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Ironman Maastricht-Limburg, Part 3, the run.

Oha. I still had that Marathon to go, and I had my daily run to go, and as soon as I was off the bike my stomach kicked in. Walking - fine - running - not so good. Nutrition had not been perfect on the bike, also due to the loss of some of my items. And salt. And my nutrition plan is not yet cold-weather proof, as it seems. I really was fine on the bike, despite what that one guy in the starting chute had said. No freezing whatsoever. 

So I was a bit nauseous and when running it increased. I got some more GI issues, and had one two breaks for that - one in T2 and one on the run.  But - hey - one foot in front of the other. Continuously. All the time checking my watch and recalculating. Feeling like a navigational device re-estimating the ETA. I still had that cut-off to beat and I planned to get the 16h done as well. 

The run course had one hill, up to the "caves" - actually mines like we had found out before by visiting there. And down, of course. And on every single corner some people standing, celebrating, encouraging, cheering, clapping. 

And then it was four loops. So this hill times four. I walked it up, no problem here. As always I am a quite fast walker. And unfortunately my stomach told me to be a walker, and not so much a runner. 

Enough for some bouts and for the running streak but not too much more.

My private Zinser cheer team all over the place on the way. Once, twice, thrice, - I stopped counting and always wondered would they appear the next corner? 

They kind of did on many corners.


It's a spectator friendly course after all. And organization was such that one still could move through the town.

Eventually the finish line. For the first time. We had counting ribbons on our arms, so everyone knew I had to take a turn. Out again. But the cheers - just the same. And the shouts xyz - you are an Ironman. 

Me being there soon, I plodded on and on. Ironman for me works with the step by step approach. Not the big picture approach. So thinking ahead the next couple of meters, the next kilometer works just fine. 

From aid station to aid station, all well equipped til the very end. 

Some people prodding me to run - anyway. Me, running anyway, until my stomach stopped me. 

So I am not a good runner and I do this anyway. Yeah - another one. Having overcome those weird hip-and-back issues just recently running this anyway actually hurt but actually felt good. While on my first bike round I was still the doubting one. Why??? I'm tired... This hurt and will hurt next time around (no, I tried to forbid me to think this, but of course forbidding works for limited time only) 

Nor I am in the mood of - there's a way to complete this before the surprise cut-off. Not that I would have doubted in the beginning of the race but the bike split wasn't so great.

So calculating, re-calculating, thanking the volunteers and bystanders, especially in the last round. Actually, only the last round was in the dark. Half an hour before my 16h mark I had three km to go. So easy going under 16h, so I calculated. 

Passing the finish again and again and -----

last time with the permission to enter. Each time I had passed my ears rang more from the clamor of the locals. Not - finally - it was all mine.

Hi-Five-ing the kids all over (did that on the course already but more kids here)

Hi Five-ing the adults as well. 

"Go Sylvia, Go"

"Sylvia Zinser, You.   Are.   An.   Ironman."

Tears close to my eyes, catching my breath, this had been so hard. It always is. 

Glad that I had made it through the back/hip/whatnot-else-niggle  bout, albeit slow but made it.

Made it smilingly. Did I ever not? There is no frowny running me. So, yes smiling through the finish.

16:01:xx. Under every single cut-off I had seen anywhere on the way. Just not my self imposed 16h cut-of, but this might be due to timing mat placement on the swim, and me not starting the watch accordingly. Didn't see the starting timing mat. Wherever it was. Just set the watch entering the water. . 

Bigger smile afterwards. 

Heavy medal putting - again - the iron into Ironman. 

At the exit there were the faces of my family to be seen. They were ready to wait for me getting a massage and to eat a bit. 

Not too much food left over, so I had fries with veggies, a massage, no beer (none left - thirsty competitors drank it all)

Got my finisher shirt but for I wanted to wear it the next day I didn't put it on.

The kids and Martin helped me carry all the bags plus push the bike to the apartment. Two km to go, and we tiredly made it there. A shower for me and little little sleep for me. 

To be continued.