Kate’s Vegas World Champs

Written by Zena Coffey on . Posted in News

Las Vegas Ironman 70.3 World Championship, 9 September 2012

Vegas was for me a very spur of the moment idea. Ady Whittaker had convinced me to go to the roll down after Busso 70.3 and I had no idea what to expect!

Nearly 4 months later, I arrived in Las Vegas, welcomed warmly by the dry, punishing heat! I decided to go ride some of the course a few days prior to the race, I made 10km and got back to the car shaking and on the verge of tears. All I could say to my sister was what the hell have I got myself into! This ride really shook my confidence and after talking to all my family back home, they reassured me that I was there for the experience and it was ok if I didn’t finish.

Sunday morning, race day was just beautiful! My wave was at 0750, the 3rd last of the day. After watching hundreds of people swim it was finally my turn. The swim start was awesome, there was about 100 people in my wave and it was very civilised, no goggle loss or water inhalation! I had a really great swim, it was flat and a fast, smooth course. The bridge we began the race under was also close to the swim exit so it made for a great spotter. I took a much wider swim than most, I enjoyed having the water to myself and I finished the swim with a massive smile on my face feeling very pleased.

Kates Vegas World Champs

The bike course began with a large hill which lasted about 1km, I found my legs really quickly and managed to power up the hill. The reality of this course really began to hit home though when you reached Lake Mead national park. It was about 40km to the turn around point and I went through some really tough times out there. I have never wanted to quit something as bad as I did on that bike course. It was very lonely out there and there where very few competitors still out riding. It was always just make it to the next drink station, which was always a relief as I always was running out of water from bathing myself too much! The end of the bike course was about 10km uphill through suburbia, I managed to regain some of the places I had lost on the bike course by working quite hard for those last few Kms. Coming into transition though I was a mess. I shamefully say I was crying as I began running at the pure dread of having to run 21kms.

The run was far tougher than I expected, I had gone in worrying so much about the bike, I had neglected taking much notice of the run. Lap one of the run was slow and depressing, I couldn’t find my comfort zone and then I began to cramp on lap 2 of the run. I decided to walk and try and take in as much energy food and drinks as I could tolerate. I found some Aussies on the sidelines and their support was so encouraging! I walked all of lap 2 but as I began lap 3 I felt so much better. I managed to run all of lap 3 and actually ran really well.

Finishing that race I was on such a high, it took so long to set in that I had achieved such a massive goal!

I placed 22nd out of 43 finishing competitors in a time of 6 hours and 30 seconds.

Would I ever do it again? Definitely!

Kate Vernon