Warrick tells us about his experience on race day...and how he almost missed out on his podium picture!
As race day approaches, I am always a nervous wreck. Work is a write off and my mind is nowhere…
Ironman Durban 70.3 was different for some reason. I was calm, chilled and quite positive in where I was at. I had come off an average result, on a very bad day, at Midlands Ultra, three months before. Training had gone OK on the build up to the race. (Well that's apart from my running, which was non existent with a calf injury I had been fighting for over a year…). But all in all I was ready and excited to take the day head on.
The day before race day we went for a team swim and bike. I felt good and felt I was ready for the first time in my life. (I must give a lot of credit to Mark, I am not the easiest athlete to coach and his approach and understanding to training, the body and nutrition is unbelievable. I know I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for him and the MTD program)
Race day arrived and what a bugger up. The swim was cancelled due to big surf and a strong rip. I am by no means a strong swimmer, but know I am stronger than most in the sea.
So a bike and run it was. The plan was to seed yourself in the time you wanted to do on the bike. Lets just say that didn’t happen and I started in the back half of the field.
I felt quite good on the bike and was finding it hard to hold myself back and stick to my zones. So, me being me, I didn’t. (I can actually picture myself now, riding and thinking how Mark is going to kill me and and how I am probably going to pay for this in the run haha). By the end I had worked myself towards the front end of the age groupers and got off the bike in a time of 2h19min, a quick transition and I was out onto the run.
Again I found my self looking at my watch, now running at 3min50sec/KM and thinking to myself "I have got to slow this down", so I would slow down to 4min15sec/KM (which is where I was meant to be). A few minutes later I would look down again and would be back to a sub 4min. This carried on for the first 13km.
Then all hell broke loose and then the wheels fell off completely (haha). I have never walked in a race before, and before I knew it, I was stopping at the last three water tables for a walk/coke stop.
I ended off my run in a time 1h35min and a total race time of 3hrs 57min 01 sec.
All in all I was stoked with my result. I knew I was close to a podium in my age group (25-29) but got told I was 4th, so ignored the slot allocation and was now focused on the after party.
A group of MTD Durban athletes decided to go to the prize giving dinner and start our night out early. Thank goodness we did. Half way through a mouth full of food, and in the middle of an in-depth conversation with the the team, they called out my name for 3rd place. I didn’t even hear my name,. The MTD Durban guys started shouting at me and pointing to my name on the big screens. Sure enough, there it was. My name and a big picture just to ensure I wasn’t going crazy. So jumped up, ran past Claire, Kent and the Cape town MTD crew, swopped out my shirt for a MTD one with Chris and was on the podium (haha). Now there was every reason to celebrate, and that we did!
A few weeks has passed now and I have taken a well deserved rest from training… Its now onward an upwards working towards next years goals and an exciting second year in this amazing we sport we call Triathlon.