I am not very good at writing race reports but here goes – I finished in 7:33:45 and I am very, very happy. At least this year I actually got to the start line and finished. A big step up from last year.
I have realised that I am very lucky when it comes to Ironman races. I have yet to have a puncture or a serious technical malfunction, both of which could end my race. I did however have a few minor issues, but none of them were race threatening, more of an annoyance. My bike computer gave up on me at about the 10km mark – it kept telling me I was doing 14 km/hour, which was fine, except I was going down a hill and it fell more like 41km/hour. When I got to the turn-around point I actually turned if off; it was more of an annoyance than a help. I then tried to calculate my time to transition based on my watch time. My Garmin also stopped reading distance after the swim, giving me only the time. Thankfully that was enough on the day.
Then the actual race:
The swim was ok, I am not good at going straight and try to avoid the crowds so swim wide – this meant that according to my Garmin I actually swam 2.3km. The final bouy also moved and ended up on the beach. I was a little surprised when a wave crashed on my head as I rounded it and my first though was oh crap this is going to be a long 100m if I need to swim it with waves crashing on me all the time, and then I saw the girl next to me stand up. It was waist deep. My thoughts then were off relief. I did not have any further to swim. My swim time – 44:36
I heard later that two men died on the swim. It is very sad, imagine your son, father or husband (or wife, mother, daughter) goes off to race a triathlon and does not come back. Chances are you are also going to be there watching. It must be devastating and my thoughts are with those families.
The Bike – besides my bike computer not working I had fun. It was not nearly as bad as I expected, and although I could have done without the headwind we faced heading back I enjoyed it. I was so happy to reach the turn-around in a decent time that I burst into tears. I knew that that bar any issues it was do able. My only other problem in the bike was my sunscreen got into my eyes and they started to burn (probably because of the tears earlier). I could not see a thing and it looked like I was bawling my eyes out. Luckily it happened near the end and just before the horrid hill everyone was telling me about. I think it distracted me as I did not notice the hill. I guess not being able to see can do that to you.
Then the run… The whole time I had been thinking – as long as I can get to the run I’ll be fine. Well I got to the run and it SUCKED! I just could not run. My legs just did not want to run – they wanted to walk. It was hot and I was tired. I think I must have pretty much walked the whole 1st 10km. Luckily as I passed the 11km mark everything seemed to click into place and I started to run again. Besides Bunkers Hill (which is not nice) I pretty much ran the whole of the last 10km and I loved it. I finished on such a high, and was smiling and happy, although if I look at the finish photos my sister-in-law took I don’t look that smiley. I look like “where the hell is the line”, but at least my hair looked good (not). And few seconds after I crossed the line the tears started again.
So as I a round up – I loved it. I will do it again! Can I say that I will train more, nope, probably not? I am very happy with how this race went considering my serious lack of cycle and swim training, who knew that muscle memory is there. I do think that the trail running has helped a lot though.
So to everyone that supported me and cheered – at the side-lines or from afar, thank you very much. I really appreciate it! It means a lot to me.