Denise’s first 70.3 Ironman race experiences

denises first 703 Ironman Sunshine Coast

When I get emails from Ironchicks wishing to share their race story I get goose bumps.  Unfortunately I am not always able to share every story, but I do love to share the first-timers experiences because there is just so much love and joy (and some blood and tears) shared.  From listening to their reports, it rekindles my love of the sport and reminds me of why I started in the first place.

 Enjoy Denise’s first 70.3 race report.   Cathxx


Sunshine coast 70.3
14 September 2014
Written 18 September 2014

What a great day!!!

I woke before the alarm, ready to get this show on the road.  It was dark when I entered transition and set up all my gear.  I went back to the apartment for a quick nervous pee, dropped gear bag off, then off to the beach to check what the sea was like.

People were everywhere, race waves were starting already and the Pros’ were in doing their thing.  I was trying to work out the buoys with the help of my head support crew (Steve) while I popped the wetsuit on, nerves were ok.  I bumped into a friend, Amy and we decided to visit the sea before our wave, it was nice temp.  The swell was a bit choppier than l would’ve liked but all was good.

Another nervous pee (oops), tried a little body surfing (ha), and l was ready to rumble.

Amy and I walked up to wave start and we were off.

Entering the water the waves were crashing.  I was quite proud of myself for a beautiful (yes l say beautiful, it really was) duck dive (I hoped that Steve was watching but found out later he didn’t see it ☹).   The swim started well, until l realized the buoy l thought was the turnaround wasn’t, I was only a quarter of the way.  Turnaround was way ahead, poop, but l pushed on.

Seeing one of the girls from the WGTC, Jules, at the turn around made me relax a bit. A quick hi to her then I was on the last straight home.  My wetsuit was annoying me around the neck and I was breathing every 2 strokes as 3 strokes made me too tired.  Heading back into the beach l could see those blue flags, I was going to do it, WOOHOO!!!

Passing a few groups on the way made me feel good (at least l was going to make the cut off by passing them).  I was going to do it YEEHA!!!  I tried my new skill of body surfing to get in to shore quicker, then l saw the bottom of the sea and started running.

First 70.3 Ironman

Wetsuit being unzipped, looking everywhere for my fans (ha), I got to the stairs and heard ‘GO DEE DEE’, and there they were.  On the way to transition l also heard ‘GO DENISE’ from RTC (Redcliffe Tri Club) members, and just before entering transition l saw my mum and my little Sam.  I just had to stop for a fist pump and a kiss.

Reaching transition l went through my plan.

Garmin on, wetsuit off, suntan cream on (not that this was much help as l found out after the race), dried feet, socks, shoes, food, helmet on bla bla bla.

Then l was off on the bike, this was getting exciting!

I really enjoyed the bike course, passing more fans along the way.  ‘GO DENISE’ it was great to see so much support.

Up Buderim Ave and onto the highway l peddled. Nutrition went well, eating every half an hour and drinking constantly.  12 metre rule, ha what a joke.  Groups of 10+ guys passing me, no 12 metre rule there.  My friend Amy passed me, l passed her, and this happened a few times till l pushed and sped ahead.   Seeing other rtc members on the course was great, Simon yelling ‘Go Dee’ as he passed.  Looking for my mate Sandy then in a flash she passes me on the other side.  Then coming up behind another rtc female not knowing whom it was to find out it was Mary, we both gave a loud WEEHEE. I didn’t find the hill on Buderim Ave as bad as l thought.


I was feeling really good coming in on the second lap of the bike and seeing my mate/training buddy Phila loudly cheering me on(l forgot she was coming up so this was a lovely surprise).

Into transition racking my bike, sun cream on again, runners on, hat on, gels.

Off l went to complete the 21.1km run after my 90km on the bike.

My legs were not as dead as l thought they would have been.  As Radish runs up behind me cheering me on all l could say was ‘l have to pee’.  Up over the hill to find a port-a-loo calling me, thank goodness.

Then l realised l had forgotten my racebelt ☹.

I was so worried l would be disqualified and all this work would be for nothing.  Chris passed me and said ‘don’t worry just keep going’, but l was so worried.  Finally l flagged an official and asked what to do.  He informed me it would be ok, thank goodness.  I started running with Geoff but realized l couldn’t keep his pace so pulled back.  Steve was surprising me, popping up at different spots on the run course.  This really helped seeing him, pushing me along.  Coming into complete my first lap l got a bit teary knowing l was going to complete this goal l had been training for (cheers Jules for the coaching).

Out l went to complete my last lap with my ironman 70.3 last lap band.  Hitting the hills again going past the crowd, l was going to do it.

Running all the way, except the aid stations, my dream was going to come true.  The shotz hydrolyte tasting like medicine but l still threw some down (maybe a fuel belt would of come in handy).  Amy was catching up to me, then passing me, she was still in sight but my legs had nothing to give to catch her.  Steve was still at different spot on the course, this made me keep going (tears).

Just before the Alexandra surf club one of the girls from WGTC, Ila, passed me.  I was blown away with where she had come from, but once again l had nothing in my legs to chase her.  Up the hill l went passing Team Gemm going out for their last lap and tears welled up again for l would have loved to complete a tri with Max, pushing my sweet boy with the wind on his face.

Homewood bound here l come. Passing some people in the crowd who l didn’t even know cheering me on.

Past the RTC tent, fans were going crazy (ha), this was amazing.  The finish line was in sight, this shit was really going to happen.  Seeing the finish line, and yep the tears came again.  Seeing my family on the side cheering me on was the best.  I got over the line hearing my name being said and shaking the announcers hand.

I had done it!

Wow all the training had paid off.  As l walked, sorry hobbled, to the drink and food stands my family were there on the side.  One big smooch to Steve, high five to Sam, and a cuddle for my mum.

First 70.3

She was crying, l was crying, then my sister was crying, so there was cuddle for her too.  Tears all round.  Finally made it to recovery and saw the WGTC team.  All of them had done an awesome job, thanks for cheering me on my way.

A week has nearly passed since completing my 70.3 Ironman race.  I am feeling good, a lot better then l thought l would.  I have already entered my next race, another long course, Hell of the West at Goondiwindi but first Noosa awaits.

first 70.3 Ironman
Congratulations Denise

I hope u enjoyed it. Cheers



Congratulations again Denise.  Great to hear you’re already planning another race.  

Thank you for sharing your story.

Remember, if you ever have a race report or maybe even another training “insight” you’d love to share, email me and we can share it with the Ironchick community.

Happy Training Ironchicks

Catherine Thiele Ironman Ironchick triathlon
Cath xxx

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