Jarrad reports below On Taiwan 70.3. Oh and to Answer the question (YES HE DID QUALIFY FOR 70.3 WORLDS.) I'd call that a successful trip!
A last minute decision to enter Taiwan 70.3, with one thing on my mind!! qualifying for Ironman 70.3 Worlds 2016.
The decision was made just 3 weeks prior to race day, while i was sipping cocktails in GREECE!!
I arrived in Taiwan late Friday night. The prior 3 days was filled with trains, busses, flights and Night shifts. It was awesome to see a smiling face!! what a face it was (guy).
A quick bite to eat, and it was off to bed. I woke up early, quickly assemble my bike, had some breakfast before heading out for a spin. (we rode to transition)
Once at transition, it was a long (800m) journey to the racking area... It was going to hurt race day!!
With a 25 minute bus ride with Guy and Kate, we were at transition which meant it was time to race.
As we got off the bus it was true tropical weather (raining and very windy!) - over the mic all we could hear was "due to strong winds the bike leg will be shortened", just hearing this is enough to freak out anyone!
I set up my new bike and before I knew it, it was time to put on the wetsuit on - and hit the surf. getting some good waves is an awesome way to warm up...
About 5.50AM we get the call to exit the water and watch the pro's do their thing, sitting a few rows back it was time to hit the water around 6.10
Lucky i found some rhythm early and stuck to it, exiting the water in just under 30 mins. The swim was nice and clear, few bodies around but very calm and enjoyable (How can i say this about a swim??)
The run to my bike was enough to tire anyone, but before long it was out onto the bike course, for an amazing ride (only the landscape) up hills, and over bridges!! 10km into the bike i had lost one of my tubes so I had a quick stop to untangle them, and lost a few spots in the process. However the new bike basically rode itself and soon enough I had caught and passed them again.. the turn around was a nice down hill before some strong head winds.... coming around to the 2nd lap the course was full of bikes every where, I was yelling bike passing until my voice box hurt !!!
Onto the run
It was weird coming into transition earlier that morning as it was windy and cold. And now heading out onto the run it felt like 40 degrees and humid as hell!!
The run was tough, long and hot. I tried to get into a rhythm early and stuck with it for the first 12kms!! It was really heating up and the cocktails were coming into play, stomach was cramping and the finish line was still kms away. A quick rest at the aid station and it was onto the run again. The heat was getting unbearable and I was stopping at each aid station to cool myself in buckets of water.. Turning one of the last corners, i saw Kate and gave her a quick hi 5 and then the death march was on again.. The finish line was getting close, I was over taken by one or two guys moving quickly in the heat!! the final turn and the finish line (thank god) crossing in 4th place. Kate and Guy were there and we celebrated with an exhausted hug!!. I have never been so relieved to finish a race and it was even shortened.
I must say Taiwan is one race i got a thrill out of.. it had everything, the people were awesome, the after party was the best and the event was generally one of the best I've ever experienced.