Thought it was about time a write a report about this great race. Ironman Austria is the most fasting selling race on the the Ironman circuit, and i understand why. It is based out of the picturesque town of Klagenfurt in the the district of Karnten.
I arrived in Klagenfurt 3 days before the start of the race, as soon as I arrived I registered for the race. Walked through all the stands and walked past the finish line, as then of course as soon as you see that the heart gets going and the excitement begins. Checked into my hotel and then tucked into some great traditional Austrian food and had a early night. The next day i met up with friends and went for a pre race swim in Wörthersee. Water was a perfect temperature and was good to loosen off and get in the water for a bit.
After that time for lunch, and really important now is to start carbing up and gets as much glycogen stores in as possible. Then chill for the rest of the afternoon, got all my transition bags ready, bike prepared and make sure I've got a little as possible to do the day before the race.
After stuffing my face from an amazing breakfast, its was time to hit the lake again for 15mins. The days before the race i always tend to really get focused, get in the lake, work out reference sighting points for the swim leg, go for a little ride to make sure the bike is running ok and then go for a little run too.
Racked my bike up in the afternoon, making sure i remember where everything is, transition entry and exit points, bike and transition bag position and visualize everything in my head. By that time is was time for food again and an early night. Its always hard to switch off the night before, pre race nerves, thinking about all the different scenarios in your head, can i do as good as i want, will i make it and so on. Anyway try and get a good sleep if not then rest up.
So the alarm went off a 3:30am and its race day, lets do this;-) Had a good breakfast and lots of coffee. For breakfast keep to what you know and don't try anything different, muesli, bread, jam, coffee, cake, whatever and keep yourself hydrated of course. Race kit on and left the hotel around 5am in the morning.
Met up with friends which is always nice, great to see friendly faces and we were all feeling the pre race nerves. But always trying to crack some jokes and relaxing the mood. Before the start you can feel the energy and apprehension from all the athletes, its pretty special but also you just wanna get the race done. You have trained so hard for this race, sacrificed so many things and you really want to do well and make yourself proud and the people who have supported you along the way. But you really never know what cards you are gonna be dealt on the day, you just gotta do your best;-)
So lets begin! I hugged my friends goodbye and wished them the best and got my mind together. The swim is always the worst for me and so happy when i get out the water and onto the bike. But its gotta be done and have trained hard so here we go.
I entered the water about 7:10am and got into quite a nice flow from the beginning, trying to stay relaxed and settled in a quick as possible. Its a one lap course of 3800m and the 1st turning point comes in around 1200m. I got to that point and around the buoy i went, always a nightmare as so many people, getting hit and kicked as i went...i panicked a little bit and for the next 500m to the next buoy was just a battle, hat ripped off, and started to get some pretty bad cramps in the legs, so had to keep kicking to a minimum. I kept with it and made it to the canal, where the last 1000m start, there all swimmers are funneled in and your like salmon swimming up river, nightmare! Anyway got to the end of the swim in 1:17min so was pretty happy with that, and now the real fun begins:-)
The transition is pretty long and is about a 500m jog to the transition tent, found my bag easy and wanted to get changed AFAP. My legs were not the best the beginning as I could still feel the pain from the cramping I had for the last 45mins basically. Stayed relaxed and got into the jam of things. I wasn't going crazy and was pushing the power around 180-200watts and max 300w on the climbs...need to save my energy and not wear myself out. The 1st lap on the bike was great, 1st 90km in about 2h:40mins and felt really good.
The 2nd lap went ok too, kept to my nutrition plan, taking a shot block every 10mins and every aid station drinking 1 ISO drink. The wind picked up quite a bit on the 2nd lap and had quite a bit of head wind which made it harder, but did my best and still felt strong. Finished this bike course in 5h 42mins so quite happy with that;-)
Transition went smoothly and soon got into a good running pace, my pace seemed quite ok around 5:10min/km. In the afternoon the heat was pretty high, around 29degrees and happy to get some shade when I could. The 1st 21km of the run went really good and did it in around 1h 50min and wanted to try and keep this pace till the end. The last 21km is just a mental battle and trying to get your nutrition in when you can. Around 23km I started to get some gastro problems and found it really hard to basically eat anyway, I drank ISO drink every aid station and some coke, but gels were not agreeing with me. My foot also started to hurt and causing me problems so the last km's were a struggle.
Just kept going the best I could and could hear the cheering from the finish line and the music and knew I had made it. My friends wife was there at the finish line, thanks Fiona;-) She gave me a big smile and cheered me on, turning down the finishing straight and was welcomed by cheerleaders and the finish line..What a great feeling of accomplishment it is;-)
A happy, tired and overwhelmed boy. Made it to the finish line in 11h:17min:-) Amazing feeling and was great to share it with my friends. We all made it..my friend Charlie said he's never doing another one again...Ha I thought to myself he will;-) And he just did ha:-) So good luck Charlie and Keith next year in IM Wales;-) I'm off to IM South Africa, so let the journey begin again;-) Anything is possible ;-)