Ironman 70.3 South Africa was my first race of 2015, I really love to race there and use it as my preparation for the Ironman at the end of Mach.
I knew going into the race I was not at the level where I would like to be because of the timing and peaking for Ironman SA.
The day started a little earlier than normal due to a police van hooting his siren at 3am in the morning and shouting WAKE UP EVERYBODY,TIME TO GET UP!!!! But I had a great sleep anyway.
I headed down to breakfast, waking myself up with a coffee and something to eat while also sipping on a Roctane drink 2hrs before the start of the race.
I was pretty calm before the race started and everything went quite smoothly. Lauren and I headed to transition and arrived at 5:15am.
I started to run through all my checks. Pumped up the tires, put water bottles on the bike, calibrate the power meter, checked the brakes and all was good.
We headed down to the beach, did some dynamic stretching and a little run to warm up the muscles while listening to some music to pump me up.
6:15am I put my wetsuit on and went for a little 10min swim with a few short bursts to wake the arms up, I felt pretty good :)
6:40 we were standing on the start line and listening to our national anthem.
6:44 the national anthem had finished and bursts of energy were rushing through my body, all I was telling myself was that I am going to swim the fastest I can around this course today (And so I did)
6:45 BOOM the gun fired, I sprinted into the waters edge and jumped under the waves like we learned at lifesaving a few years ago.
I was having an incredible start to the swim and got to the first buoy in the lead. My next move was to make a few short bursts of speed to try break away from a few guys that were behind me, but they were still there. I was swimming well and felt really comfortable at the pace I was going, I looked behind me and I saw Stuart Marius and Matt Truatman sitting on my feet. Heading back to the beach from the turnaround buoy was awesome because I was catching these awesome swells and managed to get some great speed.
100m before the beach they were still on my feet and we all excited the water together in a time of 24:37. (First time I Lead the swim in a race)
Transition went really smoothly and the 3 of us all headed out on the bike together. After about 10min SM(Stuart Marius) went to the front and pushed the pace quite hard. On the first climb onto the freeway MT(Matt Trautman) came past us and went to the front to put down some decent power for about 10-15min.
We crested another climb and I decided it was time to go to the front and try do some damage. I put in quite a few bursts up the climbs and thought I could try and loose them but it was still early days and everyone was still pretty fresh. I rode quite hard for abut 30min and then MT came past and went to the front. We all entered the turn around on top of the bridge together but It felt like my front tyre was soft, so I bunced it but still seemed ok. On the descend back to town my bike was wobbling quite a bit and thought this is strange, something must be wrong! I really struggled to stay with MT & SM on the descends but on the climbs I caught up again. Then at 75km I bounced my back wheel up and it was half flat, lucky thanks to the fantastic bike tech help they were right there. We quickly pumped the wheel up with a bomb because it was only a slow leak but after 10min it went flat again. Lucky again the bike tech was next to me and we quickly changed the wheel. While I was changing the wheel Bart Aernouts and Cyril Viennot came past and there was no chance I would be able to tag onto them because I was on an incline. The only option wa to ride back to town alone and just pedal hard.
I entered the run transition in 5th place but still went out there to do the best I can.
I ran strong and my endurance felt great but unfortunately due to the training in my legs I didn't have the run speed I wanted.
6th place was right on my heels for the whole of the 2nd lap and it unfortunately came down to a sprint finish. There was no speed in my legs and after about 20m I just left it and soldiered on for 6th place overall.
Congratulations to 1st place- Matt Trautman, 2nd- Stuart Marius, 3rd- Bart Aernouts
And Jodie Swallow for her 5th win in a row in East London.
I will be back in fighting force for Ironman SA.
See you there.