>>>Shari’s first IM Kona experience

Shari’s first IM Kona experience

I was shit scared!
The swim, a non wet suit swim – I don’t remember the last time I raced with no wetsuit!!! I was prepared for a slow swim haha but I actually surprised myself and felt good on the swim! One way out and back is two very long straight lines in the open water! I just kept jumping on feet where I could and came out of the water in just over and hour!
It was already stinking hot by 8.30am for the start of the ride! ? I felt ok but not amazing I could feel the heat on me and I was having to work harder!! I knew this was going to be a long ride to Hawi and back so I just thought I’ll control what I can and that’s to get my nutrition right! That’s all I focused on!!
My family were somewhere out on the bike course and I couldn’t wait to see them! When I finally did see them it gave me some extra energy!
Turning around at Hawi was great, tail wind for about 15-20kms before we hit a head wind all the way home for the last 58kms!
My feet were killing me and the girls out on course were strong!!
When I finally got to the airport I knew I was nearby there finally! But, with about 2kms before T2 I got a flat!! Disappointing but it is what it is and I had to change it which I hate doing haha
Into T2 I was pretty cooked already and I sat down to put my shoes to find I had been given the wrong run bag! I had to wait for the volunteers to go and find my correct bag! I saw it as a good opportunity to be out of the heat and get as much fluid into me as possibly.
Finally I’m ready and heading out onto the run course. I knew straight away it was going to be a long way to get to that finish line. I started out at 5min pace, I was happy. But after about 10kms in the heat, no shade I was really feeling the heat! It slowed me down. I almost dropped to a walk going up Palani drive but I was determined to not stop running! Heading out to the energy lab was really tough! It was hilly and hot and the road never seemed to end. I just focused on getting to the next aid station to keep my mind distracted. I knew my family were at the energy and I just wanted to see them so badly. The energy lab scared me and there were people walking everywhere and on the side of the road. I was still determined to not stop running.
I finally made it to the energy lab where I saw my family and it really brightened me up!! It was amazing!
In and out of the energy lab in about 40mins and I felt like I’d been put through the ringer. I was totally cooked. I didn’t know if I was going to make the last 12kms!
I kept pushing on and still determined to keep running I just focused on making it to each aid station again for the run home!
My feet were covered in blisters and my hip was so sore! I finally made it to the top of Palani for the last 2kms. I really wanted to enjoy these last couple kms and soak up this experience!
I had tears in my eyes and my sister pushed me along to get to the finishers shute. It had now just gone dark and the spectators were amazing!
I had the finishers Shute and I couldn’t believe I was actually here, I did it!!!! The energy, emotion and atmosphere is indescribable!
My family were on the fence right at the end and I was crying as I was running past to get to the finish line!
I have so much respect now for any athlete who makes it and completes Kona Ironman! There is nothing else like it and it will test you in every way!
I was in good shape and I still struggled a lot. I am forever grateful for getting there!
Steph and all athletes I trained with gave me the ability and push I needed to get through on that one day!
An experience I will never forget!!
By |2019-10-21T19:11:31+00:00October 21st, 2019|Categories: Triathlon|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Shari’s first IM Kona experience

About the Author:

4x AG World Champion - Stephane originates from Belgium and spent many of his early years racing triathlon there. It is in Belgium through the influence of his parents that he fell in love with the sport. A natural competitor Stephane became a student of the sport always searching for ways to give him an edge over his competition. This constant study and striving for improvement has naturally progressed into a passion for coaching triathlon and it’s individual disciplines.