After updating my page last year I said I wouldn’t write about this race anymore but after finally hitting my target here by getting into the top ten, I felt a short post was necessary!
This year the weather was not as hot as in previous years but on Friday evening there was a savage thunderstorm and rain throughout the night, meaning that transition was (a little) flooded in the morning. The rain stopped about 15 minutes before we started swimming but there was a very strong wind, meaning that on the 6-lap out-and-back course we had to struggle against the wind (I averaged around 45km/h one way and 28km/h on the way back!) This definitely gave us all something to think about!
Throughout the bike I managed my effort using my power meter and speed, which had to be done although I didn’t meet my time expectations on the course (again!). I was worried that if I tried to push too hard the marathon would be very difficult. I got off the bike in 9th position and started the run. This year the weather was much coooler still (around 24degrees) and I decided to pay no attention to my watch and run purely by feel. This made the run much more comfortable than previous years, where I had tried to meet specific cutoffs and never quite managed. It also meant that I was able to run the whole course except for a couple of short walk breaks in the last lap.
So all in all, a great day without getting too uncomfortable (apart from the pain in my heel I have had since racing earlier in the season). I came away with a 7th place finish and a new personal best of 9h34, just outside my target time of 9h30 but happy nonetheless!
Still my favourite long distance race!