Tuesday, 3:30 in the morning, I turned in bed unable to sleep. On Saturday at this same time I got up for breakfast, waiting for me ahead 8 hours 22 minutes and 2 seconds of suffering.
It was a good race but not the best of my races. A few days later is a good time to reflect and see things with a bit of perspective. The question is whether I’m happy with my race, right? Yes I do, perhaps more now than when I finished the Ironman. This is Kona, to make a top 10 is becoming more difficult and after last year’s bad day I’m back and I see again that I can be competitive in this big race. The seventh position is not what I was looking for, I wanted more, but I lost the chance to fight for the first places on the bike. I did not have sufficient power in the decisive moments when the strongest cyclists in the group broke away. In the beggining I had the race under control, saving forces in the early miles, waiting for the climb to Hawi, and then I saw the opportunity to pull ahead, but I lacked a little spark to pull away and finally I stayed in the group of Crowie and we lost too much time with our most direct rivals. Once in the run I felt much better, my initial plan was to run at a pace of 3:50 per km from the beginning and I did it until kilometer 20, from there it cost me a bit more to keep that speed but once on the Queen K I saw that I had a shot to catch up the guys in front of me and that gave me a lot of motivation. The worst time I had going out of the Natural Energy Lab, that hill with the heat there is brutal!! But back on the Queen K I got the good feelings again and I could squeeze a little more. I think it was one of the marathons that I have finished stronger, with that extra energy I improved a couple of positions and I was getting close to the sixth place but Timo is a great runner and he knows how to run fast at the end of the marathon. So I crossed the finish line a bit unhappy in seventh place, but at the same time happy to finish the race, ending the suffering and having fought to the end and not throwing in the towel. My sincere congratulations to the winner Chris McCormack, a few people were taking him as a favorite to win and he set an impressive race.
So I got my fourth top10 in Kona in five races, second 7th place after the one I scored in 2007. I do not want to stay there, I think I can do more in the Hawaii Ironman, I strongly believe in that and that will be my motivation to return next year with more strength if possible. Now is time to rest and recover well, the season is not over yet, next october 24th I compete in the Xterra World Championships in Maui. I’ll keep you updated about how we do in Hawaii.
Aloha to everybody!!