Such an incredible day, I have no idea where to start as I have so much to share.

Okay, let’s start at beginning. Travis and I both stayed at the Xbionic hotel on the premises where the race was held. As soon as we qualified in Jeju, South Korea last September, we pretty much booked our accommodation straight away. Lucky we did, as the hotel was fully booked!!

Registration was simple and easy. Race briefing was very informative, very well delivered and also funny.

Pasta party night before race was a little disappointing. Firstly, the food was delicious! 👍👍 What made it disappointing, and this is my opinion only, was there was very little seating to eat the food. We either had to stand around tall tables or find a spot on the floor. For a Championship, I’m sorry, but I expect a certain standard that we’re accustomed too.

Okay moving along, racking of bike and bags etc, very simple and easy again. The layout was clean, they had taken the time to bolt the carpets into the ground to ensure they didn’t lift.

The Little Whippet ready to rock n roll

Transition from swim to bike, bike to run was long. As my Garmin is dead currently I cannot tell you how long, but long.

Our gift from Challenge.

Okay let’s move to race day.

RACE DAY

Race didn’t start till 9am for the male pros. My wave, was the first AG wave at 9:30am. Every other wave followed 10 mins later. A very nice gap for everyone.

It definitely ensured the 20m drafting rule on the bike was managed. More on that later.

Swim 🏊

Very easy swim in terms of direction. It was a 1.9km rectangle in the Danube River. Initially when I got in, I was cold but as soon I flushed the suit, I was fine.

I basically was at the front and as soon as the cannon went off, so did all of the 40+ female age Groupers.

It was a bit rough at the start but after a bit I managed to find me some feet and boy did she kick like a motor. So I basically stayed either on her feet or at her hip. I did cop a few.blows to the head but all in all in was a good swim. I basically ‘punched the monkey’ with my stroke, kept my cadence up and legs together and straight. No kicking from me.

I came out of the water, looked down at my watch and did a first pump 👊, I’d gone and swum a bloody PB. Boom!

38:27 mins, I’m getting closer to my goal of 35 mins. It will come, all in good time.

T1

No idea where it started, so I pressed the button on the watch, ran down the hill and into the grounds. My friend, Jane Fardell saw me walking and gave me a nudge to run. Thanks Bella

BIKE 🚴‍♀️

Got all my stuff, got the bike and ran out barefoot. Shoes on the bike handles. I think next time, its time to use elastic bands.

It was hot, we had a little head wind but the roads were pretty much pan flat but also with rough surfaces.

My first 70km I was holding a decent average, 32kph, my aim was to go sub 3, I’m so close to it, I can taste it.

The 15km along the Danube was dead road with a lot of bumps. My lower back was also giving me grief. However that is due to lack of strength on bike ATM.

Upon turning around to head back, my average began to drop. I did everything I could to stretch out my back, from sitting up to riding out of the saddle.

The course may have been flat but it was tough. No respite at all. To train for this race, I highly recommend the turbo and big gear! #StompthePedal

Now with regards to the aid stations, I think due to the heat 1 more could be added.

Secondly, re the aid stations I would recommend they be spread out more as you had to slow down to pick up what you needed. I also recommend the order should be water – iso – food – iso – water.

What was really great was the ‘check your position’ slots along the course, so you knew what 20m looked like. Great idea 👍

Came off the bike in a time of 3:02:02. I also think the course might have been a little over 1km long. I’ll check my data once I’ve charged my Garmin back in London.

I’m so bloody close to sub 3, I know it’s coming.

T2

I knew once I was off the bike, Omg my hips. I had overcooked myself definitely. The run was gonna be a bitch.

Run 🏃‍♀️

Well the run course was interesting. At least 6km of the course was on grass, horse trotting surface and then we got road. There were a lot of twists and turns and it was brutally hot. I mean, no shade kind of hot. There was also little to no wind!!

I also had not run more than 8kms since Ironman Texas on 22nd April, so you can imagine me, I walked a lot. I tried to talk myself into shuffling. I went through some spurts but then dropped back to a walk.

At times I even removed my shoes and ran barefoot, well with my socks on.

My husband who started 50 mins after me, didn’t catch me at all. Yah! Granted he is dealing with a back issue. I’m so proud of him, he walked it in. And still beat my time lol.

So my run took me 2:49:30 omg a tragedy!

Finish 6:41:23

Not my fastest middle distance race but hey, I finished, and got the 🏅!!!!

Post race was great. The food was incredible and delicious. There were ice pools to cool down. There was a trigger point team plus massages.

Once Trav crossed the line, we got food and sat under the shade of the marquee open tent.

The race is a tough, honest course. Just because it’s flat didn’t make it easy. Also lack of shade and wind on the run made it very hot!

It was indeed a great course!

Okay so to wrap it up, the awards ceremony. Again the food was delicious but having to stand or sit on the floor is unacceptable at a Championship race. You also had to pay for your alcohol. I guess that is okay.

The awards started with the youngest age Groupers, finishing with the pros. I guess this meant everyone would stay.

Overall I highly recommend this event. Definitely try and qualify. I also love that it’s the top 6 and there is no roll down.

Xbionic is a fabulous training ground. Such great facilities!! Definitely worth a visit. It is quiet and you are in a town that is very quiet but if you’re focus is to train, it’s perfect.

So what’s next for IronTarsh????

A solid 15 week block of training with my new Coach, Krystle Hockley. She is a coach within Possibilitty Race Team, so we’re helping each other out. I need a plan, and this is great experience for her. I can’t wait!

23rd July I will be doing my first Aquabike event, at Trispirit Events in Kent, called Owler. I’m looking forward to supporting the non branded companies.

My focus is Weymouth 70.3 on 17th September. I will be doing everything I can to go sub 6 for the first time ever!

Thanks for reading, it is definitely a long one. Hope you found it informative. You know if you have questions, you can always ask me.

I’ll leave you with some cool pics of my friends who did really well.

Jane Hansom & Jane Fardell, 1st in AG

The Champion

Top 3 females – Lucy Charles, Annabelle Luxford and Heather Wurtele

Top 3 males, Lionel Sanders, Sebastian Kinele, and Michael Raelert

My amazing hubby and number 1 star, Travis and myself

Stay safe

Smooches

IronTarsh x