After a great night's sleep I was up at 0400 for breakfast: eggs, bagel with jam, orange juice, and of course a coffee. Then we headed into town at about 0500hrs.
Body marking and weigh-in was fairly uneventful though if they are going to use tritats they either need to have more volunteers or just have people put them on themselves. After those formalities, I placed my nutrion on my bike and then did a quick once over.
|Mass Start at the 2013 Ironman World Championships.|
The race went off 0700 and the start was quick and a bit chaotic. This year I decided to line up further away from the pier, probably about 2/3rds of the way down. After a very clean start, I was shocked by the amount of kicking and pulling during the swim. The field spread-out after about 500m but I felt as if I was constantly surrounded and always in contact. I wondered what was different from last year and my conclusion is that my 7min faster swim probably put me in with a more competitive and thus agressive crowd. After the turn-around I saw an athlete in front of me get swum over and then you could see him trying to fight to get to the surface for air. I quickly stopped, lifted him up out of the water, ensured he was ok and then pressed on. Like I said, it was very agressive. I was very happy to be out of the water and chaos and perhaps even happier to see 1:09 on my watch. A 7min improvement from last year.
|Coming out of the swim.|
Then it was onto the bike. I had clearly exited the water with the masses this year and there was almost nowhere to go on the bike. The bike was very congested out to the Queen K and then back onto Huakini Hwy. It was difficult passing as everyone was very reluctant to move to the right. As soon as we were back out onto the Queen K there was ample room to settle into my rythm and start working my way up the field. For the most part people seemed to be riding legal or at least attempting to. We clearly had a wind at our back as I averaged about 40km/hr out to Hawi. The ride back into Kona was a bit of a slugfest as we were fighting strong head/cross winds. I knew that I needed to continue to push if I had any chance of getting a solid ranking in the age group. I was off the bike in 4:49 having averaged 202W and 210NP. The average was a little lower than anticipated but the NP was in the range I wanted. A 20min improvement from last year...though I am sure a lot of that had to do with the wind conditions.
|Ripping it up on the Queen K.|
Onto the run and I instantly knew something wasn't right. I tried to ease into the run and soon found my pace though I wasn't feeling great. Breathing wasn't comfortable, the quads were very sore, and it was an instant mental battle. I tried to walk a couple of the early aid stations to sort myself out, but I knew I was done. This was not how I wanted to end my trip to Kona. I didn't want to DNF and figured I would just enjoy the rest of the day even if it meant I had to walk the rest of the day. I convinced myself to keep running on Ali'i and once we were back into town I saw my Dad and told him it was going to be a long day. I managed to keep running through 18kms and then all I could do was walk. Marc Meunier passed me shortly thereafter and I tried running again but the legs were incredibly stiff and they felt swollen. So I continued my walk to the Energy Lab...it was a long walk. I kept drinking at each aid station and working on getting some solid food (bonk breakers and pretzels). Finally at 36kms I figured I would give running a go again. By this point the legs were feeling better and so was the stomach. It was nothing quick but I wanted to get to the finish before 1800hrs and I knew walking it would be close. I was glad to see the family once back into town. Not happy with a 4:28 beside my name but such is life.
|A picture is worth a thousand words! A day of disappointment.|
Pretty disappointed with the day. A 10:35 is definately not what I had anticipated but the plan was to go all in and that's what I did. I had a shot at a new PB and went for it but blew up. The question will always remain did I actually blow up or did I just mentally lose the battle on the run. Could I have backed off the running pace and still posted a respectable run split? I will never know. After all it's Kona and it's known to humble even the greatest.
|So some white men can jump. I figured I needed to prove Mike Reilly wrong so I jumped and hit the clock at the finish!|