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the 12- to (almost) 14-hour finisher « Jocelyn Wong's Blog

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the 12- to (almost) 14-hour finisher

This blog is dedicated to all the 12+ hour ironman finishers who have ever dreamed of becoming much, much faster.

How to Become an Asian Triathlon Superstar, Step #27:  No matter how fast or famous you get, never forget where you came from.

I am improving by leaps and bounds every week and it’s hard to believe I met the Boss Man himself exactly a year ago in the Philippines.  I have evolved so much as an athlete and a person in these last 12 months that I would hardly recognize the triathlete I used to be.  But as I continue my ascent to triathlon superstardom, autographs and all, I realize it’s important to stay grounded and remember my humble beginnings: 9 years spent as a semi-decent age grouper, a Nobody dreaming about becoming a Somebody. 

Since it is approaching Kona week, we can talk Kona.  I dreamed about going to Kona and everyone knew it was my goal to qualify while I was in the women’s 18-24 age group.  It’s a funny little age group…since the number of Kona slots are allocated based on the number of people in each age group, and women’s 18-24 is one of the smallest, there was usually only one or two slots.  Most of the girls racing in 18-24 were either first-timers just trying to finish before the 17-hour time limit, or a handful of faster girls trying to get the one or two Kona slots.  After my first one, I considered myself one of the “faster” girls…but “faster” is a relative term.

For your viewing pleasure, I have pooled together all my finisher photos from the 5 Ironmans I did before this season, and even dug up my split times.

Ironman Wisconsin 2002

Ironman Wisconsin 2002

  • 14th age group, 13th collegiate.  (This race is also the Collegiate Ironman Championships.)
  • First Ironman ever at 20 years old.
  • 1 IV in the med tent.

 

Ironman Florida 2003

Ironman Florida 2003

  • 10th age group.
  • Worst Ironman ever.
  • 2 IV’s in the med tent.
  • I had a fever during the marathon (later found out due to a bladder infection) and walked more than half of the marathon.
  • I cried out of physical pain for the first time in my life during the “run.”
  • Bella won and her victory speech made me feel better.  She told me to keep my chin up and that my day would come.  Ok, she told everybody that but I pretended she was talking just to me.

 

Ironman Wisconsin 2005

Ironman Wisconsin 2005

  • 3rd age group, 1st collegiate = Collegiate Ironman Champion!
  • I cried out of happiness for the first time in my life when I found out I won.
  • zero IV’s!

 

Ironman Canada 2006

Ironman Canada 2006

  • 7th age group.
  • Didn’t train very much for this one so I raced in a SuperGirl outfit and had a blast.
  • Belinda won, but I didn’t stay for her speech.
  • Last chance to qualify in the 18-24 age group and came no where close.
  • zero IV’s!

 

Ironman China 2008

Ironman China 2008

  • 9th pro…but 20th woman overall.
  • I wasn’t ready to race pro yet.
  • I wasn’t ready to race in extreme heat and humidity either.
  • at least 1 IV in the med tent–I don’t actually remember as I couldn’t stop puking.

 
I finished in the dark a lot.  My fastest finish in Wisconsin 2005 (which remained my PR until I broke it this year in China) was officially a few minutes past sunset, in the dusk.

 

I was never a very talented triathlete.  I wasn’t one of those fast bitches who qualified for Kona on her first try.  Or second.  Or third…

In fact, I never made it to Kona as an age-grouper.  The closest I ever got was my 3rd place at Ironman Wisconsin in 2005.  A little German girl named Christine Waitz beat me by an hour and took the only Kona slot in our age group.  It was her first Ironman.

my first time on an Ironman podium

my first time on an Ironman podium

Next year I want to go to Kona with all my teammates.  Now I have to qualify as a pro.

Never stop dreaming.  Your day will come.

Please leave your comments on the forum.