For many of us, the last weekend of July meant enjoying the height of summer and spending as much time in the sun as possible. However, for FitnessGenes Scientific Researcher Dr Pleuni Hooijman, last weekend was far from relaxing as she not only completed the Maastricht Ironman in Holland, but finished as the fastest amateur female.

Pleuni completed the course with an overall time of 10:10:20, finishing as the 5th overall female, including professionals. This was Pleuni’s third full Ironman, having previously competed in Barcelona and Hawaii.

Race Stats

The event included a 3.8km swim in Maastricht’s Maas River, an 180km bike ride, and a 42.2km run through the city.

Her times for each individual event were:

Swim: 00:59:38

Bike: 05:32:13

Run: 03:34:12

A word with Pleuni

We caught up with Pleuni to get her thoughts on her race preparation and performance…

“At times it was tough juggling a full time job with intensity of Ironman training. But we have an amazing team here at FitnessGenes, who allowed me to squeeze in the enormous amount of training miles around my work, and provided me with facilities for my essential core and strength training.

The race felt very similar to my first Ironman in Barcelona. Everything went according to plan and I enjoyed every minute of it. The marathon wasn’t easy at then end – I don’t think that it ever is – but the encouragement from the spectators really made me fly. The weather conditions were quite, lets say, ‘British’, but I think I perform well with rain and heavy wind. At least it felt a lot more comfortable than the heat of Hawaii.

I was proud to finish as the fastest female amateur, but will take most encouragement from the fact that the gap between myself and the fastest pro athlete seems to become smaller each time I race”.

Whats next?

Pleuni’s performance saw her claim 5000 Ironman Championship points, and qualify for the Hawaii event in October this year. However, due to several exciting projects that she is currently working on at FitnessGenes, Pleuni has decided that her next event will be a little closer to home. She is also hoping that she will enter her next Ironman event as a professional, rather than an amateur. And judging on her performance in Maastricht, she is certainly deserving of professional status!

Dr Pleuni Hooijman is a member of the FitnessGenes science team, and applies her expertise in human physiology to our personalised recommendations and Genetic Workout Plans. Along with the rest of the science team, she is currently working on refining our current recommendations, and developing new genetically tailored plans for our clients to follow.

Written by Alex Auld

Wednesday, August 10, 2016