I would just sum this race up with my "Emoji Race Report" seen below, but this race deserves so much more than that. If you want a more in depth review of the race you can check out my 2016 Race Recap and Video HERE.
To save you the boredom of the below stuff, here are some media links & videos you should check out to really appreciate the race.
This race is absolutely amazing, if I were you put it on your bucket list of races and make it happen, sooner rather than later. With WOW Airlines it is really easy to get to from the UK & US, and I am pretty sure from a lot of other places as well. WOW was a sponsor of the race again this year and provided amazing support, allowing athletes flying with them FREE luggage including Bike & 1 bag. The race organizers make this race all about the athlete and make you feel like you are part of the local community and welcome everyone with open arms.
The race can be a bit hectic from a logistical standpoint, as the race venue is about 30-45mins out of town, however they do have a shuttle service for athletes. Once you are out at the race site everything is in one spot, so it is easy once you are out there.
Race day brought some crazy winds, worst winds that I have ever experienced. Due to these winds they shortened the swim and made it point to point, which led to me having a great swim coming out with people I have never swam with before. The winds on the bike course were worse than the Kona crosswinds. I have never had a problem handling my front JET9+ wheel, until this race. Seeing Kevin Collington in a ditch on the side of the road had me second guessing how aggressive I was riding and I started taking less risks after that. I was either going to get blow into the ditch with the lava rocks, or off the side of the mountain and into the fjord.
I used this race as a training race and a way to gain some fitness. I knew to do well at this race you had to be in top shape as the course is a hard honest course, and you can't "fake" your way around this one. The pro field that assembled for this years race was really solid and I just wish I had been in a bit better shape to have given it a proper go. At the end of the day, I was happy with how things went considering how the past 6 weeks leading into the race had went (2 of them being down / off weeks to reset for the rest of the season).
Looking forward to using the fitness gained at this race and carrying it over to Cebu 70.3 in the Philippines in 2 weeks time, which will have an extremely stacked field.