4 Oct 2019
Race to win: Andrew Starykowicz's interview.
Vision sponsored pro triathlete Andrew Starykowicz is from the Chicago region of Illinois, USA and has been competing professionally since 2009. Winning in all three major triathlon distances and setting bike split record in 2012 was a great year for “Starky”. In 2013, Andrew was the 1st American to break the 8-hour barrier at Ironman World Championships with his Orbea bike.
In 2016, Andrew’s life changed forever when he was run over and dragged under a truck while on his bike, broken back, leg nearly ripped off, and helmet crushed, it looked very apparent that life would be a challenge and triathlon was done. In 2017, 1 year later he won 70.3 Steelhead and 2 months later won Ironman Louisville leading every minute and every second of both races.
2018 saw “Starky” set a new record, being the first triathlete to break the 4-hour bike leg barrier at IM Texas on the way to winning the overall.
This season, Andrew has had a great build up to Kona winning Steelhead 70.3, Texas 70.3, and a 3rd at IM Texas, winning the bike split by 8:54. As Starky states - “I race to win, the word CHAMPION makes me salivate. I have won more times than I have finished 2nd & 3rd combined.” That statement should make it clear what his race ambitions are for the 2019 Ironman World Championships!
How did you start in triathlon?
On a bet. A friend of mine bet me he could beat me in a triathlon...long story short 3 yrs later and a lot of coaxing he got me to do one. I did beat him for the record.
Does your engineering background help in choosing equipment or position?
My engineering background is an integral part of my career. Not only my equipment and position but training load and a lot of other calculations that I can make in my head that most need a computer for.
How do you approach training and racing between 70.3 and Long Course Ironman?
Training and racing the 70.3 and Ironman distance have become very similar. The biggest difference is your big volume days. For Ironman there longer and slower, and for the 70.3 distance they suck a bit more. The biggest difference is the nutrition aspect.
Do you have a favorite racecourse on the bike?
I like flat courses that have no breaks, just lock in aero and suffer like hell.
You had a horrific cycling accident 3 years ago, how have you managed to come back to the top of the sport?
The grace of god. I to this day never thought I’d race, hell I was praying to walk again.
You hold the record for fastest IM bike split, describe that day and what was your equipment choice that day?
That day was Ironman Texas and we were blessed with perfect weather. I was still coming back from being run over so my run volume was very limited which meant the bike load was ridiculous. It paid off. I raced the Metron81/Disc combo, Metron 175mm crank set up as a 55T 1x, Trimax Carbon cockpit, Polar M450 counted to a Torhans aeroZ between the arms, with a Torhans VR bottle in the frame. Some Base nutrition in a bottle hanging off the back all mounted to an Orbea Ordu.
What motivates you in racing?
Winning, that feeling of working hard for something, then laying it all on the line and being the best at it.