Gina Crawford Ironman Frankfurt report

Monday 07 July 2014
Today I raced Ironman Frankfurt and came third in 8 hr 58 on a very hot day. The week had been a struggle for me to be honest. Last Sunday I had an amazing day training, then on Monday went for a recovery ride and my right leg was incredibly sore and weak. I had a massage on Tuesday and apparently I was in a bad state, very tight with transferring all around. I didn't do much training during the weak, just tried desperately to release this tension which kept changing, first my attachments at top of leg, quad, shin, butt and then the day before the race it still wasn't right I found the last point of tension was the middle of butt but I couldn't get it right for the race. It was sore in the swim, on the bike and on the run and I can barely walk now but I put together a good performance considering.

In my last blog I talked about this race and the need for a separate pro start away from the age group. I contacted various people to put my point of view across that a P4000 race needs to be consistent and fair conditions, but I never got a response. This doesn't affect the male pro just the female and I believe it is up to us pro female to keep the pressure on for fair conditions, I don't believe there is any pro female that enjoys this, so after the race there is a lot of moaning, but did you guys push for a fair start before the race? I know I do my best and I'm probably not that popular because of it, but to be honest not many people care that much about the pro female race but the pro females, it is up to us, so don't sit there and moan, do something, please!!!

To the race. I had a good swim. I had a good start and saw Jodie Swallow right there after about 200m but I had absolutely no energy at this point of the race, I watched her swim away and the top pack form. I was just off it for a long while and then the gap grew and grew. I came out the swim about 2 minutes behind Mary Beth Ellis and Jodie Swallow.

Onto the bike I felt quite good. I was making up time into those two, I went off course for a while and had to detour back so I lost time and then I was gaining into them again. I knew I needed to go well sub 5 hr, something I had never done. I knew I had to hold 36-37kph to do this. I was holding 37.5k by myself. I really enjoyed the first 70k, I was super proud of my biking and although my leg was sore I concentrated to push more with the left. At 70k about 8-10 people caught me in a pack with 2 pro women. I was annoyed, as I had been holding 37.5k per hr and yet that was not enough. I sat at the back and tried my best to keep 10m gap as the rules state, but the pace was inconsistent, one minute I'd be 10m back then it would slow and I would have to put on brakes, whats more my average pace slipped to under 37kph. The group were not keeping 10m gap, we had a marshal, but he was not enforcing the gap, this pissed me off. If you are going to only enforce 5m gap, then please change the rules, so we can all follow this. I would go and pass the entire pack on an up only to be passed on the down. We are all trying to have our own race, the men were probably annoyed about a nutcase girl that kept passing them only to slow on the down. I rode like this for 40k and then lost them which I was grateful for to be honest. I don't like this changing of pace, I like a constant pace I then had 40k solo again which was very enjoyable. Then Corinne passed me riding very strongly, and she was on her own riding well. She is looking very strong indeed and deserved this victory. After that, another pack caught me with another 2 pro women, again I did my passing of the entire group thing and then to no avail after several unsuccessful attempts sat 10m off the back and watched them. I was frustrated but I did my best in a bad situation. I dealt with it a great deal better than I did in Melbourne where I just rode in the gutter sulking. I raced as fair as I could possibly in this situation. Amy Marsh came past and she was very frustrated too. We had started the bike together and now we were well down in the field, she was not impressed either. I rode a 4.56 and came onto the run in 9th place and I was very sore when I got off my bike I could barely move. Then I couldn't find my bag, my brain just wasn't with it at all.

Onto the run and I felt really bad for the first 7k, I was not impressed with my splits for each k at all, it was around 30 degrees, was hot, but my legs were just toast. This has been the case for all my races, I'm just not running very well at the start of any of my runs. In the first lap I passed Sonja Tajsich and Amy Marsh. Then after 7k I came right and in the second lap I passed Natasha Badmann, Eva Wutti, Mary Beth Ellis and Camilla Pedersen. I ran very well indeed in the second lap, was feeling good. In the 3rd lap I didn't feel good, Brett said my leg started doing odd things, and I couldn't get the aid stations supplies I needed and had a lack of hydration and energy, I passed Jodie Swallow and moved into 2nd, only Corinne was in front. On the last lap I picked it up a bit, the pain would soon be over, at a turn around Liz Lyles was only just behind me, I pushed as hard as I could but I couldn't hold her off, she passed me with about 3k to go, I was pretty gutted. I know there is a sub 3 hr run in me, but I just can't seem to get the back half of my marathon together just yet.

The run in Frankfurt is great with so many spectators and the finish line is absolutely amazing. Apart from the pro women lack of gap situation, they put on a great race, just maybe not the best race to do (for pro women) unless the situation changes in future if you are a strong swimmer!

I'm having 2 weeks off now, looking forward to that! But not looking forward to the long trip back to NZ and arriving into winter!! Wish we could just stay here in Germany. Then we will celebrate Benny's 3rd birthday on Saturday! Can't believe he is 3 already, my little boy is growing up way too fast for my liking!

Thanks to all my sponsors for all their support in my European adventure. All in all it has been quite successful. Ceepo, Powerbar, Rolf Prima, Soas, Asics, SRAM, Roka, Rudy Project and Keywin.
Gina Crawford


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