Kimberley Morrison’s 70.3 Dubai report

Kimberley Morrison on the bike at IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai 2017. Picture credit to Johan Badenhorst
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A great day for Kimberley Morrison in Dubai. The race in her words.

Before IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai on Friday, Great Britain’s Kimberley Morrison (www.kimberleymorrison.co.uk) said:

“I have sufficient training in my body to put a great performance together tomorrow”

How did it go? It went very well. Read her own report from the race, and the final part of her mini series from Dubai, below.

(Read Kimberley’s previous updates from IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai here: PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3)


#4 IM703 Dubai – The Race

I am delighted with my first race of 2017. So, so rewarding finding out my bike legs could push me into the bike record books against world class competition so early in the season and bike within five minutes of Javier Gomez over 90km. However, triathlon is a swim, bike and run race – and my highlight was the run off the back of a hard bike..

Pre-race

Standing on the start line of IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai, I was ready for a race. I was aware that we were testing watts per kilo and the run distance was going to feel long… but no excuses, you stand on a start line ready to race!

(To find out more please see my blog www.kimberleymorrison.co.uk)

A 4.30am start with our alarm sounding and Ben popping the music on (still our Buenos Aires playlist from March 2016). Egg and avocado rolls at the ready and we were off to transition for opening. A very calm and dark start at this hour in Dubai, the transition area was floodlit and was a nice busy, friendly, organised atmosphere. All pre-race checks done, I gathered myself by the swim start and gave Mum, Dad and Ben a big kiss before I was off for a good warm up to get the heart rate pumping.

How far ahead are the leaders?

7.03am and the Women’s Pro wave was off! A busy and narrow start to the swim with approximately 25 of us in the water. I settled into a small group, noticing I had Emma Bilham for company who I swam with in Sweden last year. We exited the water in a group of four and Ben told me I was 1 minute 30 seconds off the pack. Not sure what this meant, I was only interested in the front of the race.

It was approaching 7.45am on my run watch and I had settled on the bike with only one focus – how far ahead are the leaders? I race with my bike Garmin under the seat post as I am happy racing to feel. I was moving through the field nicely, but I still couldn’t see that Red Bull helmet [Ed. of IRONMAN World Champion, Daniela Ryf!]. The family were watching back at the finish line on a big screen and the only way they would know if I was OK was if I got to the front of the race, so I kept moving myself through the field. I hit the 10km marker and began to pass some of the men’s field.

8.00am approached and I had a TORQ energy gel and a sip of drink and kept my head down and the pedals turning. I noticed some camera bikes in the distance with two cyclists, and I knew I hadn’t seen Daniela or Ellie Salthouse yet. They appeared to be getting closer and closer so my motivation grew and grew.

Caught them…

I arrived! I was at the front of the race with the camera zooming in on my number and then in my face! I was so ecstatic; yes I did cry a little! This was feeling absolutely awesome, this is what I dream off, cycling up to the front of the race… this race though!

I relaxed and took my thoughts elsewhere and got on with pushing power through the pedals. I was happy to lead until the 45km turnaround into the headwind as my pace felt controlled and uncomfortably comfortable. I was aware that I wasn’t pulling away from Ellie and Daniela, and to be to be honest this wasn’t what I was trying to achieve (even though I am aware their run legs can take a good 10 minutes out of mine).

On our way home on the 90.1km out-and-back course it felt like Daniela put some extra power down. I was happy with this and stuck with the pressure. This was now more than uncomfortably comfortable but I was happy. I relaxed and stayed calm.

T2 arrives, time to run…

We came into T2 and the reception was electric. I looked at Ben and Dad as I ran out of T2, as if to say, “what on earth!”. This was now my own race, not worrying about the race around me. This was my first time running the half marathon since August 2016 and I needed the pace to stay consistent to get the best possible run split and ultimately finish the race in the best possible time. 4:10/km pace was feeling OK off the bike and I held this consistently for 12km.

At halfway I was still in third place, however it began to drop slightly to 4:15 pace, still happy. One lap to go (just over 7km), I was now down in eighth place. After all my efforts it would be disappointing to finish outside the top-10, but this was about me and my running. I couldn’t race the other girls, I was running at my potential at this time. Holding this pace together was going to be close to PB pace.

The finish…

I crossed the finish line and the pace was 4:20/km. That for me is a job very well done and very close to PB pace off the bike, a hard bike.

To top off my excitement I held onto that eighth position and enjoyed the prize awards later that evening. On stage I received a fantastic IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai trophy and a warm hug from all the girls finishing in the top-10. Thank you ladies, I am so proud to be racing alongside side you.

Thanks…

Thank you Jacuzzi for being my Headline Sponsor for 2017. Race Hub, thank you for supporting me with the Giant Trinity Advanced Pro… it rode beautifully.

Endless Pool, Certikin and Torq thank you very much; I am absolutely loving the opportunity to race hard and train even harder.

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