IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa Review

 

Ironman 70.3 South Africa

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.

thystride_southafrica_70.3_swim

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

thystride_southafrica_70.3_bike

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.

 

thystride_southafrica_70.3_medal

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…..