Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lucy Gossage post Kona

You all remember our friend Lucy Gossage we posted about on Sept. 7th with her update on Ironman World Championships prep. Well she checks back in post race. Here's the scoop:

Race day came and I have never felt more ready for a race than I was for this one. I felt prepared to give it everything, and was up for the challenge of seeing what I could do against the best athletes in the world. All the British names I recognised from ironman racing were there which was cool though a bit scary - it's rare to actually have to race each other in ironman!

The swim was as expected - fist fight for 20 mins and then I managed to find some free water. Lou and I didn't start next to each other but somehow ended up swimming the last 15 mins or so on our own, side by side, exiting the water together! It made me chuckle thinking our coaches would be having a field day seeing how close together we were after the swim! The blue seventy PZ3TX swim skin was clearly fast as I exited the swim far higher up in the field than I had expected. (YES! nice plug Lucy. Thank you!)

The bike was awesome. Yes it was hot and yes it was windy but in a way I was pleased as I wanted the 'real' Kona experience. I was adding nuun tablets to water from the aid stations which helped me stay hydrated despite the tough conditions.

After my race at the Vitruvian I decided not to use any gimmicks so raced without a heart rate monitor or speed and just according to feel. I suspect because of this I biked harder than I have done before in an ironman (and paid for it on the run!) but there's no point going to Hawaii and not giving everything so I don't think that was a mistake. However, it did make the run hard - really hard..... I felt rubbish from the start and there were times when I was tantalisingly close to walking - I had dropped/lost my salt tablets and the special needs station with the spare ones was at 18 miles which seemed a very long way away. Furthermore, I was having to stop several times behind bushes (or imaginary bushes!). I did have visions of not making it, and there were so many times when I wanted to quit but knowing I was up there in my age group was enough to let me summon every ounce of physical and mental strength I could find to keep running. I hadn’t done all that training over the last 9 months to give up in the last hour….. I think the last 4 miles were the hardest as you can't let up, even right to the end - seconds count in Hawaii. The phrase 'Race to the line' is never more pertinent than there. Running down the finish chute knowing I’d given everything I had was incredible and I hope will be a memory I’ll treasure for a long long time.

Needless to say I’m mighty chuffed. I've conquered Hawaii, conquered my psychological battles in Germany and finished smiling. In fact I'm still smiling. And probably will be for a while! I feel very privileged to have Lou Collins as a training partner and am so pleased she salvaged a problematic bike with an absolutely superb run to claim the 25-29 world champion’s title. For two amateurs from Nottingham, I think we did our home club (TFN) proud!

Lou Collins & Lucy Gossage showing off some hardware

Lucy Gossage finished the 2010 Ironman World Championships in just over ten hours to claim fourth place in the 30-34 age group. Lou Collins closed with a 3:11 marathon to take the top podium spot in the 25-29 age group. Congratulations to Lucy & Lou!

Are you a top age group athlete? Did you know blueseventy is currently accepting 2011 sponsorship applications thru mid-Dec? Well now you do. Do something about it.

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