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Winning Ironman South Africa!! « Bella Bayliss's Blog


Winning Ironman South Africa!!

What a day both Stephen and I have had last Sunday!
To both win this race is a magical dream come true.
I am so proud of Stephen. That was his first Ironman win, and a great win at that. I have seen his determination and hard work in trying to win these Ironman races. And whats even more exciting, is, there is more to come from him!

I am also very happy with my win! To win an Ironman is such a mega accomplishment. I love the feeling of complete satisfaction of winning. I will continue to work at this sport so once again, I can try to taste that amazing winning feeling.

The weeks coming into IM SA I felt strong in trainnig. I did beleive I could do a good job. The final days coming into the race I got a bit nervous. I got a sore throat and I was nervous about how I felt on the bike. I thought the wind was strong and the bumpy roads worried me! But actually once the gun went off, there was no problems! Well, untill 90km on the bike when I got a puncture! Arghhhh. I rode for 7km with the front flat, but it got so flat I had to stop. I ripped the flat off. And almost had a baby trying to put the new one on. God they are hard to get on. Then I put the gas on, and whooooosh, the gas came out, but not into the tyre. I was in the middle of know where with no gas. The TV crew were loving their oppertunity to get some fun tv coverage. I stood there realising my race was over. What a heart sinking feeling. I did ask the camera crew to go look for a mechanic and one of them did. A good 10 minutes later a mechanic came and gave me the new gas. I pumped up the tyre and suddenly I could continue, if I wanted. I really thought that was a waste of time though. I told myself, “whats the point, I have lost a good 15 mins now”. But then I thought, “well, I REALLY dont have anything better to do today” and I knew Stephen would not really want me standing at the side of the road cheering him on. He would rather see me out there doing what I have trained to do. So I just carried on and would see what I could do.

At 160km I passed Edith Neidinfringer who was also having a puncture. Edith, in my eyes was my major competition and suddenly we were in the same position! The race was possibly back on. I kept my head down.

On the run I was aware of the Czech girl 18 minutes up the road. But I felt ok. I was also concerned about Edith who was probably 2 mintes behind me. I was bringing the Czech girl in smoothly.
I had an uplift at 18km when Raynard passed me with Stephen 5 seconds behind him! Suddenly I knew Stephen would win this race! What a feeling. Suddenly I felt a real extra spring in my stride.
At 20km Edith caught me. Arghhh. I thought, ok, she is a good runner she will beat me today. But I really decided to stick on her and just see how long I would last. Well, we ended up running side by side till 42 km. And somewhere deep with in me I decided to sprint like a maniac. Somehow or another I sprinted so fast I got to the finish line just before her!! What a race! I got to the finish line wretching with the effort. Met by absolulty exstatic Stephen who threw me in the air and sqeezed me so tight I really did nearly threw up on him!!
What a day. An absolute dream come true! To both win an Ironman race. We’ll keep working away cos I believe we can do this again!! :)

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