AsiaTRI Bikes: Todd Gilmore’s Kona Bike Dimond
Todd Gilmore is a Canadian engineer based in Ho Chi Mihn City, Vietnam. Eleven years ago, hectic at work and out shape, Todd decided to prioritize his health and focus on a lifestyle change. He talks about his transformation from a hard-working engineer to a top age-grouper, a Kona-qualifier and now an Ironman-certified coach. His most recent results include finishing 1st in his age group in both Challenge Vietnam and Ironman 70.3 Philippines.
AsiaTRI: How did you start in the sport?
At age 34, or 11 years ago, I was 92 kg and out of shape. A positive change was needed. I lost weight and spent the next 4 years with a daily exercise habit and adjusting diet to manage weight. This got boring as there was no goal. In early 2009, a friend of mine challenged me to do a local tri. “You train I’ll train type of gamble” I bought a bike only a week before the race. I did all my training for this Olympic distance in a gym. I went from nearly last out of the water to 6th, in a small field. After this, a different friend said, let’s go do the Singapore 70.3. I registered without knowing any distances or the needs and training required to finish.
I am a registered professional engineer, and he took over. I checked with colleagues and friends to find a training partner, as there was no clubs or coaches in HCMC. I was lucky to find a great mentor who is now in Perth. I also bought a collection of books and developed a training program for myself. With a further investment in a TT bike and I was hooked on triathlon.
Triathlons are my fitness tests. Motivation to stay fit all year, year after year. This year I invested in myself by becoming an IRONMAN Certified Coach. I am now working to pass my 7 years of learning to others.
AsiaTRI: What were your best results so far and what are the plans for the future, any immediate “A” race, or any other race that you want on your bucket list?
In 2012 I signed up for my first full distance, Ironman Coeur D’Alene Idaho USA. It was about 5 hour drive from my parent’s home and fit well with the family holidays. In training for this race I went back to the 2009 venue. With no taper, 4 weeks before the IM and won it. Later that year I won the Danang International Tri. These were small races with small fields to race against. However, late in 2012, a renewed focus on training resulted in a 2013 70.3 World Championship Qualification at 70.3 Mandurah, Australia.
2015 and 2016 have been the best years. Consistent habits and a good day in the heat of 2015 Ironman Langkawi secured a Kona slot for 2016. This year started off poorly with a DNF at a 70.3 in April due to injury. Did some recovery and refocus for the B and A races.
My B race was 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships in Cebu. Much to my surprise I won my 45-49 Age Group. Another 70.3 worlds slot for 2017. In late April, at Challenge Nha Trang I repeated the feat, winning my age 45- 54 group again.
Kona is focus. The “A” Race of the year on October 8th I will be with the best. I am hoping for a good day. Preparation has been well. My wife and infant son along with my father are joining me.
My bucket list race has to be Roth. I have raced Ironman Frankfurt twice. Roth would be amazing as the German crowds make racing so enjoyable.
A final note, for my “A” IRONMAN races I raise money for charity. Kona will be the 6th time seeking donations. The charity is Newborns Vietnam. They are a no overhead organization of volunteers providing UK standard Neonatal Health Care to the poorest provinces in Vietnam. Their results are impacting the lives of many. The newly trained nurses and doctors are then passing their knowledge to others. I strongly believe it to be the best charity around as they are teaching people to teach themselves. An infinite number of lives will be touched. To donate please go to this link.
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