Terenzo's Update from Ireland 70.3
Holy smokes that was one intense race.
I have just finished the Ireland 70.3 here in Galway Ireland and while I did not cross the line in first place I was not far off the pace… About a second.
Surprising all the travel hasn't been knocking me around too much and I have been managing to get right into the correct sleeping patterns in all my destinations. After brazil I was really looking forward to getting up to Ireland and checking out some of the country, and grabbing a pint of the local Guinness (although I am yet to do that). It is an amazing country and the people are some of the friendliest in the world, oh yeah and I have officially given them the award for the worlds best accent.
Onto the race. The weather was very wet and windy in the days leading into the event. Fortunately it cleared up this morning with the rain stopping and the wind dying down, but that didn't help the near freezing water warm up at all. We got in and I struggled to warm up my arms in the 10minutes before the start. The gun went at 7am and I could not for the life of me turn my arms over any faster. Jan Van Berkel who I would later go on to battle with to the finish line got a small gap on the field and all I could do was settle into the pack. After we rounded the first buoy I had to make the decision to follow the group or head in the right direction to the next turn. I chose the later and trusted in my ability to navigate the shortest line. Eventually the others realized and started correcting, luckily for me it just so happened the Jan joined the correct course right next to me and the rest of the swim was history. We got a good lead on the remainder of the field and my arms eventually came right and I lead the last 600meters. Next step was the run through transition, this was about 1km long. Good times, I love running barefoot in the cold on wet grass and gravel.
Jan and I worked out way through the 90km bike course, each taking a lead on the front for 10minutes. While you are not allowed drafting in these races it still helps mentally and to a small extend physically when you are 10meters behind. The roads were smooth and there were some gentle undulations along the way , but all in all the bike was course was ideal for fast times. We averaged over 43km per hour and built our lead over the other pro men which included last years winner Mike Aigros, fellow Swiss countrymen of Jan.
I wasn't sure what would happen to Jan on the run, most of the time when guys swim and bike so well they fade away on the run and it is just a battle to see who can hold on the longest and Jan was doing a great job holding on. We got to 6km together and then my gut started giving me some problems, I am not as tough as some of the other ironmen out there who can go on the go so I needed to find a Portaloo ASAP. Loosing about 40seconds with this rookie mistake of getting something wrong with food intake, probably yesterday or this morning as this has never happened to me in the past. I focused on building my rhythm through the next 15km of the race as a fast run is exactly what I needed and wanted the week before the Ironman 70.3 World Champs in Las Vegas next weekend. Luckily I had a Clif Shot in my Fuelbelt flask to restore the calories I just lost.
At 17km into the run I finally made the bridge up to Jan but unfortunately he wasn't as tired as I was hoping. I tried to surge several time to get away from him but he would not let me get a gap. I also tried to back off and run behind him, but he slowed the pace right down, I suspected he wanted to have a sprint finish, which was okay for me, I missed these things, I haven't had to sprint since starting my half ironman career, but before that I had a pretty good track record over the shorter distance. It was a game of cat and mouse the last 3km with painfully slow speeds but I was not going to lead him out into the head wind. I waited for him to make his move, I also knew at about 100meters to go the was a pretty tight 180 degree left hand turn that I wanted to be on the inside going around. I squeezed past him going into the turn and I was sure I had it in the bag. I carried momentum nicely then at about 15meters from the line my legs just gave way and Jan with the speed from coming up recently from the ITU racing came past me to get the Win.
It was a tough, but fair race and today Jan raced like a champ and deserved the win. Mike Aigros came in third place
We ran 1hr13min for the half which was a nice step up from last weekends 1hr16min. Lets see if we can shave a little more off that next week in Vegas..
Back in my room chilling out with my 2XU compression gear and doing what I can to recover as much as possible before my flight to Vegas tomorrow morning.
Just to show how small this world is, I bumped into an old friend and ITU commentator Barrie Shepley who was racing his first 70.3, the physio I saw before the race worked with Darcy Noel who I studied at physio school with back in the early 2000's and Chris Broome, Westlake head boy at the same time as me at Rangi and his girlfriend are traveling around and just so happen to be in Galway seeing the sights.