Spec-Savers IronMan South Africa
Sunday, 14 April 2013
The day before race day, we had to check in and rack our bikes, hang our bike and run bags in transition. We have all been monitoring the weather on Wind Guru since a week before hoping for calm seas, clear skies and no wind on race day. After the horrible weather that was experienced at last year’s race, the weather was a hot topic of discussion.
The morning of race day started off at 4am with a shower, breakfast and getting dressed in my kit. Grabbed my swim bag and ventured down to the entrance of the hotel and was about to start my walk to the start (about a kilometre away) when myself and another athlete were pleasantly surprised to see that the hotel had arranged a shuttle to the start as well as a special clearance as there was total road closure.
Arrive at transition quite early seeing that we had been shuttled in. Sat and waited for transition to open at 5.
Not second before 5, transition was opened and we were allowed to get to our bikes and place out juices, check our tyre pressure and add our nutrition in our bike and run bags.
Transition was now becoming a hive of activity and the vibe was starting to pick up.
The weather was near-perfect and we couldn’t have asked for better. There was a slight wind but the ocean was calm.
I jumped in to my wetsuit and hung around friends from my club until we were given the all clear to be allowed to do a warm-up swim adjacent to the start.
The sun had already started rising and it looked like it was going to be an awesome day.
At about 6:30 we all started getting out of the water after our warm up swim and started making our way to the transition area where we entered the beach for the start of the race.
6:45 was the start of the race for the pros.
At 7:00 was the start of the age groupers and the canon fire signalled the start of the 2013 IronMan and battle against the elements and an awesome adventure.
The swim consists of two loops of 1.9km’s each which also includes a brief run on the beach before the start of the second loop.
I had an awesome swim. Loved every minute of it and just felt so in control.
My swim time was 1:15:10 which was also a personal best for me.
Out of the water, removed the top half of my wetsuit (not allowed to remove wetsuit on the beach) and through sprinklers to remove some of the salt water up the stairs in to T1 (Transition 1, Swim-To-Bike).
Grabbed my bike bag, parked myself on the grass next to the change area tent and removed wetsuit, and kitted up for the bike.
Ran through the men’s change tent, dumped my bike bag and ran to my bike.
I was in great spirits. Grabbed my bike and ran to the mount/dismount area to start my bike leg of the race.
T1 took me 5:06.
The bike course consists of three loops of 60km each.
It was a sunny and windy day out on the route.
The course is pretty flat with one 10km climb out of town.
Almost took out a spectator crossing the road as he was looking the wrong way and I almost got taken out by a motorist at an intersection as he wasn’t obeying the orders from the traffic officer.
Otherwise had a good bike.
My bike was 5:40:50 with an average speed of 31.69km/h. Another personal best.
Off the bike, handed bike to helpers in to T2 (Transition 2, Bike-To-Run).
Grabbed my run bag, ran into the tent and removed helmet and kitted up for the run.
Slapped on loads of sun screen and started the run.
I was in great spirit again after a good bike.
T2 took me 4:57.
The run consists of three looks of 14km’s each and after each loop you get given a different coloured hair tie. Red, blue and white being on the final loop.
Out on the run, it was very hot.
I was running fairly comfortably up until the start of the third loop when I had to dig deep and focus on my running and my breathing.
With 5 k’s to go, I picked up the pace and focused on a good finish.
My run time was 4:26:59.
Finished the race in a time of 11:33:02 and sure to be back next year and 2013 is the 10th year anniversary that IronMan’s in South Africa so sure to be a big event.