My luckiest crash ever - Ironman World Championship, Kona, Hawaii, 2023

I'm not sure if I should talk about the crash first or last or in chronological order where it happened during the day. I know that's what people want to hear about and that is around what most of my thoughts are. I think I will save it for the middle.

I love going to Kona and the Ironman World Championship even though I know full well that I'm not one of the top competitors there, not even in my age group. I can win the occasional race in my age group, or even the overall title like in Hungary in 2020 at the national championship, but I'm honest enough to myself to know that there are better Ironman athletes even in Hungary and if I cross the finish line first that was either because they didn't show up or because they didn't have a good race.

So for now, I keep going back to Kona basically for fun and because I enjoy the experience and I do like to race Ironman triathlons. This might change in 2 years when I age up and I will be one of the youngest in the 50+ age group. Based on what I think I can achieve on this course if all goes perfectly (somewhere around the 11h mark), I could be in top 20 in that age group, which we can call competitive. Maybe even top 10. No, not realistic to hit the podium of 5 even in that age group so we can still say that I'm going there mostly for fun and as a holiday rather than to win.

I took my oldest daughter with me and that was a great decision. She is 13, she is no trouble and we can do girly things together. My plan is to take my middle one in 2 years when she turns 13 and then the little one in another 2 years when she will be 13. It was lots of fun, I wasn't alone, it gave me joy to see how much fun she had. We went to the parties together, beaches together, snorkeling, she looked up what she wanted to see and do, etc. This time around I got out of it what I had hoped for. Last year, when I was by myself, it was still fun but to have her there made a huge difference in how happy I was day in and day out.

We ate papayas every day, went to several parties, went shopping, went to the beach, all the normal holiday stuff, except there was a race to run too. I also spent some time with the best Hungarian amateur Ironman triathlete, Beatrix Cser, we "trained" together - well, we started in the same parking lot and then she went off at twice my speed... - , we went to parties together, we ate together, we took photos at the beach of each other, it was great to get to know her a bit better since I have been following her journey online for years.

My plan was to do the race-related stuff pre-race and then the beaches and touristy stuff after and it worked like that more or less. There was a party with Lisa Bentley for the Canadian team, there was a more exclusive party for Slowtwitchers (IYNYN) and tons of other events.

I love the Coffee Boat. Since I have mostly an ultrarunning audience here, there is a Whistler-like story there too. Originally the Coffee Boat was done by one of the small wetsuit making companies, BlueSeventy. Ironman had announced swim practice times on the real course from Monday to Thursday race week and BlueSeventy rented a little yellow boat and gave out free coffee and sometimes other gifts to those who swam to the boat. It was BlueSeventy's idea and they did this for years. FinisherPix even sent underwater photographers around so there were a lot of great pictures and they were free to download.

Pink cap: Trixi, Blue cap: me

Yay, coffee!

Cool underwater pics 

Then a few years ago when BlueSeventy wanted to rent the little yellow boat for the 4 days, they were told it wasn't available. That it had been rented out already. Not hard to guess which large corporation rented the boat... ever since it is the Ironman Coffee Boat instead of the BlueSeventy Coffee Boat and I don't think people even noticed. I wasn't in Kona back when it was a BlueSeventy boat so I have only ever swam to the IM Coffee Boat which is now a regular feature of race week. And as much as I hate what happened, I still swim out with thousands of others, just because it is a ton of fun, nobody is making money off it since it is free and it is on my swim route anyway, on the swim course.

I was surprised to read that it was Trixi's first time going to the coffee boat! She has been going to Kona for 5-6 years but never did this swim. I got her into it haha... I think the reason is that it was the first time that she was alone and not with kids or friends. Anyway, for me, it is great to swim every single day during race week, to get a refresher, because when I run a lot of ultras sometimes we completely drop the swim, so every now and then I do a few more intense weeks, swimming 4-7 times. Eg. when we are in Hungary at Lake Balaton, then I go swimming every single morning in the lake. Or at my mom's there is a great swim coach and I like to go as many times as possible since that is also early in the morning so it is not interfering with our day with the kids.

