Josh Amberger has proven himself a force to be reckoned with on the 70.3 circuit, and his Kona debut is shaping up to be one for the record books. The Aussie native swims like a fish and bikes like the hounds of hell are chasing him, so he tends to win things, like the IM Cairns Asia-Pacific Championship. Did we mention he’s only 28?
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I don’t think there was ever just one thing I wanted to be. On any given day it could have been a pilot, it could have been a zookeeper, or park ranger. It could have been to have a military career like my Dad, or it could have been ironically, a pro athlete. I don’t really remember having too many firm ideas, really. I’ve just been riding the wave from a very young age.
What is on your mind as you prepare for Kona?
I’m focused on not obsessing over the fact that it’s Kona. It will be my first time there, ever. Not just to race. So I really have no experience there, and I want to use this to my advantage. All I’m wanting to do is prepare as best I can, and take the experience as it comes when I arrive on the Island.
What are three of your travel essentials?
Coffee. I’m always coffee secure. I have everything I need to brew, at all times. The next thing would be the music on my iPhone with some headphones (nothing too hedonistic, that’s left for my home hifi!). The last thing that comes to mind is reading material, whether that be a novel, newspaper, or a magazine, I’m always needing something to read.
What do you see as your biggest strength going into Kona?
My swimming strength, and tenacity on the bike. I’m pretty much guaranteed to be either the first out of the water, or in the first handful, so all I must do from this point is try to stay at the front for as long as I can. I believe I have the physical ability and mental skillset on the bike to give this ideal a red hot go.
What was the last gift you gave someone?
I just sent my partner Ashleigh in training camp in Spain some cool cycling socks and local Thump Coffee from Bend to brighten her day.
What makes Kona different from any other race?
It’s the Ironman World Championships. This has only ever existed in one place!
What is your favorite Rudy Project piece of equipment?
I most enjoy the Tralyx sunglasses. They are amazing for both cycling and running, are lightweight, and form to my face like no other glasses I’ve used.
What do you love about the triathlon community?
I like that typically everyone has a story or reason why or how they are doing this sport. It’s truly a global sport, and when you go out of your way to hear about how people in different parts of the world get into triathlon, it becomes special and motivating. Triathlon can be used as a vehicle to surmount adversity in many forms, it’s a means to stay fit and healthy, or even to meet life partners or best friends. Everyone typically gives a lot, and gains a lot from doing the sport at the same time, and I love that we all at the end of the day come together to endure on the race course.
What would make this a perfect season for you?
Without sounding too predictable, a good result in Kona! A good result in my debut year is subjective, I will be happy with a race where I know I gave my best, and pushed my limits. If that is a podium finish, a top 10, or not even that, then so be it.
How do you like to spend a day off?
It always starts with a good coffee, home brewed on the V60 or Aeropress. Then I’ll probably spend the day eating and relaxing with good company, or reading and listening to music. I’ll finish the day by kicking back in the evening with a beer or two. If I’m totally wrecked from training, I’m also partial to locking myself in the house the whole day, and catching up on all the things I’ve neglected in my state of fatigue from the days prior.