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It´s a LONG way to Brazil « Donna Phelan's Blog


It´s a LONG way to Brazil

My trip to IM Brazil started when I got back from Thai camp the end of April, and will finish when I get back home on Wednesday.

Going to Brazil (for Canadians anyway) requires a Visa, and so the first segment of my trip was heading to LA from San Diego to drop off my visa application at the Brazilian consolate (no mail-ins allowed). The second segment of my trip required going back to LA a week later to pick up my visa. The third segment of my trip was heading to LAX last Tuesday for my supposed flight to Brazil. However, the terminal was a zoo when I arrived with lots of angry people milling about….yup, flight cancelled with no warning due to diverted incoming flight (turbulence over the Atlantic sent 6 people to hospital in an emergency landing in Montreal). So, back to San Diego for the night, followed by my 4th trip to LA the next day and my eventual 24hrs of travel LA to Washington to Sao Paolo to Rio to Florianopolis. Wow, am I dreaming or am I actually finally here, haha.

The race was on Sunday and started with a 2 loop ocean swim, split up by a beach run in between loops. Dede Griesbauer and Tereza led out the swim and I exited in 4th place about 1:45 behind Hillary.

The bike was 2x90km loops with 4 decent size hills in each loop. My legs felt better on the second loop, but I still had some time to make up when I came off the bike, still in 4th place, about 3:30 back from Hillary.

The run started with a 21km loop followed by 2×10.5km loops. The first 15km were the most challenging with 6 short, steep hills, but I felt good and by 18km had Hillary in my sight. We started running together at 20km, but by the second loop my quads were starting to complain about the earlier hills. At 25km, Maria Omar from Argentina ran by with what would end up being the fastest run split of the day. Hillary and I continued our battle side by side, never able to put more than a few feet on the other from 20km to 42km. It was a tough 22km and coming into the finish shoot it came down to a sprint finish with Hillary outsprinting me in the last 100m.

The silver lining to a disappointing sprint was finishing within the 8% money rule, and within the 5% Kona rule, although there were only 2 Kona slots for women. Dede and Tereza had already qualified with their top 10 finishes in Kona last year, and so the two spots went to Maria and Hillary. I was hanging out at roll down the next day, just about ready to leave, when I heard my name called out. There were 3 Kona slots for men, but the guy who would´ve taken the third spot didn´t finish within 5% so it rolled back to the women. I´m glad I stuck around and thanks Tereza for loaning me the $550 US!

I started my journey back to the US Monday afternoon, from Florianopolis to Rio to Sao Paolo. My flight from Rio was late arriving in Sao Paolo and by the time I got to my gate, the doors had closed leaving myself and 2 other people to miss our connection to Washington. I was fuming, and they must have seen the steam coming out of my ears because they sent me off to one of the nicest hotels I´ve been in, complete with dinner and breakfast buffet. So here I am in the business center of the hotel this morning, catching up on email before my 10pm flight to Washington and LA this evening. It may be time for a nap soon as I didn´t have a great sleep last night. I kept having nightmares that I overslept and got to the breakfast buffet just as they were closing. And that wouldn´t have been a good thing.;-)

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