Our Little Kate Luckin had great day at IMWA and has been bouncing off the walls every since!! Well Done Kate!! (Kate's words below!!!)
First, I want to thank my sponsors….ummm….oh….ahhh… I have none! Haha That’s right! (Do Mum and Dad count?! They spend a lot of moolah on me!)
Let’s start by saying that this blog isn’t just about December the 7th 2014. This has been a very long time coming – since my first triathlon years ago I have dreamt of doing an ironman. This journey has been a crazy rollercoaster of which I never hope to hop off.
I believe that all ironman athletes out there on the day have a story – no matter how big or small, we have all overcome something in our lives and or had a driving force to complete such a gruelling event. It is true when people say “Ironman is a drug”. It has certainly been mine. It’s no secret I have had some tough times, but my incredible family and training has pulled me through. It has saved my sanity and been a release when things get hard. Knowing what it is like being unable to train has only made me appreciate my body and triathlon more. Instead of giving up or turning to other sources, I trained more and can honestly say that right now; I have never loved my body, my mind or triathlons more.
Race week was perfect. My version of heaven. I spent the week being super organised with bike/bags/nutrition etc packed a week early. Having little events like ‘ironman breakfasts’ with squads gave me a little boost and I was feeling quietly confident and ready. came around and a car trip with the company of Claudia (Kylie Kwong) along with some Katy Perry, The Script and Coldplay was cranking. Swims and rides with Tan and the GK crew in Busselton made me feel like I had been let out of jail. I specifically remember my Thursday ride with Tania De Abreu where we just couldn’t help but smile for the whole hour. The family, Andy and Dan soon joined me night. They placed their bets on my times (Thanks Armando for the bet…), gave me some great advice and pumped me up. Claud had done my hair, Lisa and Mark had given me some great advice and Mum and Dad were…still in shock I was doing this whole thing I think! (Poor them – I did keep it a secret for a while)
Race morning. I thought there would be tears. Instead, I was quite calm – very emotional inside but calm. Last good luck hugs from every body and I went with Tania to join the 1898 other athletes. A last hug from Tan and that gun went off.
Wow. I am doing it. I smiled in the water. Don’t do that. You only eat seawater and it’s not fun. 15 minutes later I realised Tan and I were swimming side by side – a quick “Hi Tan….Bye Tan” she was off. Of course I was kicked, lost my googles and swim cap, swam off course (somehow I missed that big thing called a huge jetty) etc – true Kate style but I was so content out there! Out of the water I saw a on the watch – woops slower than I thought but that’s okay! 1/3 down! T1 I found Courtney who helped me with a smooth transition.
Off I ran down the sexy red carpet (Lisa had to yell to slow down and remember to get my bike – Thanks Lisa!) to my sexy baby Chrissie – I grabbed her and said “Chrissie – ready for the ride of your life?” 180km never felt so good. My family, Dan, Rob and Ash (surprise!) were at all the turn arounds which really broke it down for me. I did get a little confused where the frick I was with all the turn arounds! Nutrition went down a treat – Damn Kylie Kwong (Claudia) can make good vegemite sandwiches. I was feeling great. Every athlete out there that passed me or I passed smiled and chatted. 150km in and the last turn around – I yelled to the crew “30 (insert @$#%*)km to go! That’s nothing!”. I felt good and judging by what I had seen established I was coming second in my age group. I thought of the marathon ahead…ease up Kate. Hold back. I found a comfy 30km/hr and sat on it the way in. I smiled the whole time…this was going better than I could’ve dreamed.
