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IM China race report. « Mathieu O'Halloran's Blog

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IM China race report.

Hey heres a brief blog about my race at IM China.

On the start line, given who was present, I had only 1 goal, and that was to NOT lead the swim, and just save energy for the rest of the day. READY GO! I swam the majority of the swim behind my teammate Hiro as he navigated us in zig zags around a sea of age groupers over an un-orthodox 4 lap swim course.

We took the outsides of the course very wide but at the middle buoys, we just had to get her done, even if that meant going over a few age groupers…The worst where actually the breast strokers, as they would pop up in your face…That water was very murky…

Me and Hiro came out of the water, a short while behind the leader in 2nd and 3rd place respectively. If felt poised and was happy to be out of that crazy swim.

On the bike, the wind was pretty strong already, so I decided to once again pace off Hiro for the first 90km. A few riders would come storming by, I tried to go 10m behind them, but just could not, and I knew there was still a long ways to go in this race.

Actually, a big chunk of the guys that passed me on the first 90km, did not even finish the race.

At 90km mark on the bike, I took my special need and then the wind was just insane. I train a lot in the wind in Subic Bay and this wind was something else. At that point, I lost Hiro and then until the next aid station, 15km away, I struggle to move forward. This was the hardest part of the whole ride, I had to chase away negative thoughts from inside my head and just keep moving…

Finally at that aid station, I stopped, got off my bike and had some food, drank and stretch, maybe I spent 5-6 minutes there.

I got back on my bike, and started to build my rythum, next thing I know, I was passing ridders that had passed me earlier and feeling strong. I rode very strongly over the hills and I keep that feeling all the way to transition.

Once a fresh and dry pair of socks on, I started conservative, I alternate feeding on bananas and water at 1 aid station, and the next was Gatorade only, REPEAT. At the first turn around, I saw I was still in good position and could get a paycheque. After 10km I started to pass a few athletes but then at 15km, I got passed by 3 guys pretty suddenly. I keep my focus and moving forward. But at about 25km, my legs, lower back and neck where extremely tight which caused me to stop longer at the aid stations. Not to long after, my hip flexors started to cramp up, of which compelled me to walk it off…

With about 4km to go, 2nd place female Nicole Leder came up from behind me and encouraged me to run with her to the finish. I took her invitation but still had to fight off some cramps and crossed the line to be created by my teammates.

I’d like to thank all of my sponsors, The Bike Boutique, Cervelo, Avia, Blue Seventy, Louis Garneau and 3T. And especially all my fans, friends, familly and teamates. And of course Joyette, Alex and Brett who continiously believe in me, even though my race results are so inconsistent…

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