The thought of completing a half Ironman always seemed as impossible as Tristan Thompson cheating on Khloe Kardashian with Jordyn Woods. However shit happens, and in August last year, I made the decision to enter Ironman Geelong 70.3.
They say race day is the cherry on top of all the hard work you have put in prior and I could not agree with this more. The training for Geelong was very challenging, both mentally and physically and race day proved to be that cherry on top.
Living in Melbourne we were all unsure what the weather gods were going to deliver on race day, but for some grateful reason they heard our prayers and answered with absolutely stellar conditions.
Race day morning was pretty chillaxed, we arrived at transition to make sure everything was A-Okay, took some team pics (which I missed cause I was making my hair look pretty) and then it was time to concentrate…
We had found out the day prior that the swim had changed to a rolling start due to some unfriendly sea urchins that had arrived on the foreshore and made some athletes feet their home. I had never done a rolling start before so I felt a little unsure about the whole situation. Anyway, it turned out to be super chill with no arms and legs to the face — waahoo!
The swim is definitely my least favourite part of the triathlon, but this one was absolutely beautiful. I got to swim side by side with my cuz, fellow TriChick Phoebe, for the first hundred meters or so before she whizzed off. Having her next to me for that little bit really calmed me and got me into a great rhythm for the rest of the swim. I clearly remember coming out of the swim and into transition and seeing Pheebs there and thinking, “oh wow I must have had a good swim if I can still see Pheebs.” Swim done, now onto my favourite part, the bike.
With the TriChicks fan base yelling all sorts of inspiring comments as I rode past it reminded me of my main goal, to smile.
With the TriChicks fan base yelling all sorts of inspiring comments as I rode past it reminded me of my main goal, to smile. The bike course consisted of two 45km laps which included a pretty few kms through the botanical gardens, some gross kms along the smelly industrial estate and a funky hill, just to mix it up a little bit. I am not going to lie but going up that hill and passing a few men really made me feel good about myself and made me think that all the mountain climbing over summer actually paid off!
The second lap was definitely a highlight of my race as it just felt like a Saturday long ride with my girls. It consisted of TriChicks Phoebe, Steph and I doing constant roll throughs, cheering each other on and even at stages having a little conversation, mainly about if we wanted to take a bathroom break in transition or not. We all rolled in and out of transition together and then it was time to get the legs running.
Running past the TriChicks tent for the first time was something special. All the girls were cheering and I could see that my fam and friends had made the journey all the way from Melbourne. I knew my coach was present when she told me to stick with Phoebe and Steph, this comment just made me laugh as I think she may have forgotten who she was talking to.
For the entirety of the run, I had the biggest smile on my face, I was just so happy.
For the entirety of the run, I had the biggest smile on my face, I was just so happy. Happy that I was doing the thing I had worked so hard to do, happy because the atmosphere was incredible and happy that I got to share this experience with all my other Half IM buddies. I refused to let my run time get my spirits down so I turned off the buzzy notifications that go off every kilometre, which was an excellent decision. This meant that I could enjoy the moment which is all I wanted to do. Mentally, I was just running to the aid stations where I would walk, get splashed, get ice, have some coke then start running again. The two ends of the run course were a little lonely but I knew once I hit the middle of each lap I could jump aboard the support train which would give me a big boost both mentally and physically.
The last few kilometres of the run I started to get a little bit emotional and the tears started to fall. I just could not believe what I was about to achieve and could not get over how much I had LOVED doing it. The key tip given to me before the race was to enjoy the finishers chute and really soak up the stroll down the red carpet. This is exactly what I did!
Crossing that finish line was like no feeling I can explain and for my cousin and fellow Instagramer Phoebe to be waiting there for me was just awesome. We gave each other a little cuddle and said, “we fkn did it!!” Everything after this point is a little bit of a blur but it pretty much consisted of lots of hugs, photos and even a sneaky frosé. The one thing I clearly remember is Super Coach Amy giving me a hug and bursting into tears which is something I will never forget and meant a lot to me.
Ironman Geelong 70.3 is an experience and race I will never forget and I cannot wait for the next challenge!