Budapest – What an amazing city!
I was really excited when I decided to use Ironman 70.3 Budapest as a warm up race for the Ironman 70.3 World Champs. It was an opportunity to visit a new country and it allowed me to get up to Europe a few days earlier without feeling guilty, or too guilty, about leaving Kelly and Cavallo at home. The first month of fatherhood has been the most exciting time of my life. Creating a life is amazing and the experience of nurturing him is the most challenging and rewarding thing imaginable.
Fortunately I was able to bring my dad along for the trip, which has been a great help. Packing my Argon 18 bike in and out of its suitcase is a job I could do without and thankfully Carlo ticks the box of on road bike mechanic.
After a long trip up from NZ we arrived in Budapest on Thursday afternoon for a Saturday race. A little more acclimatization would have been nice but a dozen Clif Shots with caffeine did the trick in keeping me alert out there on the bike.
I couldn’t seem to find my swimming arms on Friday and that was consistent to how I felt when the gun went off on Saturday. I managed to dig deep and hang onto the back of the front group of 6 guys, I just hope with a proper taper I can bring my swimming up a level for next weeks race.
Onto the bike and the contrast couldn’t be more apparent. I quickly locked in and soon found myself off the front building what would be a 6 minute lead coming into transition 2. The bike course took us along the Danube river and then wound up and around the beautiful Budavari Palace. The descent was a little hairy but well worth the experience.
The run was a 4 lap out and back course which brought back memories of my ITU days. The legs felt good and I managed to get through the run without smashing them.
Congrats to Alberto Casadei and Matty Trautman on rounding out the men’s podium and Eimear Mullan, Vanessa Raw and Judith Vaquera for the impressive woman’s race.
Budapest was a great opener for next weekends Ironman 70.3 World Champs in Zell am See, Austria. I wanted to work on a few areas of my race and identify what needed some extra attention in this final week. All boxes ticked and recovery well underway. On the train tomorrow and get to see some of the countryside… if I can keep my eyes open!
Also, Daniela Rye and I just found out last week that after winning race 1 of The Nasser bin Hamad Triple Crown at Challenge Dubai and with them having to cancel the Oman race, race 2 will now be the Ironman 70.3 World Champs. The feat of winning all 3 races and the Million Dollars has just become a little tougher.