Monday, 6 August 2018

Ironman 2018

If an antidote was needed to the debacle that was Ironman 2017, then Ironman 2018 was it. 

I went in feeling plenty of trepidation, I hadn't even done as much training as I had for last year's horrible effort, but Taupo put on lovely weather thank goodness. It redeemed itself for Ironman number 7 on my part. 

On the day, Kate did wonderfully, her brother did even better, and cut a long story short it was a perfect swim in the smooth lake (as it should be), tough cycle on that picturesque course without major wind grief (as it should be) and long hot up and down the road by the lake a few times culminating in that loud, ferociously lit-up crossing of the finish-line with Mr Ironman giving you what always feels like personal attention "you aaaaare and Irrrronnnnmaaaaan".  I got my medal put round my neck by Terenzo Bozzone, the winner.   An extraordinary triathlete, he'd tried and tried and tried at Taupo and not managed, until this time.  That was pretty special, his first Taupo win, and I was lucky enough to get my finisher medal from him.

Then the other day, the news that made every person who dons the lycra, hops on the dratted two wheeler and hits the road feel sick to the stomach, Mr Bozzone was hit by a truck while he was out on his bike training on an Auckland road.  He's now got wires and platinum plates where he shouldn't have them and he's describing having a "little downtime to rest, repair and recover" before making any plans.  Lurch of relief that he's alive and it seems recovering, hopefully he'll get back to achieving what he deserves again.

It makes you think though.  Well it makes some people think.  Obviously there are plenty of people on the road who never will have safety brains in gear, but there's also that one mistake in however many 1000 actions that ordinary decent people make that is at play too.   Getting felled by criminal road lunacy or a mistake, the end result is pretty much the same I guess and sadly getting on a pushbike will always be an act of bravery.  People who spend hours and hours and hours on the road training professionally are seriously brave. 

Out where I live the roads are getting busier and busier  and the tarseal condition is getting worse because of the logging trucks and I reflect that it's not going to get any easier.  These days I let out an involuntary shriek when trucks go past, I wobble in the wake of fast cars, I get the shakes when a wing mirror narrowly misses my head and I puff and pant and take twice as long to achieve half as much as other cyclists.   Personally, I'm not ready to face the new cycling season by dragging my bike out from under the pile of life jackets and discarded bits and pieces in the shed yet. I will eventually, but I wonder if my cycling will get cut short, not because I'm too old, but because being on the road on two wheels will just be too scary.  Thank goodness for running!