Ironman70.3 Texas Champion
“If I can come close to showcasing the passion, dedication and excitement Ben has shown during our build up, this will be a great race for us!”
Ben is my focus when out there on the race course, he has been absolutely incredible and got me in a very strong position for the Ironman70.3 Texas start line. The time, passion and love Ben dedicates to our sport is unbelievable. Ben spends countless hours researching, travelling, maintaining, upgrading, communicating, negotiating and perfecting! We were all set up for a strong showcase of Ben’s hard work.
Racing in America was a first for us and we had great expectations for a very atmospheric race. We have family living in America and it was very special for them to share the race with us in the seaside town of Galveston, Texas. We also travelled out with our friend Amy and managed a classy upgrade on the flight to Houston, Texas.
Having enjoyed some really lovely time with the family we were off to Galveston in our enormously oversized truck. Ben’s brother Tom joined us for the occasion flying over from Denver, thank you Tom. Race preparations were really relaxed, as always, thanks to Ben’s help as our chauffeur around the bike course, taking us to the race venue, driving to dinner and getting our bikes race ready.
Amy and I also headed out for a run along the sea front on a very blustery Saturday morning to ensure the run legs were ready to fire race day. We then dipped in the interestingly shaped pool and got some metres swam. The evenings were fun and as we would expect in Texas everything was oversized. We sat a little embarrassed when we all thought we could manage a Large Pizza! Nobody else in the restaurant was enjoying a Large.. just us British folk.. eyes way to big for our bellies. And to add insult.. I was asked if I would like dessert whilst still eating my was through this oversized pizza! We didn’t go hungry..
I had interesting texts back and forth with my coach Mark Pearce and he did say to me.. “ready to cause some trouble” and the answer was.. always! And I really believed it.. I even joked to Ben “it will be a little windy on top of that podium tomorrow!”
I was up super early on race morning.. I think the clock read 3am. I was excited to follow the racing at Ironman South Africa and was delighted to see Susie Cheetham leading the bike. With this excitement and with my race in just a few hours going back to sleep was tricky. 4.30am and I was eating my race breakfast and getting ready to ride my Giant Trinity Pro bike to the race venue. 5am transition opened and I was there, first to get all my bits sorted as usual. The weather race morning was super windy and a storm was forecast. We race on Vittoria Corsa Speed tyres but changed the back tyre to a slightly wider tyre to ensure safety on the bike if the weather got interesting.
The swim was a sheltered sea swim although the wind picked up some chop. I got to the swim start a little flustered. I had no way of getting my Sketchers and Swim Bands back to Ben as spectators were not allowed within about 500m of the swim start (a little shopping needed now). I had a strong swim in the chase pack with super USA swimmer Lauren Brandon just under 3minutes ahead out of the water. This was a fair margin to be honest, I led the chase pack and even swam up to a swimmer who had been dropped by Lauren in the early stages of the swim.
Onto the bike and it was head down, pedal hard, very hard! I caught the lead approximately 22miles into the 56mile bike leg and continued to extend my lead to over 8minutes quicker than the next fastest female (and within 5mins of the overall male winner). I was super relaxed and happy and even had a quick chat with the Ironman media crew letting them know I was feeling magic.
The super hot and humid half marathon run was all that was in the way of the finish line now. With a lead touching 10minutes could I let myself believe this was my race to Win?
The run was 3 x laps and the first lap was excellent, I was on my desired pace and extended my lead slightly by 30 seconds. The second lap was getting a little tougher and my body was consumed by pain, lots of pain, everywhere. Onto the final lap and yes now I could believe, a gap of over 6minutes. My entire body felt numb, I could not believe that soon I would be crowned the Champion, in Texas? I ran the final lap with a massive smile but didn’t stop pushing.. the finish line couldn’t come soon enough, I was so so excited to share the moment with the family at the finish line.
Crossing that finish line and holding the winners tape is what we strive for each and every day. The emotion is so overwhelming when it comes to light there is a real sense of magic!
We have successfully enjoyed block 1 of our three blocks this session:
- 1 x Ironman70.3 Win
- 2 x Ironman70.3 Podiums
- 3 x bike course records
- 1640 points towards the Ironman70.3 World Championships
Thank you to Jacuzzi for Headlining my sponsorship this year and enabling me get the best out of myself and to get to these fantastic races. Also the expertise of my coach to back up a podium in Buenos Aires with a win in Texas, just Wow.. thank you Mark!
My pre race previews are always emailed out to family, friends and followers where I share how I am feeling pre race and what our ambitions are for the race. If you would like to receive these mailings please sign up on my professional athlete website > Contact Page
A big thank you to our support team:
Race Hub | Giant | Huub | CEP | High 5 | Snow | Sketchers | Vittoria | Lake
Endless Pools | Certikin UK | Pedal Cover | Ceramic Speed