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This week everyone at Infinity has been celebrating the achievements of Iain Veitch, one of our financial consultants in Hong Kong. Iain, a notable athlete, travelled to Taiwan last weekend to compete in a gruelling international Ironman race against 1,600 competitors and achieved the distinction of finishing with the 11th best time of the day and the first place for his age group (30-34).
For people not familiar with the Ironman event, it is considered one of the world’s toughest sports; a super triathlon consisting of long distance swimming, bike riding and running. The Taiwan 70.3 Ironman contest set competitors the challenge of swimming 1.9km, cycling 90.1km and running 21.1km, a feat most people could not even conceive attempting. Iain conquered the course in an overall time of 4 hours, 24 minutes and 30 seconds – a remarkable achievement by an amateur that bettered the times set by many full time professional athletes who raced separately. A breakdown of Iain’s times showed he completed the swim in 32.23 minutes, the ride in 2:24.02 and the run in 1:28:06.
The conditions for the event were not ideal, it was windy which makes it more difficult in the bike section of the event but cooler than expected which provided a little relief for the athletes. In the professional race the competition was strong with 19 professionals in the men’s field, four in the women’s. The event was won by New Zealander Terenzo Bozzone, who finished in a total time of 3:54:18. Iain came top of all age groups in the amateur field. Always self-critical, Iain felt in retrospect that he could have pushed harder on the bike ride, his strongest event, to put more distance between himself and some of the stronger runners although that is not a view shared in the office where we are all still in considerable awe of his achievement.
The event was extremely well supported with locals lining the course to give the athletes a cheer which made for an excellent atmosphere throughout the day. The high level of support gave a boost to competitors who found themselves flagging under the strain of the 113km course. Iain also made a point of praising the camaraderie of his fellow competitors who freely gave encouragement to each other even in the heat of battle.
Rigorous and exhausting training is vital for Ironman competitors. Iain has to fit his workout around work, but still manages to put in an average of 18 hours training a week. He paid tribute to the influence of his former specialist triathlete coach back in the UK, Gavin Rogers, who provided invaluable knowledge early in his career. Since moving to Hong Kong he has been working closely with Andrew Wright of 26 coaching. Andrew has played a big role in structuring Iain’s training and Iain acknowledges the big improvement that has been made in the four months that they have been working together.
Despite Iain’s achievement in Taiwan, he believes there is still more in the tank saying ‘I am delighted with this early test of how my training is going but I am looking forward to getting to peak fitness and competing strongly in future events.’
Everyone at the office is delighted, if somewhat humbled, by Iain’s athletic success and will be cheering him on in future events.
Iain Veitch is a professional financial consultant, if you are in Hong Kong and looking for advice on any financial issues you can get in touch with him by email here or call the Hong Kong office on +852 2815 5828.
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