On this edition of The Kona Edge we meet up with Jo Coombe who has an extremely interesting story to tell on her Ironman journey. Jo comes from an interatinal Rugby background where she played for Wales. She then turned to the sport of Triathlon. She now lives, eats, sleeps and breathes the Ironman lifestyle.

Transcription:

BRAD BROWN: It’s off to Melbourne we go now and a huge pleasure to welcome onto The Kona Edge Jo Coombe, Jo, welcome, thanks for joining us today, it’s great to have you on.

JO COOMBE: Thanks for inviting me Brad.

BRAD BROWN: Jo, I think we all love chatting Ironman and all things around Ironman and you’re no different.

JO COOMBE: Absolutely, I live, eat, sleep and breathe it.

BRAD BROWN: Jo, where was the seed first planted? Particularly around Ironman, can you recall when you first thought, hey, I want to do this thing?

JO COOMBE: Absolutely, I can actually! I was an ex rugby player and moved onto Melbourne and although you guys in South Africa might think Australia is a rugby mecca, in fact in Melbourne it’s not, so I kind of gave the rugby away and just wanted to do some fitness generally and ended up doing fun runs and what have you and then joined a swim squad. I was aiming to just do a little mini tri, that was it, because I couldn’t even swim 200m, but there were guys in that squad who did Ironman and a couple of them were actually professionals and one or two of them had been to Hawaii and obviously I’d seen the Hawaii Ironman, but it wasn’t even on my radar, not even in the slightest and I used to think, wow, these guys have done this Ironman and like just, it just seemed like an impossible dream to me, that I could ever do it, but I guess that was the seed. Imagine if I could do that. At the time I literally could not have swum 3.8km, it wasn’t on my agenda, but that was the seed I think that was planted back then, that was about 2005.

BRAD BROWN: Jo, I played rugby, I was a forwarded, granted, I scrummed well and that was about it, but running was never high on my priority list, you were obviously a back, I’m taking it, that you didn’t mind running, but even as a prop, even today, running is not my favorite.

JO COOMBE: Yeah, I played on the wing for Whales actually, so I got 15 caps and I was fairly speedy, but again, I didn’t know I could run long distance at all. I think it served me well actually, having done all the speed work and the strength work for years and years and years. I think I’m fairly robust in terms of the endurance stuff, so I think it helped, but I had absolutely no idea. When I did my first fun run, I just went flat out like kids do until I kind of had to walk, so I didn’t know I could do the long stuff back then, but I do love running, absolutely love it!

From rugby to Ironman

BRAD BROWN: Jo, I find it really interesting, we’ve just come off a pretty big mountain bike race here in South Africa called the ABSA Cape Epic and obviously the front end of that race is amazing to watch the elite athletes, but it’s phenomenal to me how many ex-rugby players are taking up that sport and I’ve seen it in Ironman here and I’m not sure if it’s the same in Australia, but we’ve seen a huge influx of ex-professional sports people taking up the sport of Ironman, as age groups. Some are obviously better than others, but do you think having played sport at a high level, a different sport, totally different to Ironman, has set you up for success in Ironman?

JO COOMBE: Absolutely, 100%. From the mental aspect, learning to push early and having that drive, but also, I suppose, the discipline, I mean I trained as many sessions a week for my rugby as I do for my triathlon, so for me, it’s not a sacrifice and I think that makes a huge difference. I suppose in Australia there are quite a lot of ex-AFL players, there are rowers that have gone on to do triathlon, at age group level particularly, so it does, yeah, I think it does cross over fairly well. I’m five foot ten and I was over 70kg when I did play rugby, I’m a lot lighter than that now, but yeah, we’re not always the little tiny Tour de France types that might do as well in endurance sport, but I think we’re fairly strong, so that helps.

Rugby International to Kona Athlete – Jo Coombe’s Ironman story

BRAD BROWN: One thing I’m starting to pick up with chatting to lots of top age groupers is they’re all competitive to the bone. There’s nothing they hate more than losing and that’s at anything. Are you pretty much the same?

JO COOMBE: Maybe….

BRAD BROWN: Should I ask your hubbie that question?

