What a birthday weekend it was!! A big group from Ful on Tri had booked to go out to 70.3 Jonkoping on what was my birthday, to race and have fun. We flew out on the Thursday evening, and squeezed 6 of us with 6 bike boxes into a minivan to drive to the house we were renting.
Cruising round the bike course got me really excited for the race – wide sweeping roads, beautiful lakes or forests on either side, and nice and rolling. We had a great lunch stop with a view and then went for a swim recce. Lovely flat lake, perfect temperature and all feeling good.
Saturday we did the usual racking of the bikes, final dip in the lake, and feet up watching Tour de France. Funnily enough going to rack as number 100 the organisers had only started age group racking from 101, so I had to go rack with the pro women which gave me prime position to find my bike!
Whilst I really wanted a PB time having not really done any 70.3s that had less than 1000m climbing on the bike course, I also wanted a fun weekend and was trying to approach this race without pressure. Having the group of friends definitely helped with this.
It was off with a bang and I pushed hard the first 500m trying to find some fast feet. I seemed to get stuck behind a guy weaving all over the place and then ended up going quite wide to get some space. The lake was also quite choppy and generally felt like quite a tough swim. Not my best swim and I was a bit disappointed to come out in just over 30 minutes.
Onto the bike after a very long transition – 500m of running through the town. The crowds were amazing but I felt a little tweak in my calf which I just pushed to the back of my mind to concentrate on the next leg. Having had a bit of a panic with a puncture in transition, I was looking forward to seeing how hard I could push on the bike.
The first 50k has a bit of a hill and is then very rolling, through some beautiful countryside and on lovely roads. I caught a couple of girls ahead of me but had no idea how many there weee in front. As we turned to head back towards Jonkoping which should have been the very fast bit we were straight into a headwind! Time to get as aero as possible and get onto the run! I had been aiming for 2.30 on the bike so was delighted to come in 2.26 – definitely my fastest bike split by a long way!
Having racked my bike the little run to get my bag I could feel my calf, and thought let’s just see if it eases up as I continue to run. Fortunately it did and the first lap of the run I felt great – holding good pace and on for a good time.
However onto the second lap I got a bit of stomach cramp, the legs were starting to struggle and I knew it was time to just hang on. The support around the town was so good and gave a good mental boost each lap. I also saw a couple of the gang from the club who were very supportive so that also helped push me on.
Finally it was time to run down the red carpet, and whilst still not knowing where I was in the race I was pretty happy with my time – 4.34. PB by a mile and not far off what I was hoping for, which given the long T1 and how I felt on the run is a good result.
Thanks again for all the support:
Giant St Paul’s – certainly a rapid bike giving me best AG bike split by 4 mins
Orca – for the awesome wetsuit and racesuit
Skechers – for trainers to help me fly around the run course (although a lot more to be done here!)
Precision hydration – another cramp free race
Clifbar – for the tastiest gels and shot blocs
Lezyne – for the kit to repair my transition puncture
Freespeed – for making me much more aero