In November 2014 whilst working on the Volvo Ocean Race I found out that the Ironman team would be putting together the first ever Ironman 70.3 in Pula, Croatia. Without even thinking about it I pushed the registration button and decided this is a sign to get back to this incredibly place.
So almost 11 months later, here I am, sitting on my hotel bed in Pula, Croatia!
The Road to Pula
This would be my fourth and final Ironman event for 2015! Yes, 4 Ironman events in 9 months. I admit, I am an addict. An addict to the life of beauty and insanely amazing athletes as friends. A life of sacrifice, hard work, little socializing and a lot of long physical hours of training.
Pula - almost at the Southern tip of Istria, on its south western coast, the largest town on the peninsula. Since Istrian history goes back 3.000 years, Pula and its territory offers a variety for culture lovers.
Every stone has a story to tell. A mild climate and famous for unspoilt nature. The end for all of us? The Arena, the finish line, where each one of us will be a Ironman Gladiator tomorrow. A magnificent Roman amphitheater, built from white marmor stones, sixth by size in the world, and surely one of the most beautiful! A modern Gladiator coming into the Arena to celebrate my own victory! And as Paul Kaye said today at race briefing - at least we won't have lions chasing us ��
Boris Miletic, the Mayor of Pula, calls us the TRIATHLON GLADIATORS! What's not to love about that.
When was the last time you committed to something 100% ? Well if you haven't done an Ironman event it won't be too easy to say you have.
The dream was to do Ironman events and use this as my stick to travel the world. Tomorrow this goal, this dream becomes a reality! I am under no disillusion that this will be tough and that I will come up against many demons in my head on the bike route! We drove it yesterday - it will take it out of you and it will spit you out just before you about to hit the 3.5 loop run course.
John Collins, Ironman Co Founder, said "you can quit if you want, and no one will care. But you will know for the rest of your life."
So tomorrow morning we head out to a rolling swim start at 10am, then head out on the bike, through 16 small villages and then back into Pula for a beaut of a run just to finish as gladiators.
52 South Africans will start on the line tomorrow! 7th biggest representing country.
16.8% of the athletes, female. Average age of participant, 40 years old. So if you shave your legs, you can make up to 9 minutes on the cycle leg of this race. You will also loose up to 5kgs in the race tomorrow! See why I love this stuff ��
What's important to me tomorrow?
It's important that I go into this race aware of what I am capable of. What my body can do and how far I am able to push before I start breaking down. I am aware of my limitations but also of how strong my heart and mind can be to do what I need to do to get to the finish line.
I do not cheat and I am very happy to say that what I do, I do through hard work, perseverance and a love for sport without doping or anything questionable.
I am happy and blessed to be an endurance athlete and I hope through my journey of trials and tribulations I am able to inspire some to do the same and change their lives!
I'm super excited and can not wait to share my race report with you soon!
Dobardan!! And see you on the flip-side!