Ironman 70.3 Jönköping, July 10th, 2022 (L)
Race Reporter: Julien
First Ironman 70.3 in Jönköping (July 10th 2022)
Swim. Cloudy weather but the temperature is fine, around 18 degrees. Fortunately, the swim start is a rolling start so I won’t have to shoulder my way through other athletes. We’re in a calm lake, which allows me to swim smoothly and breathe easily. After the second turn, I have this enjoyable feeling that I could keep going like this for hours. I don’t really know how much is left of the 1.9km and soon realize that the swim is almost over.
As I get out of the water to reach the transition area, I must say I enjoy all the loud cheering from the public packed behind the barriers. I guess “Heja!” is the Swedish for “Allez!”.
Bike. I find my bike without difficulty and drink some water (with some gel and electrolytes) from an extra bottle near the bike, quickly get prepared for the second leg of the race, grab the bike and reach the mount line. Still a lot of people in this small city of Jönköping (tenth “biggest” city of Sweden), until I reach the countryside. Great sensations and even better views in the middle of the lakes. I feel fast, don’t look at my watch and just enjoy the moment. After 50k I realize that there is another 40k left, which is equivalent of the bike leg of an Olympic distance to ride. But I feel fine, I overtake a few other athletes and, of course, am overtaken by time trial bikes from time to time.
In the last kilometers, I can tell by the pain in the legs (totally bearable at this moment) that the run is not going to be a piece of cake.
Run. I finally put the bike back on its rack, remove the helmet, change shoes after a quick refreshment. The beginning of the run feels pretty hard, with a back pain – but it happens sometimes then disappears through the run, no reason to worry. The back pain stays, it gets even worse and I have to slow down. Even walk at times. What exactly made me decide to travel from Paris (flying from Paris to Göteborg, sleeping there, then taking a regional train, then another one) to find myself in – literally – the middle of nowhere and run for no reason? The end of the run is a relief. I realize that the pain in my right foot was caused by a little stone that came in in the first transition.
Covered in the life blanket I had from the medical tent I have another look at my finisher medal and, despite the ordeal of the run, I’m happy with my 35 minutes swim and 2h49 bike. 5h46 in total feels ok for my first and last Ironman 70.3. Until the next one.
Organization and supplies: flawless
Food (post race): so-so