My Ironman Adventure ended last night about an hour earlier than last year after just eleven and a half hours. Some early morning bungles on my part left me starting stressed after leaving my one bag at the guest house and having to drive back to get it and rush in for the start.
Then great early morning conditions and faster swim than last year left me climbing on my bike confident of a good day. Three punctures in the first and second laps of the cycle leg left me humbled and contemplating whether the gods were telling me something.
I stared fate in the face by leaving my pump and last tube with another contender who was walking back from the 20 km mark with a flat tyre and no other options.
I tentatively rode the last leg waiting to see if fate wanted to chat. She was clearly on a tea break as I made it back to town and the transition without a problem. I was about an hour slower than last year and the heat of 35 degrees had taken its toll.
I managed the first 14km’s of the run with severe exhaustion and dropped to a walk run for the next 5km’s before sitting down to take a rest and passing out on the side of the road with nausea and a lot of dizziness.
When I woke I did the sums and realized that to walk the second half at roughly 9 minutes a km would take three hours and I wasn’t motivated to do it just to say I’m an Ironman for the second time.
I wandered, I would like to say walked, but it was more of a wander, the 2 km’s back to the medical tent where they helped me with an injection for the nausea and some fluids to restore a rather depleted body.
It’s never great not to finish a race and while I will push hard at times, today I walked away before I did any serious damage. Considering I got further into the run than SA champion Raynard Tissink (admittedly he got to his fateful point a little quicker than I did) and last years woman’s champion Bella Bayliss who both baled out with heat exhaustion, I was at least in good company.