JO COOMBE: Well, we’re racing Texas 70.3 in two weeks and I’ve got a twenty minute head start on him, so it’s kind of like, he might come off the bike around the same time as me, but it’ll be on for the run, so yeah. Absolutely, I am very competitive, but I must say, what I love about Ironman is, it’s more about your own personal battle or your own personal improvements, you have to stand on the start line of an Ironman and forget about who else you’re racing. In my opinion and in my experience, I’ve only started racing people in an Ironman in like the 2nd half of a marathon because that’s when it really comes down to, can you hang on the longest or can you push the hardest. Until then, because you have to pace yourself at what you’re capable of doing, you can’t be looking at someone standing next to you and think, right, I’m going to beat you out of the water or beat you to the turn buoy or whatever, because that’s a recipe for disaster I think.

BRAD BROWN: Jo, it’s interesting you talk about racing yourself and it’s only later on in an Ironman that it does then come into play, but obviously coming from a team sport perspective, the dynamics are very different.

JO COOMBE: Yeah, they are, but I am, I love the camaraderie of Ironman as well. You form teams, I train with a squad in Melbourne and I’ve been a member of several different squads through the years and I love that, you know what it’s like in the Ironman marathon where everybody is sort of cheering each other on. Yeah, there may be competitions out there, but the camaraderie is still there, I think almost as much as it was in the team sports. In fact, you know how you get rivalry in teams, people are vying for places on the same team and it can be almost more political or there’s more of a nasty edge sometimes to the competition within team sports, I think.

Jo’s first Ironman Triathlon

BRAD BROWN: True that. Jo, let’s talk about your first Ironman and obviously after that first race, you’re like, this is cool, talk to me about the process of actually wrapping your head around entering your first Ironman and going, I’m going to do this because let’s be honest, Ironman’s a much longer day than 80 minutes or rugby.

JO COOMBE: Yeah, I won’t lie and say there weren’t a few alcoholic beverages involved! We’d formed a little group and we called ourselves ‘Oui Try’ as in the French ‘Oui’ and we all went through our first spring season together, our Olympic distance together, then we did a half Ironman in Busselton, which is Western Australia and for me, that was like the ultimate. I’d just done a half Ironman, I cried when I crossed the finish line, with joy and then we had a few beverages that night and most of us were like, we are not doing an Ironman, there’s no way, we’re not doing an Ironman and low and behold, by the end of the night we’d all made a pact that we were signing up for Port Mac the next year, which is, that’s like Ironman Australia. So, that was May 2007 and so in April 2008 I did my first Ironman in Port Macquarie.

Rugby International to Kona Athlete – Jo Coombe’s Ironman story

BRAD BROWN: I love that Jo, it’s so often, these decisions are very often alcohol fueled aren’t they?

JO COOMBE: Absolutely and sort of egging each other on, but we all finished it, we all entered at the same time and we all finished it and we all went and got the M Dot tattoo the next day as well.

BRAD BROWN: I love it, what a cool story. Jo, when did you realise, you know what, this is pretty cool, I want to get better at this and I want to race competitively as an age grouper and possibly, eventually get to Kona?

JO COOMBE: I think that particular race, my first Ironman, I was absolutely blown away by how much better I went than I thought I would, by hours, a couple of hours. I did about a 12:11, so nothing amazing, but pretty good for a first time, but my run was what really, I went very close to 4 hours on that run, so I guess I knew I could run well off the bike and that was always going to make a big difference, and so I just wanted to see if I could shave some time off in my n next Ironman. I’m a Vet and I was actually a dairy Vet at the time, so I had a whole year where I was just too busy with work to really focus on it, but then I came back to university to do a PhD and I had the time to just put a bit more consistent training in and we followed the Joe Friel, the triathletes training Bible, my husband and I, and we actually planned our whole year and came and raced South Africa in 2010 and I managed to knock about 40 minutes off my time, which I was happy with, but then I realised I wanted to just take it up that next level and so I got a coach, Sean Foster, who is based in Melbourne and joined a squad and pushed myself very, very, very hard for the next 18 months and then went and raced Ironman France and came 2nd in my age group with a 10:35. So, that, again, I was expecting something around the 11:30 to 11:45 mark, so that just absolutely blew me away that I was able to do that and lo and behold, I qualified for Kona, so it was a shock. I hadn’t said, ‘I’m gonna go and do this race to quality for Kona’, I just wanted to do the best race I could and yeah, I found in that process I could climb, I could descend very well, I think that’s the ‘stupid factor’ from being a rugby player –

BRAD BROWN: No fear.

