Onno de Boer: IRON MAN Triathlon World Championships Hawaii

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Onno de Boer - Training in the Sun

Xelvin can report with great pride that our colleague Onno de Boer, working at DAF Trucks, will take part in the IRON MAN World Championship in Hawaii on Saturday 11th October. This day he will swim 3.86 km (2.4-mile), bycicle 180.25 km (112-mile) then run a full marathon (42.2 km/26.2-mile) under extreme weather conditions. The coming weeks you will be updated on Onno's journey to this big event via the Xelvin website, but also through our social media channels. Karin, Onno's girlfriend, will support Onno during these trainings and of course on the 11th October.

This week Onno tells us about his first trainings in the burning sun on the Island O'ahu, this all to get used to the circumstances that he will have to deal with during the Triathlon World Championship. But he also tells us about his visit to the police station...


"Last week we finally transferred to Hawai’i and particularly the island of O’ahu, the island with the only large western town of the state, Honolulu. The island is not the largest of the atoll however 70% of all inhabitants of Hawai’i live there. Therefore the island is very busy, especially if you count in the double amount of occupants due to the tourists. The famous Waikiki district consists therefore mainly of large hotel towers including our hotel. The Queen Kapiolani as it is called was next to the zoo, the Diamond Head crater and the well known beach of Waikiki. The beach came in very handy, twice I completed a morning swim there. The goal of the swim session was to get used to the warm and salty water. The coral reef that had been here in the past was decayed by the large amount of tourist, but the colorful fish remained and were a pretty sight as I slaved myself through the high waves. The crater was also used to my advantage by running up its slope on an pre-breakfast run.

The most import reason of our visit to this island in association to the race was to acclimatize properly. The acclimatization is a slow process and has to be done one step at a time. The body has to be shocked but not overwhelmed. Arriving on Monday I ran a first hour at night near the beach to exclude the sun. Next morning I ran another hour at 4 hour marathon pace in to the crater. That morning the temperature was already close to 30 degrees and the sun was also out. After breakfast we rented two city-bikes and explored the town of Honolulu. In the afternoon we drove out of the city to do a second bike ride on my race bike with increased intensity, getting to know the sloping roads here on the islands. Day 2 a harder running work out was performed on a piece of the island comparable to that of the Ironman course. It was warm, humid, lots of sun and though winds that were sometimes blocked by the surroundings. The intensity was a 3 hour 40 minutes marathon pace and after 1 hour and 20 minutes I had lost over 2.5 liters of fluids, more than I had packed for that day. The final work out was performed on the final day at the island and contained a 2.5 hour time trial at race intensity. The legs felt good that day and a sub 5 hour bike split is still realistic.

The text above seems very well organized, however in reality training and preparing in a different environment that your home is time consuming and hard to coordinate properly. There is a old Dutch saying that goes: ‘where there is live, there will be made mistakes’. After the fight to Ohio and the long day at the wedding party Karin had respiratory problems. The symptoms were comparable to those of the respiratory infection she had after flying back from Florida last year. After another very chilly flight over to Honolulu we had to see a doctor directly after arrival. The extreme low humidity (~20%) of the A/C and the lightly weakened body by the time difference had their effect. Luckily I can tell you that she recovered well, but it has taken a lot of energy from here. My advice to people who will be in a plane for this long and have had respiratory problems in the past, dress up warm en try to keep the air that you breath as humid as possible.

After the doctors visit it was my turn to make a mistake. During the first bike ride outside the city I got a bit too enthusiastic in picking my route. My intension was to ride a large portion of the original Ironman course (the first Ironman originated on this island) along the east coast of the island. However I followed the water to neatly. At the east coast on a peninsula just outside Kailua a marine base was build. Before I realized it myself I entered the base and was apprehended at the first crossing. I must honestly say that at that point I was not aware of what I just had done. The base was just like a normal village including the McDonalds. The two man in uniform who were on duty asked me to stop and explained the situation. Associating with the fact that I was not carrying any ID, I was transported to an accommodation where they took my mug shots. Several higher officers had to approve my release and judge whether I was a terrorist or had meaning in doing so. All in all it took them 45 minutes and I was on my way again. All that time I was not sure if I had to spend the night there. It was quite an experience.

At this moment we have travelled again and are already on the island of the race. However we will be spending the first 7 nights on the other (east) side of the island which is very wet. Our accommodation is 10 km away from the historical town of Pahoa which will be destroyed by a lava stream in the coming weeks. The lava stream is already within 3 km from the village. More about the current location can be found in the next update.

Onno de Boer"

Twitter: @TriOnno

Onno de Boer - Training in the Sun Onno de Boer - Amazing scenery during training


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