Race report: Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic – March 8, 2015

Only 1 week after TU1 and 2 weeks after Challenge… another race weekend had settled in Subic, Century Tuna Ironman 70.3

Part of the excitement was for the race and another part for all the friends that came to Subic (or had stayed there already since the Challenge race) for the event. I was especially excited that my coach Jürgen Zäck came over from Phuket and brought some Thanyapura athletes as well, of course, all friends and my usual training buddies when I go there for training camps.

So besides the usual registration, carbo load etc. we had a lot of action going on before the race itself. I also went to watch Ironkids on Saturday morning, mainly to support Bambam Manglicmot, my PMI “brother” and sometimes training partner who finished 2nd in his category.

When race day finally arrived I was all excited and ready to give my best, at least my mind was all set.

The swim was a similar loop than the TU1 the weekend before, at Dungaree beach and we Filipino Elites started together with the Pros.

I was surprised about my swim, which felt kind of good and easy, so unusual for me. When I ran the long way out of the water and into T1, I was totally concentrated, and even I knew that Anna was standing somewhere to give me splits and times of the other elites, I did not hear anything. My mind was in race mode, which means, I don’t see anyone and might not even recognize people on the course. Anyway, I had calculated that Banjo Norte and all the strong swimmers from the Alaska team would be able to have 5-6 minutes on me in the swim, and that was my thought while I was running to my bike and getting out of T1.

The bike leg was going to SCTEX which meant we had some hills on the course, something I really like. I felt good on the bike the first hour and tried to focus on fueling and keeping my pace. Before the turning point at Floridablanca something started to feel weird. My legs felt tired and without power. I was irritated as the bike is usually the part I’m most comfortable at. I tried to keep pushing but realized that I was slowing down. When Robinson Esteves, another strong elite, passed me on the bike, I wanted to go with him but coudn’t. “Not good”, I thought, but tried not to loose my head and kept going.

When I entered T2 I knew that the other elites, especially Banjo, had a big gap on me. My head was not focused then, I started to doubt about what I was doing and asking myself what was going on and when I went out of T2 there were too many thoughts in my head… even tough I had managed to pass one of the Alaska boys in T2 but I knew I had at least 3 other elites in front of me.

The first 10km on the run I couldn’t find my rhythm and felt uneasy, at times breathing too hard. It was finally getting hot, the exactly the weather conditions I liked, but my mind was playing tricks on me and my body couldn’t do what it usually would do. Before I reached the turn around at Dunagree Beach, I saw Banjo on his way back and knew that it would be hard to almost impossible to catch him. Somehow this helped me to clear my mind and focus. I had a great run the last 10 or 11km to the finish line, I felt good, I went fast and felt easy. I was able to catch Paul and Esteves but Banjo was too far ahead already.

Still I was endlessly thankful when I crossed the finish line and really happy with the 2nd place. Sure, it was not what I had aimed for, but it motivates me to see that there are strong fellow athletes out there and I’m happy to be able to compete with them.

Overall, it was an amazing weekend, a superb and well-organized event and a great finish to the 3 weeks of racing in Subic! Now I’m looking forward to some recovery, I definitly need to take care of my back, and then it will be time for training camp in Phuket again!