Well, in the end the severe “weather bomb” was going to be too dangerous and waking up on Saturday morning the organisers definitely made the right decision cancelling the event. The winds were incredible and it would have been extremely dangerous for anyone riding in those conditions. A credit to them though…Sunday morning in the space of 24 hours they had organised a 70.3 event getting half of the volunteers back, road closures and all the other logistics organised and ready to go!
Now I had to get myself ready! Mentally and physically I had to prepare the body now for a 70.3 rather than an Ironman. This was going to be very interesting!
By race morning I was excited and so glad we were actually getting a race in. How much speed was in the legs was yet to be determined but I was sure most of the other girls were in the same situation. A little bit of a run warm up with Guy and our pre race rituals and we were ready to go!
Bang! We were off…and so was I..feeling great and ready to swim hard and fast! I was right in the mix of it and excited to be there after all the hard work in the pool. Then 300-400m into the swim, a lapse in concentration and a tactical error and the feet were gone! I could not get back on! A solo swim for the next 1500m left me way down on Meredith but 1.15 down on the next group which is where I should have been. Although initially disappointed I know I can do it and am determined to get it right next time!
Running the long 450m to transition I was deciding how cold it was..did I need arm warmers…did I need a vest..yes..it is a little bit chilly…better to be safe than sorry! But bugger…the zip would not do up..I had to stop by my bike as valuable time ticked away to get it done up! Eventually I was on my way and reminding myself Half Ironman, Half Ironman, no holding back just go for it! Once the little section out of town is complete I like to get into the aero position and just go! That is what I did. I saw at the little out and back that the gap to the next group of girls was 2 mins and for the next 55-60km I rode solo…no one around just a few motor bikes that would fly past every now and then. At the turn around I saw the gap had only come back by 15 seconds but I was actually beginning to feel better! The endurance was starting to set in. It wasn’t long before the age group men started flying by. Some like freight trains…then others that were going the same speed but had to be in front!! The games had started!
It wasn’t long before Gina, Jo and I had come together and I knew besides Meredith dominating in front, for the rest of us it was going to come down to the run!
I came off the bike in 4th place and went for it! I actually felt great! And when you only have to run 21km when you thought you would be running 42km…how could I not go hard!
I caught Jo just at about 4km..but if our past races are anything to go by then this one was going to be no different. She is such an incredible athlete and I would not expect anything different. I knew I had to go hard..but she hung on and was always there for the entire 21km!! We passed Belinda and were now both running for 2nd and 3rd with Gina and Jessica closing in fast from behind. Oh no!! This was really going to hurt! With 1500m to go the quads were on fire but I had to ignore it! Jo was coming….and fast!
Thank God…3 seconds was enough and I was able to hang on, but the quads were screaming! Yep..I had “gone to Max!” as Guy would say. But was extremely happy!
Congratulations to Meredith on her dominating race and setting the standard for the rest of us! Not only such an amazing athlete but so humble. And the rest of the women’s Pro field…we were only separated by a few minutes and the pressure was on. It was exciting racing!
To my amazing and incredible sponsors K-Swiss, Novatron, FELT, GU, Rolf Prima Wheels, Lazer Helmets, Computrainer, SRAM, Ryders Sunglasses, Blue Seventy…A fantastic start to the 2012 season, I could not have done it without you!
Mum, dad, Guy, Coach Jeff Shilt and all my amazing friends and family, your love and support means the world to me! Thank you xx