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Thu 5th Dec 2019
Ritchie Nicholls talks Ironman Arizona
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Thursday 14th November 2013

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This Sunday's Ironman Arizona will see the iron-distance debut of Scotland's Ritchie Nicholls.

With wins at Ironman 70.3 UK, Alpe d'Huez Long Course and the Ironman 70.3 European Championships, many will consider Ritchie the standout British male long distance athlete of 2013. That win in Wiesbaden is certainly one of the most impressive victories from a British athlete this year, making our 2013 Role of Honour.

Having only moved up from short distance racing this year, seeing Ritchie's name on the startlist for the race in Tempe this weekend was noteworthy and I so I asked Ritchie about his preparations for the race, and plans for the future.

When you started 2013 training with TBB, was it in the plan to end the year lining up to race over the full Ironman distance?

"No, there was not a real plan to do an Ironman this year. In January I was planning on mainly racing Olympic Distance races with a couple of 70.3 races. But I feel I'd just like to give it a go and see if it's something I may wish to do in the future."

You won the Alpe d'Huez Triathlon in fine style in July. I believe I read a comment from yourself after the race along the lines of “that was horrible, get me swimming fast so I can get back to ITU!”. With and Ironman coming up this Sunday, how are you feeling about that now?!

"That feels like a lifetime ago. I don't think I'm in the form I was back then and the flatter course will make it harder for me, but I'm going to try and enjoy it."

You've had a great 2013 over the 70.3 distance, highlighted of course by that European Championship win in Wiesbaden. Is Arizona to some degree ‘testing the water' over the Ironman distance (with your short term focus still on the 70.3's), or do you intend to race and focus on Ironman in the near future?

"I guess I am testing the water. I'll do Arizona and maybe Cozumel then see what I want to do next year. I want to turn my thoughts to qualifying for Commonwealth Games early next year. Then there is time after that to think about 70.3s and Ironman."

You've got lots of people around you with huge experience of racing (well) at Ironman – have you called upon their knowledge for advice, ahead of Sunday?

"No, I want to go into the race blind, set off like its a half then see if I can make it to the end competitively - and then I'll see if there is something I want to change in my tactics after that!"

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