What a year I’ve had! December 13th puts an ends to a super different year, and brings the beginning of a new one. Last year had a rough start because I was just arriving in a new country where I didn’t know anyone. Triathlon quickly became my hobby / sport / addiction through which I started to meet more people and places. Just a year back I had signed up for the Ironman 70.3 Panama, which would be my first triathlon (I hadn’t done any shorter distance triathlon before). And now my birthday comes again and I’ve added three Ironman 70.3 triathlons, one marathon, two half marathons and other shorter triathlons under my belt. No doubt this has been my most sportive year yet!

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Medals from 2016

So here’s a little bit more about the Ironman 70.3 Cartagena (December 4th) …

The race was spectacular, although I cannot deny that it was more difficult than what I imagined. It started on a beautiful day filled with good vibes. You could feel people’s excitement from this new experience (even for the most experienced triathletes) since it was the first edition of the Ironman 70.3 in Cartagena. I loved catching up with old friends during the waiting time. The delay of about 45 minutes was soon forgotten with the gunshot that announced the departure of the Elite participants.

Swimming is the part of the race that I least like to comment because it is my weakest leg. Actually I do not suffer while swimming, although my times do not prove it. During the swim I keep two strategies in mind: do not get tired and try to swim in a straight line during the course. I can say that until now I have only achieved the first. The course in the bay was very well signalized with enough buoys so that is not my excuse. It’s just a lack of technique. The faster swimmers left me behind, and many of the next group caught up with me, but I went out happily and full of energy for the transition. I managed to improve my transition time even though I changed my top and applied sunblock before going on the bike.

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Getting out of the water in full energy mode!

I started riding very fast during the first kilometers, and eventually adjusted the pace. The course had a relatively flat start to warm up the muscles before going into a few slopes, which were manageable. I found the course filled of beautiful landscapes (with the only exception in the quality of the asphalt of some fragments of the beginning). Returning to the city was pure joy. I still do not understand the origin of a cycling shoe I saw lying on the street still quite far from the transition. It was a long 90km ride that went well, although at the end I felt my legs a bit loaded.

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Riding out of the city

Then the run began. It was till then when I realized that I was in Cartagena where it was hot and humid. Considering that day was not as hot as others, and that a great part of the race was in the shade of the narrow streets surrounded by houses, it still felt hot as hell. The two short climbs to the wall that surrounds Cartagena felt like torture. In this part I even got nauseous and I started to feel weak. I admit that what I like most is to run, so the thought of that kept me strong and did not allow me to stop. This felt like the hardest run I’ve done so far.

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Running over the wall that surrounds Cartagena Historic Center

Throughout the race I had many energy boosts every time I recognized someone. That feeling is amazing. I still don’t understand what is it about the carpet before the goal that brings us back to life and allows us to run it happily leaving behind all the fatigue of the past kilometers. After 6 hours and 4 minutes I crossed the finish line. #PureHappiness!

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Heading to the finish line

And this is how my story ends. Thanks to everyone who has been part of this transformation process from a normal human into a crazy triathlete and to those who follow my stories ;0)

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“Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.” – Bo Jackson