Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm a World Champion!!!

Just got back from the Triathlon De Levis Double Ironman World
Championships and I'm exhausted, but cannot stop this big grin on my
I am the 2008 Double Ironman World Champion!!!!!

Quick report here, and then more details this weekend...

At the dinner the night before the race they introduced the athletes.
The other gals were Astrid Benohr and Suraya Oliver and got long
introductions as they are both top multi-ironman distance athletes
(google their names, I did before the race and it was scary!). They
introduced me, "Leslie Holton... she's done ironmans"... well, okay
I've done a bit more than that but I am certainly the baby at this
sport and the race fodder!

Slept pretty good, and Friday morning arrived all too soon.

SWIM: The swim was in the St Laurence river, 12 loops. The tide was
high when we started and dropped enough to expose 30 feet of beach by
the time I finished. Each lap was a different challenge with
different circulating currents sweeping us around. Finished the swim
and was 5 to 10 minutes back.

BIKE: Quick(ish) transition and onto the bike. Passed both gals in
the first lap. Astrid looked strong but Suraya was clearly not
feeling good yet. The bike course suited me well with 1.2 miles on
lightly rolling road with a kicker at the end (a steep hill that was
about 20 pedal strokes standing up hard) and then 1.2 miles back on a
super sweet in the aerobars bike path. Really good sweeping turns at
each end. 92 laps. I could see folks on the opposite side of the
course as I was riding and tracked Astrid each lap. I tried to ride
steady and easy but with a rabbit like that it was fun to see what I
could make up each lap and I ended up having just a blast oon the ride
grinning like and idiot even through the 3 short storms that blew in.
The storms actually changed the winds, which were strong and
relentless, but just added to the fun. After dark set in it was
harder to keep a consistent pace, and other riders became just
headlights but finally it was done and I hopped off the bike.

RUN: I had planned a slow leisurely maybe even a nap transition but
Drew told me I was 7 laps ahead of Astrid so instead it was a quick
change and go. The run was out and back, 2k total, 42 laps. I tried
running the middles and walking the ends. After a few hours Astrid
hit the course and it was a question of whether she could hawk me
down. She did not pass me in the first marathon, though she caught up
a bit each lap and we did get a chance to chat. She said she left too
much on the bike trying to stay close... The sun came up, things got
hot, life got hard. Astrid quit after 28 hours or so when it was
clear she would not make the cutoff. I was not allowed a pacer
because I was in the lead. My guts turned over, settled down, and
turned again. Finally it was 5 to go, then 4, then 3, 2, and the last
lap where I cried most of the way because it was over and I was so
darned happy!

AFTERMATH: Finished the race and all I wanted was a Pepsi. Nope.
Drink only these sealed water bottles, got escorted to the drug
testing room, chug more water til I could produce 100ml. Strange
formal surreal process of drug testing where I had too pee in front of
a witness and create my A and B samples that will be sent off to the
lab. Crazy!!!

Won the biggest heaviest trophy I have ever seen. When the drug tests
come back clean I'll even win a prize purse!

Whew... it was a really really special week!


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