Under the guidance of renowned coach Brett Sutton and Team TBB Aaron Farlow has come on in leaps and bounds in the last year. I caught up with Aaron in Canberra in February this year after an early morning swim squad and we chatted about his two big wins that season and what he had planned for the year. The full interview can be read here.
The one thing that stood out was a level of toughness and a love for some big training. Maybe that is why he loves the Doc so much. It works for him and suits the type of person he is.
Aaron loves doing it the hard way. Last year he won Ironman UK just four days after racing the Alpe d’Huez triathlon and placing 3rd overall. He then raced Ironman Wales and was just pipped at the line for 1st, a week later he raced Challenge Henley for 3rd. This is big racing week in and week out. He loves it.
We spoke again to Farlow this week after his win at Challenge Copenhagen which was a late addition to his schedule and was used as a stepping stone to get back to his full race fittness.
Trizone: How did the race start out for you? The swim looked amazing with lots of spectators. The water temp around 18 degrees must have been a little tough.
Aaron Farlow: The swim went well, water temperature was bearable. I got some clear water early and sat on Jimmy’s (Johnsen) feet for the first 400m when I noticed he dropped the feet of the guy in front. One of the Danish athletes who was quite a good swimmer. I surged to chase him down and Jimmy jumped on my feet at the same time.
I knew Jimmy’s best chance of winning was getting out of the water with me and trying to hang with me on the bike then smashing the run. I hoped that the pace would eventually drop Jimmy and I would be able to ride solo which is how it worked out.
TZ: On the bike you really dominated the race and put yourself in a position where the only thing stopping you from winning was yourself. Was this the plan?
Aaron: When we jumped on our bikes we had about a minute back to Jimmy then a gap back to the rest of the field. Once I was in my shoes and comfortable the gap started to open. At the 50km mark I was told I had a 5 minute lead but that was the last time check that I had until T2. I knew with the runners in the field that a big gap at T2 was essential.
The bike course wasn’t as flat as I had been told but was fast. After about 40km we headed onto some narrow country roads that wound their way around the countryside before getting back on the flat and heading back to Copenhagen.
With 5km to go on the bike I punctured on the front and decided to ride it on the rim. It was the scariest 5km I have ever ridden but probably saved me 10 minutes and the race win. The last 5km was the most technical with a lot of weaving in and out of streets. Every time I hit a white line I thought I was going to come off. In the end I made it and started the run with fresher legs than usual due to the balancing act I had to do over the last 5km.
TZ: What sort of run did you think you had in you for Challenge?
Aaron: I knew I had a reasonable run in me but was not 100% on my ability to go hard for 42.2kms. From the reports I was getting on course I was running faster than any of the others over the first 21km so I decided to slow it down a bit, but at about 25km I started to struggle, luckily I had a big enough lead to hang on for the win. The run was around the heart of the city so the crowd was just amazing. It was mostly over nice roads and footpath but had a patch of cobble Stone. 4x10km loops made it very interesting.
TZ: What is up next for you?
Aaron: I head back to Switzerland on Wednesday to meet up with the rest of the team (Team TBB) where we are based in Leysin. I will be there for the next month with no specific races planned out. I think we will just pick and choose what comes up.
In Mid September I start to make my way back home to Australia with a stopover in Asia on the way. Where I have two races planned, the final one is an ITU Long course event in China.
After that it might be a good time for a bit of a holiday with the family!
We wish Aaron all the best for the rest of the season.
You can find out more about Aaron here.