JO COOMBE: Yeah, no fear and so I put myself in a position coming off the bike, and then I ran a 3:28 off the bike, so ran myself from 5th into 2nd and yeah, I was absolutely just blown away and overjoyed and had a very quick turnaround to Kona because it’s only 14 weeks between France and Kona, so that was interesting. I think the whole thing was a bit of a dream, to be honest. I wondered, for a while, if I’d fluked it, because I thought maybe it was because I’d had such a good day in France, could I do it again? Fortunately I have, so I’ve kind of put all those questions to rest.

When you qualify for the Ironman World Championships second time around

BRAD BROWN: We’ll chat about that second qualification in a moment as well, but was it that performance in France where the penny really dropped for you, where you thought, you know what, hang on a second, I’m actually pretty good at this, I can do this and be competitive?

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JO COOMBE: Yes and no. As I say, in training I pushed so hard and I did actually end up sick following that Kona and I think, so I didn’t know whether without pushing myself that hard and literally to the brink, whether I could ever do it again. We always question, I think, is it just the talent or is it just the hard work, did I really have the talent or is it a combination of both? So, yes, I knew I’d had an amazing performance, I was willing to accept that, but I didn’t know whether I was really that good, consistently, whether I could pull out a performance like that again.

BRAD BROWN: Fourteen weeks from that race to Kona, if you could do it again, would you have preferred a longer gap in between?

JO COOMBE: Totally, yeah, particularly because France took so much out of me. As I said, I’d been sick in the lead up and I was very, very light and so it’s hard to then keep yourself strong for another 14 weeks and remember, that’s winter in Melbourne, I can remember, I was hypothermic most of the time, for all my training sessions, I just couldn’t stay warm. Yeah, I’d have loved to have had 2-4 weeks of recovery and then start building up, maybe 15/16 weeks or something. Look, I’ve no regrets, absolutely no regrets, it was still the most wonderful experience of my life going to Kona and I was just thrilled to be there, I had no expectations from the race itself that year.

BRAD BROWN: It must be an incredible experience to experience that. You’ve obviously experienced rugby, the highest level and played some big games there, but to get to the Big Island and just look around and see the athletes and the caliber of athletes around you, it must be a great feeling, as an athlete who has performed in a different sporting code as well, to know, you know what, I’ve arrived, this is where it’s happening.

Ironman World Championships – The Pinnacle

JO COOMBE: Absolutely and I never made a World Cup in rugby, it was my biggest regret, all my three seasons were between two World Cups, so it was kind of like, I played in European Championships, I’d played in the Hong Kong Sevens, but I’d never made a world level team, a world competition. So yeah, Kona is the epitome of the sport and obviously by then I’d watched all the DVD’s right back to, as far as they went and I was living and breathing it by then. Yeah, it was just surreal, absolutely surreal.

BRAD BROWN: I love that and that first experience race-wise? Did thing go according to plan? You mentioned your qualification, how surprised you were, did Kona surprise you?

JO COOMBE: Not really, I totally under did my salt intake and I’ve learnt that since, I’ve actually had my sweat tested and you don’t do any of that scientific stuff when you’re just, it’s your first time, I don’t think. So, I had a pretty good swim, for me back then, I’m a much better swimmer four years later, but I had a pretty good swim, really good bike, better than this year and then the run, I took off as well as I had in France and by the turnaround on Alii Drive I realized I was in a fair bit of trouble. It’s likely that I had hypernatremia, I weighed in the same weight at the end of the race as I’d weighed in at beforehand and you just don’t do that in Kona. I think I’d totally underdone my salt intake and I had dizziness and all those things that you get, which look, it is what it is, like I say, no regrets, I ended up running about four and a half hours, but it was very much a shuffle by the final 15km or so, but it left me with unfinished business, which is nice. Imagine if you went and had your perfect race in Kona, where’s the attraction for going back really?

BRAD BROWN: True that! Jo, you race pretty hard and you talk about having that hypernatremia and getting the dizziness and just pushing yourself to the edge, you’ve had a couple of experiences where you’ve done that, you’ve ended up in a medical tent in South Africa too.

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JO COOMBE: Yes, I’m afraid so. I came back from Kona and as I say, I had a year where really, things didn’t go great and it took me a long time to come back, I think, just from fatigue but my come-back, I went to Los Cabos and raced an Ironman there and that was kind of just a, hey, let’s tick another Ironman off. It happens to still be my second fastest ever Ironman, which tells me a lot about, not necessarily needing to push yourself to the edge and still having a good race, but my supposed come-back race was South Africa 2014 and I stood on the start line and yeah, that’s where that real competitive voice on the shoulder came up and I stood on the start line and thought, you’ve got to go and win this age group and there was an athlete there from the UK who, she podiums in Kona, winning the age group was just never on the cards, realistically for me, but that was my mindset and I just went out so hard, I can’t even begin to describe, I pretty much rode the first 40km and that was the first year they put the hills in, in South Africa –

BRAD BROWN: Yes, it was a new bike route that year, right.

