With 15 minutes to the start I vaulted over some barriers, an act of agility I never knew I had in me all to get to the only available portaloo. The things you can do when you must.
The Swim– With the best 55 guys on the start line the swim standard is a lot higher than any other IM. For me it felt like being back in the ITU. A battle. However instead of it being the 3rd pack swimmers I was clashing arms with, receiving and giving out the odd smack in the face to-accidentally but it`s the nature of open water. Instead I found myself next to the `big guns` of IM. Well apart from Frodo and Potts who were making us all look bad.
The Bike- Testosterone and World Champs are a deadly combination. The first 20km we all forgot it was an Ironman, we raced like the finish line was well at 20km. Stupidity you could say but if you got dropped then you for sure weren’t riding back up to the group solo. The remainder of the ride was similar to my other Ironman experiences, well apart from your in a sauna and I managed to pick up a 5 minute penalty followed by me riding for 10km feeling sorry for myself.
The Run- Post bike penalty and losing the group I was out of contention. It`s the World Champs though so you battle till the line, plus the crowds on Palani are nuts which lifts you up even when physically you are falling apart. The Kona marathon is both a physical and mental battleground but somehow I managed to claw myself up to 11th.
Destroyed I finished my first Kona.
Facts and figures:
Normalised Power First Hour: 320
Run Nutrition: water/ ice/ 3 gels an hour for 21km. Then water/ ice/ red bull/ 2 gels every hour
Toilet Stops in marathon: 1
Front chain ring: 55/44
Run Split: 2:49:52
Hours of sleep pre race: 3
Hours of sleep post race: 2
Number of days in Kona pre race: 10
Number of Pina Coladas consumed in Hawaii: Not enough
Swimming (52:31) was a great start and confidence boost going into the 112 mile bike. That was until a 5 minute penalty became apparent, and was duly taken on the bike, to complete a split of 4:45:49. Onto the run and perhaps the penalty was the rest that was required for McNamee to record the fastest run split of the day (2:49:52) confirming his place as Britain’s top performing athlete in the men’s race in 11th position, in a total time of 8:32:27
Speaking of his first Kona experience…..
“I am very proud of the way I raced and it was the best performance I have had since the Commonwealth Games last year. Still many things to work on but it was a big step forward for me. It was great to have so many Brits here supporting and to be able to rely on Fraser’s experience of racing here.”
(courtesy of Triathlon Scotland)