I’m breaking this “event” into two parts, as I feel that the stress, anxiety and emotional journey of 3 days leading up to the race are worthy of their own post.
Unaccording to Plan
This first part has few pictures to document it. Apologies. Here is why:
Subic Bay 70.3 was to be my first half ironman race (70.3) of 2016. It was my first chance to really test myself after a solid block of training, see where I was at and the strength that I had hopefully built over the Christmas months.
Everything was beautifully worked out to arrive in the Philippines the Thursday before, with plenty of time to see the course, rest up. I ended up doing only the latter. I woke up on the Wednesday with the pre-cold itch in my throat. After a gentle run that evening, it was a full-blown cold, and it only got worse.
Travelling went seemingly smoothly, until we came out at Clark airport. Anyone who has ever experienced that moment when the baggage carousel stops moving, but your bag still hasn’t arrived will know the sinking feeling I had. After discussions and supposedly official form filling out in the airport office, the z-coaching crew (minus one bike box) headed to our various hotels.
Without a bike, I was fairly limited in what I could do, so I slept for 15 hours – easily. Fighting off the cold. At this point, I assumed the airline had it all under control, and it would arrive that evening on the next flight. Alas no. And none of their phone numbers nor email addresses worked. I remained calm.
My room-mates for the weekend Lyndsey and Jonah arrived at lunchtime. With a bit more local knowledge, Jonah was on my bike’s case. He worked his phones like the pro he is, juggling driving us around for registration etc whilst doing so. By Friday evening, still nothing. We got Princess, Sunrise event’s organiser on the case.
I was still extremely tired and weary from being sick, and everything was less than ideal.
On Saturday, (pre-race day) I woke up hoping Santa had arrived and my bike would magically have appeared. It was not to be. Luckily, Jonah had arranged an emergency back-up bike, but I would still need to sort out shoes. At this point, I had taken two days of complete rest due to illness/taper, so decided to go for a jog. It turned into shamelessly joining the infamous “underpants run”.
Mid-afternoon, we had finally sussed out the bag’s location, but of course the driver wanted to take the 3 hour detour to avoid the toll fee. We swiftly put a stop to that, with Lyndsey and Jonah keeping me calm. The most frustrating thing about the situation was that not once, did the airline/airport contact me.
Three hours after bike check-in closed, my bike turned up, was built in record time. A few loops around the expo was my only opportunity to test everything was running smoothly and gears etc were working.
At this point, I was exhausted. I was still sick, I had been stressed for the entire day. So we went quickly back to my bed to try and maximise sleep before the 4.20 wake up call…