IRONMAN 70.3 Kraichgau 2023
- written by Trifharder athlete Rosa Huizinga

May 21 st , early in the morning. We park our car in Bad Schönbron, fill our bottles with water (that we brought with us; yes, we have learned from previous events), get our stuff and hop on the transfer bus to the start in Ubstadt-Weiher. Arrived there we take car of our bikes, do the last checks and move towards the swim start. While tending to our bikes we see a few of the pro athletes getting their bikes ready too!
Lucy Charles-Barclay (a big surprise due to her visa issues) and Laura Philipp. It gives some extra butterflies to be so close to these people that we follow via social media. With the lessons learned from 70.3 IM Barcelona our start is so much more relaxed!

It will be a hot day, but the start is cold. The water temperature is 17.6 degrees Celsius. I feel great in the water and when I get out I am incredibly stoked. This is a good start! In the first transition I see Cesar also getting ready, we wish each other good luck and off he goes. My transition took a bit longer, although changing went fast, while running to the bike I feel a sting. Move the sock, no sting, so I keep going towards my bike. But the sting is back. Have to take off my shoe and I find a thorn embedded in my heel. Removing shoe, removing thorn, putting sock and shoe back on take some time. But finally on the bike.

What a beautiful but hard bike ride! Again I see all the pro’s flying by on their way to T2 (they started about 55-60 minutes before I did). The hills go up and down, sometimes incredibly steep, sometimes long. One thing I can say, nothing on that course is flat! Around km 70 I pass a few people that walk up hill, no longer able or willing to stand on the pedals. I think by myself, “you have just been overtaken by a person from the flatlands”. Wish them good luck and keep going. During the last big hill, up to the chapel I see a fox staring at me from the fields. It is a beautiful animal, with a fluffy tail.

Finally back in Bad Schönborn, T2. It is warm but there is a nice breeze. Transition goes smooth, and I start running. The inhabitants of Bad Schönborn are great spectators and very supportive. I see Cesar again, we talk for a moment and he sends me off (he is almost done). During the run the participants of the 5150 fill the course which is nice as it is less empty and alone on the course. I have discussions going on in my head “why are you doing this”, “what do you have to prove”, “should I just stop”. There is a woman, she yells at me in German “Du hast es geschaft”, and it brings tears to my eyes. Yes, I have almost done it. The mental battle stops, I breath in and continue a little bit stronger.

The last 100 meters lay ahead, I smile when I pass the finish line. I think, “yes, we have done it again!
What will the next one be like?”, completely forgotten about the thoughts that were dominating my mind during the bike and the run. Yes, what will be the next one?

See you there!