Written by Måns Höiom
In 2005 I accompanied my brother, Runar, on his attempt to qualify to World Championship IronMan distance in Zürich, Switzerland. I watched the race in awe as I had not seen triathletes compete before. It was an all-out effort from them all – including my brother! Little did I realized I was stung by the IronMan bug then! Unfortunately my brother had to pull out during run from a knee injury. In 2016 my wife, Veronica, wished to get an full IM race start as her birthday present. 11 years had gone by and the fever from that Zürich race came back! And so did my brothers! We all three got so passionate about IM that big goals was dreamed about. My wife was reluctant to have big goals, but I have seen the spark in her eyes – she is becoming hungry as well! As a result me and my wife have signed up for a triathlon coach to train us. Teresa Heimann at Uperform have coached us equally from October 2017. For my brother and me it was a qualification to the big dance in Kona Hawaii that became the target! Runar and myself tried to qualify in Texas, US, this year as it was a fast and early on the season race in April. Result – we were both too far behind!
Second try in Haugesund, Norway. Result - Runar qualified to Kona claiming first place in his age group! I was beyond happy and proud of him and could not hold back some tears as I followed the race from my hotel room. I had crashed on the bike early in the bikesection and broke some ribs!
Third try I had no other choice than KMD IM Copenhagen as I had to recover from the crash and it was also the last race with qualification slots to WC this year. I did not want to see my brother and his family go there without company!
I had 7 weeks to get my ribs healed and back into serious training! Teresa rearranged the training and coaching from Texas to Haugesund and around all my injuries, along the way, to adjust to the very short 7 weeks ramp up to IM Copenhagen. The last week before the race I was finally pain free having done all the training Teresa threw at me.
The race KMD Ironman Copenhagen
Felt magical on the warmup! Launched myself into the water and tried to find feet’s directly, instructed to do so by Teresa. Had trouble with leaking right goggle, but decided to ignore it. So I swam most of the course with water inside making it problematic to navigate, both over the waterline and below. Felt myself being a bit passive in the middle of the race, being passed by a few swimmers, but increased the effort a bit and got back to proper swimming. Under the last bridge the ropes and buoys that should divide the swimmers going both directions had come loose, so me and some others got tangled up in those! Lost a bit there as well, but an all-in-all good swim and great feeling! Time: 1:00:51 PB!
Felt a bit weak from swim at the beginning but got better eventually. Could not see good with my right eye. The water from swim made my sight blurred I assume. Did not want to risk any draftingpenalty so I stayed well clear from others. Groups formed and I used some of my watts to take the lead and try to get away. It worked but then they came again, but in smaller numbers, so I did it again and again. I felt in control and preserved my power where it made sense and unleashed it when I had to. Wanted the bike to be good, but not to destroy the run. I got feedback from Runar that I was loosing time compared to the first 4 in my agegroup. That was expected but equally frustrating as I am a weaker biker than them. Tried to stay calm and push the watt as instructed by Teresa. A lot of wind and I had trouble keeping speed in the headwind. Time: 4:55:55
Knew I was around 12:th place. Had a terrible feeling going out from T2. Decided it was probably a full bladder. Could not empty it on the bike (have never been able!) so I had to stop and relief myself. The stream never ended, I was soo full! Felt much better after that and tried to hold back my pace so I could keep it for longer. The first lap, out of 4,5, was really hard as the running rhythm hadn’t come. Did not want to check the speed on the watch, only focused on the time and getting those gels in me at regular intervals. Drank some water or whatever I could grasp in the aidstations to get fluid in me as well. Second lap felt much better and the rhythm was there again. Passing people all the time and had just a few passing me. But I think none of them was in my agegroup so let them run away. Third lap, in the end of it, I started to feel cramp biting my hamstrings and calf’s. Got a bit worried that I would end up as in Texas having to walk/run the rest of the course. Tried to loose up on the pace and the cramp went away. Could then slowly build up the pace again. Perhaps not to the former speed, but enough to not panic. Got pacing from Runar that I was consistently running around 20sec faster per km than the ones before me. Also knew that I was 9:th with around 8 minutes to top three. I know most runners deflates the last 10-12 km on a marathon, especially triathletes as they are more tired after swim and bike. So I kept my pace and Runar stopped calling out my placing after I passed 2, so I knew I probably was number 7 or so. I found out Teresa wanted me to focus on running instead of places! My feet started hurting and the cramp showed itself more often, but I kept telling me to ”rip this shit out ’till my bones collapse” (lyrics from an Eminem song which echoed in my brain most of the day). I was dead tired as the final loop started and I had 1,5 laps to run. Kept grinding the teeth and kept running just below the pace where the cramp would stay away. Damned myself for having to stop and pee for soooo long in the beginning. Then Pia let me know I was gaining fast on spot 3-4. Runar was just giving me to focus on the stride and ”here and now”. The last small inclines was passed and I cold taste the last halfloop but my body was screaming louder than Runar to stop. Passing that finnishline and my legs actually collapsed! I don’t think I have ever been so tired in my life! Time: 3:09:04
Total time: 9:12:27 (T1 04:18, T2 02:21)
Result – Qualified for Kona!!!