As I am writing this I would rather have been in Kalmar, Sweden, getting ready to compete in the last Ironman of the 2017 season, aiming for a top 2 spot which should have been sufficient to qualify for Kona. Kona, the mecca, the holy grail for long distance triathletes which has been my one and only focus in training this year. Admittedly it was an ambitious goal, but with a lot of luck and a decent form it could have been possible. But I have finally admitted that the dream is over and that I won’t see Kona. Not as an athlete anyway.
Actually before Kalmar (which was a last resort race) the plan was to be in Maastricht 2 weeks ago. But the plan had gone off piste 2 months ago, as soon as I crossed the finish line in Japan’s 70.3 Centrair race. The body had shut down and I couldn’t literally move anymore. A few days later I went up and down Mt Fuji on one leg,…A few weeks later, as I still couldn’t even jog I was diagnosed with a stress fracture on my left sacrum (and a less developed one on my right side) which, in the words of my osteopath, meant game over. However no one is more stubborn (and delusional) than a triathlete, and deep inside I still thought I could probably start running a few weeks earlier than planned, build up slowly and hopefully be able to have at least a go at qualifying. After all I knew that my swim and bike fitness were as good or even stronger than ever, and I figured out that some time off running could possibly be beneficial come race day. Maybe? Well I believed in it, did a few runs and felt ok…but never quite right. Only last Thursday, less than 10 days before the race and Kona deadline, I realised after a painful jog that the game was, indeed, over. No Kona for me, as going as an amateur in future years is just not an option for various reasons.
So that’s it, that’s me done with triathlon. Almost. 2017 was always going to be my last year, exactly 10 years after I started. I have been around a lot, met amazing friends and done some of the most spectacular races around. Embrunman, Alpe d’Huez LD, Xterra Maui, Norseman, IM Nice, IM Lanzarote, Xterra Saipan, Xterra Japan…the memories will be there for ever. However, before I start reminiscing a bit deeper and longer on a future post, I am still planning to do one last race where I can leave on a good note, shave my legs for the first time ever (!), make a party out of it. Possibly Barcelona at the end of September, if not we’ll see. But I’ll keep on training for now.
Massive thanks to my sponsors KIWAMI and CEEPO for allowing me to pursued this dream, I truly couldn’t think of better partners.