We get to chat to some incredible triathletes on The Kona Edge and today is no different. Today’s Ironman Kona comes to us from the United Kingdom where Brad Brown chats to Mark Livesey shares how he got into the sport of triathlon, how he progressed to doing his first Ironman and his Ironman Kona journey.

Transcription:

BRAD BROWN: We head to the UK now and our next guest on The Kona Edge and it’s a wonderful pleasure to welcome him on today, Mark Livesey, Mark, welcome, thanks for taking the time to chat to us.

MARK LIVESEY: No, you’re very welcome, it’s great to finally have a chat with you, after stumbling across your podcasts in my training, so it’s nice to finally chat to you.

BRAD BROWN: No worries, Mark, I love the chats because we get to delve into stories and find out a little bit more about people. You actually live triathlon, your wife is a triathlete as well and it’s sort of everything you guys do, it’s what your life is about.

MARK LIVESEY: Yeah, I’ve been involved, I would say nearly 20 years now and Caroline is probably about 10 years, but it’s pretty much all encompassing. People out there listening will know the grip that triathlon takes and the short course has the same sort of attraction, I suppose, but I think once people have experienced an Ironman event, whether it’s 70.3 or a full Ironman event, especially in Europe or some big races in South Africa or in the US or Australia, yeah, the emotion and the reward that you get from it. it’s quite like nothing else really and I think that’s the main attraction for people to go and do it.

BRAD BROWN: And once you get sucked into it, it’s difficult to get out, it becomes such a part of your life, you love it, it’s amazing. Mark, let’s take a step back, you’ve been around the sport a long time, do you remember when it first popped up on your radar and you did your first tri, can you tell us a bit about that?

Where did your Ironman journey start?

MARK LIVESEY: Yeah, so I was in the military, I retired three years ago, I did 22 years in the army as an army physical training instructor and my sport really, I was a footballer and I played okay, I was a pretty good level footballer, but that’s what I did in the army. I wasn’t particularly good at athletics and other individual sports, but a friend of mine, Mark Wilson, Willie Wilson, he just said, Mark, you want to try this triathlon, you want to give this a go and I couldn’t swim really and I didn’t own a bike and it was a Royal Navy race that I went to, a sprint race and he lent me this steel framed bike, this is probably 1997/98 and in the Royal Navy at the time, they had some really big hitters, especially on the long course. When I got down there, they all had these carbon hotter bikes, these really good pieces and I turned up with a pair of trunks and a running vest, looking a bit lost around transition and trying to find out what happens and when. I still have memories now of doing the swim and not being able to tumble turn and I still remember my swim split now, which was 7:47 for 400m for that race and I did the race and I think I finished about 15th or 16th, a little sprint, all in this navy camp and I remember driving away thinking, that was bloody good fun.

I’d never done anything like it before and I’d come top 15 and I thought, oh, I could be quite good at this and literally, that was it. That one experience got me and I stopped my football and I played at a high level in the army with football and I remember playing a couple of games and doing triathlon training and I remember doing one particular football game, getting a cramp because of the training that I was doing, that wasn’t football related and I remember deciding, I’m not going to do this football stuff anymore, I’m going to do this triathlon stuff and that was it. I didn’t kick a football again and that was it. I just locked onto triathlon really.

BRAD BROWN: When did Ironman first pop up on the radar? It’s a big step up from one of those shorter races to a race like Ironman.

MARK LIVESEY: Yeah, it’s interesting because I sort of procrastinated on the Ironman and dare I say it, cause throughout my army career as an athlete, short course athlete, I managed to reach quite a good level. I reached elite level at short course and I’d won middle and standard distance and sprint distances at national level and I did a few 70.3 sort of middle distance events, not Ironman events in the UK and I was on the podium overall and I remember looking back and thinking, yeah, okay, the Ironman is for old people and slow people and that’s genuinely what I thought. When I then moved onto coach the army triathlon team for a number of years, we used to go on training camps, I used to needle the Ironman guys and call them old and slow. You’re only doing that stuff because you can’t do the fast stuff. It was all just me being naïve to the Ironman world. I do regret not doing them earlier, to be fair, I would have liked to have started [inaudible 0.06.04] years earlier than what I did. I think my first one was in 2010, yeah, but again, once I did the one, that was it, that short course stuff, it just went out the window. There was nothing quite like it and I don’t think I’ve done a standard distance since 2010, since my first Ironman. I’ve done some 70.3’s, quite a few, but I’ve never gone back to the short stuff. It’s just not the same.

