Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ironman New Zealand (#5 Is Alive)

My first tattoo of a familiar icon.
It was a cold morning - about 7 degrees Celcius - before we were flagged off at 7.00am for the one-loop, 3.8km fresh-water, swim. I had a reasonably comfortable-paced swim, and  emerged the wrong side of elation when I experienced early symptoms of hypothermia. Thanks to an alert volunteer (who served me) who alerted the medical team, I was given the all-clear to resume the 180km, 2-loop, ride. After consuming a packet of gel and cup of electrolytes, I took off for my bike, dressed in tri-gear and long-sleeved jacket. Cramps teased me throughout the windy and undulating route, but I managed it albeit at a much compromised pace and speed. My marathon was a poorly-executed one: I ran the first 14km, walked most of the second loop, and walked/ran the last loop. In the end, I found some residual speed in my legs to ensure my strongest, last, 3km home to a supportive crowd (and bikini-girl who popped up during my last 100m and brought a grin to my face), and Mike Riley's reassuring words: 'You are an Ironman!' The Voice of Ironman, finally, said his signature mantra completely for me.
The day-after: Beaten up but not broken. Brag for life?
This is my first of two Ironman triathlons in three weeks, before I take on the 118th edition of the Boston Marathon. This was my fifth successful attempt on the course in Lake Taupo, and my 17th Ironman completion. I trust my second assault on the 226km triathlon in Melbourne will be better, and keep the chill in absentia. This frail performance is a bold reminder that results are part of the measurement called performance. 
 30 years of Ironman history from Auckland to Lake Taupo.
 Iron-mates are vital to our survival as active competitors.
 My first Ironman NZ in 2006.
Post-race replenishment. Certainly more than 30 calories each.
Congratulations to all first-time Ironman triathlon finishers! You deserve to celebrate your special achievement. Discipline and effort translate into performance. Thanks to the 2,000 volunteers for making it OUR DAY, and making it special and sustainable. The 30th anniversary of the Ironman New Zealand was an unique occasion and extraordinary experience for the 1,650 participants. Thank you, friends for supporting us online and tracking our performance. 

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