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IM 70.3 South Africa – not the preview I hoped for « James Cunnama’s Blog


IM 70.3 South Africa – not the preview I hoped for

Last year on the finish line at IM70.3 SA

Today we head up to East London, on South Africa’s east coast for Ironman 70.3 South Africa. After coming 2nd twice there, and being forced to miss this race last year with injury I was hoping to go into the race fit and go for the elusive victory on home soil. It would have been a good start to the year, and chance for Jodie and I to show off our new Tri-Cozumel-teamTBB kit together. Unfortunately, things haven’t all gone as hoped. The best plans of mice and men and all that…

The new teamTBB division - Jodie has now joined me on this team!

After heading home following Ironman Cozumel in November 2012, and getting the dreaded man-flu on the trip, I was back into training and my form was coming nicely for the 20 January race in East London. On Christmas eve, I was indecisive about heading out on the bike – it was about the only wet day we have had in Stellenbosch since our return. I decide to ‘man-up’ and get out there. It was to be a fateful decision.

As I was coming back through town going through the last intersection before home, one motorist doing an illegal U-turn blocked the view of a second motorist turning in front of me. A swerve, a lost front wheel, and a long slide on my hip and back. The guilty party doing the U-turn blissfully unaware of the consequences of his actions. I was picked up and dusted off by concerned Stellenbosch citizens and given a lift home. The P5 was unharmed and besides a good ‘roastie’ and bruise on my hip and some road rash, so was I. The only casualty was my bike shorts – they would not recover from their injuries and were laid to rest.

Fast-forward a week and I was swimming, biking and running pain free, except the hip roastie which insisted on sticking to any clothes I wore. I was back on track for 70.3. Then my back spasmed, my hips went out and I developed ITB pain on the opposite leg. Running was impossible. Fast forward 2 more weeks and I am still not running. It seems my entire body was in revolt. Everything was too tight. Multiple visits to Lawrence van Lingen (@lorenzomojo) and every time we made big progress releasing the offending tightness, but every time the pain was still there when I ran again.

Until yesterday, I was taking the optimistic view of ‘it’s just a good taper’ and I’ll still be able to race 70.3. This of course prevented any announcements of my dilemma. But optimism must to be replaced by realism eventually and it is now unlikely I will be able to run pain-free by Sunday. I will of course still be coming to East London and hoping for the best, but I fear my best may prove to be as Jodie’s supporter…

Perhaps I am jinxed and a win on home soil is destined to elude me forever… but I doubt it. It may elude me this weekend in East London once again, but I look forward to laying those thoughts to rest in Port Elizabeth in April.

Best of luck to everyone racing Ironman 70.3 this weekend, especially the first timers – and especially especially my Mom and sister! I’ll see you all in East London. Come say Hi!


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