3 weeks till race day...
When Tony asked me to write a Kona blog I thought, hmm I’m not sure. I find photos easier with a caption or a quote. However as a child I wrote a diary so perhaps I may enjoy this and will read it back and remember the adventure better through words rather than just images. Hopefully my family and friends will but probably most likely my triathlete friends may enjoy my waffle. My daughter‘s blog advice was “just don’t try and be funny because you’re not” 🤣 Now there’s a challenge.
Someone I recently met asked me why I would wish to go all the way to Kona. Why this race? Well, it’s the Ironman World Championships. If you participate in long distance triathlon this race is the pinnacle one. Ironman was born here (well actually that’s not strictly correct because the race moved from the island of Oahu in 1981 after three years).
The heat and strong winds I’ve heard can be brutal but I’ve learnt more about myself since having started triathlon and one being is that I like challenging conditions. One of the many reasons why I like racing is the opportunity to travel to new places and meet new friends. As a child I hoped one day to go to Hawaii as a surfer. So I‘m not going there as a surfer but as an amateur triathlete.
I was rather surprised to have qualified in my first year racing long distance so I couldn’t possibly have not taken up the opportunity. Triathletes race for years to try and qualify so I am over the moon to have had qualified at my second long distance race at Ironman Wales last year. A big thanks to my coach Tony Weeks for his coaching and continued encouragement and support in my preparation.
2018 was a successful year of racing for myself, a 5th AG place at Ironman Mallorca 70.3, a 5th AG place at Ironman Lanzarote, an 8th at the ITU Long Distance in Denmark followed by my 2nd place in Wales. I trained consistently and hard in preparation for Wales with Tony’s coaching. A week prior to Wales I had a bit of an emotional melt down I think mainly due to feeling tired and I had rather a lot going on also with being in the process of moving home. After a few very supportive conversations with friends I went to Wales feeling more at ease and to simply race with no pressure of times or outcomes. As it turned out I placed 2nd and although originally 2 slots were allocated for Kona in my AG, Ironman moved the second slot to another age group as a number of women in my AG decided to not race at the last minute. So I did not expect to qualify post race, I was simply thrilled with a podium position. The first woman did not take the slot so I was over the moon to be offered the Kona coin!
I do believe in those magical moments in life and I truly believe it was simply meant to be. I wouldn’t have qualified at this year’s Wales race looking at the times but that doesn’t matter as I‘m going this year.
It’s been a tough year in certain respects personally however I prefer to focus on the positives and I have very many to be grateful for. I have learnt much about how to ‘let the ebbs of life flow’ my friend and holistic therapist Ben Barnett has been a wonderful support with this. My children are a huge rock for me, watching them grow up and mature brings me a lot of joy and motivates me to train. I do believe that showing them that one has to work hard, be determined, focused, appreciative and joyful are key elements in life whatever one chooses to do. And being part of a team is so important. A team of family, friends, triathlete friends, my coach, my therapists, they have all contributed in their own ways in getting me to this race. So before I start my blog I just wanted to say a huge thank you 🙏
I fear I would waffle and I think I’ve achieved this so tomorrow will be more concise!
My Wales moments, 2018!
The view I’m so excited to see!