Ironman 70.3 World Championships - The Race has been run

Tuesday, Sep 13, 2011 at 00:00

TriathlonOz - David

I finished it. Not without troubles but I completed what would have to be the hardest course I have attempted in 5:17, yes not my fastest, not the target time but still a tick for getting to the end in a field stacked with the best in the world.

My day started well the weather was predicted to be cooler than all previous day somewhere in the mid 30's, which would suit my better than 40's. We made an early start at 4:00 and headed out to Lake Las Vegas (about 30 mins drive from our hotel). Parked the car and made our way with 1600 other athletes to the transition area.

The transition area 1 was scheduled to be closed at 6am and all athletes had to go through the transition regardless of start time. My start was 7:40 so yes nearly 2 hours wait in the waiting areas. At least they had plenty of water, cups toilets and toilet paper at for the athletes (well organised in the services department I must say). I meet up with Al from Al’s Cycle Surgery (our clubs bike shop) and we wished each other well.

The time seemed to move quickly with watching the pros swim finish and transition and it was now time to hit the water which was meant to be 80 degrees (about 25 C). It felt cold anyway and no wetsuit. We had to float around for 10 mins then hit the start line.

Start siren goes and we are off. I started the swim well in the lead pack but soon slowed to my usual pace and dropped into a comfortable position and pace. At about the 1.7km mark I started to get a monster headache that had an effect on my and slowed me a little but pushed to the end in a time that was off my usual but still OK for my race plan at 37mins.

I moved through the long transition well and was looking forward to getting on the bike and beating this headache which was almost crippling.

I jumped on the bike and started the gruelling 90km ride. There was over 5000 feet of climbs in the ride and if you were not going up you were going down. I found the first 30km to be good and even with the climbs I averaging around 40km/hr. The headache started to go at about the half-way point which was great. I used every water station today (which is a first for me) as it was still hotter than I was used to.

I enjoyed to bike until about the last 10 km when it just became time to get off (you know the feeling). I was happy with the bike time of 2:36 as this was a tough course with the climbs and heat.

Once I made the final turn into T2 l handed the bike over to the bike handler and moved along the transition were I was given my race bag (the volunteers were on the ball and excellent) and inside the tent I put on the socks, shoes and hat.

I ran out of T2 and saw Michelle yelling encouragement and cheering - great. Now on the final run leg, I put a lot of training into this leg so wanted a good result, which unfortunately was not to be. I went onto my race plan and headed out running at 4:40-4:50 and did this for the first 1.5km then move up a gear on the downhill to about 4:10-4:20 when a massive stomach cramp almost folded me in half. Crap it hurt and only being 2.5km in on a 21 km run was not good. I had to slow and slow some more, I walked through the water station and ran again back to 5:00 up the long 4km climb, which I was able to do but it did not last for much into the second lap. I cramped again and felt I was losing it. I ended up walking a great amount of lap 2 beaten by the emotion, cramp and heat. I forgot to mention that the heat happened (according to Michelle just as I finished the bike) it climbed to near the 40 mark and we were running on the black top in the sun for most of the 7km lap.

As I headed out on lap 3 I knew I was going to finish and in the last 1.5 km I was able to get a good run finish pace back to around 4:30 when I crossed the line in 5:17. My run (run/walk) let me down I really wanted to run a 1:3X something and managed to only do 1:58, but I was beaten on the day by a tough course and serious heat. BUT I FINISHED AND I AM VERY HAPPY WITH THAT. I raced in a World Championship 70.3 and completed it mid field.

Now onto a serous 4 week holiday in the USA with my family.

If it's not hurting your not tri'ing!
David Martin
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