The Met Life Ironman 70.3 Cozumel
Cozumel - hot weather and a tough race
Race day was greeted by an early start, with wake up at 4.30am followed by breakfast!! I needed to be down at cycle transition by 5.30 to set up transition gear. The atmosphere down at transition was humming, music and lots of nervous athletes! 6.55am was my race start, this time between transition and start time disappeared very quickly, before I knew it my age group was being called to the start line down the swim shoot.
The swim had been shortened to 1200m from 1500m due to a strong head current.
The race start was madness, as I expected it would be, the first 200m was with the tail current so we were flying until we turned around the buoys into a long 1000m straight stretch into the head current. The swim literally felt as though you were on a treadmill going nowhere! I felt that I was swimming pretty good, I was in the first main bunch so happy with that. As I neared the last set of buoys I got caught under one of the buoys due to the strong current!! Probably one of my scariest swimming encounters!
After what felt a century in the water finally it was a long 300m transition run from the sea to the bike transition, I was extremely happy to be on the bike! The bike was an extremely fast and flat course. I made up a lot of places on the bike, I was 20th out of the water and moved into 9th place on the bike. The bike was pretty much a straight out and back course.
After coming into transition of the bike I was certainly dreading the hot run to come. I knew this would be a battle with the heat! Today was certainly one of the hotter days to the week with no cloud cover! As I embarked on the run I was actually feeling pretty good, the crowds were really supportive and encouraging! After my first lap of two on the run, after what I felt I had controlled the first lap pretty well I thought I was feeling comfortable and would have been happy to control holding this time for the second lap…..only then did the energy levels start to drop off and the heat really kick in. The second lap was certainly a mental tester, the last 1km was a real battle but I was determined to make the line. Within the last 1km I past a lot of other competitors who were passed out on the side of the roads suffering from heat exhaustion, I knew I had to push on, and finally I made the line!!!!
Looking back on the race, at first I was pretty hard on myself, I struggled with the fact that I ran almost 10minutes slower off the bike!! But then again most people were also running similar times. I think the hardest thing found was that I knew I was not running my best times regardless of the heat however on the day I couldn’t have ran any harder, and for my first worlds competition I should be happy to have almost made top ten considering this is really my first completive season.
A positive from the race has made me want to race world again next year, now I know what im up against and know I could do so much better!! So this real brings a lot of motivation coming into the new season!
I have two weeks between my next race which is a half ironman here on the island. Hopefully over the next two weeks the body will be more adjusted to the heat conditions!