They say everything happens for a reason. Sometimes it is hard to believe it when you are down in the dumps and questioning why, trying to find answers for things that are out of your control.
The first week of August my plans changed and by the end of the month I was on a plane to Bintan. I had never been to the race before, heard so much about it though and coached a number of athletes who had competed in it. Bintan was a popular event for those living in Perth as it was so close! And lets be honest who doesn’t love a hot, humid and hilly race!
I arrived in Singapore 2am Thursday morning and caught a taxi to Claire and Luke’s House. Friends and fellow GKEndurance athletes who were living in Singapore at the time. It was straight to sleep after the long travel from the USA, but unfortunately I was wide awake at 7am as the jet lag was well and truly set in. Luke took me for a ride around the streets of Singapore….lets just say that was an interesting experience and I was glad it was not something I had to do all the time! A quick dip in the complex pool and run on the treadmill and the body was moving again. By 5pm I was ready for bed and just wanted to sleep!
Friday it was another travel day which included taxi to the ferry terminal then a short trip to the island of Bintan. I was extremely lucky to be staying in the host hotel which was located right next to the transition area! Talk about awesome location!
Saturday was the usual pre race ritual of swim,bike, run plus a crazy kids autograph session. The kids were so excited, we couldn’t keep up with the demand! Great to see so many of them!
I was using the jet lag to my advantage and had dinner by 5pm, was in bed reading by 6.30pm and was sound asleep by 7pm (I wish I could do this all the time!)
Race morning I was up so early and ready to go, even had time to chat to Guy in the USA, have a stretch and sit in my recovery boots watching a bit of T.V.
It was a short walk to transition to make sure everything was all set up and ready to go then I was finally on the start line and anxious to get going! It was going to be a great day.
There was only a small women’s field, but quality! And getting through a half ironman is never easy! In today’s conditions nutrition and pacing were going to be even more important!
We were off!! My goal was to stick to Alise as long as possible! She is a great swimmer and had put quite a bit of time into me at Busso 70.3. First turn, second turn….third turn…..I was telling myself just hang on, just hang on!!! The last turn into shore she was able to put a little gap into me but I was extremely happy with how the swim went and now it was time to ride!!!
I loved the bike course in Bintan! There was only one out and back section at the beginning where you could see how you were going, but it was broken up with rolling hills, flat, then rolling hills again. About 5km into the ride I took the lead….from then on it was just me and a lead motor bike for 85km! I had no idea what was going on behind me! Was just focusing on my nutrition, my effort and staying in the moment! There was some stunning scenery to look at and was pretty cool to have lead police motorbike in front of me (had never experienced that before!)
A few age group men passed me after about 60km….but as I entered transition I felt pretty good. I had not over exerted myself, was in a great position and now had to be smart about getting through the run and staying hydrated!
The run is 3 laps around a lake. It is surprisingly harder than it looks and it was definitely heating up! I had no idea of my time gap and discovered there was one point of the lake where I could see across to the other side which is where I saw 2nd place. Okay….my goal was to keep that gap on the next lap!
I took the first lap out pretty solid and was already beginning to feel the pinch on the second lap. I was running through the aid stations, but then nearly choking as I tried to get the fluids in! Decided it was probably worth slowing down through the aid stations to make sure I got in what I needed so I could keep going and not completely bonk!!
At the same point as lap one I looked across the Lake and it appeared that I had maintained my lead. One lap to go and it was going to be all about survival! 1km at a time!! Although they seemed to be getting further and further apart!! Just keep moving, just keep moving! Everyone is suffering!
With 1.5km to go I looked across the lake and I still had the same gap on second place! I was going to do it! I would win! I slowed down the last few hundred metres to enjoy the finish chute, take it all in and high five those on the side! I learnt through my career that these days are so hard to come by that you must enjoy and celebrate it!! And I did!
Bintan 70.3 Champion – YEAH BABY!
Thanks everyone for all your support and well wishes! Jess and the team from Metasport put on a well organised race with a great atmosphere!
To all my sponsors It been a great year and incredible journey! Words will never be enough to thank you for all of your support! Rolf Prima Wheels, Ceepo, Coeur Sports, , Profile Design, BlueSeventy, ISM, Ryders Eyewear, Mizuno, Challenge Tyres, and SwimSmooth. Churchill Cycles, and Tri Town Boise plus Computrainer. Keeping me fueled GU and Upbeat Beetroot Juices, Recovery by Ruth Chang Physio
A special mention to Friend and GKEndurance Athlete Claire Davis who not only finished first female AG but was 2nd Overall!!