The countdown is well and truly on.
This place brings back found memories for both Charlotte and I. In 2007 Charlotte finally won in Busso and got her first Ironman win.
2007 was a great year for us. Charlotte, myself and fellow TS athlete Michael Baker shared a unit in Dunsborough. We had such an enjoyable race week that everything fell into place and we all had our best days.
The memory of that race and a feeling I’ll continue to chase like an addict in search of a fix is forever etched into my mind. I remember the anxiety I felt each time, I’d cross paths with the 2nd place female (I’d see the bike in the distance) and I’d hope to hell it wasn’t Charlotte, which would mean she was still winning for some reason Charlotte and I would pass each other going the opposite direction (I started 15 mins behind) at times where we’d simply miss each other. But there were also the many fellow athletes that day letting me know she was winning. Still gives me goosebumps as did that moment when I knew Charlotte had won and that I was going to break 9 hours.
Michael went 9:29 (which he will hopefully better on Sunday, he is in the best shape I have ever seen him), I smashed 40 minutes off my previous best of 9:37 and snuck under 9hours (8:57) and Charlotte came oh so close to the Sub9 club with her 9:00:50 race.
What a day.
The following year was just as fond for me, as I got my first Ironman AG win and another sub9 result, unfortunately Charlotte came in second to Gina Crawford who had an exceptional day. Charlotte made a costly mistake on the run, going too hard too early (wanting to catch up). Instead of sticking to her guns, and plans of 3x 59 minute laps, she went through the first lap in 56 minutes. Those 3 minutes in that first lap dug her a little too deep and thus left her not being able to capitalise on Gina who was struggling in the latter stages and potentially winning the race.
So for those of you racing this weekend, whether you’re going for that personal best, chasing a Kona spot at arguably one of the hardest races in the world to qualify or going for the win, I wholeheartedly recommend that you go for it. But I also recommend you pace smart, which allows you to push hard when it counts.
If you can push hard while your fellow competitors are slowing, you have the upper hand. Running strong especially in the last 12k gives you a huge mental boost. There is no doubt that your quads will be screaming and you’ll be having the internal fight where you’re body is wanting you to take the foot off the gas (to ease the discomfort), but you’re willing your mind to keep going, and not give in. It’s one of those many race day choices you have. A choice with lasting impact.
Do you ease off and be a little more comfortable?
You go on and make peace with the discomfort, and push, push yourself out of that self imposed comfort zone and set your bar a little higher.
Life favours the brave.
Right here and right now you have a choice to give it to yourself and get those goals. Even if you fall short, there is one certainty in life.
You’ll never regret giving it your best shot. No excuses, just you against the clock.
Show us what you got.