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November « 2009 « Caroline Koll's Blog

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Archive for November, 2009

Meeting Jesus

Friday, November 27th, 2009
Jesus, Bean and Fernando

Jesus, Bean and Fernando

Yesterday, I met Jesus for the first time. I am here in Cancun, defying the odds of a near empty bank account, a 28 hour journey around the globe and filled with nothing but determination! It has always been a dream of mine to come to Mexico, and it is still an unbelievable feeling! I am looking very forward to racing the Cozumel Ironman on Sunday, and I have only some great people to thank for it! These people are the ones you always believe in me no matter how bad things get, so thank you to my sister for organising the (cheap accomodation), Mom (for putting up with my nomadic lifestyle) and Kristian, Jillian, Dan who have offered the positive words in the face of adversity!

So, yesterday, I finally met Jesus and Fernando. Quite coincidently I might add, when I headed out for a solo bike ride here in Cancun. I came across these two guys riding on a superb piece of tar from the hotel area in Cancun to the Airport. They were ambling along at conversational pace when I came by (delighted to see that proper cyclists exist in these parts). I muttered a friendly “Ola” , smiled and went by. A while later, Jesus (pronounced Geh-sous), pulls up alongside, panting from the effort, and we started an animated discussion in Spanglish. He introduced himself and his riding partner Fernando (who has legs that should belong to a Pro!). They invited me to join them the next morning for a ride and perhaps a bit of “repetition”, how great is that! Interestingly, they have a sweep vehicle, with a driver called Eric, just for the two of them! I am not sure if it is a saftey thing, but it certainly is great, Eric clears the little traffic that there is on the road, and you can be sure that no one is going to rear end you!

This morning I eagerly headed out to meet my new found Mexican friends, along with a new one called Alexandro, who claims to b just out exercising! We had a great ride, and they answered many questions about the area and Mexico in general, and then it was my turn – “Carolina” asked Jesus, “You do fast repetition for us?” Oh goodieee I thought! There is nothing more amazing than tearing down the airport road in Cancun, just smooth and so, so fast! They loved it to and we just ripped it up for 10k or so. I was smiling and so were they – heck it was fun!

Then we rode back towards the Zone Hoteleria, and they explained to me that it was rather cool at this time of year, apparently Winter? They weren’t coping too well, and explained that for a while now they had been going out with long sleeves in the early mornings! It is at least 28deg in the mornings here, and I had sweat literally blinding me – or was that just the speed???

Thank you Jesus, Fernando and Alexandro for making a great memory!

The podium plot

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

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So the curse of 13 finally broke! At Powerman Malaysia I finally did not get race number “13″, boy was I relieved! While some Pro’s may not like the sound of race number 505 I was ecstatic!

This was Powerman Malaysia. This was me getting a third place and finally a good podium in what will probably be my last race for the year and last race for Team TBB.

I arrived late in Malaysia, on the Friday just before the race on Sunday, and I was wondering how the travel time might affect me? Well to be honest I never thought of it at all! The beautiful surrounds of Lumut where the race was to take place left me only in awe. The race organisers Melody and Adele from Quick Release Adventures could only be described as the best in the business! We were treated like absolute stars from the minute we arrived at the Orient Star Hotel. Someone was even lucky enough to to get a chocolate cake for her birthday (and yes, she was kind enough to share!)

Race day was nothing short of the most fun you can have doing a Duathlon! I have not done a Duathlon in a long time and I was wondering what a fast 11k and slightly less fast 10k were going to feel like? Well, the run and bike course were lovely and flat, just my kind of course :-) The first run started just after sunrise in Manjung and I had surprisingly very good legs combined with loads of red blood cells (having just come from high altitude). It felt easy, and quickly I found myself leading the run, I couldn’t believe I was in this position and did worry why the others were not going with me? By the 8k mark they had caught me and I thought this was a safe position to be in.

On to the bike, I had to remember that in such a short race you have to get going fast! Unfortunately, my legs would not react until Rebecca Preston caught me, and then suddenely, I was motivated to try and keep her in sight, which I managed to do the whole bike leg.

I came into the transition area in 4th place, not too bad as I enjoy the chase, but when I tried to (quickly) get my running shoes on, I realised my feet had swollen so much from the 35deg heat that I couldn’t get them into the shoes! After numerous attempts and adjustments, I finally got them on and headed out of the transition in 5th or 6th place!

By now the heat and humidity had really built up and it was tough going, pouring water on my head seemed to do little else other than build up steam! I just kept going and going even though it felt unbareable, and I eventually ran up to third place!

I was absolutely delighted to finish on the podium behind the European Champion and the Zofingen bronze medalist!

Race number 505 is a good one if ever you get it…