IM African Champs 2019

Super windy and super happy!! 🙂 My 10th Ironman and definitely one to remember 🙂

Sadly the swim was shortened to 2km; they said 1.6km but everyone I know recorded at least 2kms for their swim. Even though swimming is my weak phase I was still disappointed the swim was shortened as one always wants to complete the full IM distance. However they made the right decision. There was a lot of chop and swell, which I quite enjoyed, but the conditions were certain to get worse and the slow swimmers at the back would have had horrendous conditions. Condolences to the families of the two men who sadly passed away during the swim.

The first lap on the bike went well; I felt good and the headwind coming back wasnt too hectic. Things changed on the second lap; the wind had picked up considerably! The last 30kms seemed to take forever! Even the downhill back down to the beach was a battle.

I always seem to have some kind of mishap during my IM races and this time I managed to trip on the carpet as I exited T2! I didnt dare look at my knee as I gathered up my gels as quickly as I could and tried to put it out of my mind and focus on the 42km ahead.

The 4 loop run course was in reverse direction this year and meant a headwind to start with. My legs didnt feel that great and I took coke at the first aid station. I was hoping it wasnt going to be a long slow 42kms. But 5kms in I suddenly found my legs and with the wind behind me I felt like I was flying. I saw Cobus a few times; exchanging smiles and waves and happy to see each other doing great! I passed him on the 3rd lap without realising. Normally my 3rd lap is always my dark patch in the race but I managed to hold my pace well. I had no idea what position I was in or who or where my competition was. It was a race against myself… Until I saw Stephan towards the end of the 3rd lap who shouted I was in 2nd place….by 20 seconds….but to relax and keep calm…?! And I did. I just kept my rhythm and the last lap seemed to go very quickly. Before I knew it I was on the red carpet giving it my final push. Had I done enough to catch the leader?

Fortunately I had! Whoop whoop! My 3hr20min run was the second fastest amateur ladies run time and pushed me on to the top spot of the 40-44 age group podium.

A massive thanks to Cobus for all your love and support, Dave (Wingman Coach) for being the best coach in the world, Stephan (Wingman coach), Werner (Bio Health) for keeping me injury free and making me stronger, Lizette for all your painful sports massages!, Liandi & Martlie (Liandi Physiotherapy) for keeping my body in great shape and trying to make me more flexible!, and to family and friends for all their support, messages and shout outs!

Race day thanks to fellow Wingman athletes and friends out on the course giving words of encouragement, Vye for my stunning trisuit, Roxy (Hallo Pragtig) for my matching nails and Nina for my race plaits!

Swim: 00:38:55
T1: 00:03:14
Bike: 05:46:54
T2: 00:03:47
Run: 03:20:22
Total: 09:53:10
1st (40-44)

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