Finally I started into the 2012 season. It was hard to watch all my team mates racing so well all over the world. It is motivating on the one side, but it is frustrating on the other side, as there is nothing more I want then being out there racing the best in the world.
So this was a bit of a comeback race for me. After having a dodgy knee that left me with 10 weeks off running and 8 weeks off biking in winter. Before that I had two Ironman starts with DNF’s … for good reasons as the doctors found out a bit (too) late.
So here I was, not sure if my knee would be able to go through a full Ironman distance and with not so much confidence in my running fitness. I am not one of those talented runners. I really have to work hard (or harder) to get my run to where I want it to be. So my tactic was not to get off the bike with guys like Rasmus Henning and Jordan Rapp. But as we all know, both of them are known for their bike strength as well. So it took an extra effort to build up a lead over those two guys. In numbers, I only know I went through the 90km (on my garmin) with 2h01min on my watch… yes, there was a bit of tailwind. It was a lonely 180km out there. Trying to keep pushing hard without overdoing it. Going back home against the wind was not helping much either. But I felt good and I made a decision early in the race and I wanted to stick to this plan. In my opinion, you can only achieve the extraordinay with doing something special. It doesnt mean it works, but if you never try you never knwo. So I finished the bike in 4h18min, a new bike course record.
I know, at the end we are doing Triathlon, so you cant buy anything with a best bike split. And at the end my goals is to win Ironman races. Not to have just a best swim, bike or run split.
But like I said, on that day, I decided to go with the risky tactic. As I felt good and I thought I will be able to run a 3h marathon home even when I am in bad condition. But there was the +30°C temperatures und humidity that played against me. Not that I did not know about those factors, but the thing is, sometimes you don’t know if it will hit you just bad or really bad. I guess coming from Europe and cold temperatures didn’t help much either. Fact was, I was out for a pure survival run. Other competitors didn’t matter anymore. It was just about making it to the finish without passing out. I felt dizzy for most of the run and just tried to run from aid station to aid station .
On the last 800m I got past by a fast running Justin Daerr. There was not much I could do as even if I tried to go faster, the body didn’t react the way I wanted. So I have to be happy to finish on the podium still. My 10th Ironman (WTC) podium since I started doing Ironman in 2005. Next time I will go for that win again. You can count on that. And it will work out.