Weekend Triathlon – Ironman Dubai 70.3
13 February 2020 - By James Montgomery
Sandy Karl kicked off the multi-sport season for WRC a little earlier in the year than usual by travelling to the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East to take part in Ironman Dubai 70.3, consisting a 1,900 meters swim, 90 kms bike and 21.1 kms run.
Friday 7th was race day with an early start and Sandy checked in at 5:30am at transition to do the final checks on her bike that she’d racked the previous day. That done it was time to prepare for the swim start, which was around 1 km away from the transition area. As is commonplace now at Ironman swim starts, this was a rolling start with 6 athletes going off every 6 seconds and Sandy was off at 7:22am. The swim was fantastic with the water at 19 deg C and the air temperature a comfortable 21 deg C with the sun rising behind the luxurious Burj Al Arab. At around 1.5 kms Sandy got kicked in the face and she almost lost her goggles. She managed to retrieve them before they sank and carry on to finish the swim in 36 mins 45 secs.
Into transition which was crowded and there wasn’t much room to move around but Sandy managed to get through quick enough and get out onto her bike for the second leg. The out and back course is touted as being flat, but this isn’t really the case as there are 5 motorway bridges to negotiate on the outward and return stretches, even still she managed a personal best at the distance of 2 hours 37 mins 17 secs.
Off the bike and back into transition for the run leg. There was a great crowd around the exit from the transition area onto the run course, which consisted of a 1.5km loop along Jumeirah beach. With no shade this part of the race started to get hot, sweaty and uncomfortable especially as there were no aid stations on the second lap of the run making the last 7kms really tough. Sandy pushed through to the finish with an overall finish time of 5 hours 27 minutes 45 seconds. She is ecstatic with this finish and is already looking forward to her first full distance event in September at Ironman Emilie-Romaga in Italy.
Swim time is an unofficial time as the organisers suffered some technical issues with the timing chips and affected athletes were left without official overall times. A big disappointment to an otherwise great day.