Off the bike – wow – hello legs. Another smooth transition thanks to Felicity and I was on the run course before I knew it. My core supporters on the day – Lisa, Mark, Andy, Dad, Mum, Dan, Rob, Ash, Ty, Claud, Jace and Armando. They got me through. Their support out there was amazing. I just felt incredible. I quickly found my happy pace and stuck to it. Who likes Maths? “Just get it done. You are an ironman.” Takes 5 seconds to think. That’s all I thought for the first 30km. That’s 2160 times I thought that and that only. The legs ticked over and I was running comfortably. I have never run a marathon. I never let this cross my mind. I was feeling good. That’s all that mattered. Aid station after aid station…water, ice, coke, gel, electrolytes. Just get it done. The crowd was incredible. Seeing the likes of Adam, Ruth and Tan out there lifted me. A little bum tap and “go Beyonce butt” from Tan was great. 21km. 35km. 30km. I think I shocked every one with how comfortable and well I was going. I could feel Lisa and Mark were proud, and that meant a lot. 12km left. I yelled “12 (@^#$#%) kms!!!! To Kate and Guy and I was still running. I knew from the transition and scouting on the run I was second. I also knew first place had a Kona spot. I couldn’t comprehend it. Was Kona mine to take? The thoughts made me emotional. More maths…”KONA” for 12kms. That’s another 2160 times it went throw my mind.
I couldn’t have loved the lady who gave me that sweet 4th wrist band more. One last high five to Lisa, mark, Andy and Dan – I saw Lisa had tears in her eyes and I started to loose it. The finish chute was mine. I had run a whole marathon. I had swam my whole 3.8kms. I had ridden my 180kms. I had held my emotions together so well. I was 99% sure that Kona spot was mine. Down the chute I high fived every kid. I hugged Simon. I found Rob and Ash and hugged them. My family…the biggest, happiest hugs possible. Pete Murray told me I was an Ironman and I crossed that sweet finish line to give him a huge hug too! So many emotions my little 23 year old self can handle and I felt I was going to explode. I grabbed the volunteer for a photo for some reason and smiled my way through the finish area. I didn’t care about Mince Chow Mein they were serving (really??) I just wanted my family and friends. More hugs, more tears. I stayed standing to see many friends come down the line and the beautiful Tan become an Ironman – you go girl! First place in my age group – Cammie, told me she had a Kona spot, so it would be mine. Confirmation. Joy. Overwhelming. I still can’t explain that feeling – euphoric. I just couldn’t stop smiling.
I can honestly say I have never been more proud of myself. It wasn’t just a race to me. It was setting a goal. A dream – and not giving up. I achieved many things that day – my first marathon. My first Ironman. Kona. KONA. KONA. I have to repeat that because it just isn’t real yet. I am proud of my journey and what I have achieved. There was nothing but hard work, sweat, tears, fails…and triumphs. Getting back up. Going again. Never stopping. That is just who I am and what I do. I do this to see what I am made of and to push myself and discover myself day to day.
I wouldn’t have been able to do this without these incredible people;
The crew at GK Endurance – both athletes and coaches for incredible support and guidance!
BK and EFS for the swims and support
Every one at work – Brad, Chris and Megs for race wheels, use of facilities and support – love that place!
Dani, Bronnie, Nikki, Poppie, Brooke, Tessa - for being my girls and talking non – triathlon to me J
Ruth and Maz – Ruth, you were my first riding buddy! Whilst you turn into Ruthless with a needle for treatment and Pilates I do love you
Dan – you have put up with so much and your support is just incredible! THANK YOU for every thing that you do for me – it means the world
Adam Mullens, Tania de Abreu for being my training friends and simply being there for me – you support and guidance has been essential on this journey and to share this with you is unbelievable. Thank you Ty, Claud and Armando for your help (thanks Ty for the make up and Claud for the hair and drunken times)
Rob – Where do I begin? The man who started it all. Words will never be enough for what you have done. Thank you for pushing me to my limits in training and supporting me through every step
Mum, Dad, Lisa, Mark and Andy – I love you. I couldn’t imagine the stress I put you through having a sick relative try to complete a gruelling day. Lisa and Mark - you are my inspirations. I mean it when I say I did that marathon because you did. My family have picked me up every time I have fallen xxx
Now let’s see what this little Luckin is made of. Let’s get this body ready and BRING ON KONA!