On Saturday Lizzy and I headed for Zurich to do the VW Olympic Distance Triathlon, a ‘little’ race to warm the crowds up for Ironman Switzerland the next day. The female pro wave kicked off ‘swiss time’ sharp at 13.20. The water was a tropical 21 degrees – a far cry from the arctic, ice cream headache temperatures at Blenheim and Wimbleball. The swim went pretty well – not great – but much better than previous outings/drownings. There were a lot of fists flying and leg pulling, but I used my bony elbows and large size 8 feet to good affect, surviving the boxing match and exiting the lake with the leaders. I also managed to avoid any of the usual wardrobe malfunctions, and got my wetsuit over my ankles without even having to do my T1 rubber dance, and jumped aboard Calvin.
Off we shot…..overtaking the other girls within the first km and heading for Heartbreak Hill. My Heart did Break slightly when I realised that the dodgy shifter that I thought was mended had somehow managed to un-mend itself, and I was at the bottom of the hill without Mr Small. Not too much I could do except grit my knashers and grind it up in Mr Big. Thankfully Calvin behaved himself on the other two laps and I could get it into Mr Small and save my calves from too much more unnecessary torture. I finished the bike in 1.03, and felt OK heading into the 10km flat run. The first 2km actually seemed a bit sluggish, but I felt stronger as I went on…..the support from the crowds was really superb – the loudest cheers coming from the BRATS (Birmingham Running and Triathlon Club – the club I competed for in the UK). Thanks SO much guys – your cheers pushed my scrauny butt across that finish line!
So, although that was it for my weekend of racing, the big event was yet to come…Ironman Switzerland…….The race reports have said it all……..
So…this blog is dedicated to Rebecca, whose power, passion and perseverance was a total inspiration – to me – and to so many others. Becks…..it was amazing to watch you in action, especially on the run when you demonstrated ALL that true champs are made of. Well done mate, we are all so proud of you!
I also want to finish off by raising a glass (of something alcoholic of course) to the awesome performances of all 14 BRATS who paddled, straddled, trundled, walked and crawled their way through the IM (and who have helped and supported me so much over the past few years). You are all legends!