High heat, high winds, that pretty much summed it up. The big island provided just about the worst conditions it can. As Vinu said post-race, it’s not the course that kills you, it’s the conditions. The only respite the athletes got was mid-run cloud cover – but up until that point it was boiling.
Lis’ race report:
Deja vu! It was like my 1996 race all over again, but with much tougher conditions – a day that ended with a visit in the med tent.
Swim had some currents that pushed us to the side. It was as feisty as I remember but not too scary. The usual kicks in the goggles and dragging under the water. A very slow swim.
Bike – felt great until the famous thermal winds started blasting at mile 35. I didn’t dare to take my hands off my handle bars for a 36 miles section during the up and down section to Hawi. The gusts nearly made me fall down probably 20 times and I was terrified. I obviously don’t have the technique down. Which means I ate nothing and took no salt/electrolytes for that portion. Big mistake. Today was the hottest day in two weeks and I didn’t handle it very well. My back started to cramp second half of the back and I started throwing up water. But I did catch up to my coach Scott Molina who I had never met in person (lives in New Zealand) and we had a nice conversation.
Run – zero love. I almost called it quits after 4 miles but felt too badly giving up. I was leaning to the left because my lower back was cramping -so much that I ended up in the left gutter a bunch of times. Crazy stuff. I have no idea how I got through 22 more miles but one thing is for sure – it wasn’t pretty. Todd was instrumental in yelling instructions during this time – quit drinking water, eat banana, take salt… He was the reason I managed to finish at all (and Vinu’s salt stash that he handed me when our path crossed in the energy lab). I walked every single of the 26 aid stations during the run. It was great seeing the pro race shaping up during this time.
I am thrilled to have finished this beast today. I was coherent and able to smile while finishing which was my number one goal this time around. I had a good happy-cry afterwards for the med tent doctors.
Vinu finished his 26th Ironman today which is simply unbelievable. He had some mishaps two days leading up and was lucky to be at the starting line.
Two more days of vacation before we head home. We’ll be the ones with the fabulous tan!
Vinu had a solid, patient race finally catching Lis at mile 24 where she was having serious cramping and stomach issues. Pat McCrann, Endurance Nation Coach absolutely crushed it with a 5:15 bike split (with his new P3c and TTBikefit!) and a solid run bringing him home in 10:05. Need some coaching? Check out Endurance Nation – the best bang, least bucks in tri coaching.
Lis’ cramping and lean were set off by having to lean into the cross wind on the bike and not being able to use the aerobars and eat. Another top woman, Donna Kay Ness, had the same problem.