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Insane research – helping Big Blu cope with Kona heat and humidity

The testing conditions will be one of the biggest challenges for Kristian Blummenfelt in Kona

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Redefining triathlon

Weighing in as your Olympic Champion in Tokyo 2021, reigning IRONMAN World Champion in St George, Utah in May 2022 and not to mention being the first-ever athlete to complete a sub-seven-hour full distance triathlon in a staggering time of 6:44:265 Kristian Blummenfelt has certainly ticked the boxes in the past year or so.

This weekend sees Kristian taking on his second IRONMAN World Championship challenge in the same year, with the defending champ having to contend with the heat and humidity on the Big Island of Hawaii for the first time.

But Team Norway’s meticulous attention to detail means he couldn’t go in better prepared.

And one key aspect of that is the tech available, one example being Kristian’s work with his trisuit supplier Trimtex to help develop what they believe is the fastest racesuit on the market.

Insane research

Unfortunately for Blummenfelt’s competition, the Cadex Tri bike is not the only high-tech piece of equipment in the Norwegian’s arsenal. He wore the eye-catching white Trimtex trisuit at the Tokyo Olympics where heat was again a factor, and he’ll be sporting Trimtex’s latest (and refined) flagship suit, the Insane, at Kona later this week.

Kristian told us: “So the Insane suit comes from the research we did going into Tokyo as we knew that would be the warmest Games ever and the heat transferred from the suit would be critical.”

The suit was developed through the experiences and testing environments of both Tokyo and Sub7, and Blummenfelt is quite taken with his latest bit of boundary-pushing tech, describing it as: “The absolute fastest racesuit on the market.

“So last summer we were in the velodrome, testing not just for aerodynamics, but also testing the heat flux from the suit and the different suits we had.”

“And also (there) the way we’ve been working with our tech partners is that we also had special sensors from CORE which helped us validate all the different suits. So, we didn’t only have one CORE sensor on, but we had maybe even up to ten. That helped Trimtex and CORE validate which fabric was best suited for the conditions we would face in Tokyo.”

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Turbulators for aero gains

Trimtex asserts the Insane is not only the lightest suit on the market, but that it offers an envious combination of game changing aerodynamic performance (for example, raised white dots are positioned on the shoulder (Trimtex calls them ‘Turbulators’) to improve aerodynamic performance), ground-breaking thermoregulation and cooling performance (ideal for Kona’s conditions), and is made with hydrodynamic woven fabrics and technology.

Kristian explains: “So last year we only used the fabric in terms of the heat transport from the suit. But over the winter, we spent time in the wind tunnel trying to optimise the same fabric to be more aerodynamic for long distance – working on the shoulders especially.”

“And you don’t just want to have a fast suit for the bike, you want to have a suit that’s fitting across swim, bike and run.”

And Blummenfelt underlined the collaborative approach he has with his kit supplier: “I really like the way Trimtex are so supportive in terms of changing the suit when we feedback to them.

“I think that’s why they’re now standing there with what – in my opinion – is the best suit that there is.

“They have taken the job really seriously from day one, focusing on developing the suits and getting it to now be where it is and it’s really cool to see the progress.”

The IRONMAN World Championship is back in Kailua-Kona, Here’s all you need for day one. You can find all the details and coverage for day two here.

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Written by
Andy Tomlinson
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