Just like last year, I prepared for the IM Worlds with a three week training camp at Playitas Resort, though Apollo Sports. It is a great place to prepare for the conditions of Kona and it is easy to stay focused.
I got a lot of solid sessions in on my 3 week stay, and I felt stronger and more confident than ever coming into this race.
I was happy and honoured being back on the island and I never get used to the stunning scenery
Photo: Gines Diaz
I had 10 days in Kona to prepare for the race, both in terms of time difference and heat acclimatisation. Staying sharp on nutrition, fluids and electrolytes was a big focus, and thanks to Herbalife24, it worked really well all the way. Photo: Gines Diaz
In 2014 i placed 17th, and in 2015 11th. This year my goal was to place top 10, but I also knew that the start list of this race can make anyone nervously bite their teeth, and if all of them had a stellar day, I should be happy to finish top 20. Photo: Gines Diaz
There was a lot of Swedes in Kona, so I had lots of good company in the final preps, and I it was easy to stay in a good mood.
I had a good support, and I felt calm before the race. I was more excited than nervous, and that was a first for this race! Photo: Gines Diaz
As the gun went off, I was separated from the group I intended to swim with by a surfer who had circled in front of us to keep us being the start line. Bad luck, but there was way I would be able to catch those fast feet once I had lost them. Photo: Gines Diaz
I tried to focus on myself, and my own rhythm, and it worked overall pretty well. There was at times unnecessarily a lot of battles in the group, as we were not many compared to AG:er and there is room for all of us. Photo: Gines Diaz
I swam 2 min faster than last year, and was one min closer to the front compared to last year, which is a good sign, even though it feels like I have developed more than that the past year. But improvement can also be shown as having more control and more spare energy as I finish one leg, and this I really did. Swim time: 1:02.01 Photo: Gines Diaz
My goal was to start conservative, be patient and in any case I was in doubt whether to follow someone breaking out from the group, rather stay back. This I did, but looking back, I was maybe a bit too conservative on the first part of the bike. Photo: Australian Tri Magazine
I really tried to keep being sharp on nutrition, hydration and cooling myself, and I ate more than ever before in a race, and I didn’t really think it was particularly hot on the bike course. At the turning point in Hawi, I felt very fresh, almost a bit too fresh.
I started to push the pace a lot more coming down the hill to the final stretch back to Kona.
In the final 60 k, I averaged close to 70.3 effort. And still felt fresh coming into T2.
I had a tail of AG-men in the end of the bike leg, but that only motivated me to keep pushing. Total cycling time: 5.09 h.
As on the bike, I tried to stay in my own bubble at the beginning of the run, and not get carried away by the great atmosphere on Alii Dr. Finding a rhythm after 180 k of biking can be hard, even with rather fresh legs. Photo: Australian Tri Magazine
My splits gave me confidence, and I was notified that I was making a lot of ground, but I tried to focus on my self and getting everything I needed in the aid stations. Volunteers, thank you. I would not have finished without you. Photo: Australian Tri Magazine
After 25 k, my watch died from battery, but since I hadn’t looked that much on the watch after the first 15 k (where I look to avoid running too fast), I tried not to let that effect me negatively.
I started the run in 19th place, and coming out of EnergyLab, I was 7th. I could hardly believe it myself. But with 4 k to go, I was told Sarah Piampiano was running fast from behind and closing in on me.
I did what I could, but the ”little red riding” (seen in background) came closer and closer.
On the last hill on Queen K, and coming down the steep Palani Rd, with about 2 k to the finish, I gave it one last try to keep her behind me, but she did a stellar finish of her race and finished 28 sec ahead of me. I could just not respond when she passed. My legs were done after sprinting down Palani.
I was lost 7th place w 1 k to the finish, but I was so happy to reaching my result goals of a top 10 finish, and my personal performance goals. Photo: Jesper Grønnemark
Photo: Australian Tri Magazine
Racing is racing, everyone is a competitor. But before and after the finish, we can appreciate and congratulate each others performances.
I have been watching the girls holding their fruit bowls above their heads several times with envy, and now I got to stand there, with 9 other girls. I was so happy and proud.
After racing 16 IM distances, I finally made it to the after party. And what a party it was!
Post race sun bathing. Swollen feet needs to stay high!
After the race, my wonderful support crew and I went for a few days to Oahu, to relax and be full blown tourists.
I had my mandatory post race treat: mudpie!
My favourite supporter, who is the biggest cornerstone in my life.
A nice dinner with friends put an end to an overall very successful trip.
I am happy with performance, no doubt about that. But I also learnt a lot during this race, just like very year, and I am already excited to start working towards an even better performance next year. Until next time we meet, mahalo!