70.3 TaiTung, Taiwan

By Margaret Ko

Posted on Sunday 24th March 2019

Its 10th Anniversary for Ironman Taiwan 70.3 this year and one of Tritons favorite race as well. Coach Mike & Fen, Toby, Damo, Stu, Mary, Evie, Margo, Javier and Yves managed to all made it to this race…while Ruth, Jeff, Ross and Ernest who had signed up but missed out and decided to work instead!!  This year’s race combined Full distance and Olympic distance races on the day before of the 70.3 almost 4000 triathletes over the weekend, with over 300 from HK!! 

The crew survived the flight delayed and long bus ride arrived on Friday evening just in time for the welcome party on the street parking lot.  Only the courageous few joined the adventurous dinner party and rest insisting pasta already!! Saturday morning the crew met up for short test ride along the ocean in misty rain then straight to registration.  Its all pretty routine.  Mary decided whist still in HK to just cheer for the team and not race, preferring to just ride along with the team!  However at the group pasta dinner the night before the reace, Coach Mike happened to sit opposite to Mary and started series of motivational talks, around 20 minutes before the check-in cut off, Mary was seen running out the restaurant and rushing to the bike check-in!!  (Just be careful who you sit with on next time!! )

Sunday race day, we were blessed with overcast and water temp of 23.5c.  

Swim - It was one loop around the lake. The Tritons being the strong swimmers we all waited at the very front of the queue as the first section is 45mins & under.  For the first time we were able to start so close to Toby!  The transition was quite long but coach Fen got a good spot to cheer us all along the way and took tons of pictures.  

Bike - As we headed south for the bike, it was tailwind and of course life is wonderful and we felt all so powerful along the coastline until the two unnecessary crazy bridges before the turning point.   Things started to change after the turning point when we had to head back with headwind plus the two hilly bridges again.  However, the highlight of the bike was near the end of the bike course, where we took the  back roads of Taitung (country road 197), which is first time to include in the triathlon race.  7K of narrow & challenging undulation but awarded climbs with stunning panoramic view.  To our surprise, the road was not very congested with flying triathletes, in part this was thanks to a long rolling start on the swim (apparently almost 2 hours to get everyone into the water).  

Run- Finally the run, two loops flat of the park and the main road.  A rather interesting park loop somehow got you pretty confuse of your directions but I guess we just run!  It was awesome and reassuring to see everyone on the run, although its rather painful to acknowledge that you still have one more loop.  Everyone seems to be taking some pain but Mary and Evie defiantly were the happiest on the run course chatting side by side!

Great results again by the Tritons, Toby first in Age Group, second overall just 3 secs behind first! Coach Mike (1st ), Margo (2nd) in age group also got the World Champ slot to Nice. Also congrats to Joaquin (9th). Stu (15th), Damo (17th), Evie (17th) and Mary for deciding to race last minute and to finish with style!  

Overall very friendly and happy race plus cold beers waiting at the finish line! Many thanks to the race organisers for a fab event. Not to miss it next year !!