The first part of the run leg was not fun but after about an hour the cramping suddenly disappeared. Don't know if it was because I only drank Coke at the aid stations. Although I trained to use Gels and Gatorade on the run I decided to skip it for a while as I was scared the cramping will become worst.
The first 16 odd kilometer is not that bad as you run along Alii drive and in town but then you run for about 25 kilometers on the highway and into the Energy Lab and don't see many spectators, basically only the fellow athletes and aid station helpers.
Running towards the energy lab was hard and the sun was blazing. It was 35c at Ironman South Africa this year but nothing can prepare you for the humidity. It felt like I was cooking from the inside and I struggled to cool my body down. I was pouring ice into the front of my pants and some inside my hat. This helped a lot, later on I even poured ice into the back of my race top.
As I ran I wondered how to they keep the ice from not melting as it was already afternoon and my Redd Bull was warm and Milky Bars melted by 11 am.
Having my family pictures with me on the run also helped a lot and kept my mind busy and thinking of other stuff than the heat.
The energy lab was hot and it was a real challenge going in and knowing if you get out there is 10km to go sort of motivates you.
My heart rate was constant and it never went above 148. A lot of people warned me that you must be careful that you don't dehydrate or just collapse during the run due the the extreme heat. After exciting the Energy Lab I realized that I was taking it to easy and could have increase the pace sooner as my heart rate was in the 130's and I felt good.
As someone once said "The best advice he ever received was not to listen to all the advice you get". Something I must remember in future as I was so scared of collapsing due to the heat that I did not push hard enough.
Entering town and running down Palani hill was very emotional. When you run that long on the highway without many spectators and trying to handle the heat it is really special running down Palani road and all these people cheering you on and lifting your spirit.
Knowing it is only 1 kilometer to go I started soaking up the atmosphere. Lot of people were shouting at me to move on as I can break 11 hours. With me just wanting to finish and not thinking of the time I was enjoying it and really slowed down a lot.
The last part on Alii drive was magic and I slowed down even more but it felt like it was over before it even started. Crossing the finish line made me feel so good and I didn't even think of the miserable bike leg I had.
After crossing the finish line I had two helpers taking me to the athletes area. They made me feel like a king, helping me getting there and keep asking me if I was OK.
The finishers medal and T-shirt are given to you at the finishers area and not at the finish line. They had me worry for a while when I crossed the finish line and no medal.
After that I had some Pizza to get something salty in my system and then I went for a massage.
Must say it was the best ever post race massage I had. Not like IMSA where they only massage your legs, it is a full body massage. There was also no time limit as at IMSA and I think it must have taken at least 20 minutes. At least some luck was on my side as I had an Asian lady doing my massage, I believe they are just above the rest when it comes massages.
After the massage I walked towards the entrance to the post race area and got hold of Kim and DJ. They were so happy to see me and we went to the photo area to have our picture taken.
Finishing the race and having my family there to experience it is something that will stay with me forever.
Pace: 5:32 min/km
Heart rate: 140 ave
Stride length: 110
Total Time: 10h58:09
Position (age group 35-39) 137/206