The South coast of France is so impressive, Crystal clear waters, hot sunny weather and lots of steep mountains! The perfect setting for an awesome Ironman course. The France Ironman in Nice is known as one of the hardest courses on the circuit. With the biggest field of over 2700 athletes, all competitors start the swim at once (beach start diving in off the rocky shore), the cycle has over 2500m of vertical ascending and the dead flat 4 loop run course is a scorching 35+ degrees with no shelter or shade!
The Swim start is a chaotic place to be in any race let alone starting with 2700 athletes all at once off a beach of boulders, my swim was OK but didn’t feel as good as I was hoping, my shoulder was still recovering from a pinched nerve and wasn’t comfortable when I pushed too hard. I was pleased to exit the water in 1:00 and head out onto the bike. The scenery was incredible and helped to keep your mind off the pain of all the climbs. The biggest climb was 21km long and windy, it was hard to watch as my average speed was diminishing , but I was still passing alot of cyclists and an awesome descent making the most of the closed roads and came into T2 after a bike split of 5:22 in 11th place in age. The run was hotter than anything I had experienced before so I was very careful with keeping the fluids and nutrition up. athletes were collapsing and sitting down all over the place and I was worried that maybe I was setting out too fast for the conditions.. I felt good the whole way and managed to press on and win my age group. My marathon time of 3:10 was over 10mins quicker than 2nd place.
I wasn’t expecting to do as well as I did in this race and ended up winning my age group by over 18 minutes in 9:40, and qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.