This race was my first Ironman as a professional and it was a very tough day with extreme heat and humidity, in fact, the toughest race conditions I have ever raced in. I was going into the race after a solid result at Challenge Vietnam Half three weeks earlier where I came 2nd unfortunately this performance didn’t flow onto this race where I finished 7th.
This Race result wasn’t what I was hoping for, but that’s the harsh reality of ironman racing.
I had a good swim for me. I lead the 2nd group for the first lap of the 3.8k swim but the group split up on the second lap when we had to navigate our way through the 1500 age groupers. I was in a great position out of T1 in 12th place, however, I managed to cut my big toe on a drainage grate in T1 and didn’t notice until I looked down at a bloody cycling shoe.
There was a small group of us including Patrick Evoe who is a very experienced Ironman athlete, champion, and known for his cycling capability. I managed to stay with the group for about 20mins but Patrick was setting a very solid pace and for some reason, I was off this day.
I just could not push any power to the point where I was thinking, “are my brakes rubbing?” but I knew it was me that was off. In Ironman racing you need to start the race 100% healthy both physically and mentally. It’s an 8-10 hour race which if you are as little as 1% off on the day, that amounts to 8-10mins! I think my sub-optimal bike performance was due to compounding factors that had come up during the tapered post-Vietnam.
These Factors included falling ill on the way home from Vietnam with a stomach bug, a run niggle that kept me from running for a week, and the extra stress with the bike not showing up and being stuck in a Typhoon with flight cancelations, etc. I am sure with more experience I will learn to cope with these situations better.
I was off the bike in 12th Place.
Onto the run and 500meters in I had severe stomach cramps again! I had this in Cebu, which also made me suffer big time!
I walk/jogged the first 4k taking on pretty much everything I could at the aid stations to try and turn things around but I was in so much pain! I couldn’t even stand up straight.
As I passed my partner spectating, I said to her “I don’t think I can do this” But she pushed me on and at about the 5km mark the cramps settled down and I was able to run again. By this stage, I think I had fallen back to 15th Place but with my 2nd wind, I managed to run myself back into 7th position.
This was my 6th ever Ironman and was my slowest overall time and marathon time. As I said earlier, I was hoping for a better result but I think all races whether good or bad result adds another notch in the belt of experience and knowledge and you learn more about yourself with each performance.
So with that in mind, I am proud of my result even though I wanted more. Time to recover, plan and rebuild for the next race!
Thank you to everyone who wished me luck and showed their support! I am overwhelmed by how much you all care and follow my journey as it unfolds.
Thanks to my sponsors who make my journey possible. My coach gets the best out of me and my partner for pushing me on the day.
Congrats to today’s champs and everyone who finished as it was brutal out there!
Time to recover, plan and Rebuild for the next challenge! Big thank you to the Ironman Taiwan organisers for being so helpful and making the most out of a very difficult situation with the Typhoon! The team did a great job all things considered!
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