By Nikki Bartlett – September 12, 2016
My first IRONMAN World 70.3 Champs went a bit like this…
-Arrive 10days before. Absolutely stunning location in Coolum (between Mooloolaba and Noosa). Our apartment was fab, and welcomed by a wonderful family, who came out to support on race day too. Massive thank you for your hospitality.
-Had a mini holiday/taper which was amazing with Bex.
-Practiced on the course, discovered the swim could be choppy – one day nearly got washed back onto the beach. Wouldn’t have been the first time. Bike had a bit of everything in, loved the hilly section. Run was going to be tough with a 400m climb x 4, but that’s how I like it. Overall the course was certainly challenging, perfect for a World Champs
-Pre race – had the perfect taper, felt fresh, ready to go, no niggles, no illness. No sleep, standard!
-Perfect race day conditions – calm morning = calm sea
-Racking like ITU, stuff near your bike! Used to a million bags, this was by far the easiest racking.
-Swim; for me, had my best swim so far this season. Still a progression in the making, but with 4 years experience, against the best athletes in the World, can’t grumble.
-Although every race I always wish I had swam pre 25 years old.
-Out on the mega long transition (500m!)
-Off on my larry on the bike.
-Holding some serious wattage but still not finding a soul.
-Finally pass 4 athletes. Continue to hold my highest wattage all season, actually questioning if the garmin is wrong.
-See Bex, 3mins off one pack, 7 off another.
-Continue to hold wattage as I literally race the 56m no different to if I were doing an actual stand alone TT.
-Off the bike – Best bike all season, seriously chuffed to bits with it, but not enough to catch two packs…
-Onto the long ass transition, where are my legs. Probably the worst I’ve ever felt coming off of the bike
-Head out onto the run, and question if I can genuinely make it up the hill. Where’s Bex? I think I need to be sick and fall onto her.
-‘Just keep moving’
-Somehow clock a good first 10k, I can still get my 1.25 (minimum) I know I’m aiming for.
-11k, oh I’m not moving anymore…
-The last 10k was the longest I’ve ever experienced in a 70.3. It was not pretty, and in fact, I can hardly remember it.
-Finish 25th Pro
It’s taken me a while to write this blog as I was filled with disappointment for a few days. But then on reflection;
Have to appreciate how far I’ve come this season. NO WAY did I think in Jan that I would achieve all I have. Sport requires long time commitment, hard-work, dedication. No big glory days, weeks, months. I’m progressing nicely, way faster this year than I though possible.
I actually had my best swim, and I’m not going to go publishing numbers, but wattage I didn’t expect to see.
I don’t know how I even ran, 1.30 on that course, off pretty much a max bike effort, is something I am now proud of.
I feel extremely lucky to be travelling the World and racing. And lucky to have the opportunity to race my first WC (35 women go!) and at a pretty special venue.
All the girls bought out their A game and were seriously fast, massive congrats
So, after travelling back, we’ve now 100% decided to tackle… IRONMAN Wales, THIS weekend.
This year has been all about WC Q, so this should be interesting. I have admittedly done a full one before. Off the back of no training, and raising money for Cancer Research. I thought I could blag it on rowing fitness, no swim experience, it was an interesting day out at IRONMAN Bolton in 2011. I unfortunately developed tendonitis 3 weeks before, steering a boat. Extra challenge.
-I swam with my head above the water pretty much the whole time
-9mins in T1
-Shocked at how far 180k actually was
-Cried around a marathon
Post race I cried my eyes out and swore I would never do that again, and I’m continuing to row. 5 years on and I’m racing another one as a Pro.
And I can’t stop laughing at this flashback photo. Precious.
The thought of doing an IRONMAN… I actually cannot get my head around it. The thought of doing IM Wales, which =
Choppy sea swim
Crazy 1k run uphill to your bike
180k of hill cycling action
Apparently the hilliest run course on the IM circuit
Fabulous. Part sarcasm, part not. I have absolutely NO idea how this is going to go. But I do know I’m injury free, healthy, fit, and want to make a lot of people proud. I’m also missing a Claire and Johns wedding, so hope to make them proud. I will race fearless. Just need this last bit of fatigue to do one!
As always, there are so many people to thank. Friends, family, sponsors (Financial Fitness Group, Skechers Performance, Leisure Lakes Bikes Cheltenham, 9bar), coach Robster, Bex. Too many amazing people to thank. Onwards!