with the show, ’cause I’ve got the best bit. I have had chance to look
through some of your photos, and choose my favorite ones
for this week’s GTN show. And to start us off, we have a picture in from Calvin in Bali, Indonesia, and it’s a picture of him on his Falco V the day before his race. He was about to do the Harbalife Bali International
Triathlon this year. Now, I’m normally really jealous of all the sunny photos, but you guys can actually
be jealous of me this week ’cause I’m in the sun. But it’s a pretty cool-looking bike. I have to admit, I haven’t
seen a Falco V before, but it’s a Beam bike. You can’t see it that
well in that picture, but interesting looking steed. So hopefully that event
went well for you, Calvin. Thanks for that picture. Next, we’ve got Phillip, and there’s two photo, two bikes here, even, in this photo, the Grail CF and the Grail AL. So that’s the Canyon cross off-road bike, which is pretty cool. The lake of Maria Loch. Description says, “Went
out for a gravel ride “in preparation for Ironman Cozumel.” Slightly confused, ’cause
I’m not really sure why you’re riding a Grail bike to prepare you for Ironman Cozumel, but, well, Phillip, good luck
to you for Ironman Cozumel. I think it is just this weekend. Next, we’ve got this picture from David. This was from a couple of
weeks ago, the Noosa Triathlon, and it’s the transition zone. Well, it’s pre-transition zone. Absolutely packed. It’s a pretty cool angle, just to see everyone getting busy about their transition area, sorting their stuff out in that slightly panicky moment when you just hope you’ve got everything, and you’re laying it
all out, so really cool. This picture I absolutely love. This is the final one for
this week, from Andre, and he actually titled it, “A bit too excited to get going.” It looks like he is. It’s Big Bay in Cape Town, and he says, “After months
of hard work training “for my first middle distance triathlon, “you could tell I was super excited “to finally get the Challenge
Cape Town underway.” Well Andre, I just hope you were smiling that much when you reached the end of your event as
well, so congratulations. A great selection this week, and we’ve had quite a
few pain caves sent in, but I am saving those for a moment, ’cause we want to do a
little pain cave special. So, if you’re training indoors a lot now, if maybe it’s winter for
you wherever you are, and you’ve got a setup
that you’re proud of and you want to share, well, do let us know. You can share it by clicking on the link in the description below for the GTN uploader, and any other tri photos that you think we might be interested in. (upbeat electronic jingle) So, it’s time for our caption competition, and last week, Mark
and I dug out a picture from the Santo Domingo ITU World Cup, and we’ve got a very
forlorn-looking figure here. Poor guy is sitting down
on the side of the road, at the side of the wall,
having crashed his bike. Got some nasty-looking road rash down one side of his body, actually, so that’s never something we like to see. But we did get quite a few
interesting captions coming in, so I’ve narrowed it down
to three here that I like. And the first one is Martin Feinstein, who says, “I guess I should
have gone left at the fork, “not right,” maybe then
got a bit confused. The second one here
I’ve got is Yatin Dabhi, who says, “Day one of
riding with cleats on. “it will be fun they said,
I’ll be fast they said.” I know what you mean. It’s never too easy to learn
how to ride with cleats. But our winner this
week is from Mirage2NR, and they have said, “Oh,
drafting-legal race! “I read drifting-legal race. “Probably shouldn’t have tried this one.” So, well done to you, Mirage. Please get in touch, and we’ll
get you a cap on your way. So, moving on to this week’s picture. Now, as I said at the
start in our introduction, there has been no racing
this weekend of note, so we don’t have any current race photos, but we’ve dug through the
archives and found one that just made us chuckle a little bit, or I certainly thought
this was quite funny, because we’ve got one here from Muncie 70.3 back in the summer, and I have no idea if that T-Rex managed to get through the
swim dressed like that, but if they did, I don’t
know how they’d manage to swim with such short arms. And I think this other competitor
is saying the same thing, ’cause they’re having
a bit of a comparison of their arm lengths there, or at least that’s my take on it. But if you’ve got a different take on it, please let us know down
there in the comments. Now, if you’re anything like me, riding this weekend was a little
bit chilly here in the UK, in fact, I’m sure anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, actually. So, if you fancy staving off the cold, then perhaps pop over to our shop, because there’s a really good sale, 30% off at the moment. So you can find yourself
some nice warm bits of kit to stave off those
fast-approaching winter days. Now, that takes me to the
end of this week’s show, but fear not, there’s
some really good videos coming up later in this week, too. We’ve got an excellent
run tips video coming up with multiple top-ten
Ironman Hawaii finisher Kaisa Sali from Finland, so have a look out for that one. And also, if you’re
intrigued to see a new bike that I’ve very luckily been
able to get my hands on, well, there’ll be a video about that coming out quite soon, too. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this video, so please hit that thumb-up white button. Find the globe on-screen to make sure you get all the other videos that we’re doing here on GTN. And, if you want to see a couple other really interesting videos, well, we’ve got some
top tips from Tim Reed, which you can find down there, and one all about how
to swim breaststroke, well, you can find that here.

