Steve McKenna says he’s “feeling the fittest and strongest I’ve ever been” and ready to take on the very best as he heads into Sunday’s IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Finland.
The Aussie has been in superb form Down Under in the last 12 months, finishing first or second in all six of his races, including wins at IRONMAN 70.3 Melbourne and IRONMAN Australia but now he’s looking to replicate that form in the Northern Hemisphere.
He spoke to us recently about the challenges of long-haul travel for pro triathletes, especially Aussies and Kiwis, something that could work in reverse when next year’s 70.3 Worlds are held in Taupo, New Zealand.
Happy and relaxed
But McKenna has been in Europe for more than a month now, preparing for Sunday’s race with the support of his wife and young daughter.
He explained: “I’ve had five weeks at altitude in Switzerland. I took my family and was able to involve them in a lot of training.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without my coach Tim Reed introducing me to his friend David and wife Gina who hosted us for the time. Our families got along really well and we had a great time preparing and hanging out.
“Staying close to family was my priority after 2022 race travels and missing the girls too much,” he added.
‘I have worked crazy hard’
Sunday’s race will be McKenna’s IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship debut and the 32-year-old is looking forward to testing himself against the best in the world.
“I think we have incredible athletes on the swim and run in Australia so I think I can hold my own at a world-class level after now improving out of sight on the bike this past 12 months,” he said.
“I’m feeling the fittest and strongest I’ve ever been. I have worked crazy hard.
I’m keen to see where I’m at against these top guys and normalising racing them in a large field.
“Once I’ve normalised racing outside of Australia, I know I can compete for podiums anywhere around the world, whether that’s this weekend or in the next six to 12 months. It’s exciting because I finally feel ready to take on the best confidently after eight years in the sport now, having only learnt to swim and bike in 2015.”