BRAD BROWN: What is it that makes Ironman special Mark?

MARK LIVESEY: Cause it’s hard, it’s bloody hard! That’s why we do it. The thing with Ironman, you still have to be, you’re experiencing this yourself, you have to be very, very good to get to Kona, unless you’re obviously a celebrity and you get gifted it, but the age groupers on the start line at Kona, every single one of them deserves to be there because they’ve put so much time and sacrifice to get there and Kona isn’t for me, and probably a lot of the guys, Kona isn’t the difficult thing, it’s getting to Kona and then it’s a relief when you race Kona and it doesn’t really matter if you have a good or a bad race, yeah, you’d be disappointed, but actually the reward is getting onto the island and starting the race with everybody else who has had to suffer like you, make the sacrifices like you have.

Ironman is something special

I think, unlike the short course stuff and the ITU stuff for the age group stuff, dare I say, it’s been diluted, all that stuff and it ain’t that difficult to wear a GB vest and race short course, but Ironman, the line is drawn in the sand and nothing’s changed. These are the times you need to get, these are the people you need to beat and like you and I are in the same age group, these boys are going sub 9 hours. These boys are fast, fast athletes and you’ve got to be winning, first or second in your age group at an Ironman event, otherwise you won’t qualify. I think that’s why so many athletes just love the sport, it’s because they have bragging rights and they gain a huge amount of respect from their friends and family because they see the sacrifice that they commit to, purely for the goal of getting to Kona, that’s what it’s about.

BRAD BROWN: Mark, let’s talk about that first Ironman experience of yours and then wrapping your head around the fact that Kona could be a possibility. Was your first Ironman experience, was it what you thought it was going to be, was it tougher than you thought it was going to be, was it easier? Tell me about that first one.

MARK LIVESEY: So, Caroline, my wife, was in Afghanistan at the time and believe it or not, I was organizing the wedding back home in the UK and I remember, because Caroline had not done an Ironman at the time either and I said to her, do you fancy going to Cozumel, Mexico for a honeymoon after the wedding and she said, yeah, that sounds nice. I said, there’s an Ironman on at the same time –

BRAD BROWN: Two birds with one stone, I love it!

MARK LIVESEY: Yeah, so that was the sort of pretext of us doing our first Ironman and I remember, again, Caroline and I were in the South of France when she came back, we were in [inaudible 0.09.55] we were out there with friends doing a bit of training and the race was on at the time and we were in this little camp site and they had an internet café by the pool and I remember us both entering in this little café for Ironman Cozumel, in 2010 and once you press that button you’ve committed and I think we had about three or four months to prepare. I think, yes, it was three months we had to prepare for it and we were pretty fit, we were short course athletes, but we’d never done an Ironman before and so we got married and interesting, probably like all triathlete weddings, everybody is emaciated, but we were exceptionally lean, ready to go to Kona. So that’s what we did, went to Cozumel and what a race, what a fantastic venue, it’s a beautiful island and the people as well, on the island, were just amazing.

They were calling you Ironman as soon as you set foot on the island and I had to correct them because I was embarrassed because I wasn’t an Ironman at the time, so I had to keep correcting them and saying no, I’m not an Ironman just yet, I’ve got to do this race first and then you can call me an Ironman, but it was an amazing experience for Caroline and I both. The organization and the quality of the event there at Cozumel is just fantastic and it’s such a beautiful, it’s very similar to Kona, I think, with the environment and the marine life and the sea conditions and heat and humidity and the wind, it’s very similar to Kona. Not as hilly on the bike, but everything else, there’s certainly some parallels with the two. So, Cozumel was the first one.

BRAD BROWN: Mark, just looking back at your sporting background, coming from a fairly competitive footballing background, 90 minutes of competitive football is very different to an Ironman and particularly racing an Ironman, from an endurance perspective. Did you find that it came pretty easy to you or was it difficult to make that transition?

