What a difficult race! it is the first thing that comes to mind about writing a post about it, the swim was ok, the bike had strong winds, the run was brutally hot and hilly. That is in a few words the summary of the day.
5:02:50 / 10th in Age Group / 68 overall / 58 in gender
In terms of results, my position I think it was a very good result, my best ever. Which left me very happy about the race but there’s a personal view of these times in which I am absolutely certain that they were slow for me, I know I could’ve biked and ran much faster, especially the run. So it left me with mixed feelings, on one hand it is my first top 10 and on a brutal day I performed well, on the other hand I know it was a slow race for me and I could’ve been faster therefore a better position at the end. Also I had to deal with injuries the weeks before, so in conclusion it was a good performance, excellent results and they can only get better! Now it’s time to think on my next challenge which is IRONMAN Lake Placid.
Now back to the race…
The swim was a in a lagoon formed by the ocean, so it was pretty calm but in salt water. Almost no current until the end when you get to the lagoon entrance and the current there is a little against you. It is one lap, you enter at one point and exit on a different one after swimming under a bridge (nice detail!). This has been my best swim ever so I exited the water extremely happy. (32:39)
The first transition is a very long run, I usually can do them really fast and a 3:41 can tell you it was far away from the swim exit. When you get to your bike you have sand on your feet so you loose a couple of seconds cleaning them up a little.
The bike portion of the race turned out to be harder than I thought, I was aiming for a sub 2:25 bike and ended up with 2:32, my slowest in the distance up to here. It was one loop and then halfway back you turned again for second loop to that part of the course. the first part was with the wind in your favour and it seemed that it wasn’t that windy, but as soon as your turned around the real fight begun, turns out it actually was really windy and the speed was reduced a lot which made me realise it wasn’t going to be a fast bike split. Apart from the wind it is really flat, I personally prefer a hillier course given where I come from which is really hilly.
T2 was close and fast, no problems there.
The run was really hard, it wasn’t flat at all, it was beautiful anyway, all done in old san juan. It was either up or down and the heat was unbelievable. After a first part “flat” you have to go up an 18% short, hard hill, after that it was rolling for a few kilometres and then the hardest part of the race, for me, it was about a kilometre downhill and the street made out of bricks which made it slippery, followed by a long out and back run outside of the old san juan walls. This huge wall heated up so much you could feel it by running beside it and on your other side was the sun’s heat!, a real oven over there, plus no hydration station in this part. You had to go up the hill mentioned before to drink something again! It was 2 loops.
In a hard course what a great race, I would recommend this race to anyone wanting to go. If someone would like a more in-depth review of the course, advice, hotel, any info that I can help you with please feel free to contact me and I would gladly help!