I was so excited to return to Chile after having an incredible experience in Pucon in 2017. Jarrod had raced Coquimbo the previous year and had a wonderful experience.
The best way I can describe Coquimbo is this: it looks like Southern California minus all the people! Since it was still just spring and temps of both the air and ocean still rising the beach crowds hadn’t descended upon the area. It left us with miles of gorgeous beach front to enjoy with minimal people!!
I was expecting race day to be much colder than it was; just as we were about to start the clouds cleared and the sun came out. The swim was a large “M” shape with the run out on the beach half way through. I lead the swim, as Lauren Goss zigged and zagged her way through the course behind me. I don’t know whether she didn’t trust my line, didn’t know the course or couldn’t see but I just focused on swimming straight. I exited the water first with Lauren right on my feet. We came into transition together but I ran to my bike holding my helmet and managed to get the straps knotted up and lost time to Lauren.
I got onto the bike and reeled Lauren in as we got onto the highway where we began a 3 Loop course. Lauren pulled through on some of the steeper climbs but the rest of the time I was in front. With about 20k to go I was finally able to shake Lauren. In that time I put nearly 2min into her. I saw that I had a significant gap on Pam Tassets who was riding in 3rd. I later came to find out that she had had a collision with a spectator just 3k into the bike. She was riding with serious road rash, a deep puncture wound on her hip and crooked aero bars.
I came off the bike and had a smooth transition. I was pleasantly surprised with how good I felt! I was extending my lead through 10k when Lauren started eating away at it. The wind had kicked up and I could feel the backs of my legs fatiguing badly. With 2.5k Lauren passed me. I had nothing left to give and couldn’t match her pace.
Overall, this was a fantastic event in a very beautiful area of Chile. The community and the entire organizing staff did a wonderful job. I will definitely be back!
I haven’t raced back to back 70.3’s in a couple years but I thought it sounded like a fun adventure! I was really excited to visit Waco because I’m a huge fan of the show Fixer Upper and was excited to see Waco for myself. Jarrod rented us an Air BnB, and we shared it with Joe Gambles, Lauren and Barrett Brandon plus our new friend Taylor!
After checking out the course it became very clear there was no way we were swimming. Ironman hadn’t made their official announcement but the river was moving FAST. The bike course was mostly on quiet country roads with quite a few fast guard dogs! Ironman did an amazing job of cleaning these up for race day as they were a little rough leading into race day. The run course was very challenging but beautiful.
Image property of Justin Luau.
Ironman determined that we would draw randomly for our time trial start positions. I drew 16th out of 20 women. I did a proper time trail warm up on my Feedback Omnium trainer then rolled to the start line ready to rock! I made it my goal to catch at least one of the women in front of me before getting to a 1.3 mile long no pass zone at 10 miles into the bike. I caught two! Though 2 hours I had pushed my highest ever 70.3 watts by 10 watts and then I just couldn’t hold it anymore. I faded but not as much as the others as Jarrod told me this is where I caught up to the leaders.
I came off the bike with Chelsea Sodaro. While she is a new face to long course, I know her as an ITU super star who won a World Cup earlier this year. Chelsea absolutely took off out of T2, literally running 30 seconds a mile faster than me. I saw Jarrod and he told me I was right in the mix for the lead. There was a run prime for the top 3 male and female professionals from mile 1.5 to 3.5 miles approximately; basically start to finish of the very hilly section at the far end of the run course. After the first big hill I started to see Chelsea again. I moved past her and found out after the race I had the second fastest run time on this section. I also saw Haley and she looked magnificent. She was flying! Jarrod told me I was now in the lead but that Haley was moving well. I stayed positive and focused on catching the next girl in front of me.
On lap 2 I felt really good until I got to the hilly section again. Haley was solidly in the lead now and knew I needed to keep running hard to keep my second place position as Chelsea came flying by me. I was in complete agony for the last 3 miles- I was so grateful to see the finish line. The course in Waco is HARD, and the competition pushed me to my absolute limits. I’m so excited for a well deserved week off and then another build before Challenge Daytona.
Until then, thanks for reading!!
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