Multievents in the 21th century. Part VII
Kyle when did you start with sport and when fell your eye on athletics.
I started doing track and field in middle school and started out primarily as a high jumper, and as I matured I started finding that I was also talented in the triple jump, Hurdles, 400m, Long Jump.
When did you hear about decathlon and when about Icosathlon?
The summer after my senior year of high school I called the head coach at UW-Stevens Point because I already planned on going to school there and wanted to try out for the team. He told me I should try the decathlon. I was reserved at first because of the pole vault but I jumped right in and fell in love with the event right away. I heard about the Icosathlon during my 5th year in college and thought it would be fun to do. I saw that the U23 world record was rather weak and thought I could break it easily, but I couldn’t find a competition to do it at. So I planned out to do an unofficial one by myself with a couple teammates to pace some of the events, it wouldn’t count for anything but I would know what I had done. Unfortunately due to some injuries and therefore lack of fitness I didn’t finish. Then I went to grad school at Lynchburg College in Virginia in the Fall of 2008. I did that for 2 years and midway through the 2nd year I saw that Liberty was hosting the world championships. I was still in good shape so I decided to dedicate my training to that and give it a go. I actually thought I had a chance to win when looking at the entries until I saw that Joe Detmer signed up 3 weeks beforehand, because I knew with his distance skills he would threaten the world record.
Was your Icosathlon like you expected?
It was as hard as I thought it would be. I’ve always said you can be out of shape and fake your way through a heptathlon or even to some extent a decathlon, but the Icosathlon has to be given the upmost respect and focus or it will come out as the winner.
How would you describe intuitive the differences between decathlon and the Icosathlon. What’s the difference in atmosphere and personal feelings?
Obviously the Icosathlon is so much more distance based and requires a much greater base in training. As far as attitude I said to myself I want to do this well so that I can be satisfied with the performance so I never have to do it again.
Could you have done better or where you pleased with the result?
I felt I did the best that I could have based on the circumstances. My only regret is that I wish the weather had been better to help with scoring. It was 95 degrees Fahrenheit on day 1 so the 5K, 800, HJ, 400, HT, Steeple stretch really took a hit. I planned on running an easy 18:45 5K, to save energy to run about 2:03 in the 800 and 51 in the 400. But ended up running 19:08 and then 2:10 because the 19:08 took a ton out of me. Then the 400 and Steeple were poor performances as well. I felt I could have threatened 13,000 in better conditions, but give the conditions we were dealt I couldn’t have asked for much more.
Just the weather as stated earlier.
Do you still follow Icosathlon?
I go to the website about 1-2 times a year to see if anyone has put up any new big marks, but that is about it.
Did you prepare a special training for the “double”?
I ran a lot more distance for the double. I was doing 10 mile long runs on Sundays and for the first 2 months I did a lot of 600, 800, 1000 repeats on Tuesday, then the 2 months leading up to the competition I started focusing more on speed to be better equipped for the 200, 400, 800 type distances, but the long runs remained. I also did a lot of 200 repeats in the 30-32 second range (up to 16 in a workout). My rationale for those and the long runs was that I had to be able and be ready to just keep lining up over and over even when fatigue. In 2008 at our conference track meet in college I did do the decathlon and 5 individual events in 2 days so I did feel like that experience helped me in the training and competition.
Is an Icosathlete a more versatile athlete than a decathlete?
I don’t really think it means you are more versatile, all it means is that you are a good decathlete that has a bit of a natural gift for running distance.
Do you think Ashton Eaton can break the record?
I definitely believe that he can with a 4:14 1500 personal best. He is in the mold that could where a Bryan Clay or Trey Hardee would not because they aren’t great in the 1500. The best two marks ever are Joe Detmer and Kip Janvrin who I believe were both sub 4:10 guys in the 1500. With that being said I don’t see why he would try it since he is doing so well in the decathlon. If I were that good in the decathlon I wouldn’t see wanting to put myself through the Icosathlon.
Chris and Janek for Decathlon 2000