Hello from a very proud Lottie. Proud, but tired. This day was incredible. As you might know, I’m currently in Antalya, Turkey, to watch the Ironman70.3. Together with some other bloggers we’re staying at the beautiful Gloria Serenity Resort, testing the Gloria Sports Arena and cheering for the athletes competing at the Ironman competition on Sunday. We were super close to it all. Closer than I would have ever thought. Oh gosh.
The vibrating atmosphere on Saturday just got to our heads. We were at the arena, together with several hundred or even thousand athletes. They pushed their bikes past us, checked their running shoes, tried on goggles, talked about the race track. So Angie too started talking about her swimming career, I began wondering what the 90 km bike ride would be like… we considered signing up for next year… and then we did something completely crazy. We signed up. Not for the next year, but for this! For the next day! My heart was pounding and felt ill because of my nerves, but it was also the most exciting thing I had done in ages. Oh. My. God.
So now we were in as a relay team, Angie for swimming, Lou for running and I for cycling, even though I never ride my bike more than 20km. Completely crazy and nerve-wracking. But as it turned out, it was too late to get a bike this spontaneously, and my fear wound down again. Yet, we decided to still take part with two runners. Disqualified, but better so than giving up!
The race day didn’t begin too well. I hat a stomach bug (which I get every time I travel abroad) and had spent the last night throwing up. But as I wasn’t seriously ill, I decided to stick with the plan. I just took painkillers for my stomachpain and drank lots of soda to regain energy and then it began!
First Angie started off with the swimming. Despite being the former German swimming champion, she hadn’t swum in four years, which made me a bit nervous. Now she was about to swim 1,9km in the open sea! But she did it! And she left so many other swimmers behind, it was crazy!
Then it was Lou’s and my turn. It was a completely different kind of race, than I’ve ever done before. Usually I concentrate to run better, faster, give it my best. This time it was all about team spirit. I had decided before already to stay within Lou’s pace, no matter what. It was my first half marathon, during which I didn’t mind about the pace or the finishing time, but it was good that way. Also at kilometer 20 Lou and I stopped to save a thriathlete, who couldn’t get up anymore. Dominik, that’s his name, ended up running the last few kilometers with us right up until the finish line.
The run through the finish line has to me mentioned as well! It was amazing! A few meters before the end Angie was waiting for us, and being part of our team, she was allowed to cross the finish line with us, hand in hand. And right behind Jan, Nuray and the rest of the team were awaiting us with open arms. I have never had such a wonderful feeling after a run.
The team spirit was completely new for me, and it was wonderful. We kept hugging each other, held each others’ hands, I almost cried. And I realised that I don’t always have to be the best, fastest, outstanding one. Sometimes the ‘Togetherness’ is worth much more.
One last thing, that has to be mentioned, are my shoes. Not knowing that I would run, I of course just packed my prettiest new shoes to be worn as sneakers. Those were my Fresh Foam Vongo Moon Phase by New Balance. So I ended up wearing completely new shoes for the 21,1 km – and I ran on clouds! Super soft, I didn’t get blisters or any other problems! Heads up to New Balance!