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Ironman EL
Ironman EL

I had one of the smoothest build up’s to a race I have had before. My body felt strong, mentally I felt ready and amped to race again after a tricky 2016 season.

I had taken some time away from the sport early in 2016 and then found some descent form after the Cape winter. An expired passport cancelled my chances of racing 70.3 Dublin, which definitely took the wind out of my sails, but a refocus and build up saw me toe the line after a long 8 months in 70.3 Xiamen, China in November.

Here I managed a good hit out into 5th and felt ready to get going again.¬†As I mentioned, a good build up to 70.3 East London and I was chomping at the bit…

The days prior I spent absorbing some good vibes and a catch up with friends in the ever friendly eastern cape town.

Now it was go time and I had a plan, sort of.

I swam comfortably throughout the swim, unfortunately being dislodged from the front pack of 6 in one of Mark Threlfalls accelerations down the back straight. Just ahead of me was the white cap of Kyle Buckingham and I was placed nicely onto the toes of the classy James Cunnama.

We exited the swim together, having lost a minuite to the leaders, but no panic as I was excited about my bike form.

I set off conservatively and watched my numbers. I let Kyle go up the road and kept an eye on my nutrition. I realised though at around 50km that I might be under doing my nutrition startegy. I was now trying to ration my feeding to hopefully have enough to get off and run fast.

James came passed me at around 60km at an exceptional speed, I wasn’t about to follow, instead I found myself wanting as my power started to drop…

I remained positive and stuck to my guns.

I left T2 in 6th place, some 2m30sec off Kyle and James. A tough task chasing down these boys…

I ticked off the kays, but definitely a far cry from where I wanted to be running. I was hurting, as I’m sure we all were, but my pace was very distorted and the catch up to the guys ahead very prolonged.

Romaine was gone, James looked comfy in 2nd, but the others were in sight. I kept pushing and one by one I caught them.

With about 3.5km to go, I managed to close the gap down to Kyle to just 30sec as we turned for home. It seemed he had another gear as my lights went out completely, all at once and I found myself glancing back in an attempt to gold onto 4th instead of chase up to 3rd…

Lessons learned, much fun was had and excited to be back in form and racing well again.

Big up’s to Romaine, James and Kyle on well calculated racing and a strong battle.

I spent the remainder of my afternoon on the side lines, watching and cheering the soldiers of our sport home. I enjoyed seeing so many conquer their dreams, running down the red carpet to 70.3 glory.

I felt a sense of proud, as these ‘family’ members shared in the euphoria of victory, the simple challenge of getting the job done after setting out to get it done.

I saw tears, cramps and laughing… anything is possible, that’s for sure.