IRONMAN SUNSHINE COAST 70.3 RACE REPORT
WRITTEN BY JOSH AMBERGER
3:40am: Alarm tone shatters my world. I’m convinced only death is worse. Temptingly, I close my eyes, oblivion would be easier. I roll into Ash for cuddles. No response. She might be dead too. But we rise for the love of sport.
Rain greets us as we arrive at transition. It’s dark & impossible to see, unless you’re a possum or ate carrots for breakfast! Closer to start, I offer platitudes of luck to my rivals. How mendacious of me.
Once the gun goes I intend to reign them with fire & brimstone. Commencement. I take the lead. Royle soon overtakes then stops dead, torpedoed from a nearby u-boat. Has possibly sunk. I hope so. Track record against him is abominable. Long run to T1 ain’t much fun. Sand, then bitumen. My feet are f****** done.
Onto the bike. A black cockatoo heralds our passing, a fleeting marvel which has me larking. Neumann cranks the pace but I’m caught napping. My bird watching leading to ruin, my body not responding. I revert to a favoured coping mechanism, tonguing a moustache no longer there. Calls for a penalty had already been made on account of its shaving, some fans left gasping. Trapped in stasis. Neither catching, nor being caught. Things look the same, kind of like a Tom Clancy novel. A gel coagulates on my fingers. Another deluge of rain. My lines through wet corners less tested than a Russian covid vaccine. Don’t follow me, I’m a Zwifter now, who rides in the rain?
End of bike, 60 seconds behind. Fantasy triathlon has me gaining time by the first u-turn. Fantasy triathlon is a s*** game you should never play. 2 minutes behind. Becomes 3. Losing focus. McKenna sees opportunity & makes a charge at the podium. I apply a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, McKenna now in remission. 3rd locked away. In the dying moments of the race I reflect on the year. I’m grateful we hadn’t had to do this very often. My legs are shot. My testes feel twisted. I pissed on myself. It’s horrible. But as I finish, only seconds pass before this goldfish buries the hatchet. With a wry smile I think ‘F*** yeah. That was sick. I missed that. So good’. Ironman Cairns in 2 weeks. Double the misery, maybe triple. ‘Can’t wait!’