Cupcakes Aside: Millward Prepares for First Kona Iromnan

October 7, 2015, 4:29 PM HST (Updated October 7, 2015, 4:33 PM)
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One year ago, Callum Millward was showing off cupcakes and interviewing triathletes preparing for the Ironman World Championships, presented by GoPro. This year, he’ll get his first taste of the toughest test in the sport.

The New Zealand-born Millward, who now lives in Australia and Boulder, Colo., depending on the season, has won three Ironman 70.3 events, but has never been able to finish at the top in the full-distance competitions.

Millward believes that the key to adjusting to the full-fledged Ironman race, which is twice the length of the 70.3 mile event, is getting accustomed to the longer bike ride. “It’s just getting strong on the bike, learning how to ride 112 miles, and then just getting enough calories in so your body can keep going.”

“I’ll ride up to six hours on a Wednesday morning. That’s the staple,” said Millward of his preparation leading up to Saturday’s race. “You need to get in some volume just to condition your body. I also get in about 60 to 70 miles of running per week. I’ve also been in the sauna a little bit, just to get used to the humidity.”

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Earlier this year, Millward was supposed to compete in the Ironman Honu 70.3 race, but race organizers decided to take out the professional division, and Millward said that it was frowned upon for the pros to compete in the age group races, comparing it to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady “coming out and crushing you in your backyard.”

Millward already owns a win this year in the in the Boulder Ironman 70.3 event. He also won the Ironman 70.3 event in Boise, Idaho three years ago and the Ironman 70.3 Taupo in New Zealand in 2011. Saturday’s race will be the third full-distance Ironman race he’s run this year.

Last year, Millward was in Honolulu and Kona, filming his hisYouTube series, called “Cupcakes with Cal,” featuring sit down interviews with athletes. It started while he was in Boulder with a few interviews, and as the popularity grew for the series, he got a few sponsors to send him to the Big Island to continue the series at the Ironman.

“It really just came about from one of my friends,” Millward explained. “Her husband travels to Colorado with us each year. He’s into surf, life saving, and water photography, and he’s pretty handy with a camera, so we were just talking about it on a ride one day.”

It led to an interview with Tim Berkel, an Australian triathlete, who joined them on the shorter portion of that brainstorm ride session. The name, Millward said, came up just because it rhymed with his first name. He would go to the local grocery store and pick up some cupcakes to feature in his videos. While in Kona last year, he once featured some delicacies from Bleu Cupcakery in one of his pieces.

This year, however, will be different. With most of his focus on training, Millward won’t be making any YouTube videos while he is here. He has found some time, however, to hit the movie theaters to see a few films and to relax before race day.

Millward hasn’t set concrete goals for what he wants to accomplish in this race, but hopes to take nothing but good memories and experiences out of his performance.

“Racing Ironman for eight-and-a-half hours is so demanding, so my coach and I just decided that I’ve got to enjoy it. You can’t just fight it the whole time,” Millward explained. “It sounds kinda cliche, but I really just want to enjoy it. You’ve got to be your own best friend. You can’t be on your own worst enemy.”

Saturday’s race officially starts at 6:25 a.m. at Kailua Pier. The finish line cut-off time is at Midnight along Ali’i Drive.

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