6th of April marked my 2nd full distance Ironman. It was the 10th Anniversary of the event in Port Elizabeth. Now I have done a 70.3 and full distance in Europe followed by a 70.3 and full distance in Africa. Next on the menu should be state side or maybe east. The training up to the event was marred a bit by business trips back and forth between South Africa and Namibia. It did not affect it too much, but routine is always better. However this opened up the opportunity to travel a bit with my bike and to ride it in a different country. Also my life wont change in that regard and I have to accommodate the schedule with my training and look at alternative training methods.
I also had my best friend with me and her support was awesome. Not only was it the support on the day itself but also in the preparation and training. It also motivates having a training partner. We left on Friday night and flew to PE followed by a late dinner at the old Austrian and an early bed time. Saturday morning was definitely not a relaxed time. It was jam packed with registration, meeting my primary school teacher, swim practice, race briefing and bike check in. It felt like I was running around the entire day. As soon as the bike was checked in however I started to relax. Dinner we kept early and loaded on the pasta. The night before was relaxed and I was able to hit the sack quite early. Both alarms set for a 4am wake-up.
4am came and I went for my obligatory run and coffee. I had my oats and peanut butter and went to the transition area to prepare the last items on the bike and in the bag. Time ran a bit away and I did a quick dip in the ocean to get used to the water temperature. Gave Jen a kiss goodbye and headed for the starting pen.
The start was relaxed and it took me 50 seconds to reach the ocean. The start was a big wave 25 – 44 age group. I was really proud of myself and swam crawl the entire 3.8k. Some minor breast stokes just to orientate but kept the swim going. This is a big achievement for me on its own. 1h18 and I was out of the water and prepping for the bike. Transitions were a bit slow and I took time to get suncream-ed.
The bike I started of holding back a bit and to build up a nice pace for the 180k. In the beginning there were a few head to heads racing. The marshals were also pretty strict but fair. The ride back was a killer, especially climbing a long straight hill with the eastern wind blowing at full force (26kph). This I felt especially on the 2nd loop. The speed slowed down significantly and kept a pace to ensure I don’t blow on the run. Finished the bike in 6h25.
The run was awesome. My strategy was to keep a relaxed pace and run consistent pace. I allowed myself to walk all the water points. It was also fantastic to see Jen on the entire route supporting and going bonkers. I received two little raisins from her and they tasted from heaven compared to the coke, gels and other junk I was consuming the entire way. On the last of the 3 laps I knew it was time to finish and go home and the last 5 kilometers I picked up the pace and opened up the taps and felt great coming down the finish line. Finishing the run in 4h11 with a total time of 12h06
What an awesome event it was. Great support and spectators. Fantastic venue and also nice and challenging.