With less than a week until the 2019 Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain IRONMAN New Zealand, Radio Sport’s Marc Peard picked up Pro IRONMAN triathlete Terenzo Bozzone in the Mercedes-Benz X-Class V6 to chat to him about his gruelling training regime, and check out some of his favourite local training spots.
After five podium finishes between 2009 and 2015 at IRONMAN, Bozzone finally took top spot last year in a record setting time of 7:59:56 - one of the proudest moments of his career - and it’s a feat he hopes to repeat this year. Indeed, he reckons he’s “in the shape of my life”. This year celebrates 35 incredible years of one of the most storied IRONMAN events outside of Kona, and will offer a qualifying 40 slots for the 2019 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The IRONMAN brand has evolved significantly since its humble beginnings in 1999, with the event now attracting more than 1300 competitors from all over the world and aligning with a host of premium partners such as the Mercedes-Benz X-Class.
An extension of Mercedes-Benz global alignment of the IRONMAN brand, the X-Class ute will be supporting IRON men and women on and off the course at this year’s event, at stunning Lake Taupo. On Saturday competitors will be put through a physically and mentally demanding race involving a 3.8km swim, a 180km bike and a 42.2km run. Training for this is an unreal level of tough. But for Bozzone a near fatal bike crash while training in Kumeu last year has been a huge set back. Something he says his training has
needed to evolve for. “I can’t remember the accident but waking up in my hospital bed a couple of days afterwards I had every reason to consider another career ... as a father of two young kids I wanted to be there for them - and if there was ever a reason to put the sport on hold that was it. But I have unfinished business in this sport and am more motivated than ever to get to the top.” Along with Bozzone’s renewed motivation comes a new perspective. “After the accident I know how fragile life can be. Having kids kept me pushing forward after the accident and kept my recovery as quick and smooth as possible. I just wanted to set an example to them - show them that if you have a goal, work hard and set your mind to it you can achieve great things.” His comeback has required some long training days - including riding from Auckland to Paihia and back and 40km runs along North Shore’s beaches.
“In IRONMAN racing they say you reach your peak in your mid-30s (Bozzone is 33) but around three years ago I started getting good results, ones I always knew I was
capable of. The first five months after the accident things were slow- but this year has kicked off with a hiss and a roar. I’ve been doing my best training ever and loving it. My goal of winning the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii is still at the top of my list and is a big possibility now.”