I love going to Kona and racing there. The Ironman, the Half Ironman, it doesn’t matter, there is always something so special about it. It had been 4 years since the last time I raced Honu 70.3 and I remember it being a tough day. But I was so excited to be back racing it again in the shape I was in. The run course had changed slightly but everything else was pretty much the same.
Guy and I arrived in Kona a week before the race and got some great training in, the plan was a short taper for Honu as we have an Ironman 3 weeks after the race. We heading out to Hawi for our long ride on Saturday and ran the Energy Lab on Sunday morning. The winds were up during our ride and in some sections it was difficult to stay aero, but bearable.
Andy Tyack arrived on Monday from Perth so we headed out again Tuesday to the Mauna Lani for another ride up Hawi. I really struggled this time. The winds were stronger than the weekend and the “mini me” and I were being blown all over the place. Head wind/tail wind…no worries..but the gusty cross winds were causing me some issues. No worries, it was going to be the same for everyone!
Mum and dad arrived Thursday and we moved out to the amazing Hilton Waikoloa where we had to catch a train from reception to get to our room! I could write an entire blog just on the resort but I won’t!
Saturday morning was here before we knew it and I actually felt quite relaxed. I had slept well for a change and was ready to have some fun! Yes, the wind was up and I wasn’t really expecting anything different!
The Pro’s were given a 3 minute head start over the rest of the age groupers which I was glad for. At 6.57am we were off! The water is gorgeous and there was so much to look at….but no…the focus was on swimming fast and staying with the group. The lead men were off and it seemed like all the woman settled into a group except for Hillary who was with the men. I was comfortable in the swim and with no where else really to go stayed where I was. We all came out together and it was a mad dash up to transition.
A little mis-hap getting onto my bike didn’t help but it didn’t take long to get myself going again. I was feeling alright and was glad to get to the bottom of Hawi and start the climb, I love going up! There was no one around and only a few top age group men starting passing me towards to the top. But unfortunately the issue was the way down, and where I lost way too much time. The number of times I nearly hit the ground or landed in the Lava fields began to freak me out. I need to toughen up!!! Back on the Queen K and I was loving it, felt great and could have kept going but the damage was done.
The self talk began to take over in a good way…”okay, the day hasn’t gone the way you planed, so what, you never know what is going to happen, you are racing in Hawaii, you need a good tough hit out, time to run hard, give it everything, see what you can do!” This is what I would do anyway, but I needed a bit of encouragement this time!
I was pumped to run! The course although extremely tough and challenging is amazing as well. Golf course, roads, head wind, tail wind, incredible volunteers and aid stations. Up hill, down hill. 1km at a time I aimed to catch the person in front of me, until the very end.
Although the thought of quitting crossed my mind many times on the bike, it was never going to happen! I have had to pull out of a couple of races due to illness/injury and hated it. I will always finish what I start. I crossed the finish line disappointed but also with a deep sense of satisfaction knowing what went on out there and how I dealt with it. Even more determined to work harder and become stronger and ready to race again!
Congratulations to Linsey who dominated with the win and a new course record, such an inspiration.
And to Guy….who put together a fantastic day to finish 5th and ran so well! The hard work is paying off and this is just the beginning of so many more podiums!
Mum and dad for there cheering and support! Who wouldn’t want to come to Hawaii!!
And my amazing sponsors who make living the dream possible: K-Swiss, Novatron, FELT, SRAM, Quarq Power, Rolf Prima Wheels, GU, blueseventy, Ryders Eyewear, Paul Newsome SwimSmooth, Swish Design, Lazer Helmets, Computrainer, Recovery Pump,Rock Tape, Coach Jeff Shilt and Triathlon Western Australia!