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Zoltan Bako | IronMan on a Track!

Well, lets start at the begining…

I am the founder and rider of a fixed gear project called Fixed X Hungary ,, which is a project to set official records by riding a fixed gear bike. In 2014 I set a non-stop marathon record, by riding 443km non-stop on a fixed gear bike and beat this last year by 567km non-stop ride on the same bike.

How did the idea to use a fixed gear on IronMan came up?

Last year I wanted to do something crazy, I mean the 567km was crazy enough but I just wanted to push the bar as high as possible, so I registered onto the IronMan 70.3 Budapest race.

Was it too hard to register the bike with the organization?

The registration was not easy, I needed to have a confirmation on my bike by the German race management team. Finally they confirmed my bike, but asked to mount 2 brakes. After couple of months, the rules were changed and it was not allowed to use a bike without a free wheel system, so I needed to run another round… and couple of days later they confirmed that again, even if the rules did not allowed that, I was like a special athlete.

During the check in process, the judges was also complaining, so I had another round the evening before the race, but finally they let me race with my fixie.

How was the race?

The race itself was not harder than expected. As I was training 8 months and made the 567km non-stop ride a month before, I was quite confident about my skills and strength. Anyway, there were 2 climbing sessions during the bike part, it was quite hard yeah. As I trained a lot on sloppy roads, I was strong enough to make them right and actually I overtook some amateur riders as they were shifting like crazy during the climbing

As the whole 2015 year was on a fixed gear bike, I have no any experience how easier could be a race like this on a normal road bike, so it was fun for me. I am an amateur rider, so the time was not the goal, I just wanted to finish a half distance race on a fixie. I swam 1.9km, rode 90km and ran 21km and finish with a time 6.42 which was more than enough.

Plans for 2016?

Yeah I have some. Due to the Ironman 70.3, another international triathlon franchise, the Challenge Family invited me to race on 2 of their races in Germany in 2016 as a special guest and also an ambassador, a half distance race in Heilbronn in June and a full distance race in Regensburg in August. The full distance means 3.6km swim, 180km bike and 42km run, so this would be the hardest challenge I have ever made. The goal is to be the first man who made a full distance Ironman race on a fixed gear bike.

Who is part of the team and the sponsors who support you?

My whole coach team is behind me, a pro coach who helps me to prepare myself the best way, 6 days training a week and it is just getting harder. I also have a dietitian who helps me to eat all the important elements my body needs during the training and racing period.

I also have the official Hungarian partner of Garmin, have MyActionCam who provides me some actioncams, have also my bike apparel sponsor, have Star Network who manages my Youtube site, have Massive Bikes who provides me a lot of bike parts and service, have Atakama, who provides me carbon parts for my new bike, have Bikee who provides me a smart app for a mass event I am planning end of this summer and have Zsófi, a friend who provides me all the nice graphics stuff. I want to also mention, that I am going to have a new bike, a custom and tailor made fixie, made by Merényi Bicycles, a Colombus tubing fixed gear frame Daniel Merényi supports me with this pro frame set and helps me to promote my trip to Regensburg during the summer.

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