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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