JO COOMBE: That’s right, so I pretty much took that first 40km like an Olympic distance race. I’ve never over-paced so badly in any race before and just completely over-paced it. I think I was 3rd out of the water and I may have gone into 2nd within that first 40km and then pretty much the wheels off at 60km, literally, which is a long, long way from the finish line. Look, you know, you always think, it’s a long race, things do go up and down, I’m sure I’ll come good and I just didn’t, it just went downhill from there. I ended up, I walked the first 4km of the run, I did that out and back section, back to transition and then by then I was all over the road, I couldn’t even really walk and I think I just, honestly, just completely dehydrated myself and riding at that sort of effort level, without bringing in a higher level of nutrition or what have you, yeah, I just completely wrecked myself. Unfortunately, my only DNF and I swear, it will only be my one DNF in my life! I do this sport to get the finishers medal, honestly Brad, the finish line is everything to me. The results are a bonus, so yes, I aim to achieve and yes, I have goals, but number one is finish. Yeah, that was a huge, huge eye-opener and a life lesson, honestly. I’ve written blogs about this now, since, because I think you can become so obsessed with the end result that you absolutely forget, imagine forgetting how to pace an Ironman when I was on my 5th Ironman by then. It’s not like I was a beginner, but lo and behold I did and that was the ego and the focusing on the end result as opposed to just going through the process of racing at my pace basically.

BRAD BROWN: In most sports you end up, and I’m talking again from a rugby perspective cause I played a big of rugby in my day too, but you learn a hell of a lot more out of the losses than the wins.

JO COOMBE: Yes, absolutely.

BRAD BROWN: And you took a lot out of that one.

Rugby International to Kona Athlete – Jo Coombe’s Ironman story

JO COOMBE: I did, yeah, and I came back, I had to regroup, I was absolutely devastated, but I kind of thought to myself, well, obviously you then question, do I want to do the sport, has it become so, have I become so obsessed by this goal of Kona and it was Kona that was my goal. Have I become so obsessed by that, that I’ve lost that, just love of the Ironman sport. So what did I do? I went and entered another one when I got home! That’s me, that’s me to a T, I thought, well, it’s all or nothing. If I can get through another prep and especially through winter and race, and it was Malaysia in the September of that year, sorry, it was August that year, if I can get through a winter prep and I can race Malaysia with joy and just to finish another Ironman, then I’ll know, one way or the other. Along the way I’d have a nice holiday in Malaysia at the end of our winter, so that was kind of the plan. Yeah, came away with my only Ironman win to date.

BRAD BROWN: Do you think there’s a big lesson in that?

Learning Ironman Triathlon Lessons

JO COOMBE: Huge, absolutely massive! I was a lot more relaxed about my training, I’d made a decision that I would give myself the ability to opt out of any session I felt like opting out of and of course I didn’t cause you don’t, you commit to the prep and so you do tick off the training sessions, but I did things like, I like running cross country races in the winter and I’d given those up because I thought they would hurt my Ironman training cause they’re on a Saturday afternoon, so you’ve got to somehow fit them in around your long ride and your long run on a Sunday and I’d stopped racing them, so for the Malaysia prep, I went back and I did every single cross country race I could and it was just, well, if I do them on dead legs, then I do them on dead legs or if I don’t feel like riding 5 hours beforehand, I’ll only ride a couple of hours. It certainly didn’t hurt me, in fact, I know one of your questions coming up is about sessions that I think have helped me along the way and I’ll answer that one for running, my cross country races, absolutely.

BRAD BROWN: I love that. Jo, that’s absolutely amazing and also that was a fair gap between your first qualification in France and Malaysia and you said after that one in France, you wondered if this was a fluke. Did you realise in Malaysia that it wasn’t, that that is like, you know what, I’ve done it again, I’ve obviously got enough to be here.

