It took me a while to start writing about October. That month was just a crazy one, in multiple ways. To start off with the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii and to end with the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in St. George. In between I had to deal with some personal circumstances and I had to work full time as well. Afterwards I needed some time off triathlon to recharge the battery for 2023, which I did. Let's start with a throwback to Kona and St. George.
The dream of every triathlete came true
When I started doing triathlon 4 years ago, I never expected to go to Kona in just 4 years of time. I know every triathlete is dreaming about it and I wish everyone would have the opportunity to go there. It was magical and super special. Alo the hardest thing I have every done. Everyone told me that Hawaii is another level and I don't easily get scared. After winning the Ironman World Championship 2021 in St. George, I obviously wanted to defend my World Title. The season became very long as I didn't expect to qualify and go to Kona. This was something which I definitely felt in Hawaii.
All in all, I finished 7th in my Age Group which is definitely something to be proud of. Of course, I felt disappointing to not take the win. But the new World Champion was very strong and I felt seasick after the swim. I had to throw up for 2 hours on the bike, but I managed to finish anyhow.
When crossing the finish line, I felt super happy and satisfied. But as the time was passing by, I started to feel more and more disappointed. I know I should not be that hard on myself, but as an athlete with high ambitions, you always want to do better. Hopefully in 2023 a new shot in Kona! Ready to work hard to be better next time.
From Hawaii back to The Netherlands and back to Las Vegas
After getting back from Kona, I felt tired and jetlagged. In addition, I had to deal with some personal circumstances which made me feel even more tired. It had already been a long season and there was one more Ironman 70.3 on the list: The Ironman 70.3 World Championships. I was in doubt whether it was better to let it go. After discussing it intensively with my coach, I decided that it would be best for me to put on my race face for one last time!
2.5 weeks after getting back from the USA, it was time to get back on the plane. This time without my boyfriend, but with my coach and friends. I knew that the race plane for this race would be different compared to Kona. As I was still super tired, I knew I had to be kind for my body.
The goal was having fun instead of pushing hard which is also a hard race plan for a competitive athlete. But sometimes you have to be kind for yourself. I listened to my body and focused on having fun instead of the numbers.
It felt special to be back in St. George, as this was the place where I became the Ironman World Champion in May. I knew the roads and the course so I knew what to expected. One more time riding up on Snow Canyon was a blessing. What an amazing bike course it was.
During the race, which was a very cold one compared to Kona, I was soaking up the atmosphere and the spectators. As the men's and women's race were on separate dates, there were a lot of supporters along the course.
After crossing the finish line, I felt a lot of emotions crossing my mind. I was relieved and happy that I made it to the finish line after a hard season. In some ways I had a difficult year and it felt like everything fell of my body wearing that 3rd Ironman World Championship medal in one year. I also felt very grateful to have had that opportunity. Something not everyone can say right ;) And something that will probably never happen again.
2022 was a year to remember! Let's bring it on 2023!