Ironman Western Australia 2017 (December 3) full and half ironman truly delivered the real Australian experience - all in one day! Sharks, kangaroos, a bush fire, and 34C weather were all on the menu for a fantastic and memorable race down south.
This was my first race with the Tritons and one that went very smoothly. Having done previous events with groups of friends, this was my first 'going solo', but joining up with fellow Tritons Andres, Domingo, Thomas, Tim, Siobhan, Dana & Brenda made for a great weekend away.
As a number of Tritons have already qualified for 2018 70.3 World Championship in South Africa, and as we would know Tritons love to fly our colours high and race together, that gave me extra motivation to find a race to qualify so that I can race with them. With the year ending, there weren't many races to choose from. With some Tritons signed up for Xiamen 70.3, I decided to go for this race as my A race this year and try to qualify for the worlds for the very first time.
Signing up for an ironman is as easy as it is thrilling. Way back June, I can distinctly recall the buzz of signing up with a group of friends for what would undoubtedly be a big challenge, but the well-researched and meticulously colour-coded spreadsheet on my work desktop was telling me I had twenty weeks, practically an eternity. After a quick trip with the Tritons to Thanyapura to kick-start the new highly focused lifestyle, training really began.
Despite hearing the stories from last year, somehow, the 6 of us STILL came together for this year's gruelling challenge on this beautiful island of Penghu, Taiwan. Knowing this course was designed by sadists, for masochists, all of us dug deep and found something that kept us going on the big day.
A leisurely start at 8.15am on Sunday 17 September saw a great turnout of Tritons, old and new, gather at Repulse Bay for the latest social event. Deserving of particular mention was the return of Pete Hanna to the racing circuit and modelling the new Tritons race kit (no doubt bought especially for this occasion!), and welcoming new members Brenda and Dana to their first Tritons event.
The good: first race in my home country, Holland – even better, race was in Rotterdam, where I went to college. Was great to join Team Hong Kong (there were two of us… not necessarily the biggest team out there…). Huge turnout otherwise – 4,000 plus running around. After a week of heavy rain, we had bright sunshine on race day. Good times.
Big kudos to IRONMAN for finally finding a way of making a tough & honest world championship course to avoid drafting on the bike! I hardly saw anyone drafting and yet all penalty boxes were full! Marshals did a great job giving no second chances to anyone!
The town is bustling with life, race participants are everywhere, easily recognizable with their shaved legs, ironman wristbands and t-shirt and caps featuring ironman events from all around the world. People check each other out.