Olivier Godart nails his Kona slot

Luxembourg's Olivier Godart took his third 40 to 44 age group title at the Ironman African Championship in South Africa last weekend. Godart fills us in on his race and his upcoming training as he prepares for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice and the Ironman World Championship in Kona.

| April 11, 2019 | PERSONALITY

Olivier Godart celebrates the overall win at Ironman 70.3 Sri Lanka.

Olivier Godart celebrates the overall win at Ironman 70.3 Sri Lanka.

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

After taking the overall win at Ironman 70.3 Colombo in Sri Lanka again this year, super-age-grouper Olivier Godart was down in South Africa for the Ironman African Championship, where he claimed his third straight 40 to 44 age group title, finishing as the sixth fastest age group athlete over all.

Godart had hoped to finish his competitive Ironman career at the world championship in Kona last year, but that goal was derailed when he was hit by a car while training, so he’s got his sights set on both the Ironman 70.3 and Ironman world championships this fall.

Here’s what he had to say after his big race in South Africa, where rough water conditions forced organizers to shorten the swim to 1.6 km:

“Ironman South Africa has changed the course a little bit - they used the 70.3 worlds loop in a reverse flow, which was a very nice course,” he says. “The course is totally brutal, though, when the wind was up, and they added a hill on the run, making it a tougher test than it already was, making it a real Ironman test.”

“The swim was very rough, more than usual, so they shortened the courses. The wind was up on race day, blowing at about 40 km/h on the bike getting stronger on the run. The headwind on the run was unlike anything I’d ever witnessed. And there was a cold wind from the sea that literally froze the body. As a guy who lives in a desert, that was not to my liking.”

The race in South Africa was mentally the best race I have ever done. I didn’t get down on myself. Ironman South Africa has been great to me. It is a very special place with great energy.”

Next up for the Luxembourg native who lives in Abu Dhabi will be the Challenge Championship in Samorin, Slovakia in June. Last year Godart was the second fastest age group athlete at the race.

While he intends to spend some time training in Switzerland this summer, he’ll spend much of the next few months at home in Abu Dhabi getting himself ready for Nice and Kona, despite the challenging conditions.

“I always trained here in the summer and have done it since I got into the sport,” he says. “Our summer here is like the winter in Europe: it is adverse weather, but in respects to Kona, the prep here in the UAE is pretty spot on.”