Written by Sophie Bubb, also known as ‘Mum On The Run’!
My road to Kona has been a whirlwind, I raced my first ever long distance triathlon at Challenge Weymouth 2015 to get fit post child birth. When the race started I had two children under two years of age and my youngest was six months old. While I trained hard and took the race seriously my ultimate goal was to finish. What I didn’t know when I entered was that this race was the European Long Distance Championships. I was shocked and ecstatic to finish as the first amateur, 9th overall and win my age category. What started as a one off has been the beginning of a fantastic journey for myself and my family.
I’m not sure when I set my sights on Kona; to be honest I didn’t quite believe that I would be able to, I thought Weymouth was just luck but I wanted to put myself to the test and see. I trained hard and set my sights on Ironman UK 2016, this was one of the last qualification races for Kona 2016. The day before the event we were all set and on the way into transition to rack my bike when I found the head unit was cracked, for a moment I thought the race was over before it had started. Luckily my husband was prepared for most eventualities, had brought my old bike and after a few hours he was able to rebuild it to get me on the start line.
It was a tough race and I had researched my competition. I came off the bike 10 minutes behind my biggest competitor for Kona. My age group only had one qualification spot so I had to win. I knew I was the stronger runner, I had been following her blog! During the run I saw that I was catching her, but towards the end I had lost her. I crossed the line 20 seconds ahead of her with nothing left to give. It felt like a long couple of minutes whilst we waited to see who had won! It turned out that I had beaten her… just… and I finished as first amateur, in fifth place overall.
In preparation for Kona I have been trying to get more race experience. My family and I headed to the middle distance European Championships in Austria earlier this month and I was delighted to walk away with a bronze medal. I am now on my way to Kona with my family, however we stopped in Oklahoma City for the International Triathlon Union Long Distance World Championships. We chose this event as we knew it would be hot and tough, which it was. I am delighted to have won a gleaming silver medal. I finished as the second amateur overall and was fifteenth female home beating a bunch of professionals in the process.
I know Kona will be my biggest endurance challenge ever and I am excited, terrified, daunted, ready to race and overall looking forward to the challenge. I am immensely proud to have qualified. If you are interested you can follow my progress on my Facebook page.
There is no way I would be on this wondrous journey without the support of the wonderful Z Hotels. I have also been working with a long list of technical partners including: CycleOps, PowerTap, Saris Cycling Group, Lime Wood Hotel, Exercise Science Consulting Ltd, KITBRIX, Chia Charge, inov-8 All Terrain Running, Revolver Wheels & Precision Hydration.