JO COOMBE: Yes, yeah, cause it was brutal. Malaysia is just, I can’t begin to say how hard it is. The run in Malaysia was harder than the run in Kona, both years that I raced Kona and this year people were saying it was hot on the run. Yeah, it was like a cauldron in Malaysia, you couldn’t escape it and there were pros sitting in the gutter in tears, so absolutely brutal and I actually, because it was one of those time trial starts, you didn’t know where you were in the field, so I knew I’d come off the bike in second place and I knew who was ahead of me, she was a Swiss athlete, but even when I’d overtaken her, I didn’t know whether I’d gone into the lead in real time because we’d done this time trial start. So, it was one of those races I had to keep pushing to the very finish line and I’ve never, I don’t know that I’ve ever pushed that hard in a run, at the end of an Ironman, even in France where I ran the 3:28. Yeah, having worked for it that hard and knowing what it took to get it, yes, I thought this isn’t a fluke anymore.

BRAD BROWN: Jo, one of the big challenges of living in Australia, in Melbourne, and we have the same issue here in South Africa, is that the Ironman race calendars skewed very much, all the big European races are in the European summer, so if you want to race in those and you talk about Malaysia, that’s towards the end of winter, you’ve got to train and your big blocks of training are in a Melbourne winter which let’s be honest, it’s not the greatest at the best of times, it has its moments, but how do you cope with that and obviously the change in heat. If you think about it, although it’s starting to warm up in Australia come October, it’s still you’re training through the big winter blocks, how do you get yourself right from a heat and conditioning perspective to race in those races?

JO COOMBE: A couple of things. Firstly, I have to be honest, again, I’ve changed my career so that I have the flexibility to travel more. I work for the University now and they’re unbelievably supportive, so for both Malaysia and Hawaii, this time I had the opportunity to get out there early. In Malaysia, unfortunately, I had a family funeral to attend in the UK, but the university were okay with me then just going straight on to Malaysia, so I had nearly two weeks. In Kona, this year I had, I think, it ended up being over two weeks, probably more like 16 days, but I have also travelled, for example, to Vietnam last year in May, straight from Australia and I’m going to Texas in a few weeks, straight from Australia and I do sauna sessions. I follow a protocol that’s actually, it’s online and it’s written by the Australian army, for when they send their troops overseas, where you basically get in a sauna every 48 hours for up to an hour at a time and it’s from about 10 days out, 10 days from when you want to be acclimatized. How much that helps, I’m not sure. I certainly think it helped me in Vietnam last year, to race the 70.3 there, and I did it before I got to Kona, so I could kind of go straight into proper training, once I got to Kona. I felt like it didn’t take me as long to adapt. I do things like that. I’ve sat on the wind trainer with my heating on 30 degrees –

BRAD BROWN: As one does!

JO COOMBE: It’s horrible, it’s horrible! Look, I think there are things like that you can do and look, some people might say, they’re the few percenters, I actually think acclimatizing to heat is much, much more than a few percent because once you break down in the heat, it’s all over. I heard Cameron Brown, he spoke before Malaysia about adapting to the heat, because he’s a Kiwi who comes from quite cold conditions and seems to race brilliantly in the heat and he gave some amazing tips like that, but what he said was, if you let your heart rate get too high in the heat, it can take you an hour to come back from that, which it means your race is all over. Yeah, so it’s about also being realistic about pace. In Malaysia, particularly, I saw people who had an idea of what pace they wanted to be running and this happens in Kona, I think, from having watched people as well, they have an idea in their mind of what pace they want to run and if their body is telling them they can’t, they just ignore that and they try and keep pushing, to the point then that they can’t run anymore whereas if you go out with an idea of what effort level you can give and let’s ignore the pace and you’re listening to your body, then I think you’ll have a much better overall race, personally I think that.

Is there unfinished business on the big Island?

BRAD BROWN: I love that, I think that’s brilliant. You mentioned your first Kona experience, you left there feeling you had a bit of unfinished business, have you sorted that out on your second visit?

JO COOMBE: Yes and no. So, my one goal going into this Kona was to run a sub four hour run, because I thought I was capable of that and I achieved that, I ran 3:54, so I’m absolutely over the moon with the run, but, my bike was much slower and I’ve got a new coach and I went to my new coach and I said, I don’t care about the bike in Kona, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with training on the bike, especially those long, long rides and he absolutely took that on board and so he was very conservative with my bike program and we pushed the run more than the bike. I ended up doing a 6:25 bike, whereas last time I went sub six hours, so it was slower this year on the bike, to be fair, we had the wind change coming back from [inaudible 0.31.13], basically had 50km headwind, but still, to me, I think I could get a lot closer to six hours and I did and yeah, I need to go back and string the three disciplines together.