62 thoughts on “Alistair Brownlee Targets Olympic & Kona Double | The GTN Show Ep. 119

  1. The question ˝Can Alistair qualify to the olympics?˝ makes me cringe so hard that it sends shivers everytime I think about it

  2. #caption: Dino to the runner: Hey, you are still wearing a Timex 50 laps watch no gps, no gimmicks… You are such a dinosaur 🦖!

  3. Hats off for Ali's olympic medals & his whole career, but seeing him body shaming Jan Frodeno after this year's Kona, seriously dude?? Sore looser. He is getting too old for short distances events where young triathletes are so fast nowadays, he won't be able to keep up the pace. As for Kona, i'm guessing he will be middle pack finisher for the next 4-5 years. He will never get to "god level" like Frodeno,Craig Alexander,Scott/Allen or his fellow english Ironman champion,the one and only Chrissie Wellington.

  4. I am sorry for the athlete that lost her place on the duathlon. However, there are many rules about ingredients is too hard to keep track of everything. I don't take any supplements at all but I think sometimes banning a new ingredient right before a race could be a little to hard to know. I feel I have to be a chemist just to understand all of the ingredients. Here is the link to the list: https://www.wada-ama.org/sites/default/files/wada_2020_english_prohibited_list.pdf

  5. Your poll question doesn't really make sense – Brownlee qualifies for the Olympics by selection, not through rankings. I don't believe for a second that if the BTF is offered the chance to take him they would go for someone like Benson or Bishop who have no chance of really making an impact. Purely on star quality he has to go if he wants to – although I think he has failed to show the type of form that could possibly make him a contender for a medal for far too long now. Watching him roll in in 30th place in last years WTS Leeds was a sad sight, I think the Olympics will be a similar tragedy.

  6. I did the Conwy half marathon. It was the hardest run! The hill was long and tough. I did struggle with the drink stations there. As an Australian I'm used to more drink stations. They did give us bottles bit also felt that so much of the water was wasted as they gave you a 330ml water bottle which I think is a bit large to run with. But it is great half marathon however be aware the hill is tough

  7. Fyi on the same deca IM in Mexico Ferenc Szőnyi became the first ever human to complete two of these events. Another incredible endurance record smashed:)

  8. While it is good to take steps to reduce wastes in competition, the problem is people flying halfway around the world to compete .. I am only a newbie amateur but every race I did was accessible by train and every race I am planning to do will be.

  9. Although no one has ever won the Olympics and Kona in the same year. Karen Smyers won Kona, ITU World Championship, and the Pan American games in 1995.

    Margo willingly took a banned substance…that's a PR fluff piece.

  10. Congrats to those who won the shoe! Hope I could’ve won to but happy for you guys and also to the channel giving people chances to have a good shoe!

  11. Do you think Browlee will be able to qualify for both Kona & the Olympics in 2020? Don't forget to enter the poll & leave us a comment!

  12. We don’t hear very much about bike speed anymore. What do pros average on a given bike course, particularly Kona? Even though power is a much more objective figure, it isn’t the individual who produces the most power than wins, but rather the fastest.

  13. #Caption: TriaSaurus' AutoBioGraphite, destined to be a Beastseller, will be on the Continental Shelf soon. We expect a ton of skeletons in his closet.

  14. I did the Alerthorpe tri earlier this year and they threatened to DQ anyone caught dropping litter but there were still bottles and all sort of other bits dropped all round the course. It may have reduced it, but didn't get rid of it completely.

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