My World Championship experience:
On the 27th of August I departed from Cape Town to start my month long trip which included 2 World Championships, 2 continents on opposite ends of the world and multiple time zones.
The first stop was Sydney, Australia, where I spent a week exploring the beautiful city and making full use of their unbelievable training facilities in preparation for the IronMan 70.3 World Championship. After spending one week in Sydney, I headed to Mooloolaba, Queensland, which was the host city for the 70.3 Worlds. I arrived there 5 days prior to the event, which gave me some time to do some recon of the course and it allowed me to meet athletes from all corners of the world.
On race day we were blessed with calm seas and an abundance of sunshine. The race went as smoothly as I had hoped, apart from the occasional cramp in the early parts of the swim. The relatively flat bike course made for some fast bike splits, the run however had a nasty little hill that we were confronted with four times during the course of the run as a result of the out and back, 2 lap run course. Combined with a bit of heat, it made for a relatively tough last hour or so of the race. All in all, it was an awesome day, and to be on course with some of the greatest triathletes in the world made the experience that much more special.
The Monday after the race I jumped on a plane and headed back to Sydney where i would spend another week recuperating and preparing for the ITU World Championships which was held in Cozumel, Mexico. After spending another week in Sydney, I boarded a plane to Dallas, Texas, after which I would catch a connecting flight to Cancun, Mexico, and then finally I boarded a ferry which took me to Cozumel, an island just off of Cancun.
The heat and humidity was unlike anything I had ever experienced. Trying to acclimatize to those sort of severe conditions along with having to deal with severe jetlag after travelling for 24 hours, did not make for a very pleasant first couple of days on the island.
As the week progressed, I became more and more used to the heat, and by race day I felt that I was somewhat capable of dealing with these extreme conditions.
On race day we were confronted with extremely strong ocean currents, along with the fact that I got stuck in the middle of a big bunch of guys during the swim meant that I didn’t have a particularly good swim time. On the bike, one of the main objectives was just to try and not overheat. With no wind and absolutely no shade, it made staying cool a serious challenge in and of itself. The run was 38 minutes’ worth of battling demons and wondering whether or not I was going to finish as a result of the heat and humidity. Multiple athletes had passed out in front of me on the run course which made me start to worry as we got deeper into the run. However, In the end, I managed to make it over the finish line in one piece.
All in all, the overall experience was incredible and I cannot wait until next year to give it another shot.