Finally the kids are old enough that I don't need to rush to the races and back. I can afford to stay an extra few days and I love it this way. I wouldn't have stayed after the race if I didn't have Norah with me but I wanted to give her a few days of pure vacation when there is nothing race-related to do any more.

So we got there on Sunday and I started my days at the Coffee Boat with the free coffee from Monday to Thursday. Then I usually went out for an easy, short ride or run. The rest of the time I could spend with Norah.


Race day started as usual. Since it was my second time racing here, I knew the drill. We were the last age group to start, which is not ideal for several reasons. At the time I'm expected to finish, it would be dark while if I started in an earlier wave I would finish in daylight. For me, the biggest drawback was drafting in the swim but it turned out very well after all.

The way the swim start works is that they start all the people in the same age group together, 5 minutes apart from other age groups. It is an in-water start. So the full age group of a few hundred athletes swim in to the surfers, who lie on their surfs and form the start line. 5 seconds before the horn goes off, they turn their surf boards sideways to give way to the swimmers. By the time this happens, the next age group is "lined up" behind them, treading water, and as soon as the group leaves, the next wave can swim up to the start line.

I'm not a fast swimmer and I'm generally not good at drafting either. Drafting is allowed on the swim and it just means that you swim so close behind someone that they are basically breaking the water for you. It can make a 5-10-min difference in my swim time. With our age group being the last one to start, I was very worried that I wouldn't find the right person to draft off. You don't have too much time and have to make the right move at the right time.

For the age groups who start earlier, when the front or mid-pack of the age group behind them catches up with them (since they only started 5 mins later), they can jump on those feet but we didn't have that option as there was no age group behind us.

During my Coffee Boat swim, I practiced drafting. My best IM swim had been 1h 25 mins from Kona 2022. What I realized was that I could easily keep up with a 1:20 swimmer if I'm drafting and potentially even a 1:15 swimmer although that is a bit questionable since I was drafting the whole way in my 1:25 swim even though I felt I could have gone faster if I found a 1:20 swimmer to draft off of. 

When we lined up for the swim I asked the girl next to me, "what's your best IM swim time?" "1:13" "Hmmm... I would give it a shot, why not?" - that's what I thought to myself, but it turned out to be way too ambitious and she swam away from me pretty much as soon as we went off. That's why I'm saying that even 1:15 is probably unrealistic.

I managed to find a girl with a pace that worked for me, but it was so strange the way she was swimming! She had her legs just hanging down. She was swimming at a good pace, so clearly it is working for her, but I was scratching my head how she could swim at this pace. It wasn't the fact that she wasn't kicking at all, that is very efficient if you have the body position to go fast, but rather that she didn't have the body position, the legs were hanging down creating a lot of drag. Yet she was swimming faster than I was! I went with her for a while but then if I remember correctly I found someone a bit faster. Sometimes I had to fight for my position, I guess others had the same idea about drafting, but then they could jump in behind me. I don't think I had anyone on my feet at all for the whole time.

The girl I ended up going out with after the hanging-leg girl had the perfect line which I was super happy with. The course is very straight forward, one rectangle. You go out to a big boat, turn 90 degrees right, hit the second boat, turn 90 degrees right, swim back to where you started. The girl was swimming very close to the buoys. When you are on someone's feet, you have to trust that they swim in the right direction. I wasn't sighting at all. If I look up, I might lose her. 

I followed her to the first boat, but somehow once we turned around the second boat, she seemed to slow down. I got very lucky and found someone else just going by that I could jump on and she was faster. The part that confuses me though is, where did this second girl come from? I mean, if she was a faster swimmer than us, she should have been ahead of us. But she wasn't. My worry was that she might have been behind us because of bad sighting, so she added distance to the course. But then, do I trust her to get me back on the correct line? Well, I did and it worked and I swam 1:23, 2 minutes faster than last year and an Ironman swim PB for me. Yay...


