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Stories about the final preparation for the world’s most famous triathlon

The Energy Lab is known for being the most grueling part of the marathon at the World Championships in Hawaii. The absence of spectators, the brutal heat and the uphill section to get back on the Queen-K is tough on the athletes. On top of that, the Energy Lab comes at a point in the marathon where the triathletes are especially challenged: they start to get really tired and they know it’s still a long way to the finish line. We’ve followed strong runner Cyril Viennot during his last hard session in the Energy Lab on the Sunday before the race.

Because of the scientific research laboratories that are located in the area, this part of the course is called Energy Lab.

Once the athletes have passed Ali’i Drive, Palani Road and the long straights on Queen-K, they turn left into the Energy Lab, already in sight of the Kona airport. From the Queen-K, the road descends towards the sea and follows the coast for a while before the turnaround point.

During the time when most of the triathletes are running in the Energy Lab, the air temperature is usually around sizzling hot 95 F (35°C).

The road temperature gets up to 115 F (46°C) and makes the feet burn.

Cyril chose the Energy Lab for his final hard run session before the race. The suffocating heat at 11am did not make the workout any easier, but it certainly helped Cyril to get used the conditions he will likely experience on race day.

After a solid warm-up, Cyril ran 3k at 3:20min/k pace followed by 3k at 3:32min/k and 5k at 4.00min/k. Given the conditions and the uphill sections, these are promising values for the fast runner from France.

The uphill section to exit Energy Lab is tough on the tired legs of the athletes.

This guy knows how to dig deep. “Some athletes fear the Energy Lab, I rather see it as an opportunity to pass competitors in front of me,” Cyril says. Last year he ran himself into the top 5 during the late stages of the marathon.