Promised race report from Ironman South Africa, so for those interested…
Arrived in Port Elisabeth on Wednesday after 32 hours with 4 flights and stops. As a vacation quite crappy, going that far to stay only 6 nights, hope to get back to see some of the country one day.
Going into the race I felt as prepared as I could possibly be, given a full time job and training in snowy conditions for a hot race. Did most of my bike training indoors, sitting 6+ hours on the trainer is a good mental exercise! Also did heat acclimatization in the sauna, 6×30 minutes in +95c is quite hard! Coach Kurt Perham kept me on point with a short but steep build-up and recovery recovery recovery.
Did not sleep well night before, got up at 4 for breakfast. Walked over for last bike check in transition and again got a reminder of training karma. A woman who looked a bit lost asked if I could pump her tyres. I was really getting short of time so got a bit stressed, but said ok and did it. When she unscrewed the vent cap she got the whole valve in her hand, tire totally flat. Screwed it in by hand and pumped it up but advised her to see a mech to get it fastened. Went on to put on wetsuit and warm up.
Self seeded at the back of the 1 hour group. A few minutes before start a man asked if he should zip up my wetsuit. Apparently the zipper had slid back open halfway. Saw it as balance for the tire pumping, beginning the swim with an open suit would have ruined my race!
Swam conservatively, breathing every four strokes. After 500m one eye cap of the goggle started leaking and filled with salt water. Decided not to let it bother me. Farther out sighting was hard due to the waves, when I tried to look for buoys only saw an uphill wall of water, so had to wait until reaching the wave top. Added some kicking final 400 metres or so to finish strong. Later when I saw my swim time, 1:06, I was disappointed, until I realised that no-one in my age-group top 10 broke 1 hrs, which is usually the case.