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Race Results

4th place, age group M30-34, Kona qualification

3rd place, age group M30-34

3rd place, Finnish Championship

Winner, age group M30-34

2013 IRONMAN Kalmar
2nd place, age group M30-34, Kona qualification

Finisher in 9 hours 30 minutes

5th place, Finnish Championship

Winner, age group M30-34

More results here.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

IM Lanzarote 2015

Ironman Lanzarote done and dusted. The island delivered just as epic a race I was originally after. And then some. With a finishing time of 10:40 one has to wonder what happened. Needless to say, I’m not quite happy with the result.

I’m going to come clean right here in the beginning before I delve into the specifics of the race. No excuses really, just didn’t have what it takes. Sure, the conditions were hard and I did have some technical issues and a little physical niggles as well, but most of my problems were on the mental side (a fact I guess my wife would gladly agree with any day) for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, having already qualified for Hawaii, I lacked a clear goal and a purpose for driving myself deep into that dark place that a successful ironman race often calls for.

Race Recap

A Smooth Start

The morning of the race dawned much calmer than any of the previous days. I mean, it was still plenty windy, but the buffeting gusts and choppy seas were absent. The organizers got lucky there because there would’ve been carnage had the conditions been as rough as earlier.

The swim was uneventful and I played it conservative, enjoyed it even. My Garmin 920XT measured a little over-distance, 4020m, so I’m satisfied with my time of 1:01.

I hopped on my beautiful new bike, Felt IA2 that received a lot of compliments by the way. I felt I was riding pretty well and hovered around my goal wattage of 260 Watts for the most part of the scenic ride. I was getting passed on the uphills only for me to take it back on the descents and flats. Just as you’d expect a heavy guy with an aerodynamic bike would do on a hilly course.

On the climb to Mirador del Haría, I heard discouraging news however. I was 84th. It was Mallorca all over again. Where do these überbikers come from? I guess I'm not the strong rider I thought. I would have to run my way through the field. While I knew it was doable, I would have preferred some margin of error. I tried to keep the negative thoughts away since there was still much of the riding to do.

And The Wheels Fell Off

On the absolutely horrendous road from Nazaret, the sharp end of my front brake cable started to rub the tire. I was worried it would break the casing of the tire and had to stop a few times trying to fix it. The only way to ride from then on was with the other hand on the front brake lever feathering the brake just enough to stop the rubbing but not so much as to make the pads touch the tire. A lot of fun some 150km into a bike ride!

It wasn’t enough though. I had a flat tire about 10kms before T2. That was the tipping point for me. I lost all my willpower. Yes, I would change the tire and cruise it in, because that was the easiest way to get back to transition, but there’d be no racing anymore. I just wanted to get the distance done.

In total, the bike took a little longer than expected: 6:03. SIX HOURS and three minutes! When I wrote pre-race that an average of 30km/h might be on the cards, I really was expecting more like a 5:30-bike-split. The fastest split of the day was an hour faster than mine. That really is incomprehensible to me! Ok, I had a flat and some tire rubbing issues that took a little over ten minutes to fix but still, there is absolutely no way I can understand how is it possible to be that much faster. Respect!

In transition, I was glad to leave the bike to the rack and since I wasn’t in a hurry anymore, I decided to start the marathon with a run-walk strategy, which soon turned into a walk-jog strategy. I had some ITB and Achilles issues on my left leg and had to walk every slightest uphill to keep the pain away. Otherwise the run was quite nice with plenty of happy volunteers and spectators and I tried to enjoy as much of it as I could. A time of 3:27 saw me still catching plenty of scalps, which was an indication that the others were feeling the ride to remember too.

Final Thoughts

While I’m not quite happy how I let the incidents on the bike get to me, I am very proud of the fact that I started and eventually also finished the run. I’ve yet to DNF any race and I would like to keep it that way, even if it means a subpar result. I believe you just open a whole new can of worms if you let yourself quit without a good reason (and the next day, you don’t get to order a Double Whopper with cheese and bacon meal plus a Big King XXL burger without a blink of an eye). It will then be that much easier to call it quits also the next time things start to go sour. And they often will.

I am glad to have done Ironman Lanzarote, one of the more challenging races on the calendar. It was a humbling experience and I believe I learned a lot for the future.

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