My 1:23 put me in 215th position out of 333 in our age group. Pretty bad but for me, this was a success. The best ladies in our AG swam under 1h!!! 

When I race against top competitors, like at the World Triathlon World Championship, my transition times are weak. Those girls are much faster. But when you compare me to the bottom third of the field, like here, and it suddenly looks very good on me, I'm very efficient and fast. I was in and out in no time and by the time when I hit the bike start line, I was up to 176th!!! That is 39 people that I passed in transition just from my own AG!


The bike started great! My build was very unconventional. I had this idea that if I was going to race a long ultra in September, why not build bike fitness over the summer. Last year that was my biggest issue in Kona, I was feeling horrible during the whole bike and run and I mainly attribute it to the lack of bike fitness. I was so busy with a very successful ultrarunning season that I simply didn't do those long bike rides (5-6h) with a lot of race pace thrown in. 

This year, I knew that I was going to spend my August in Hungary with the kids, so there was no way I was going to get away for 5-6h rides and just dump them on my mom. She took them for when I went to the UK for the 48h World Championship and that was enough of an ask. So the best I could hope for for August was some maintenance rides of 2-3h. I also didn't have my race bike there, only a spare bike that I left in Hungary for when I don't want to bring my bike with me.

That left me with building bike fitness in July for an October race. Interesting try but I had no choice so I gave it a shot and I must say that it worked like a charm! The good news is, that research shows that bike fitness translates to running which means that by biking a lot in July, I built fitness for my August and September ultras. Running, however, doesn't translate or translates only minimally to bike fitness. That is why my biking was crap last year at Kona.

I also noticed that when I did my two very long rides in July, the first one was kind of meh... with some race pace intervals that didn't feel great, but then a week later in the second one I knocked it out of the park, it all felt great and the power came easily. Then the plan was that after my 6-day race in September, I only really need one of these monster rides and then I should be great for race day. And that is exactly what happened. I could only fit in one very long ride between the two races and guess what... it felt meh... which was great for my mental game having seen what happened in July. I was excited for race day.

I got on the bike and I was extremely happy with the way I was feeling. Of course, a huge part of it was probably the expectation that I should feel great because of my July experience with those two rides. Placebo effect used to the max. 

It all went extremely well, I was feeling great and although I knew that I wasn't as strong as I was when I ran my best IM distance races back in 2020 and 2021, I was strong enough to do relatively well despite my ultramarathon focus. By the time we got to the 69 mile / 111 km point on the bike course, I passed another 110+ people and was in 64th place in my age group. I expected this to keep improving until we got off the bikes.

A few words about the change that this year brought for Ironman Kona. For the first time ever, there were only women in this race and the men had their World Championship a month earlier in Nice, France. This meant that there were way more inexperienced athletes on the course and a huge number of first timers as far as championship racing goes. And although I will never hit the podium in my age group, I still like to be competitive and if that means 40th or 60th, that is fine but at least I want to do the best I can. My strongest discipline is the bike, that is where I place best within my age group - I'm just not fast enough of a runner to compete at this level and I'm a weak swimmer.

So my best chance is just to hammer the bike which I did. But there were 2200+ triathletes on the course and when I came out of the swim, barely over 100 were behind me, meaning there were 2100 of them in front of me, whom I had to fight through in the next almost 6 hours. That is a lot of riders and it felt very unsafe with the way they were riding.

I wrote at length in my Ironman Arizona 2022 race report about how I am all for more people getting a chance to compete at this iconic race and I'm still in favour of that, however, I didn't anticipate how bad it was going to be at the very back of the pack.

I actually had the opposite experience to Trixi, who is the best rider in the world in our age group, pretty much. Her problem is usually the guys with ego, who will not tolerate a girl just passing them and try to hang on or pass her back instead of leaving her alone in a normal race. So for her, this race was great as there were no guys. She is also a way better swimmer than I am so she came out of the water much earlier, with less people in front of her, although that only means a few hundred less. I don't ride as well as Trixi, not even close. So I don't have this issue in normal races and I'd rather have a mixed field where people know what they are doing rather than the leisurely riding that was going on here at the back of the field.

