KONA IRONMAN 2019 - The dream came true.....
The 12th of October 2019 had been a date etched on my mind for many months, if not years before the date finally came around.
Some of you may have read the TLA update which explained that I had finally managed to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. There was nothing more complicated to this very simple goal; get that qualification slot!
As you may expect, the whole trip was a complete dream. At no point was I underwhelmed by the location, build up, conditions or the event itself. This can often be the case after so many years of chasing that ultimate goal, so it was a huge relief that everything lived up to the mythical expectations I had of Kona.
Despite the best efforts from TLA, I somehow managed to pick up a very painful foot injury before I boarded the plane. What are the chances!? The truth is, quite high due to the amount of training we do to get ready for such an occasion. So unfortunately running was not on the agenda in the final build up to the race. However, I was determined to make the most of the opportunity with whatever was going to be thrown at me during this trip.
I was lucky enough to spend the best part of 3 weeks at the venue pre race to give myself the best chance of acclimatising to the heat, humidity and high winds Kona is so renowned for. I believe this worked an absolute treat for me!
I find it hard to put into words how race day actually went. It was all such a blur of surreal moments! Instead of getting it all lost in too many words, here is my attempt at sharing the first thoughts that come to mind when thinking about it all:
- Swimming with dolphins most mornings brought a tear to my eyes.
- Never seen so many physically fit human beings congregated in one place.
- So hot, so windy!
- Despite the tension building every day, the atmosphere remained incredibly relaxed and everyone welcomed a chat or to team up on a training session.
- So hot, so windy!
- Why are we racing so quickly!? We’ve only just started…
- Just focus on looking after yourself and giving myself the best possible chance of finishing the race. Especially due to the foot injury.
- Finally got to the run. Now the fun starts…
- After 1hour of the run done, I knew I was going to be able to finish the full marathon even if I have to walk it as the pain was manageable.
- I can see my family. I can hear the finish line. This is the moment I have dreamt of for years. Be thankful for every second!
Bike 180km: 5h 2mins
Run 42km: 3h 17mins
Total time: 9h 27mins
220th overall including professionals (out of 2,500 participants) and 49th in Age Group (30-34).
It goes without saying that I am slightly disappointed with that result as I was unable to explore my full potential due to the foot injury. But that’s the beauty as it means I have unfinished business in Hawaii…
Thanks to my family for being out there and for everyone who has helped along the way.
Special thanks to: