Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training


Pre-Kona Qwik-View with Top French AGer Arnaud Selukov

Qwik Kiwi: You have had a big year taking out second place at Ultraman Canada. What events did you do to qualify for Kona?
Arnaud Selukov: I started racing 2018 at IMNZ, where I took second in 45/49 in 9:25.

Then I raced in Roth in 9:00:37   That is still haunting me and two weeks after I was runner up at the ITU long course WC in Denmark.

QK: You have raced at Kona a few times now. How many times have you been here?

AS: This is going to me my seventh time here in Kona.

QK: Tell me about what you consider to be your best Ironman race experience.

AS: Here in Kona it was 2012 , my first time here. I didn’t know what to expect and went 9:33 finishing 151 overall and 11th in AG.

My best Ironman race was Vichy 2016 where i went 9:02 winning by I think 16 seconds and I ran a personal best of 3:09.

My best Iron distance race was certainly Roth 2016 where I went 8:56.

QK: Your business is 859 Coaching, named after when you went sub-9 at Ironman. How many Ironman or Challenge events have you finished?

AS: I started and finished 33 full distance.
I won one – the Evergreen 228
Went sub 9 twice and sub 10 hours 21 times.

QK: What are your goals and what are you hoping to achieve out there on the Queen K this weekend?

AS: Enjoying myself first. I did damage my achilles when restarting my training too hard after Ultra520K Canada and I am nowhere in term of fitness of where I was in July so I’ll go for it in the swim then control myself on the bike and pray for the run.

I can’t really perform here with my high sweating rate of 3.3 litres/hour, so Kona is never going to be the race where I can expect a great result, but I keep coming back because… well it is Kona and anyone that has been there will know the feeling.  I’d say 10:15 would make me happy considering that I can just jog at the moment and sub 10 a miracle.

The positive point being that the injury is I believe on the mend and my dietary choice (being plant based) is helping me in the healing process and keeping the race weight even if I have done minimal training in the past four weeks.

Arnaud is the head coach of 859 Coaching

He appreciates the support of the Cupcake Cartel sponsors:

Follow Arno and 859 Coaching here:

Get more of the Pre-Kona series of Qwik Interview with other top level athletes (including Braden Currie, Callum Millward, Melanie Burke amongst others) here:


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Ray has competed in triathlons from sprint to ironman distance (both IM Taupo and Challenge Wanaka). Consequently he is aware of the importance of balancing training with lifestyle, thus complimenting other important aspects of an athlete’s life (family, work, study commitments etc…). • Entering your first triathlon? • Stepping up to a longer distance? • Looking to go faster? • Wanting to turn previous negatives into positives? Ray has coached athletes to achieve these and more. Training programmes are accessible online, so athletes can be located anywhere and still reap the benefits of Ray’s coaching. Contact him to discuss how he can assist you to achieve your goals.
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