In a normal race, where they use a rolling start, I feed myself much earlier in the swim, so I don't need to fight myself through the whole field on the bike. I came out about 2/3rd of the way down in our own age group, so in a normal race that would be 2/3rd within the whole field, actually, it might even be higher up in an average, non-championship race even with the guys included.

One of the extremely dangerous things that is a typical back-of-the-packer problem, that they were STOPPED at the aid stations, standing by their bikes, ON THE BIKE COURSE. So I would approach the aid station where volunteers normally hand us water then sports drinks, gels, food and then water again, but I couldn't pick up any water, because these people were blocking the aid station by just standing there! 10-15 of them at once! At every single aid station, until I moved up through the field enough to leave most of the back-of-the-packers behind.

I don't have any issues with more women qualifying and some who are not that competitive. I have zero issues against back-of-the-packers, seriously, because you never know what they have been through and how hard they trained and fought in their own life and circumstances just to get here. What I do have a serious issue with is safety. This was extremely unsafe and it wasn't the only thing.

The course was wide enough in Kona for 3 riders to comfortably fit side by side at any point of the course. Which means that even faster riders, who are continuously passing people, should be sitting in the second lane at the most and not the third and only go out to the third if they are passing two people at once. And even then, only for a maximum of 25 seconds, that is the rule. That is the maximum time allowed for a pass. Yet, a lot of people were just sitting in the 3rd lane for no reason, even when they were only passing one person or even when there was nobody to pass, just because they thought they were going to eventually pass people and they never considered that the weak swimmers who are strong cyclists are about to come up behind them and they need the 3rd lane.

The course was very crowded!

I passed 1000 cyclists before my crash!

Let's get to the critical point in my ride, the crash. It happened at 113 km / 71 miles and I was riding at 45 km/h (28 mi/h) on a downhill section. The main questions that I get and that I also keep asking myself:

- Was it worth it?
- Who was at fault?
- What would I do differently?

Let's see one by one.

What it worth it? For 69th place in age group, clearly not. Who cares if I'm 48th or 69th? But there is more to it.

Who was at fault? I do believe that the people blocking me and riding 4 abreast were at fault. I could have done a lot of things differently to avoid the crash but the situation that occurred should have never occurred had people been following the rules. The rules say you have 25 seconds to pass someone. That is from the moment you enter their draft zone (12 meters) until you overtake the first wheel. These people were riding 4 abreast for a long period of time. It was extremely unsafe and against the rules.

Why did I not react earlier to this situation? Because the same situation occurred at least 15 times before this instance, with 3 people riding abreast. The road was wide enough everywhere for 3 people to ride side by side. Which means that anyone passing someone who is passing could still comfortably do that. I did that many times. But some people were simply sitting in the inside lane indefinitely and not leaving room to pass them even if there was only one person or even nobody in the second or first lane. I had to shout "on your left" so many times that I couldn't count. And in a lot of those situations there were 3 people in front of me creating a wall. So. Many. Times.

Even if there is nobody in the 2nd lane, but someone is riding in the 3rd lane, I still don't want to pass in the second lane, because people move from the 3rd to the 2nd lane without looking behind - since nobody faster should be passing them in the 2nd lane. I do that too, I move back as soon as I complete the pass, without looking behind. 

I feel it is important to note that nobody, NOBODY, NOT ONCE had to shout "on your left" to me. One girl still did it, once, because she was a climber, I am fast on flat and downhill, so she kept passing me on the climbs for a while and then I would overtake her on the downhill and she was visibly annoyed by that. I had to shout "on your left" many times to her, because she was one of the ones who would be sitting on the inside even if there was nobody in the 1st or 2nd lane. So I guess she felt revenge when she could also shout "on your left" even though I was sitting in the 2nd lane, passing someone and the 3rd lane was wide open for her to pass. She wasn't involved in the crash situation. She was one of the ones who eventually always moved out of the way if I kept shouting loud enough for long enough as I was approaching.

