To run up along the finishing line in an Ironman and to hear Paul Kaye say Mikael: You are an Ironman is something that can’t be easily explained in text. To do it after an Ironman Kalmar race is even harder. Ironman Kalmar is known to have the best audience within all Ironman races. After finishing, I can only agree.
To finishing an Ironman is not just hard work during the day. It is days of preparation before the race and of course, a few hours of training. Someone has sad: The journey is the destination. To finishing an Ironman this is absolute true.
My journey towards finishing Ironman Kalmar started almost a year ago then I applied and payed the fee for the race. The aim for the race was defined, to get PB (coming from the Ironman Barcelona race 2015) on all sub distance and the overall race. In September in 2016 a new challenge and aim appeared. My brother applied to start as well.
A training plan for the race was defined with the aid from tri coacth Patric Engström (IM Kona finisher). The plan was to train short but intensive sessions on Monday to Friday and one or two longer exercises on the weekend giving approximate 10 h training each week. Winter training went well and a test race in January showed my best running results since the millennium.
Unfortunate I had a big dipp in the training during the spring but was back on track in the early summer. The training load increased during the summer. Unfortunate I got reports from my brother that his training was performed as planned.
Travelling together with my brother to the race and arrived in time for registration and pre-race meeting on Thursday afternoon, two days before race day. 2 short training sessions (bike and running) was done on Friday. Parts of the bike course was tested and the swimming course was inspected during the running. The running followed by lunch and then bike check-in with the gears in the bike and running bag. Now it was just to wait, eat and sleep.
Race day: Nightmare, waking up4 o’clock to hear hard wind and rain. Not my dream weather. However, the weather changed to the better and then it was time to go to check the bike the weather look promising, no wind and nice sky. Checked in to the swim start with the aim to have a swimming time on 1:10h. The swim course is nice and technical passing areas with many spectaculars. Coming up from the water 1:17h and a few minutes later then expected. Getting my bag towards the tent for changing to bike gears. Looking for my brother’s bag and realizing it is gone. Changing and coming to my bike and starting to attach my watch to the handlebars. Se that my brothers bike is still in the rack, got a slap on my back and hear him saying lets go! After that I didn’t see him for the rest of the race.
Coming up on the bike and passing the bridge to Öland and keeping a good speed. The aim was to have an average speed above 30km/h. It looked good the first 70 km but after turning back towards the bridge and passing Alvaret a second time it was relative hard head-wind. My speed decreased below 30. Coming in to Kalmar for the second shorter course on approximate 60 km in the countryside of Kalmar. Following my food plan with only gels and sport drinks on the last 2 hours on the bike trying to minimizing problems with the stomach during the running.
Returning from the second bike course to the transition zone, filling ok in the legs and starting to change to the running gears. The run course is a three-looped course on approximate 14 km filled with cheering spectaculars – absolute amazing. It is people everywhere, cheering playing music and encourage every competitive to move forward, to finish the race.
A long racing day ends, hearing Paul Kaye say Mikael: You are an Ironman!