Your first Ironman experience is always memorable

MARK LIVESEY: I’ve been doing triathlon for, I’d say 10 years, maybe a little bit longer, so I made that transition and I trained hard, you know, for a number of years and I got into a good fitness routine. I was no longer a footballer when I started at the Ironman, but it’s interesting, when you do your first Ironman, there’s a lot to be said for unknown outcome and not understanding actually how difficult the race is and I remember going into the race thinking, oh, it’s only double 70.3, it can’t be that bad. It’s the non-wetsuit swim as well, which I quite like. I like the freedom of swimming in the water without the restriction of the wetsuit and the swim was stunning. I think it was slightly shorter, I think I got out in like 50:51 and the pros set off 20 minutes up the road and I think I got out the water 20-25th overall, and I got on the bike and I just smashed it. I actually took the lead of the age groupers overall, about 90-95km and thinking, what’s all the fuss about? This is pretty easy and then I punctured, which cost me a bit of time and stress and all these bikers went past me. I got on the bike and I think maybe around 130-140km, I just started to feel a bit of a wobble, nutrition-wise and I remember actually asking another cyclist for food and he very kindly gave me some of his energy bars and gels because at the time, I was still naïve to all the importance of nutrition and so he basically fed me, very generously fed me and got off for the run and it’s a three loop course, I love three lapped courses, I just think three laps are perfect because you can compartmentalize and break them down within each lap and I was running pretty well.

I thought, wow, I can run a three hour marathon here, so that was my aim, to run a three hour, a short three hour and I got off the bike I think it was about 85-90% humidity, got off the bike, I did the first loop in just over the hour and I looked at my watch and I remember, again, running through the village with all the crowds, smiling and laughing and going, yeah, this is going to happen because I wanted a sub 9, that’s what I wanted. Again, it was just naivety and my second lap was still pretty good. It was about a 1:04, I think and so I figured out, you hold this, you push out 3:05 or 3:10, that’ll be great for your first race and then that was it, probably about, I reckon maybe 18/19 miles, sniper got me and that was it. I had a proper, proper, all, the Ironman athletes will know that feeling and just the pain and discomfort and disorientation because again, what I didn’t realize was how important salt was and I remember having this huge wobble, feeling dizzy, my fingers were tingling, the side of my temples were tingling and my vision was going a little bit. It wasn’t a great place to be and I remember craving savoury food and I bumbled up to an aid station and took a handful of crisps and pretzels and I would say within less than a mile, I felt great again.

I felt as though I could run again, but the damage had been done. I finished and I was still ecstatic, all the Iron guys will know out there in the first race, there’s nothing quite like that. I have a great picture, my finish picture, I look like a road map because the veins in my arms and my neck when I crossed the line, the satisfaction of doing an Ironman and completing it, I think I did 9:20 or something like that, which was great for my first race. Yeah, it was a great feeling and then my tradition is wait in the finish area, I wait for Caroline, so Caroline, she was behind me, so I waited for her. We have this, where she’ll come over the line and again, we can share that experience together and again, that’s quite a unique situation that only Ironman can give you. When I’m waiting for Caroline as well, on other races, and Mexico, you’re privileged to watch these people cross the line and the family and some Ironman events let their children come across and in some races it really gets me emotionally because it’s such a huge commitment that these people do and you can see the relief and the satisfaction, the commitment that they’ve made when they cross the line, it’s very humbling to see these guys and girls. Some of the older guys as well, it’s just amazing when you see them cross the line with their friends and family and there’s nothing quite like it, I think, there’s nothing quite like it, so that was our first experience.

BRAD BROWN: Awesome and did you qualify for Kona in that first one or did you have to –

MARK LIVESEY: Yeah, yeah, we did, we did, but Caroline and I made a conscious decision, we got married that year and you know how expensive Ironman’s are and Kona, so we actually made a conscious decision prior to the race that if we qualified, we wouldn’t go to the roll down. Again, at the time, we were just so naïve to it, people were looking at us in dismay going, but you’ve qualified, you’re not going to take your slot and we were going no, no we’re not. It meant that another guy below us got the slot, which is great, but I remember at the time people just looking at us and going, are you stupid? You’ve qualified and you’re not going? So yeah, I came third, in fact my best ever prize that I’ve got from an Ironman is from Ironman Cozumel and it’s a Mayan cast bust, if that makes sense? Of a Mayan Indian and it weighed a ton and I came third and I’ve got this big thing and it’s in our Ironman trophy cabinet, all the medals go in there and it’s one of my favourite awards, it’s quite iconic and traditional as well. I remember trying to get that back through customs in my hand luggage, it must have weighed about 5kg, it weighed a ton!

BRAD BROWN: Mark, you’ve got to be pretty confident to turn your first qualifying slot down, knowing, you know what, we’ll get another opportunity. Like you say, people looked at you as if you’re crazy, but you must have known inside that you were good enough to go race another one and qualify again?

