Much like the rest of Europe last Sunday, Klagenfurt Austria was very wet, but I think we got slightly warmer temperatures than the other races.
The lake was certainly warm, too warm for wetsuits I think, but I got a good start and came out of the water in a group of 4, with my super fast transition I was 1st out onto the bike, but straight away did not seem to be feeling very strong, and after about 5km(he must be very slow at transitions) Loisel came flying past and I couldn’t stay with him, then Vanhoenacker came past and I really tried to stay with him as I knew that he was the favourite for this race, I couldn’t and so was riding along seeing him dissapear into the distance which is quite de motivating.
So I was riding with the two Storm brothers from South Africa and didn’t feel like we were really whizzing along and at about 70km on the long climb of the course, we got caught by a group of about 10 and they went flying past and I got dropped by them as well, so coming down the decent of the climb I was probably in about 13th place with a big gap to the group in front, I really didn’t feel great in the legs but knew that I had to at least stay with this group so after the decent, I hammered it and after a a bit of a chase caught them back up.
This seemed to bring my legs to life and I now seemed to be one of the stronger guys in this group, but I thought that we must be a long way down on the 2 in front. But after the 90km mark we saw Loisel had punctured and pulled out so we had a 8min gap to Vanhoenacker. On the other climp of the course we went hard and dropped alot of our group so we were a group of 6 and then onto the next climb I pushed the pace and we got rid of a couple more, but they came back on the flat after the decent.
So coming back into T2 we heard it was still only 8min to Vanhoenacker. I thought that it was probably to much but if I can run well and he has not such a great run, then it is possible, so out onto the run in 2nd just ahead of the rest of the group I was with. I started to run, the gap was coming down and I think by 15km it was 6mins, then at 21km it was still 6mins, I then started to tire a little and the gap then seemed to open back up a bit. I also had 2 guys not too far behind, but I pushed the last 10km and was secure in 2nd but 7mins down on the winner.
It was a good race for me, a good swim, and my best ever Ironman run of 2:44 and a British best time of 8hrs 13min.
My bike ride was not fantastic but that will come, so a very positive race.
I then didn’t have to wait long for Bella to come in as she had just done one of the fastest ever timnes by a women!
It Was a very pleasent week in Klagenfurt it is a very beautiful and tranquil place. It was also great to see so many familiar faces from GB, and great to get so many encouraging shouts from them on the coure. Thanks everyone.
Also a big thanks to the South Africa contingent who came out to race and support, you guys really are great:) Sorry I didn’t manage to do my winners dance at this race for you:)!