Thursday, March 18, 2010

Brandon Marsh IM China Race Report

Several weeks ago, Doc suggested that Amy do IM China. And, if I wanted to have a “China Experience” as well as an “American Reality TV Show Type of Day” that I go as well and have a day in China. So, we booked tix to leave Krabi and head to China with a few of our TeamMates for what has to be one of the more unpredictable and tougher IM races on the circuit.

I have not watched one single episode of the Survivor TV show, but I know that it involves competing against others for a prize, some different tests, voting members off the island, and whatever else goes in on “reality TV” shows because we all know that they are indeed real.

I will try to keep my reality show kind of brief. My competitors were many, but I figured that in the end it would come down to who could just finish as opposed to who could race the fastest. That was partly true. I left the water behind my two fellow male teammates…and one of our female teammates. Out on the bike, I set out to ride a long ride, and would face several tests.

The wind tested us all…headwind, crosswind, seemingly little tailwind. I had the wrong front bottle set up b/c the bottles that were handed out were too small to fit into my bottle mount, and I ended up continuously refilling one of my screw top bottles. I picked up my special needs bag with a couple of Nescafe coffe/milks and it worked like a charm. I moved up through my competitors and several of them decided that today was not their day.

Out onto the run, and I was determined to not take a single hard step for 42k…just put one foot in front of the other and get to the finish. I slowly moved up through the ranks and all systems were go. I was 3rd at 28k…sorry no mile markers for my American Friends. It was then that the island…Haikou Island…turned my closest allies…my legs…against me. After working together for about 130 miles and doing quite well I might add, my legs voted. They voted to stop. Full stop. I was determined to trick them into voting the other way…water, gatorade, EFS Liquid shot, bananas, race walking, everything. I tried every trick in the book, but nothing worked. For the next 14k almost EVERY step was hard, and not because I was gaining on 3rd. Every step was hard because I was fighting an uphill battle with every muscle in my legs that was voting to stop.

I walked, jogged, straight leg walked, shuffled, and got to the finish line just before the Mrs. finished. My reality show was a real one. I ended up 9th again at my 3rd IM in 6 months. So, if you could watch my Survivor: IM China reality show, you would see a real reality show.

Thanks to Louis Garneau, Cervelo, Blue Seventy, 3T, ISM Saddles, and the Bike Boutique for the sponsorship of the team this year. Thanks to the rest of the team and doc for making Krabi training camp memorable. Thanks to Amy for nearly catching me at the end and making me “run” that last 1k…

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