MARK LIVESEY: Oh yes, Caroline and I learnt so much from that race and also about how much stress it creates prior to the race, which again, athletes out there will fully understand this self-imposed stress that is created because based on your performance or whatever outcome you want, it is very stressful and this is something we’re getting much better at because we’re exposed to that environment, but yeah, we knew, without being brash or arrogant or anything, we knew that the training that we did, we knew that we could qualify, so we did it in 2014 was the decision for Caroline and I to go, oh, let’s go and do this Kona thing. The issue we had was what if one of us qualifies and the other one doesn’t, cause the stats are stacked against you. We were fortunate because we went to Texas, which is an early race in May, which I think is next week, so in 2014 we went out to Texas and we had Austria as our second chance to qualify. We went out to do Ironman Texas and we both won our age groups in the race, which was great. We were the fastest married Ironman couple, I think, in the world at the time, that was our claim to fame! We were both very fortunate to qualify and what it meant was, we could then go to Ironman Austria and not worry about one of us having qualified and the other one hadn’t and vice versa, we could go into Ironman Austria and actually just enjoy the race.

You’ve probably heard lots of stories about Ironman Austria, it’s one of the, I think Paul Kaye describes the Ironman Austria race as the ‘jewel in the crown’ and I’ve got to agree with him, it’s just a wonderful race, but it’s lucky for me, because in Austria and this is where you talk about the quality of the athletes within the age groups. In Austria I did a 9:03, I had a pretty good race, I didn’t run as well as I should have because I’d had a niggling Achilles injury for the last year, but I did a 9:03 and I came 6th in my age group and the top two got slots. The other thing we learnt as well was, you pick your races. If you want to qualify for Kona and you’re 40-45 or 35-39, that kind of bracket, I wouldn’t go to Austria cause those boys are quick and the girls, they’re just phenomenal, you’ve got to be super good.

Qualifying for Ironman Kona – Are North America Ironman races an easier option?

BRAD BROWN: It’s interesting you say that and you talk about qualifying at Ironman Texas and picking your race, would you say, and I’m asking this, I’ve never raced in North America, I’ve raced in Europe and the thing that really struck me in Europe is that everyone is a racing snake and proper fit. Do you think it’s easier to qualify for Kona at one of the American races, the North American races, as opposed to racing in Europe?

MARK LIVESEY: Just based on my experience and Caroline’s experience, at Texas I walked the final mile on the run, I proper popped and you know, wheels had totally fallen off and I thought I’d blown it and I was literally walking the last mile and I ran probably the last 400m in, but there were people running past me and I thought, Mark, you have blown this and I crossed the line and I figured I had 9:24, 9:25 or something like that, but my marathon was like a 3:20 or something, it wasn’t great. Then a friend of mine said, Mark, you’ve won your age group and I was genuinely surprised because I’d not had a great race and everything had sort of fallen apart at the end, but it was still good enough to qualify. Just based on that experience and also, we have a friend, Torstin who is the stats man, when he comes to Ironman, I think he’s from Belgium, Caroline speaks to him regularly on Twitter, but he could certainly quantify that, but in my experience, I would say yes, it’s easier to qualify in some of the US races than it is in main Europe. When you’re talking Austrian, Switzerland, these are tough, tough, and they’re fast guys, so yeah, I would agree with you.

BRAD BROWN: Mark, let’s talk about that Kona experience and you mentioned the first time you qualified where you turned it down, you were very naïve, you had been around the sport for a bit longer, particularly around Ironman when you did qualify and go the second time, did the magnitude of what you were going to do sort of sink in then, knowing you were going to this island that’s just got massive traditions and it’s where the best triathletes in the world go to test themselves on the same course, on the same day. Was it really big? Was the gravity of it huge?

MARK LIVESEY: Yeah, so I’d done from 2010 up to 2014, Caroline and I had done quite a few Ironman’s at the time, so we were getting quite schooled and learning all the time, but the Kona thing, it’s a different, it’s in the middle of the Pacific, the conditions on the island, the island itself, it’s just, it’s probably one of my favorite places to go, is Hawaii, having been on the Big Island once. I just fell in love with the island, it’s just such a beautiful place and Caroline and I made the decision, we struck up a deal before we landed on the island because we get quite stressful pre-race and so we end up having arguments and creating more stress because we both want to perform super well, but we had a deal. We said we’re going to go to this beautiful island in the middle of the Pacific, we are not going to spoil this experience, so we had this contract and it worked really well. Our experience on the island was just, it’s a very relaxed attitude, it’s just a lovely place to go and visit and if anything, the race was a distraction.

