Last Sunday, I raced Ironman Switzerland in Zurich. I did this race in 2008 when it was raining and 12 degrees, and really wanted to improve on my 9th place finish from last year. I knew there were some stong runners in the race this year so I had one strategy in mind – go hard on the swim and bike and build up some time heading into the run.
I came out of the swim in 6th position, not exactly where I wanted to be, but knowing that a few of the girls weren’t too far ahead. Coach had told me I was ready to have a good bike ride, so I knew if I did a good job on the bike I could make up some time. About 40km through the first of the 2 loop hilly bike course, I passed Sarah Schutz. I knew she had out run Nicola and Erika already this year so I was happy to have her behind me. A short while later, I passed Lizbeth, and then finally passed Miriam Moser to move into 3rd position.
I held onto 3rd position for the rest of the bike, and headed out onto the run knowing I had my work cut out for me. But regardless of what would happen behind me, I knew there was only one thing I could do – give it everything I had and hold them off for as long as I could, hoping that the effort to catch me might cause them to fade in the end.
At around 24km, Sarah Schutz ran past, and a few km’s later came Monika Lehman with Lizbeth not too far behind. Somewhere in the last 10kms, there was a shuffling of positions as I passed Caroline Steffan, Sarah faded to 4th and Monika would finish just 30sec ahead of Lizbeth.
I was happy to finish in 5th place in 9:31, knowing I had given it my everything on that day, and finished with my fastest marathon time. I was also very happy to see Lizbeth have a great race, and really tough it out on the run to finish 3rd. We were both lucky to have coach there to support us….although I hear he’s quite sore from all his running around.;-)