Race report: Ironman 70.3 WC 2016 (Sunshine Coast, Mooloolaba)

We’ve just arrived in Melbourne after driving along the whole east coast from Gympie, in the northern part of Queensland, last tuesday. Now I feel that it’s been enough time since the race for me to assess it in a more or less objective way. Had I written this sooner it probably would have had a more bitter lining.

If you’ve read any of my other race reports you’ll know that I eat my last ”real meal” 4 hrs before the start. On raceday the 4th of September this meant 02:45. Got another one hour of sleep after that, but at 04:30 I left our house for my 30 min walk to the transition area. A walk that was just enough to slowly prime my body for what was to come.

Arriving in transition at my bike is always soothing for me. One last check, pumping up the tyres and seeing that everything is in order. This morning everything was in order except for that I couldn’t connect to my power meter. With 15 min left before transition closed, I configured a new racing screen on my bike computer focused on puls instead of power. However I had no need for it since my power meter was recognized directly after T1.

I had my usual pre race procedures including Coca cola and a snickers one hour before start, a proper toilet visit and priming of the shoulders before heading into the pre start area with the rest of my AG30-34.

Deep water start at 06:45

Deep water start at 06:45

We were the second AG to start (after AG35-39) and right before we were sent out into the water the first male Pro came up after 21 minutes! It was a deep water start 100 m off the shore. I was laying in front and when the starting signal sounded I started waving. I’m glad I used double swim caps, as I took several hits and kicks to the face. None of them resulted in the loss of my goggles fortunately. First stretch was kind off messy, but after the turn it got better. Unfortunately as I see after analyzing the data, messy means that I swim faster… My first half was way faster than my second and evidently I got a bit to comfortable on the way back. I came out of the water after 28:59, one second to go on my prediction

Now I knew T1 was going to be long, however I had ”planned” for 3:00 not the actual 4:56 that it took! I didn’t stop once in transition… Ran up the beach, while stripping the upper body I popped a gel that I had inside the wet suit. Grabbed my bike bag and continued to the changing area. Stripped from the wet suit completely within the blink of an eye, put on the helmet got rid of the wet suit and continued to my bike. Grabbed the bike of the rack and ran through the bike area towards the mount line, mounted and I was off… Loooong transition area, almost like Stockholm Triathlon…

As I already mentioned my power meter was recognized directly after T1, even though I hadn’t had the possibility to calibrate it on race day. I saw resonably fast that it was showing a bit low power readings, but atleast I could see if I was being consistent in my power output or not.

Getting out on the bike was a relief. It always is for me… that’s where I really feel at home. Directly out of T1 was a couple of hills, but then we came out on to the Sunshine Highway… 35 km of, more or less, flat road with perfect road conditions. Unfortunately on race day the winds were pretty still. I had hoped for rougher conditions especially for the bike leg, but also for the swim. When we came out on to the high way there were huge packs of AG30-34 and AG35-39 athletes riding in pelotons… Unfortunately the referees seemed to have their hands full with the pros so I didn’t see a single card beeing shown out on the high way. One of the biggest packs that I passed and pulled away from was consisting of 30 cyclists and in some areas they were cycling 3 next to each other. Sad really…

On my way in to T2When coming off the high way I had an average for those 35 km of 43,2 km/h and 273 W Np (now that’s an evidence that the watts shown were a bit low…). The packs had cleared a bit and now we were going in to the hinterland section of the course. I described it a bit more in detail in my previous blog. I followed my plan consistently by spinning up the actual climbs and pushing through those smaller ones. What really annoyed me was the poor quality of the roads. Since I hade ridden the loops a couple of days before I was somewhat aware, but I didn’t know that the roads leading up to them also was bad. In total I guess it was around 30 km of really poor quality roads. Actually after 65 km my rear bottle and repair tools had enough and shook off… Luckily I had no puncture.

For the last 10 km I just tried to spinn out the legs in low gear with high cadence. My bike split arrived at 2:18:51, which gave me another nine seconds on my prediction.

Arrived in the same transition area and I didn’t have any issues in T2 either, but it still took me 3:40 compared to the 2:00 I had ”planned” for. So just in transition time I lost 3:36 compared to my predicted race time…

Out on the run and the legs felt ok at first. Actually the legs felt fine throughout the whole run, however there was no speed in them… Usually I start off the first few kilometres in 3:45/km and then I slow myself down… Now I started off in 4:08, 4:12, 4:15 etc. which is ok paces… However also a sign that I have no speed in my body. I really tried to keep the speed up but pretty soon my pace started dropping and the heat picked up. I drank coke, and electrolyte at every station and I also put cubes of ice inside my race suit. Rather quick my mission changed from sub90 on the run to survive, don’t start walking and get away with a decent total time.

The run course was brilliant… Apart from the hill which is like 15 + metres, it’s dead plat. However the hill is directly out of T2 and since the course is two laps this means that you’ll pass it 4 times and the last time is just before the finish line. I can assure you, at the top the last time around… I was crying.

The whole run course was filled with spectators and the atmosphere was really amazing, I kept hearing things like ”Go Kalle” and ”Go Sweden” (it says my name next to the flag on my race suit). The last 2 km was really something special. The spectators were so close they could touch you and it felt like you were carried towards the finish line. Along the final stretch and the red carpet stood my wife and my two kids who has stood by me completely this past year and of course my everlasting super supporters mum and dad. The race time didn’t say 4:22:30, but when I came across that finish line I was out…

Happy with my huge medal

Happy with my huge medal

Given the fact that this was my first WC-event I feel happy with my performance. There’s nothing I could do about the transitions… I probably could have swum a minute faster, but 28:59 still is a personal best by far… The bike was just clean and controlled all together. I could have easily done a sub2:15 bike, but chose to pace myself with surgical precision. The run… well to be completely honest, I have had trouble with my running since May. I did 1:24:24 in IM 70.3 Pays D’Aix, which was a super short course but still well under 1:30. Since then I haven’t been able to push myself in my running. This will be my clear goal for next year apart from maintaining and improving in all disciplines.

The run ended in a dissapointing 1:37:57 and my total time was 4:34:23. It’s still a pb with over 3 minutes, but still…

Found some other swedes in the recovery area

Found some other swedes in the recovery area

Now, almost two weeks after the race. After an amazing holiday with the family, driving 4000 km in oz, with no training whatsoever and eating whatever I’ve felt like… I’m happy. I’m happy I did a good race, I’m happy with my overall performance and I’m happy that I now have 3 months of casual running, cycling and a lot of strength training before I start my next real training… 9th of july 2017 Ironman Frankfurt!

  2 comments for “Race report: Ironman 70.3 WC 2016 (Sunshine Coast, Mooloolaba)

  1. Tony
    14 september, 2016 at 15:11

    Kul läsning. Och ja, vägarna i ”hinterland” var verkligen dåliga.
    Lycka till i Frankfurt! Kanske ses vi där!

    • kall3
      14 september, 2016 at 23:15

      Det hoppas jag att vi gör Tony!

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