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2014 Ironman Texas Champion, Kelly Williamson gives thoughts on defending her title this weekend

 

Kelly Williamson has had many great highlights in her professional triathlon career. One of which was was taking the title home last year at Ironman Texas, finishing the race with a blazing fast run split (2hrs 54minutes). She is back for more and excited to defend her title. 

Ironman Texas this weekend! Are you in town already? No, I'm at home in Austin until Wednesday! That is the beauty of a race 3 hours away. I get to sleep in my own bed most of race week! But I'm looking forward to getting there and fully get into race 'mode'.

What other races have you done this season to build up to this one? How did they turn out? I've had a pretty quiet early part of the year, with Challenge Philippines in February and Texas 70.3 in April. They were not bad, 2nd and 4th. But since I raced Ironman Cozumel late in 2014, I wanted to ease into this season, so the lighter race schedule has allowed me the ability to do this; take a good rest in December, ease back early months and build towards May.

Why did you choose IMTX? How does this race play into your goals for the rest of the year?  I just love this event. I've done it in 2011 and 2014, and living in Austin, it feels like a hometown race. I'm pretty used to the conditions, I know the course and I just get excited to head back; the event has great energy. Also when we talk of us pros aiming to make a living at the sport, it would be silly to pass up a huge event such as this one only 3 hrs away! As for bigger goals, I am honestly focusing on this at the moment. Last year things changed post Texas so realizing that, I am going to take it one race (or at least one Ironman) at a time.

Tell us a little about your race build up! How has your training been? Do you feel ready to roll? Ah the favorite question. :) It has been good. I am really glad I raced Galveston 3 weeks ago, because my lower legs were a bit beat up and I needed a vast part of that week to recover. But it left me just enough time to put in a short few solid days for Texas. I'd say it has gone according to plan, and I feel strong; but ya know, I felt great the week of Kona last year and we all saw how that turned out for me...(or maybe you didn't because i was so far back)...! I'm healthy and excited and I think those are two things to be grateful for.

Have you ridden the course? Tell us about it if so. How do you feel about the heat?: I have, both racing and on short training blocks in The Woodlands. It's actually a really pretty course. I love the open Texas roads as they remind me much of riding here in the Austin hill country. As for the heat, I'm a fan of it; but I haven't always been. About 10 years ago living in CO, I hated it and thought I couldn't race well in it; but living in Texas, I have really taken to it and it seems while it makes it tougher for everyone and it may not be 'pleasant', I'm just very used to it and my body functions better in warm than it does cold.

What's next after this? : I'm going to Disneyworld! Actually, not Disney... but I am going to Cancun, Mexico. Short trip with my mom and sister. Nothing better post Ironman than getting away and lounging poolside for days one end. :) Race-wise, as I said, not entirely sure but I'm anxious to plan out the coming months after Texas.

Anything else you would like to tell us? I'd just like to add that I am really excited to see such an awesome field assembled here in Texas. The women's race is incredibly deep and talented, and it is an honor to get to come back as defending champion, especially with Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute as both the race title and my own title sponsor. This event has gained a great reputation as a legit, solid, tough, and very well-run race, and I'm proud to be a part of it, and humbled to have won it in 2014. That said, every year is different and I know it'll be an incredibly tough one to back up. But I am excited to have the opportunity and very glad that this is the North American Championships.

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