BRAD BROWN: Jo, could I ask you to move around a bit, I seem to have lost you there slightly.

JO COOMBE: That’s okay.

BRAD BROWN: That sounds better, sorry, you were saying, you want to go back and see if you can string all three disciplines together.

JO COOMBE: Yeah, so my swim has come on just so far, I keep pinching myself. I came out of the water 15th in my age group in Kona this year, which was absolutely, I was thrilled with that and my swim coach, he’s a legend in ultra-marathon swimming, John Van Wisse and so he’s doing wonders with that. I know my swim will be where it needs to be the next time I get back there. I’m working on my bike, I’ve deliberately chosen two time trial A races this year, because I love the climbing and because I love the more rolling type course and Malaysia was more of a hilly course than time trial. I’ve deliberately set the challenge of doing two time trial races this year and that’s Texas 70.3 and Frankfurt and that’s to try and just set that challenge of becoming more of a time triallist. Let’s face it, Kona isn’t a pure time trial course, but it suits the time triallers, because of the winds, if you can sit in that time trial position and keep pushing, you’ll do well in Kona. If I do go back there, I need to nail that time trail ability, that’s what I’m working on at the moment. Yeah, the run, I now believe I can always pull out a good run when I want to, as long as I do the training.

BRAD BROWN: That’s the little disclaimer at the end, as long as you do the training, I think that’s in anything?

JO COOMBE: Yes, you can’t fake an Ironman.

BRAD BROWN: Too true. Jo, I have to ask, you’ve played 80 minutes of really physical rugby and you’ve raced Ironman, what’s physically harder on the body?

JO COOMBE: Oh wow, that’s a tough one! Playing against teams like Samoa and New Zealand where you just get absolutely smashed, nothing ever has hurt as much as that, for the next day, I mean I’ve dislocated a finger, I’ve broken a nose, things like that, just that sheer physicality, that hurts way more. I’ve got [inaudible 0.34.19] at the moment cause I did my first really hard hill run in a long time at the weekend and I’m walking around going, this is like the first rugby game of the season! So, it’s that real sore muscle feeling. I don’t think, if you’re fit enough for Ironman, you don’t get that, you can walk around the next day. Marathons are a different story. I’ve destroyed my quads running marathons hard, but an Ironman marathon, I think you can never push so hard that you’re actually destroying your muscles like that, but I think it’s the fatigue, it’s the deep fatigue that Ironman, I think so many people underestimate how long it takes them to come out from that. I think if you’ve done a good Ironman build and you’ve raced it to your capacity, it really, realistically, it’s going to take you 4-6 weeks to come back from that and that’s the kind of fatigue that I guess, I’m one of these bloody-minded people that will try and ignore that and that’s why I’ve come unstuck in the past. I’ve come back too soon or I’ve started doing intensity too soon and my body just hasn’t come back from that fatigue yet.

Rugby International to Kona Athlete – Jo Coombe’s Ironman story

BRAD BROWN: You seem like someone who doesn’t like having unfinished business. South Africa, is that still unfinished?

JO COOMBE: I’ll come back to South Africa, we love it. My husband has raced South Africa four times now and I think he likes the fact of being a six foot six ex rugby player and he’s not the tallest man in the entire field, but we love the people, we’ve got friends now in Johannesburg that we’ve met through racing in PE, that are friends for life, so we’ll definitely come back to South Africa and yes, I’d love to come and have a good race there and I think maybe I’ll set the target as a podium as opposed to trying to win my age group this time, but yes, I’d like to come back.

BRAD BROWN: You may or may not be pleased to know that they’ve changed the bike course again, so –

JO COOMBE: I’ve heard that and it’s more time trial again now isn’t it?

BRAD BROWN: There’s still one or two hills, probably a bit more than the first bike course, but it does seem a little bit flatter than the one with the hills. We’ll let you know in a couple of weeks, cause that’s when that’s happening, so it should be a goodie.

JO COOMBE: Yeah, we’ll be watching. My coach Xavier Coppock is actually coming over to race it, so we’ll be tracking all day.

BRAD BROWN: Fantastic, Jo, it’s been awesome catching up, I’ve loved chatting to you. I’m going to get you on again to chat about your swim, bike and run and nutrition and see what you do in those disciplines, but we’ll save that for another time. Thank you so much for your time today.

JO COOMBE: Sure, no worries, thanks for having me on Brad.

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