BRAD BROWN: Let’s talk about that race. It’s very different to a lot of races, a lot of Ironman races around the world, the conditions can be very tough, the course isn’t the easiest. Talk to me about your race on the Big Island?

The Ironman Kona Experience

MARK LIVESEY: Right, so, yeah, I’d gone out with a few friends and I’d only gone on a bit of the bike route, probably about 20km with a friend of mine, a pro athlete who was racing out there and then I made the decision after that, cause we were out 10 days before, I made the decision that I didn’t want to go and ride on the road, on the route because as beautiful as Kona is, the bike route is a straight bit of road and it undulates a bit and you’ve got some lava fields on your right side and you’ve got the sea on your left and that’s it. It’s not very technical, you’re just in your TT position and I knew that if I rode up and down this bit of road for 9 days, it would affect my bike performance because I wanted it to be a new experience, so it stimulated me. Dare I say, I wasn’t bored, or I wouldn’t get bored on the bike because it’s not, it doesn’t keep you busy, that bike course, it’s just straight down a bit of road and you turn around and you come back. You can see the curvature of the earth and the heat haze and that’s it. Caroline and I made the decision to stay away from all the crowds and all the visor wearing athletes and I know some of the other, your guys alluded to, it sort of sucks away your energy and that’s what I found.

We just found our own areas but when I got in the water at the swim start, it’s a huge wave and that wave, they’d split the ways, men and women, but there was more athletes that year, I believe, I think there was over 3000 and I remember treading water, and I’m pretty good in the water, I can swim pretty well. I’m not the fastest but I’m certainly not the slowest and I don’t mind mixing it up in the water. You get used to that rough and tumble because none of it’s intentional, but I remember probably 10 seconds before the race was about to go and I was looking around and thinking, Mark, you are in the wrong position in this swim and I was. I was totally positioned [where I want?] to be and the cannon went and off you went. The thing that struck me more than anything was, you’re racing against the best amateur athletes in the world and as such, you are not, I think it took maybe a kilometer before I actually found a little bit of water that belonged to me and then you go out to the boat and you turn at the boat. We choked up again and it was really a bit of a bun fight, again, at the boat and then swimming back in, finding my own bit of water again and relaxing, or trying to relax and then I remember coming back to the swim exit and again, a huge choke point.

It was a real battle with the numbers of people all trying to get out that small exit and that, for me, was something I’d not really experienced throughout the whole swim because you go swimming now with the best in the world and so, and that was a bit of an eye opener for me and I got out the water a bit battled and bruised, straight out on the bike and the bike really, it’s a strange one. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the Kona race and for me the bike, the numbers involved, you could look up the road and as far as the eye could see, you could see bikes. You look behind you, all you can see is bikes. You had race referees everywhere, so essentially, all you were doing for the five hours of riding was trying to make sure you weren’t going to get a drafting penalty and that was all I was trying desperately to do really. That’s all that really occupied my mind for the five hours on the bike was, I don’t want to come all the way out to Kona and get a five minute penalty.

It was a very interrupted bike ride because you had the concertina effect and I was forever hitting the brakes or pulling out and trying not to get caught for drafting. The referees were everywhere and the cards were getting thrown everywhere and I made a conscious decision not to get caught drafting and it was nigh on impossible, to be fair because there were so many bikes on the roads. The only saving grace I think, for the bike, for me that particular day, is the wind. The wind was horrendous, but I live in North Yorkshire and it’s like that every other day. I remember going up one of the climbs towards Pualani and laughing out loud to a couple of bigger Americans on the side cause they were struggling in the wind. I’m 66kg and I was just bouncing up this hill with a headwind thinking, yeah, this is great. Come the turn point, obviously, these boys were weighing 80-85kg and they’ve got a 55 top ring, they just, they dropped me like a hot potato coming back down the other way. I couldn’t hold these guys, they were bigger, heavier and they had an advantage with the wind. I wouldn’t say it was the most enjoyable bike ride I’ve ever had, it was a very stressful five hours, just trying not to get done for drafting and trying to stay in a nice rhythm.

