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Hugo van Rooyen: Victoria 70.3 , Victoria,B.C ,Canada

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 I  ended up doing a pretty decent time in a local Olympic distance race here in Victoria , and afterwards I started feeling like things were finally coming together. I felt a bit tired in the tapering week , but Natalie assured me that it was normal. 
The day of bike check in I did a nice 1km swim , felt strong and went for a easy 15min run on the race course.

Race Day
The race was held in Victoria, where I live , so I slept well in my own bed....always a bonus!! Ate some oats , had my pre-race Infinit hydration , and a good cup of coffee.

Swim:      I knew that the bike route was going to be pretty tough , because it is undulating with lots of turns. Therefore  I did not want to swim too hard. The swim was in a lake. I got onto a guys feet right from the start , and felt good. In the past I always tried to avoid  other swimmers , but I wanted to see if it makes a  difference. I managed a 26min swim and did not feel as tired as I used to , and obviously it worked out well for me. The transition area was close by , which always helps a lot and I got on the bike pretty quick without any hassles . T1  took 1:40 .

Bike: it was a 2 loop course. I know the route well as I live here , so it helped a lot. It is a tough course , and I concentrated not to burn all the matches. I went hard on the few straight and flat sections , but on the hills I just kept a nice fast cadence. I don't own a Power Meter , so no  data available.I used Infinit on the bike and my stomach tolerates it very well. It was also overcast with a moderate wind. the 1st loop went great , but the 2nd was irritating , as you start catching some of the slower swimmers/riders , so you have to try and dodge a few people. You always end up riding with a few guys of the same strength , and we interchanged positions a few times , but we all ended together , and my bike split came to a 2hr3omin. For me that is 5 minutes faster than my PB. It felt great!

Run: I spent 1:38 in T2 . The run was more like a flat trail run , as it was all in the woods surrounding the lake. It was awesome , and it also started drizzling , so the weather was perfect.  Going into the run , the bike split gave me great confidence , but as usual those first few strides , no matter if it is a short or long course , always feel terrible to me. I had a look at my first 1km split and it was a 4:24/km  split. Not too bad for me. I started feeling better and started running with this 50 year old guy (based on the number on his leg). The next few km's were around 4:05 ish run splits. Needless to say , I knew I was going to blow up soon , and I told the 50 year old freak that I am going to back off. so I  brought it back to a 04:20 pace and this American from California joined me. At around 11km I was digging deep. I was pretty much MOER TOE. This American guy kept calling me , as he felt we would run stronger together but I told him to go on without me. A few moments earlier he offered me some Coke he had in a bottle he carried . Why I took it , I really don't know , maybe lack of Oxygen? But at around 14km I started to feel better again. At around 18km I caught up with the American. What I did not know until then , was that he was in the same age group as I was. At 19km or so , we saw one of the female Pro's ahead , and I told him we should see if we can perhaps catch her. So I went , but somehow I don't know if it was a South African vs America thing , but really wanted to beat this American guy and I  just opened the gates. It felt great considering I was at one stage done and dusted.
I finished the run in 1hr31min45sec.
Afterwards I met the guy , and his name is Jan Vobecky , actually a really nice guy , so I  felt kind of  foolish running away from him , but anyway its a race right?

Overall time :  4hr32min30sec.       My previous PB : 4hr42   Natalie did coach me a long time ago in 2009. Ask her about my very first Ironman 70.3 in Buffalo City........   a 6hr38min fiasco.     So I am very grateful for the progress under the Tissink guidance!!

Post Race
Stuffed myself with a jambolaya of pretzl's /oranges/watermelon etc and took in tons of fluid.Felt exhausted but in a good way.

Our age group  ( 30-34 year old) had 6 slots for  the Ironman 70.3 World Champs in Mont Tremblanc in Quebec , and I got 27th overall , and 4th in my age group , so I got a spot!

My wife will be close to her due date with my first born baby girl at that time later in the year  , so I will just have to try again next year!
Annah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017

After a great first year racing in the professional category in 2016, I was amped for the 2017 season. Feeling stronger and fitter and more in the "right head space" - I had done some great training over December spending many many many (and many more) hours on the bike - I loved it. My swim was starting to click, I was starting to understand the phrase "feel the water", and my running was strong

READ ONAnnah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017
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