With every year comes a new trip to Japan, centred around a race which I can use as a good excuse for a little holiday/DJ tour in my 2nd home. I have done 2 xterra (one in Marunuma in the Gunma prefecture some 3 hours north of Tokyo, the other one in Hokkaido, both in bear territory) and one ironman (also in Hokkaido). These races were all in fantastic locations, deep in Japanese countryside. This year however I came for the 70.3 which is based in…an airport. Centrair airport just south of Nagoya. Not exactly the same charm! + more
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Recently I had the ‘opportunity’ to play records in front of a camera (a few cameras in fact) as well as a real crowd in our 2nd home that is Brilliant Corners. Fellow French man and house music royalty Jeremy Underground was on air before me, streaming to literally thousands of listeners.
Resident Advisor is -admittedly- a much more eclectic and connoisseur affair than Boiler Room’s, and we were both encouraged to dig deep and play records that were not necessarily club based. More like a radio show in fact, but in public and on camera.
Barely a month after the Norseman it was time, believe it or not, for some back to back racing. And not just any races. A tough 70.3 followed by an even tougher ironman (rated amongst the 11th hardest in the world by 220 magazine).
I took 9 full days off after Norway, which were necessary both physically and mentally, before putting in a block of 3 weeks of good training. Weymouth and Tenby had always been on the back of my mind and I had planned my DJ diary accordingly. 4 busy party week-ends in a row followed by 2 week-ends of racing where I hoped to be recovered and competitive. Not an easy feat with the constant lack of sleep and feeling of being on recovery mode from the week-end until Wednesday every week. However, as hard as the Norseman was, its run section was either flat or uphill, meaning no descent, much less impact and a somewhat easier muscular recovery as a result, with almost none of the dreaded blown quads and D.O.M.S.
In ironman triathlon world, early September means the start of the new season for WTS, and that the hunt for KPR points towards the next year’s world champs begins once more. All the top athletes who have qualified for Kona in October won’t be racing at this time of the year (except Harry Wiltshire that is) and so the races are more open. My idea behind these 2 races was that the results would give me a good indication of whether I should pursue the Kona dream in 2017 as a pro athlete, or step down as an age grouper come January 2017 and go there as such.
On a personal level, Ironman France 2016 will go down a landmark, what with press articles, sudden increase in strava followers, and most importantly a new sponsor with KIWAMI !
Barely a few minutes after crossing the finish line I was on the mic with Mathieu Amielh, whom I knew previously from Triathlete magazine. He has now published a fantastic photo report of IM Nice fror Strava, in which I have a small role 😉
The morning after the race I had completed an interview with the triathlon website bible Trimes, which you can read here (in French).
Finally the good result (2nd French after all) coupled with my good looks (!) landed me a new sponsorship deal with my favorite triathlon brand, Kiwami. Believe me I am not lying, since I’ve been racing (unsponsored !) in Kiwami gear since I first ‘discovered’ the brand @ Embrunman in 2010 !
Very much looking forward to parade my Kiwami ass around as much as I can for the next 2 seasons !
Post Ironman Nice I allowed myself a full week of recovery (by that I mean not training, as I surely wasn’t sleeping much what with a few parties/gigs in a row…), and it seems my body really needed it as I was still limping 5 days after the race – my calves especially took a good beating on the promenade. The first few sessions back I didn’t feel so great, but by the end of the 2nd week I started to feel good again. To feel actually stronger than before the IM, in ALL disciplines (even in the swim, go figure). I even did a couple of PBs on my usual loop on the bike, and some really strong runs. Having now done a dozen ironman or so (and completed 8) I can see a pattern in that after an IM (even a tough/painful one) I start feeling stronger within 2 to 3 weeks later. Not a scoop, this is called overcompensation. All that to say that my plan for xterra France was to decide at the last minute whether or not to take part, but given the fine form it was a no brainer…I booked myself an airbnb in Le Tholy, some 25 min drive from Xonrupt, and off I went.
This was my sixth time in the Vosges since I first came for the inaugural xterra in 2010, having done 4 xterras from 2010 to 2013, and the great Geradmer XL road triathlon in 2010 as well. Why ? Because the races are organised by the Charbonnier family at a high level of professionalism, and because I fell in love with the region (Alsace). One year we had a massive heatwave, but generally rain is expected with mud a gogo. Also this is the toughest xterra on the circuit along with Scanno’s, meaning a perfect training race for Norseman 5 weeks later. Or so I thought…
As much as going to Malta was a very last minute (and well misjudged) decision, xterra Greece was very much part of the ‘plan’ set at the beginning of the season. A brand new location following 3 years in Lake Plastira in central Greece (where I raced in 2013), this was the perfect excuse for a fun sunny race followed by a week of holiday with my babe, a month before IM Nice. In fact I was so excited for the road trip across the Peloponnese following the race that I recorded a 10 hour + mix to ensure a perfectly adequate soundtrack!
Silvia and I rented a nice apartment overlooking the Aegean Sea in Vouliagméni, just south of Athens. In fact the location is barely 45min from the Acropolis, a kind of of rich neighbourhood featuring quiet residential streets, a nice beach (site of the Olympic triathlon race in 2004), a whole bunch of restaurants and (last but not least) a very fine bakery, but also a few hills and mtb friendly trails. And a beautiful lake with natural hot springs!
Ça y est je me suis fait trimer. Merci Trimes (copie de l’interview ci-dessous)!
Certains ont une carrière pour répondre à un besoin de recherche en notoriété. Dans le cas de Cedric Lassonde, un ancien champion du monde AG en Xterra, la curiosité vient du fait qu’il a probablement plus d’admirateurs pour sa carrière de DJ de la scène londonienne et son label Beauty & the Beat que sa carrière sportive. Nos premiers contacts avec lui étaient justement pour parler de musique… Et pourtant, le français mène en parallèle une carrière de pro en Ironman et Xterra. On s’est entretenu avec lui pour en savoir plus sur ses mystères.
The (very last minute) idea behind ironman Malaysia was to make one last use of my 2015 pro license, and depending on the result to decide afterwards whether to pursue the Kona dream and KPR race in 2016. Or not.
Obviously having never been to Malaysia the prospect of 10 days in the tropics in the middle of November was also a big bonus, and with my mum coming along it really was a no brainer. The big unknowns were my fitness level (what with 2 weeks off post xterra Japan in September then 1 week off sick in October and barely any running due to a micro tear in my left calf) and my ability to race long in extremely hot and humid conditions.
When I first heard a year ago about a new location for xterra Japan, I had the perfect excuse to plan another extended visit to one of my favorite destinations in the world. This was my 6th trip in the country in 4 years, and despite an embarrassing lack of progress in Japanese, I do feel like I have a second home here. And once again the trip lived up to and even beyond my expectations.
After spending the first half of the year preparing for and racing on the IM circuit, it was a welcome relief to be back on fat tyres and playing up and down muddy trails. I must have ridden my mtb 4 times max since Maui 10 months prior but I knew I had the fitness after a decent result at IM Kalmar.
In 2012 the race was in Marunuma, in the Gunma prefecture just a few hours outside of Tokyo, and it felt as remote as can be, with even a bear attack to add authenticity. This year it took place in and around Lake Kanayama, about 3 hours drive from Sapporo, Hokkaido. It didn’t look as stunning nor as remote as Marunuma, but still we had a nice enough background to play with. + more