The run, the first 10km when you go down Pualani is just, I don’t know why they don’t switch it around, to be honest, and have the final 10km down Pualani because that’s when you need it the most. It’s great running down there because you can see the pros coming the other way and you look across at them and you think, I mean I don’t consider myself a runner, when I’m running an Ironman Marathon, it’s the Ironman shuffle, essentially, but when you look across at the pros and the girls, they are just floating Brad and they’re running. They are running hard and it’s a real privilege when you’re going down the opposite way, to look across and you just think, wow, they’re just gliding away and then you go back into your normal world of the hurt locker. Going back out, because once you leave Pualani and you go up the Hot Corner and now onto Queen K, you’re pretty much on your own. You can see the road undulating away from you. You can see probably 5-6 miles ahead of you as you head towards the Energy Lab.

It’s probably one of the most difficult things to cope with, psychologically, within the race, I think. I think that’s what makes the Ironman, or the Kona race, the marathon specifically, so difficult. Not just because of the humidity and the wind and the heat, it’s the solitude, it’s seeing how far you have to run and that’s just to get to the turnaround point at the Energy Lab and having to battle your demons as you go out. I remember dropping into the Energy Lab because I was looking, two days before, Caroline and I were down on the Energy Lab doing a photo-shoot with some sponsors and Dave Scott was there, so we were down at the Energy Lab with Dave Scott two days before, so that was my sort of claim to fame. When I dropped down into the Energy Lab, I tried to sort of picture myself doing this photo-shoot again and just trying to get rid of this pain and discomfort. I turned at the Energy Lab, coming back and again, probably 18/19 miles to go, just starting to really suffer. You pop up a small climb at the Energy Lab to turn right again, back to the finish, you’ve done 20 miles at this point. Now, 20 miles is a long way to run, it doesn’t matter, 20 miles is 20 miles, so your normal thought process would be, yeah, I’ve only got 6 to do, 6 is absolutely nothing.

Sometimes in other Ironman races that I’ve done, when it’s a looped course and it’s an interesting course, and there’s jinks and turns, again, you can break that down, but at Kona when you come out of the Energy Lab and you turn right, you’ve got 6 miles to run, but you can see four and a half of them in front of you and it just breaks you. For me, that’s the toughest element of that run, it’s not the heat and the humidity, it’s trying to keep running, knowing that you can see, cause you see all the cones just stored away and it’s really tough to chip away at those last 6 miles. Then when you obviously drop down back into Pualani, you’re in the last mile or mile and a half and you’ve got the crowds again, which lift you, but those last, from 20 miles to 24 miles, that for me is probably the hardest bit of that run.

Came back down running and again, you recognize from watching the footage, so you recognize when you come back down onto the sea front, dropping back in, you know, the crowd are going nuts. You see the barriers starting to appear, so you know you haven’t got far to go. You hear the commentary, you hear the music, the crowds are going absolutely nuts and you just find that injection of adrenalin that you held in reserve and you sprint for the line. Yeah, it’s quite unique finishing across that line and relief as well. So, yeah, it’s the only race actually where I wasn’t allowed to wait for Caroline, which is understandable because their administration and their volunteers are super slick on the island, very well polished and they look after you, but yeah, it was a bitter/sweet experience because I wanted to go down, I wanted to do a short 9 hour and I didn’t. I think I did a 9:30-ish and it was my run that let me down.

Again, I was running with an Achilles tendinopathy at the time, but yeah, your first Kona is definitely something that you’ll not forget. It’s very special.

BRAD BROWN: Mark, I’m going to delve in other podcasts, just what you’ve done on the swim and the bike and the run and nutrition-wise, but just to wrap this chat about your journey to Kona, if you could go back and change anything with that first experience, what would you do differently?

MARK LIVESEY: I don’t think I’d change anything you know. I think Kona is what it is, I think you prepare as well as you can. I think you need a bit of luck on the day, definitely, so I don’t think anybody approaches that race with a laissez-faire sort of care-free attitude. I think everybody who gets there deserves to be there and they approach it with a huge amount of detail and sometimes too much detail, I suppose and I, looking back, I wouldn’t change anything other than the bike that I rode. Yeah, cause I didn’t particularly get on with the sponsors bike, so I would have changed the bike, I’ve got other bikes since then, but I wouldn’t change anything. My strategy was what it was and the wheels fell off as they do in Ironman. That’s what happens, so you just try to stop them falling off at 20 miles instead of 10 miles.

BRAD BROWN: I love that, that’s a great point to leave it on and we’ll get you back to chat a little bit about the disciplines of nutrition another time. Mark Livesey, thank you so much for joining us on The Kona Edge, thank you for sharing your journey to the Big Island and we look forward to catching up again soon.

MARK LIVESEY: No, great stuff, great chatting to you, thank you.

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