The reason I didn't start breaking earlier is because if I started breaking in all the similar situations, I would have ridden significantly slower. Because eventually they always moved out of the way. Until one time they didn't.

By the time this situation came about, I passed a good 1000 people on the bike. I was in 542nd position overall so even accounting with the differences in start time, I definitely passed half the field. That is a LOT of people to ride by!!!!

The way it went down was that the 4 were riding abreast creating a wall. The one on the inside should have been out of the way fast (25 seconds by the rules) but she wasn't. I was approaching at the start of a downhill section, relatively fast but luckily not at top speeds - 45 km/h (28 mi/h) . I kept shouting "on your left" and they didn't move. But even if the ones in lanes 1, 2 or 3 moved, it is very unsafe for me to pass there. I needed lane 4 to move but she didn't. There was no room to pass her without crossing the centre line which is a big no-no and results in automatic disqualification if a referee sees you do that. It is so ingrained in my brain to never do that, that it didn't even occur to me that it is actually physically possible to cross the centre line, and this course was closed, meaning no car could come head on in the opposite lane. The rule was created originally because not all courses are fully closed. By the time I realized that she wouldn't move out of the way, it was too late.

I didn't crash into her. I slammed on both my breaks and because I used my front break as well as the rear break, I flipped over. My bike flew over my head upside down and flipped around, flying with rear wheel first. This rear wheel crashed into the rear wheel of the girl riding in the 2nd of the 4 lanes. She slipped and fell but it couldn't have been too bad because by the time I looked around, she was gone. None of the 4 ladies stopped, I think they were fully aware that they were at fault and what a catastrophic situation they created.

I landed on my head and right shoulder. My helmet cracked but I didn't lose consciousness for a second, I had no signs of concussion, no pain in my neck or head or spine or back. I knew my shoulder was badly bruised and somehow injured. A lady that came behind us stopped and suggested that if I was able to move, I should move myself and my bike to the side because it was a downhill where people were approaching fast.

I sat up. I was shocked that I was able to do that with almost no pain. I moved to the side, still on the ground. Then I tried to stand up and I was able to do that too. Another big positive surprise. The lady asked me if I was ok. I said yes. She said I might even be able to continue and then asked if it was ok if she left and I said yes, I was fine. And shockingly, I was indeed fine. 

I looked at my bike and it was fine too. I sat back on it and started riding, but my shoulder hurt so I was crying. I gave myself a few minutes to cry. After a few minutes I tried to stop crying because it elevates my heart rate. I kept telling myself that I can cry once I hit transition and get off the bike. This helped.

And the last question is, what would I do differently? Would I slow down earlier? If I knew I was going to crash, sure, it was not worth it. But if I slowed down every time I was blocked, I would have ridden significantly slower. What I would probably do in this situation now is that I would risk crossing the centre line. There were no referees around to see it but there could have been. However, I put my life on the line and that is just stupid. I should have risked disqualification and walk away without a crash, that's what I think I should have done. And that is what I will do in the future, while trying very hard not to create a habit of crossing the centre line (imaginary or real) because sooner or later that would get me DQ-d in a race. 

After the crash, which happened at 113km (71 miles) into the ride, I still had 67 km / 41 miles on the bike. But my speed and power dropped significantly as a result of the shoulder pain. The worst part was when I was switching positions, especially from sitting up to going down to aero. Every time I did that, I let out a scream. Going up from the aero was a bit better but still very painful. No screaming though. The X-ray after the race showed an AC separation but it is luckily not bad enough for a surgery. I will always have those two bones a bit apart and that part of my shoulder raised. Nice memento.

After the crash I dropped back a few places in the remainder of the ride but only to 68th place within the AG. However, I know I would have gained another 10-30 places had I not crashed. I rode 5h 48h mins all together, which is still faster than last year but it could have been much better.


I kept thinking during the remainder of the ride after the crash what to do in transition. Shall I go to medical? I had no idea how bad my shoulder was. I had no doubt I could finish the race, but should the wound be cleaned up asap or is it ok to leave it for another several hours until I'm finished? I didn't know how medical worked in transition. I assumed it would be the same way as at the end of the race, so I would need to go into some tent and lose a lot of time. 

I knew I wasn't going to have the race I wanted but I still wanted to be done as soon as I could given the circumstances. So I came to the conclusion to just go through transition and get out on the run as fast as I could and then deal with it after.

That was all well until I actually came into transition. As soon as I was off the bike, I started crying loudly. I was just in so much pain. And I had told myself for the last 2+ hours that I could cry when I got off the bike. And so I did. The poor volunteers were so confused. You couldn't really see anything from the front. No blood on the knees, nothing on the front. Only if you were looking at my back could you have seen it, but they were just cheering ("welcome back!" "well done!") and looking from the front.

I put the bike and helmet down then started to run to pick my transition bag up and go to the change tent. Still crying loudly. Someone must have alerted medical, although not sure how they saw my back, they were facing us and then why would they look behind once I passed them? Maybe they called them because I was crying and it was very unusual.

All I remember is that at one point while running towards my transition bag, I heard the medical lady say "Oh now I see it. I got you. Don't worry, we got you." . They ran with me to the changing tent, there were two of them, while I was still crying loudly. I set down with my stuff, another volunteer appeared to help with changing while the two doctors or nurses dealt with my back.

They did a great job. They decided not to sanitize it because the wound was clean and very deep. So they just removed the bloody clothing from the wound and dressed it. By the time I got changed into my running gear, they were done and the lead nurse said "I can't see any reason why I couldn't let you continue". So off I went to run a marathon, although I was convinced at this point that I would have to walk it. I just couldn't swing my right arm. But I still had almost 10 hours until the cut-off, so I was going to finish whatever it took.

I spent 9 minutes in transition which made me drop 7 places, to 75th. Not that I was concerned about it at this point in the race.


I made a lot of rookie mistakes on the run which would have bothered me if it mattered, but since I was screwed anyway, because of the accident, I just didn't worry about any of it. It was what it was.

I forgot to take my Imodium pre-race and pre-run. I ran out at my previous race and completely forgot to buy some and it didn't even occur to me until that point in the run... 

I also made a stupid mistake with my nutrition. I tried something new, but that was not the issue. I had seen from some top pros, that they run out with a bottle worth of nutrition from T2 so that's what I did, I put a disposable water bottle in T2 and started my run while drinking that and threw the bottle away at the first aid station. However, I'm a creature of habit. And as I was first walking and then running, I completely forgot that I had drank that bottle and so I wouldn't have needed any gels for the first hour of the run because my carb intake was maxed out. Well, I started taking my gels as usual and again, only realized when the gut issues started... I immediately knew the mistake I made and it also reminded me of how I forgot to take my Imodium.

But back to the start of the run. First, I went out and started walking, that was fine. I switched to power walking although I couldn't swing my right arm and I was still within the first km when I realized that there was nothing stopping me from a slow jog. Just because I can't move my right arm, it doesn't mean that I couldn't jog... I just needed to hold my arm still.

So I jogged the rest of that km and all was fine. As I got into a rhythm, I noticed that my shoulder was getting warmed up and hurting less and less. Oh, the other thing I forgot was my painkillers which normally I would have as emergency supply on the bike and in my T2 bag. Well, they would have been packed with the Imodium... so no painkillers for me. Anyway, my shoulder went numb and I was able to start to swing my arm. Which was really close to a running motion. So I thought, I might as well try.

I got into a really good rhythm and although with pain and limited range of motion, I was actually running! Some of my splits were even at the originally planned race pace since there was nothing wrong with my legs, they were actually feeling great! Some of my uphills were also really good and I was starting to be hopeful. Trixi said pre-race that if you were not just "jogging" at least the first half of the run, you were doing it wrong. I started to be very optimistic and I was feeling absolutely great at the halfway point, 13.1mi / 21.1km, which I passed right under the 2h mark, which is exactly what I had originally planned. Imagine my utmost shock that I was on target pace for my run after all that had happened. It was extremely motivating even if I was overall way behind where I would have expected to be.

Bottle in right hand, running without arm swing

Happy to be actually running!

That was a tough fight!

I was determined to last at least to the 30 km / 19 mi point feeling great... but the best laid plans... Shit hit the fan around the 25km mark (15 mi). That was when the overload of the nutrition started to give me issues so I had no choice but to stop at a port-a-loo. The problem wasn't even the stop, that wouldn't have taken more than 2 mins. And since somewhat luckily I wasn't hitting my overall goals anyway, I just comfortably took the time necessary. The problem was that with my shoulder injury, I was barely able to take my suit off - my arm wasn't really moving. And putting it back on was a hopeless endeavor. So when I was done in the bathroom, which was always right before an aid station, I got out half dressed and hobbled to the aid station where I asked a volunteer to help put my suit back on. 5 minutes down the drain.

The other issue this created was that my shoulder was sensitive again. So I could only start with jogging and had to wait for my shoulder to go numb which would take several minutes, before I could imitate any kind of real running motion again. This whole mess happened once more when I came out of the Energy Lab and turned back onto Queen K for the last bit of the run, with about 10k (6 mi) to go. Once I realized my nutritional mistake, I pulled back the amount of gels, but it is not a long-term balance. Overshooting the first bit and undershooting the last bit doesn't equal out. You are still in big trouble the whole way.


The positive side of things was that I was actually feeling really good on the run and I imagined that if my shoulder was ok and I wasn't so stupid to forget my Imodium plus also screw up the nutrition, then I could have indeed ran as well as I was originally hoping to. I had the fitness and I also finally had the bike fitness to back it up. Oh well, it makes me want to come back in 2025 again, haha... (What happens if I qualify for Big's? IAU also put the 24h World in October 2025!!!)

The obstacles that hindered my race last year had been corrected. My bike fitness was way better, my heat acclimatization went really well, and after the 45C / 113 F in Badwater, the heat really wasn't an issue, and the hills were fine - again, Badwater was so much worse with 3 major hill climbs, that this felt like a breeze. Which means, that I have really high hopes for 2025 when I enter a new age group, W50.

I still ran a Kona PB, it is kind of ironic. I ran 4:15 vs my 4:19 last year. True, it is way worse than I had hoped but at least there was a positive twist. Last year I felt horrible on the run, I had no running legs because of the lack of bike fitness. This time I had the bike fitness, I had my running legs and I felt really good - minus the crash.

The run was not that bad given the circumstances

NOT the finisher pic I was hoping for!!!

Overall I shaved off 14 minutes of my time last year and finished in 11:41. I passed those 7 people back on the run - let that sink in for a second... I came out 75th and then moments before the finish line I was 68th, same as after the bike. Then as I slowed down before crossing the finish line, to make sure I can have my best finisher shots, a Canadian girl sprinted past me in the last 20 meters, ruining my finisher shot and pushing me back to 69th by 2 seconds. So much for my great finisher shot.

I still think that 11 hours on this course for me is realistic (my IM PB is 10:28 on a flat course in ideal weather). When I have the bike fitness like this year, but I don't forget my Imodium and don't screw up the nutrition, and of course, don't crash on the bike, I feel that I can do it or at least very close to it. I will probably give it a few more shots in the coming years. Plus, I love the race, the atmosphere and I have 2 more munchkins who deserve a trip to Hawaii when each turn 13!

I did eventually 'kind of' get a finisher pic - but not without her!

So much trouble for a medal!