To say Kyle Buckingham is going all in on IRONMAN South Africa this weekend would be an understatement as he seeks to end an emotional year on a high.
The 38-year-old has experienced the lowest of lows and the highest of highs during 2021, and now he has invested everything he has physically and mentally to perform at his best on home soil this Sunday.
An emotional Kyle talked about both the loss of his mother earlier this year and the birth of his son Chase in May during the IRONMAN-produced ‘A Fighting Chance’ video episode ahead of the big race in Port Elizabeth this weekend. A race he won in 2018.
Buckingham on 2021
“My preparation for this event this year has gone exceptionally well. I’ve hardly missed a training session, I’m probably running better than I’ve ever run before,” he said.
“So I’m really looking forward to hopefully showing off my run this weekend and playing a little bit of tactics and being smart on the bike and then waiting for the run at the end.
“I’m feeling really good, I’ve put everything behind this event, dedicated so much, so it’s going to be awesome just to stand at the start line.
“A podium position on Sunday would really mean the world to me. I’ve had quite a hard year. My mom passed away a few months ago and a podium would mean the world to me, it’s been a hard year through everything so it would be awesome.”
While the sadness of losing his mother brings immense sadness, Buckingham’s face lights up when he starts to talk about the birth of his son, and the time they have spent together since.
The thrill of Chase
“It’s been super-special, we welcomed our little boy May 4th, and it’s been an incredible six-and-a-half months just watching him every day grow.
I come back from my training sessions, whether it’s a good one or a bad one, and I then I see the smile on his face and it’s just a whole new level and it’s also nice to take your mind off a few things and focus on family life.
“I dedicate everything that I’ve been doing in training and the race on Sunday to them and everyone who’s been supporting me, and my Mom.
“It’s different but it’s incredible, a different love that I’ve never experienced before in my life. I hope that him and Lauren are standing there at the end, and I’ll be racing to the finish line as fast as I can to see them.”