I started the bike and I knew it was a little uphill at the beginning for like 10k and then it was screaming fast for a long time, so my plan was to take those first 10k a little above my power zone because I had a very long stretch to recover, the only thing that I had to take care of was not to spike the power too much because that kills the legs for the run.
I started passing all of the faster swimmers, as usual, and a very tall guy flew by me just to get burned like half a mile up the hill, passed him back and never saw the guy again. The bike was going rally well and I studied and rode the course on the week before the race so I had already a strategy of when to push and when to hold back. After a very long fast section came Nelson Rd. which was practically all uphill, but it had a percentage where I could just hold to my bars and keep pushing, after that it was fast again, and the wind was never bad so the bike leg was indeed faster of what people were thinking, at least for me.
Being Colombian really gives me an advantage on hills when compared to americans, it is usually in those places where I pass a lot of people and I also know they will hurt more than me if they try to follow me, so I really use the hills to my advantage and attack there.
The first loop of the bike went well and I passed the 90K mark in around 2:20, which was setting me up nicely to a PR.
After I repeated all the first loop there was a part that was only done to finish the bike segment and the only part were you could really know where you were on the bike, on a long out and back. When I was heading one direction I only saw one guy coming back and I thought that I had to be very close to the front guys because it was desolated. In the age group racing is very hard to know where you are in your category, and honestly I never knew where I was until I started running and saw my dad.
After this long out and back came the hardest part of the course, for me, it was a long steep hill of about 3k, go down and then back up again on a very similar hill. When I got to the top of the second hill and was ready to start going down again, this was around 160k, a guy was telling us where we were and he told me I was in 12th place!
I honestly couldn’t believe it, sure I know I am a strong biker and all, but 12th was something I never thought about. As I started going down one catches me and passes me, but he stops pedaling and my power just plummets, which is never a good thing, so I make the decision to pass him again. What I didn’t know was we were approaching a very narrow turn, so I passed the guy at like 60, 70 kph and BOOM…hit the deck.
The first thought that came to my mind was Texas, were I DNF because of an injury, and I just couldn’t DNF yet another Ironman in the same year. As I laid on the floor with an incredible pain all over my body, some people came to help me but I just couldn’t stand up, it was hurting way too much. I laid on the floor waiting for the pain to go away and started to check for any broken bones, I realized I hit pretty much my entire left side hence my shoulder, arm, hip, knee and my head. When I saw, or at least I thought there was;t anything broken, a guy had my bike. So I checked it and saw that it was OK, just some painful scratches on my Trek Speed Concept, the guy put on the chain for me, and off again to finish like this.
I still had 20K to go (13mi) and I was feeling fine, the normal pain of the hit and a lot of road rash everywhere. I had to twist my arm to grab the bike because my entire elbow was bloody and with rash.
Nevertheless I got off the bike in 4:52, a pretty decent time given the situation. I was aiming for 4:40 or less, but still a sub 5 with such a crash was not bad at all.
I came into T2 and as soon as I started walking the pain on my hip was unbearable, to make it worst it was that exact hip that made me retire from Texas. But I just thought that I could run the pain away, or crawl the marathon but I had to finish no matter what.
When I started running with my ON shoes, I saw my dad, told him what happened but said that I had no pain (yea right!) then he said to me: you are in the lead.