Ironman 70.3 World Championships Race Report - 30 August 2015 - Michelle Gemmell


Well my first Worlds 70.3 experience!

I knew it was going to challenge me and it certainly did not fail. Austria, and in particular Zell am See is so stunningly beautiful. Every view is more worthy than a postcard.


The lead up to my race is always full of self doubt and worry but with the help from my number one bag b@&$tch, Scotty did all he could to calm me down, focus on the controllable and get my bike ready.

Last minute decision meant he and Evie could not come over with me which put a downer on my spirits byt luckily Mum & Dad had already put their hands up to come over and experience it with me.


Race day was a little different to usual as my wave start was at 11.46am - later than usual and in the heat of the day.

The swim was ok - brutal as usual, but kept trying to stay calm and not have a panic attack - as that could have happened at least 3 times.

On to the bike, loved the first 20ks - fast smooth open roads. Bike felt awesome! Turned to head up the mountain. Wanted to take this easy, spin the legs as there was still a lot more of the race to go and didn't want to start cramping or fatiguing. The problem with slow is that it takes so long. After 10ks, there's a 2k relentless climb of 14%. A lot were walking this section and your mind does play tricks and try to convince you that they are the smart ones - not you. Got to the top, but there is no time to celebrate or relax as you head straight back down on a 15% decent with lots of 180o corners. Brakes were screaming and burning up so had to be brave and roll as much as I could. Towards the bottom, I could get aero and push the bike (that was sooo much fun!). We travelled through some small villages that were so cute. I kept expecting Shrek or Donkey to peek out of the houses. We flew back into town and head towards Kaprun where the roads were not so kind and there was a lot of cornering. The air was so dry I couldn't hydrate enough, my lips were prunes and the sun was really stinging. At 80ks I wanted off but had some fun trying to stay in front of these young girls who challenged me the last 10 ks.

Onto the run! Yay. Here we go! Fast legs, then we'll open up - right? Wrong! Got to the first 1k marker and my first thought was 'this is going to be a long run!' The 4k marker seemed to take forever and this is where my legs normally will free up and roll over but not today. They stayed in a shuffle and refused to go any faster. The heat was really getting to me and I felt like I couldn't get air in. Spent so much time at the aid stations trying to douse myself with water to cool down but it didn't work. Drank so much water my belly was sloshing too much and meant that I didn't take on any nutrition on the run for fear of feeling sick. So many fit looking people were walking and again, I had to work hard to not walk unless it was an aid station even though my mind was telling me other things. It was a 2 lap run and I did not want to go out for the second lap at all. There were some long slow climbs that tested the legs -again. On the way back after the final lap-I was screaming to myself - MOVE! But the body had other ideas. Never have I been so happy to turn into a finish chute. It was amazing, the cheering, they had cheer girls, the supporters, the announcers - all awesome! I started crying up the chute and didn't stop till I spoke to Scott on the phone. So not how I wanted to finish, but I got a great medal for my efforts.

I need to thanks my parents for being here and supporting and doing all I needed before and during the race. My Scotty who believed in me and did all he could to get me here, and was with me the whole race (in spirit and via technology!).

Thanks so much for the messages, the utube video was just awesome. I can't believe so many people cared about what silly things I get myself into. Your messages were playing over in my mind on the run, so thank you - it kept me going.

Thank ‪#‎orbea and ‪#‎chaingang for an awesome bike. Thank you ‪#‎zellamsee ‪#‎im70.3
Thanks and love Mum & Dad.
Thanks for the love and support, inspiration Scotty and Evie xx

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