August 1st, 2016 by Will
I’m on a mission right now and that is to get myself a place on the start line for Ironman World Championships in Kona. The biggest show that long course Triathlon has to offer, It’s important for me and BMC Etixx Pro Triathlon Team to get there and honestly I’d like to be able to do something great as well! It’s not that easy though, especially when you start the year on the back foot. Many of the top athletes cruise the selection process because they grab heaps of points from Hawaii the year before and also some late season racing after that. However I started the year from zero so it’s quite difficult to catch up. Obviously if you mess up your first Ironman you have to overcome the mental and physical fatigue and you have to get yourself back in shape after tapering and recovering so you waste a fair bit of time if it goes south first time up.
I gave myself a good boost with my 5th place performance in Frankfurt, I took 2000 points for that which gives me 2300 from two races so far. I ‘just’ need another ~1300 ish to finish the job.
I’ve planned a bit of a racing binge, starting with a very low points race in Budapest, two weeks later in Wiesbaden and then 1 week later in Copenhagen. The latter two have 3 x and 4x as many points as Budapest making them the crucial ones, so luckily Budapest was actually a bit insignificant, actually more of a little top up.
Recovery from Ironman Frankfurt went really well, I was feeling strong in training just a week or so after the race so I was pretty positive for Budapest 70.3 and motivated!
Race week had different plans for me though. I did one of my best swim sessions I’ve done for years in the pool but pulled up with a sore neck as a result of it. Then I checked into this really crappy hotel in Budapest before the race that my coached athlete organised (next time I choose Ohad!) and on the sketchiest training ride I’ve ever done I stacked it on wet tram tracks and messed up my bike and made myself even more sore! I just don’t like being in these big city locations, not for me!
To be fair I got it all sorted eventually and I didn’t even feel particularly sore on race day but I was never quite on it, I got pumped in the swim, I chased hard on the bike in very hot weather and actually I rode quite well but tactically I was well out of it by the time I caught back up. I still had a chance for a podium if I had run like normal but I felt very hot and very dead from the start so after 7k I pulled the pin and jogged home. I did however beat Alexander Vinkourov’s bike split which is a bonus.
It sucks to pull out but I know it’s the right decision, as you can see I’ve got some serious racing ahead of me and I’ve GOT to be fresh for that. 20 points and a heap of fatigue is not going to get me to Kona!
I’ll keep you updated on my progress!
Thanks for the amazing pictures Darren Wheeler.