Since 2007 I’ve raced 25 triathlon events and never DNF’d. Every race I’ve committed to, I’ve arrived at healthy, fit and ready to race. It seemed unlikely 19 days ago – lying on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance – that I’d be in with a chance of competing this weekend, but four days from the race, I think I’m ready to toe the line.
Whilst this race isn’t the pinnacle of my season, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to do well. It was the first Half Ironman event I raced way back in 2007 and is where my long distance career began. After finishing as the 2nd age-grouper overall in Abu Dhabi, I had grand ideas of returning to Wimbleball for the next breakthrough performance. It’s time to reassess. Even though I’ve got a good base of fitness, it would be disrespectful to the other competitors to think that I can turn up with 3 weeks of limited training and compete with the best of them.
Not only have I not swum since the accident, but biking and running have also been affected. Hardly ideal preparation for one of the hardest Half Ironman races in the world. I don’t know for sure whether I’ll be able to get through the swim, but if I do, I expect a very slow swim. Even though I’m used to playing catch up coming out of the water, I expect a big deficit on Sunday. If at any point I feel that continuing to race will worsen the injury or delay my recovery, I’ll have no qualms about pulling the plug. Sense will prevail. That being said, if I’m able to get through the race - no matter what the result - I’ll be truly grateful that I’m still able to do something that I love.
I must also say a big thank you to ZEROD for my new race suit for the season. I can’t wait to get out there and hopefully do it justice!