By Armando Galarraga.
I felt like I had done almost everything right. 10 weeks of good, consistent hard work.
A 5 day stint in Knysna (Big 5 Challenge) coming away with a win and some good training.
A good hit out at Durban 70.3 to claim my first win on home soil and I believed my form was better than ever before.
In this build I focussed predominantly on my swim, bike disciplines, trying to make sure that my weakness in the passed would now be my strengths.
In the taper week I felt solid and ready to race, but just prior to boarding the plane to fly out to WC, I picked up a head cold.
I was in a panic, why now? I did everything I could to get healthy as quickly as possible. A 3 day antibiotic course and plenty vitamin boosters saw me able to toe the line for the biggest sporting event of my triathlon career to date.
I did my best to block out the negatives and stayed focussed on what I needed to do.
The swim as always is carnage, but I felt solid and managed to exit the water in 24min – on the feet of pre race favourite and Ironman world champion, Sebastian Kienle.
I was happy with that and made the group on the bike leg. Immediatley I could feel my legs weren’t with me today on the bike. As if my heart wanted to push, but my body was pulling the brakes fiercely.
In my attempt to follow the fast moving train of riders, I overshot a corner and ended up in the grass off the road – this obviously causing me huge time loss and a viscious chase to follow.
I tried to find rhythm and ride according to my numbers, but yet again, body saying no go. I settled down and made sure I rode easier to the big climb. The 14km rise in the road was steady and I was joined at the top by country man Matt Trautman.
We rode well on the descent slowly picking off places and entered T2 together.
I was out of the race, that I knew. Now it was a matter of finishing.
I settled into a rhythm and managed to catch a couple more guys also taking strain in the 40degC heat.
As I ran up the read carpet, I felt so relieved to have finished and even on a bad day, was able to claim 25th spot in my first 70.3 World Championship.
I am somewhat dissapointed, but will take the race for what it was. Jan Frodeno and Sebastian Kienle were unstoppable and very deserving of the 2 top steps on the podium.
Thanks to all my partners for the incredible support and to all my family and friends, especially my wife, Bethie and my boys for always loving, supporting and cheering, the sacrifice you make is unquantifiable.
Now for a break and some good family time.
Cheers for now
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