A feeling of relief, joy but also disappointment I felt when I turned right into the finishline of the Ironman Australia last Sunday. Only 200 meters separated me from my first Ironman victory, the crowd cheered me on, I tried to give them a smile.
With a nice start in to the race, I left the water after 49 minutes and changed to the bike leg as a second female. Soon after I took over the lead and was able to extended my lead after 90km up to 12 minutes. I felt good, my rhythm’ve found, the right gear on the chain ring and my “toy” on the left wrist told me, that I’m perfect on the way. I started in the second loop and got punished with a puncture. I’ve stopped short, fixed it with pit-stop and got quickly back in the race. 20km later, it may not even be true, a second puncture. I stopped my P4 and had a look on my rear wheel, I’ve to change the whole tire. A team from the TV, a photographer of WTC, the motorcyclist “leading female” and a race marshal, all stopped and looked at me. I would say it wasn’t a change exactly like F1, but still pretty quick. Back on the track, I just hoped thats it for today. I didn’t had any stuff left to get fixed a third puncture. …the third, I got just a few 100meters before T2 (see picture). Rolled in to T2, running shoes on. Still a bit annoyed by the unwanted loss of time on the bike, but highly motivated to show a fast marathon, I started running. The legs say yes to my project, I felt good. But after 20km, I felt a huge pain in my right heel, I couldn’t stand on it anymore. What now? Pull out? I cant do that, it sounded in my head, I’ve to finish today to get qualified for Hawaii. I hobble and walked for a few km. The crowd cheering me on and Dave’s family tried to cheer me up. Still, with a few minutes lead I slowly began to run again, with the right foot simply going on the outer part. It was not fast but still faster than walking and with some luck, I can keep the lead and pick up my first Ironman victory, i thought.
The conditions were tough. We had to fight with a strong wind on the bike- and run course. Also the incredibly bad road conditions didn’t made it easyer. The potholes were almost impossible to avoid, the rough surface made it hard to let the bike roll soft.
My personal expectations about my first Ironman in the new season were pitched as always high. Why not, I’ve been training hard for it and was motivated to give my best. But an Ironman race has his own laws, many things can go wrong on a good day. I am relieved by the breaking of the “2nd place Ironman bane”, joy I feel about my first victory and perseverance, frustration is spreading about the failed change to show a perfect race. What a race, what an endlessly long day! !
Since yesterday, I’m back in Mooloolaba I still enjoy a few days on the coast. Next week I’ll go back to Germany/Switzerland. Four months with team TBB and coach are planned in Leysin.
See you soon