Swim 0:33:31 - T1 05:24 - Bike 03:00:27 - T2 01:54 – Run 01:34:05 Total Time 05:15:18
4th 45-49 Age Group, 61st overall
Immediately post Utah I was struggling for motivation other than focussing solely on commencing my training block for the race on October 8th in Hawaii. Wimbleball is widely regarded as being the toughest 70.3 race on the circuit and the prospect of competing there had little appeal. However, having got three weeks of training under my belt, I started to look upon Wimbleball as an opportunity to have a hard swim/bike workout with a resolution to run easy so as not to disrupt my pattern of training.
The two days prior to the race were remarkable only in as much as it poured with rain and blew a gale. Much to my relief, race day morning greeted us with a light breeze and no rain. Not the balmy conditions of previous years but a good temperature to race in.
The well tested pre-race routine went very smoothly and we arrived at the water’s edge without any dramas. The horn sounded, we were off and I quickly found some comparatively clear water as I got into my stroke. Apart from a little hustle and bustle at the turns I was soon running up the 500m path into transition to collect my T1 bag, change and jump onto my bike to tackle the infamous bike course. The two lap 56 mile course took in a total of 5000ft of climbing coupled with fast, winding descents, made all the more technical with the debris and water on the roads. I worked hard up the hills and was conservative on the downs as my objective was to have a strong bike workout, not end up in the hedge! I hopped off the bike bang on my target of 3hrs, feeling pleased with the effort I had made.
The run course garners as much attention by commentators as the bike course, somehow managing to cram in 1000ft of climbing over the half marathon. The uphill sections were pretty long and quad sapping but actually, the one significant downhill, was insane, the most experienced athletes managing only a crab like shuffle as they descended. The course was composed of three laps and after the first I somehow managed to find my rhythm, completing laps two and three progressively quicker. Ultimately i crossed the finish line with perhaps my best running form of the race, a very satisfying end to a wonderful race. I can say without reservation that it is a VERY testing course, but very honest and set in beautiful countryside. I would unquestionably recommend it to anyone but not perhaps as their first attempt at the distance!
My finish time and position were way better than I had set out to achieve and had in fact earned me a qualification slot for the IM70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas. This was a real confidence boost for my preparation for Kona and a race experience I am pleased I didn’t miss.