By Måns Höiom
The race I have been working for and dreamt about had finally arrived! I had slept ok, prepared my gear and now I was standing on the shore of Kailua-Kona beach together with 2500 other triathletes. These athletes are the toughest and hardest in the world, there is no doubt in my mind these are the fittest athletes, all categories, in the world. And here I am - injured. There is nothing I can do to change that and my coach Teresa at Uperform.dk prompted me to try to enjoy the race anyhow. I was full of frustration but tried to take her advice! I moved into the water and swam the short distance to the start. So many treading water next to each other, waiting for the cannon to go off. At this specific moment I felt a sudden shortness of breath and my heart pounding really hard! It dawned me - I am in the dream I have had for so long! The pride and joy was so intense! The cannon went of and there I was in a blur of arms swinging the water! I started swimimg and everthing felt ok. My back did not hurt if I focused on the strokes and not stressed. Some fighting in the beginning as usual, but less than I anticipated. So the swim was very easy and I enjoyed the swim more than expected. The frustration was gone and I truly enjoyed the moment in water. Swim Time - 1:11:17
I limped my way through transition, changed into bikegear and off I went. I am always a slow starter on my bike and this was no exception! Add to that the hills in the beginning and my backpain and you get the picture! I rode the bike in and out of Kailua before entering Queen K highway. The landscape between Kailua and the turning point at Hawi is lava fields without much trees! You can see really far ahead and the rolling hills are fast going down and slow going up! The sun is scorching hot and it is radiating from the black tarmac from underneath as well as burning your back. One can easily get mentally broken down if the mood is turning against you. At this point I am pedalling as hard as I can with what I have for today and I am loving my bike, I am loving the scenary and I am loving my life! The ride takes longer than expected but I am so greatful for being here and the pride is pounding my chest almost the entire ride! Bike Time - 5:21:15
Changing into running gear was harder than I thought! I got some help from a voluntair to change shoes as my back was preventing me from reaching down! The first few km I was running a 4:30 pace but the back was starting to cramp. I had to reduce the lenght of my stride and the pace slowed. Every now and then the back was cramping up and I just had to walk a few moments until the back relaxed a bit. I was aware the day was going to be really long before I started the day, and I could just not do anything about it, so I enjoyed the run/walk as much as I could! I don’t think I have ever been so well trained and not being able to prove myself was the sadest thing I have ever experienced in my sportslife. I was hurting from the many hours out there and my back was not helping! Thinking about my journey the past two years, the many hours of training, the hardship and struggle to make the time to train, making sure not to get sick and everything else that comes with an active lifestyle. Was it worth it? After what seemed like an eternity I reached Alii drive and turned right towards the finish line. Up on the red and black carpet with the Ironman logo and there was my family! They cheered at me and I could see their pride in their eyes and I just knew! I just knew it was all worth it! I will do it again! And I need to race it the next time! Run Time - 4:02:32
Total Time - 10:44:32 There is so many I would like to thank for supporting me and to make this a reality but it would be such a long text! I will only mention my coach Teresa Heimann at uperform coaching for making me fitter than I have ever been in my life! And obviously my family - my brother Runar for lighting the spark in me all those years ago, and my wife Veronica that inspires me to train by training equally hard and approving the lifestyle that we are living!
I love you!