プロインタビュー:70.3 Japan王者Mitch Robbins(ミッチ・ロビンズ)



Q. I’m sure Japanese readers notice your name from winning 70.3 Japan last year. Could you share your race experience and thought about your first IM70.3 win


Mitch: Japan 70.3 in 2015 was a great day for me – I lead the race right from the start and didn’t look back. I have had success at this distance before with a win at Port Macquarie Half Ironman in 2010 and Challenge Foster in 2014 so I was confident in my ability but it was nice to finally get a 70.3 title in Japan!The course was very technical and I loved racing through the fields and getting to see some of the country side.


Q. Did you have any good experience or story while staying in Japan?


Mitch: I have been training in Kumamoto region in 2015 and while I was there I ate horse sashimi – that was maybe the strangest food I have ever eaten. Cycling in Kumamoto was fantastic – I was training around Mt. Aso and it was absoutely beautiful. I have also raced an ITU race in Amakusa in 2011, which was great. I love travelling to new places to compete so hopefully I can race more in Japan in 2016.


Q. I know you are based around Asia for training and racing but many Aussie pros are based in hometown or US throughout season. What decision made you to be based in Philippine or other Asian country?


Mitch: I have raced in the US and Europe before, but Asia is close to Australia with my family and friends. Racing in Asia means I can do many races and experience many different cultures. Training in the heat is also great preparation and I believe has helped me to perform the past couple of years. Also, during the cold months (May-August) in Australia there is little or no triathlons, so it’s necessary to be based elsewhere if you want to compete regularly.


Q. Where is your favorite place to train in Asia?


Mitch: It’s too hard to choose just one place, but I enjoy the Philippines, Phuket and the Kumamoto region in Japan was some of the best cycling I have ever done, anywhere in the world.


Q. What was your favorite race so far?


Mitch: Japan 70.3 was special for me as it was my first 70.3 title, but I have also enjoyed many smaller races around the region. They give me an opportunity to interact more with local participants and help to grow the sport of triathlon here in Asia. DEFY123 triathlon in Bohol, Philippines is a great event, also the Bali International Triathlon is very fun. There is too many to choose from!


Q. Could tell us where you are from in Australia and what sports did you grow up with?


Mitch: I grew up in a small coastal town called Port Macquarie (home of Ironman Australia). It’s located 4hours north of Sydney. Growing up I was surfing every day, and running cross country and athletics. I played a lot of sports for fun but I wasn’t very good! Football (rugby) is the main sport in Australia so triathlon doesn’t receive much attention from the public. I was very lucky to grow up in Port Macquarie where Ironman was actually well known and the training grounds are perfect for triathlon – clean beaches, safe roads and places to run.



Q. Could tell us about how your triathlon career started?


Mitch: I used to watch Ironman Australia every year and I was in awe of the athletes. A friend of mine used to compete as a professional and he helped me to start by giving me and old bike and encouraging me to give it a go. I have always wanted to try Ironman but I am waiting for my body and mind to get stronger before I challenge myself.


I started by competing in a team relay event at the half ironman in 2007. From there I competed socially until 2011 where I joined the Australian ITU team competing in Europe and training for London 2012 Olympics. After 2 years away from triathlon with injuries I decided to focus on 70.3 and non-drafting events and I haven’t looked back.


Q. You raced Bangsaen Triathlon few weeks ago and placed 2nd after superb 53mins bike. Do you think your bike is the strongest part in 3 disciplines now?


Mitch: I was really pleased after Bangsaen Tri-League race because I have struggled with cycling since my foot injury in 2012/2013. I think with some changes to my bike position and a new approach to training I am heading in the right direction again. However, I still believe that running is my strength and where I feel the most confident. Cycling is always an ongoing project for me – there is always room for improvement.


Q. Now you are coached by well know Aussie coach Grant Giles.  I believe he led a lot of Aussie pro like Tim Van Berkel and Clayton Fettel to be one of the top in Ironman races. Is that something you want to be in the future by picking him as new coach? 


I have been coached by Grant Giles of Aeromax Coaching since I began triathlon seriously in 2009, so he knows me better then anyone. Grant’s record with coaching athletes towards 70.3 and Ironman success is impressive, and I’m very confident now we are working together again that I can really improve to the next level.


Q. What is your race plan for this year? 


Mitch: My main goal is to qualify and race at the 70.3 World Championships in Mooloolaba in September, so I will be racing at Subic Bay 70.3, Malaysia 70.3, Busselton 70.3, Japan 70.3 and some other smaller races that I am yet to confirm.


Q. Some readers misconceive your name Mitch as Mitch Anderson who was Aussie pro and won the biggest local race called Miyakojima Long Distance Triathlon in Okinawa. Have you ever heard of that race? Will you be interested in racing in Miyakojima if you have a chance?


Mitch: I know Mitch – I am a big fan of his. He successfully combined a career as a doctor and also pro triathlete for many years. I would love to race in Okinawa – I’ve heard of that race for many years. I love racing in Japan so if ever there is a chance I will be there!



Q. Do you have big goal in the future?


Mitch: I think IM Hawaii is my ultimate goal – I want to race Kona as a professional and hope to perform well there. I also want to inspire people to be more healthy and active and triathlon is the perfect sport for that.


Q. Are you planning to step up to Ironman distance race?


MItch: In 2017 I plan on racing IM Australia in my home town. I’m confident my body and mind will be ready as I’ll be 28 years old at that point with a lot of years of experience. I will aim to qualify for Kona as soon as its possible for me, but I will also keep racing the 70.3 distance – I like racing fast and 4hours of racing is much easier on your body.


Q. Is there anything you want to say for Japanese readers?


Mitch: I just want to say thank you for being so welcoming – I have many good friends from Japan and I really enjoy racing in your country. Already cant wait to come back in June for 70.3!


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