Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ironman 70.3 South Africa report

Ironman70.3 South Africa didn't turn out the way I wanted but I know I gave it my all. My time was some 14 minutes slower than last year and I finished in 14th position in my age group and 105th overall from about 3000 athletes, compared to last year's 5th in my age group.

Time 5h12:26
Swim: 39:50
Bike: 2h48
Run: 1h38

 My preparation up to end of December was perfect and I was really looking forward to the race as I was hitting the numbers in training and was feeling good. The new Cervelo P5 also added to this and all I can say is that this is an awesome bike. Will do a review on it some time later.
Just more than a week before the race I started having a stuffy nose and scratchy throat but thought it was the usual taper effect after all the hard training. After a few days I realized it was more than that and went to the doctor. It turned out to be flu and he put me on a very strong antibiotic for five days, but advised me not to race as it was too close to race day.

 Closer to race day I felt better but wasn't 100% but decided to race, not the right decision but tell that to an athlete. As this setback wasn't enough, I decided to test the wet suit out the Thursday before the race as the last time I swam in it was at Ironman 2012 and soon discovered that the extra pressure from the wet suit was very uncomfortable to my shoulder/collarbone with all the plates and screws in it.
 I was thinking of swimming without a wet suit or get a sleeveless one but at the end of the day decided to go with what I got and not try something new. The swim start was not good and apart from the constant pain in my shoulder my chest tightened up again after about 400 meters (just like last year at Ironman). I had to take it easy for a while before starting to swim slowly again. Don't know what it is with this, if it is the wet suit or some problem with my breathing.
 Luckily I survived the swim and was onto the bike. I felt good on the bike and was passing a lot of athletes. Starting in wave 4, some 45 minutes behind the first wave also gave me extra motivation passing people from previous waves. At the end my bike time wasn't the greatest and it was actually very slow by my standards. I was riding according to my power meter and was a little bit down but didn't think it would have such a great impact on the time. After the race I had a look at my file and after discussing it with my coach, we realized where I went wrong.

The run was the best part of the race, little bit slower than last year but I felt good and after the swim and bike disappointment I was happy to post a decent run split.
Last year when I finished 5th I was lucky enough to get a slot for Ironman70.3 Worlds in Vegas but after my bike accident couldn't go. After the race I decided to go to the slot allocation but wasn't very optimistic to get a slot. Luckily for me there weren't a lot of athletes taking their slots and 14th place was good enough to get one.

Didn't feel right finishing that low down the order and take a slot but I see it as unfinished business and doing something I was suppose to do last year.

Now that the first race of 2013 is under the belt there are a lot of races and training to come before Ironman on April 14


  1. Congratulations on the spot. Don't be so humble, like you said, you have unfinished business. Besides I think you'll be ready and do better than this years 5th place finished WOULD have done if he attended Vegas.

    Great report.


  2. Well done buddy, you earned your slot last year, this year was just validating it. Take your slot with pride.

  3. Well done despite your disappointment on the swim and bike. Im hoping for a Vegas slot at next year's race in East London. Keep training and racing hard, and best of luck with the shoulder!

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