9th at the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championships

Happy to have come in the top 10 amongst a quality pro women field but overall disappointed not to be able to back up last week with another good result. In particular, gutted to lose out on a pay cheque from the generous prize purse offered by these Championships by just 1 position! 8th = $1,000, 9th = $0. Sorry mum but your Xmas pressie will be a cheapie from one of the Thai markets this year!

This was my FANTASTIC support crew from Oz. I met them whilst training in one of the hotel pools during the build up to the race and they decided to wear “Team Emma Ruth Smith” T-Shirts. Brilliant! Thanks guys!!

The awards party…

I had a great start and was on the back of the 2nd swim group. But then the fastest age group men, who started just 1 minute behind us, caught us and mixed us up, I drifted off course slightly and lost the pro girls feet. I battled to get back on but the gap grew and I had to swim the rest on my own. I had to play catch up from then onwards.

Onto the bike, which had 2 main sets of hills: super steep ascents and descents which were fun but largely yellow zones which means you had to go slow and not overtake – boring (but admittedly necessary for IM athletes)! The remainder of the course was flat but technical with lots of twists and turns. This was great for me but unfortunately it wasn’t my day and the legs weren’t there following last week’s efforts.

After the challenging bike course which my teammate and winner, Caroline Steffen, claimed was one of the toughest 70.3 courses she’s ever done, it was onto a flat, twisty and very humid run. Everyone was suffering after the bike and it became a true battle of mind over matter. I used every bit of both my physical and mental energy to push through and pass at least 3 girls on the last lap of the run to achieve a respectable 9th place finish.

The awards party was one to be remembered: it was the King’s Birthday and the Thai’s are hugely fond of their royal family: lots of crazy dancing ensued to the early hours and even ‘coach’ rocked it out on the dance floor! All in all, a super tough course, stunning destination and a definite race on the calendar for next year.

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