The day finally arrived to experience a middle distance Ironman race and i wasn't disappointed with this event. It had great atmosphere, good competition and some hard racing with about 1900 athletes entered. This is a beautiful part of France and the weather was ideal.
Taking down an 800 calorie breakfast was interesting and so was discovering I had somewhat outgrown my wetsuit from last year! However the goal of this race was to finish strong and positive, test out the nutrition strategy with a view to making the full distance Ironman Nice next month a less daunting prospect.
(1.9km) - Set in a lake about 30mins by car north of Aix which made the logistics of the event abit cumbersome due to having two transition areas, however it was good nonetheless. The usual washing machine affair during the first half, stayed calm, got some space and focused on good navigation and preserving my energy. Fortunately no contact.
(90km) - Felt pretty good after the swim but was cautious not to push too much on the bike, wanted to finish strong on the run. Time flew past on the ride and I learnt to be careful pacing against others since many were doing the relay and were much fresher, it was reasonably hilly with one 500m climb about 80km in, but what goes up must come down and there were some fantastic fast downhill sections afterwards. Finished in good shape for a strong run.
(21.1km) - Oh dear....legs feel great, lots of energy, however my lungs seemed to have stopped working. It was about 24degrees but felt alot hotter for the 4 x 5km loops in the centre of town. I'm not sure what my problem was, i now suspect the wetsuit was far too tight and compressed my chest and maybe this was the after effect but nevertheless I had to back right off and fortunately the great atmosphere from the crowd around the course (and my lovely wife) meant i finished. Whilst I would have liked to be 25mins quicker on the run, I know this will serve as motivation for the next one.
Swim(39m), Bike(03:13), Run(01:56) = 06:00
A big thank you to MSTC whose coaches have been very helpful the past 12 months.
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