IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa Review
Sunday 26th January, 2014
Weather: Hot, Humid, Cloudy
78.8F / 26C
Total Time = 05:40:34
Overall Rank = 352 / 2360
This is the moment where I state that it was an awesome race with strategy spot on, and that I achieved all my goals. Yet nerves and stomach put a hold on to this introduction.
A 5am start with transition zone closing at 6.30 should have left me with plenty of time to get showered, have breakfast and get down to the bike. But from the start my body was not behaving itself; from frequent toilette runs, lack of hunger and inability to get enough breakfast into me. Not a good sustainable start to the day. Positive was that by time I got to transition zone that my stomach did not get any worse, and that final bike preparation went without a hitch. Although next time I should check the brakes, as spending the first 15minutes on the bike adjusting your brakes on the move is not an ideal way to race. Finally I changed into my wetsuit, said my goodbyes to my supporting partner and scampered off to the warm-up area next to the swim start. With a few minutes warm-up in the water and some light stretching, and my swim start looming, I was as usual the last person in my swim wave to arrive. Bad mistake on my part as I ended up to middle of the pack for the start. Quick gel to give my levels a boost before the start
Start – Blocked by to many swimmers walking into the water
50m – To many swimmers doing breaststroke
100m – Finally some space to swim, no panic from my side
300m – First Buoy, leave some space for everybody else and just swim
1000m – 2nd Buoy Arrival, good speed, happy, and am giving the GoPro Camera a wave
1200m – Starting to overtake previous wave that started 10minutes earlier. Confidence boost
1500m – Try to get onto somebodies feet to draft. Fail miserably
1700m – Last buoy, almost home dry and still feeling good
1900m – Out of the water, happy as anything, time said 30minutes.
Running up to the Transition Zone was a bit of killer, it is an uphill run. Get to transition zone, and majority of bikes from my wave are still there. Grab my bike, jump on, put my feet into shoes and off we go
1km – See my partner waving like crazy, shouting support. Loving it
3km – First little hill, passing tons of triatlete. Maybe they are pacing themselves, or I m being stupid
5km – First nutrition bar and drink, stomach seems to be holding
20k – Seemed simple enough. Pace is okay. Course is hillier than expected. Oh well, just need to get on with it
23km – Shout at another triathlete for undertaking on a downhill section. What an idiot. I m good at shouting!
30km – Just keep on cycling, a few bursts of speed, keep eating
35km – Being overtaking by a steel road bike. Is this the way the race is going to develop.
40km – Getting a little bored on the bike, where is the episode of Desperate Housewives when you need it
45km – Turn around point finally, rolling hills downwards for the next 45km. Should be easier
55km – Doesn’t feel easy, stomach is refusing food and my carb drink taste horrendous
65km – No other triathlete around me, then two pass me, literally hammer past me. I think I m getting slower
75km – Legs tired, still struggling with food. Thinking of coasting the last 15km or just quitting.
85km – This feels very slow; last burst of speed coming down past the Spectators so that I look fast.
90km – Arrival in Transition Zone, bike time just 3hrs. 15minutes down on my expectations
Transition to the Run leg was actually super efficient with me handing over the bike, grabbing my transition bag, doing a quick toilette stop, get dressed, and all this in 4minutes. Wish I could be that efficient in the mornings. And off I went on the run
1km – Easy pace, felt actually pretty good
1,5km – Stomach feeling sick, thinking in my head. This is gone hurt more than I wanted
2.5km – Pace yourself of somebody else, not useful if he starts walking to early. Find new target
4km – Bunker Hill, the hilly part of the run course. Try and run it; stupid idea and resign mysef to powerwalking uphill
5km – Turn around point, and downhill. Yippieh. Averaging decent time again.
10km – One lap down, one to go. Just pace yourself, its all about finishing. No shame in walking.
14km – Bunker Hill again, power walk once more.
15km – Knew I was home dry
17km – Power walk 50ms and get shouted at by lady who says ‘Pain is your friend’. Start running again
20km – Speed up some more to look fast when I m finishing. Have to look good afterall.
21.1km – Finished Run in 02:01:03. Slowest ever Half Marathon. But delighted that I stuck through it all.
Final time was 05:40:34. 25minutes slower than my initial race aim, but sometimes race aims, strategies are not possible. My pre-race nerves and my stomach upsets did not help, yet getting to the finish line is an achievement by itself, and for that I m happy. There is always next time. After-all this is just a race, and this lifestyle is forever. A massive thank you to my partner Yolanda who was there at the end, and who has helped and supported me, and to not forget who has put up with all my crap over the year of training. Additional thanks goes to my Coach Will Newbery from 9EnduranceCoaching who got me ready for the race through is training plans and support.
Next race Majorca 70.3 in May. Here I come…..