Friday, 31 December 2010
Ironman World Championships 2010 - Kona Hawaii
The lead up to my race hadn't been perfect; I'd qualified in Wisconsin the previous year. Since then I'd had to pull out of both IM Lanzarote and IM Nice due to injury. I had torn ligaments in my left ankle which had affected my running for the rest of the year. My early plans of a sub 3 marathon were slipping away...
Kona would be my first Ironman of the year, with this came the uncertainty of how I would race. I arrived earlier this year than I had in the past, this was to be a very special couple of weeks for me and few weeks that would shape my future. Mette and I were married in St Peters Church, Kailua Kona - Hawaii on the 3rd October. It was a very special day for both us and made even more special by all our friends and family who were there
My race didn’t have a perfect start I had positioned myself two rows back in the middle. As the cannon sounded the paddle boarders were too close to me and blocked my swim. I had to go sideways before I could go forward and this wasn't easy with around 1500 other athletes behind me. From that point onwards I tried to relax in the 'melee or thrashing arms and feet' that was the swim. Exiting the swim, I felt good, relaxed. I hadn't been any where close to the red line; I was conscious that this was where I could make up some time.
I ride to watts and quickly settled into a rhythm passing the faster swimmers. I’ve recently been Retul’d by Freespeed and my position felt strong even in the Trade winds at Hawi. This gave me confidence and a sub 5 bike was the result!! my first ever in Kona…..... I put this down to having a plan and sticking to it. I use a concentrated Infinit Speedfil on the down tube and have a profile torpedo with water on the bars. This is all I carry, no bars, saltsticks or any other nutrition.
The run was hot, and although I was just off my target pace I felt like was just hanging in there...At the turn point I saw Declan Doyle was about 200m behind me and Tim Bishop was a little further back. Both looked strong. I train with both Dec and Tim and know how capable and talented they are, I wasn't sure if I could hold my pace. I saw a sign at the side of the road that said ’ Pain reassures you that you’re alive’ I was alive alright… and hurting!! From the start my run felt hard, I didn't remember 2008 being like this. But this year I was shooting for better than 21st in my age group and it came at a cost. Richard Hobson, my coach, was just ahead and it spurned me on to see familiar faces. I could see that he was hurting too, thank goodness for that as Tim and Dec still looked fresh. Heading out onto the Queen K into the lava fields, I felt alone and strangely took strength from this, my race was in my hands and it was mine to let slip away. I took solace that I was still passing more athletes.
I was so glad to see the finish, there’s nothing quite like the finish on Alii Drive and I will cherish that forever. My friend’s from Disney Tri were there cheering me on and for the first I shared the finishing flume with no one.... It was mine and mine alone.
My fastest race to date in Kona, 89th overall including all the Pro's. 36th Amateur and 10th in age group. 1st British Age grouper again