Ironman Copenhagen Race Report August 19, 2018


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A year ago we signed up for Ironman Copenhagen. I had just completed a very tough Ironman in Lake Placid where I’m pretty sure I had the beginnings of a virus or flu. My body shut down and I stumbled into the finish line. Another 200 yards and I might not have made it. After that difficult race experience, I wanted to do something completely different for 2018. I was thinking of an exciting adventure in Europe. Ironman Copenhagen looked and sounded amazing on the website and it ended up being an epic event and experience. I would highly recommend this Ironman as a “bucket list” race since the city and event were just spectacular! This is an extremely organized and well-run event. The volunteers were amazing too.

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I started my official Ironman training with Lisa in February 2018. The winter and spring went well and I successfully completed a hot and hard Ironman Syracuse 70.3 in June (sadly canceled for the future). I felt really prepared for this Ironman with several 6-6.5 hour bike rides, some long weekend bricks and a 21 and 22 mile long run. Even my swimming felt like I was improving with 4-5 days a week this year compared to 3-4 last year. Lisa and I both felt like I was very ready for this Ironman. A Kona spot felt like a possibility even with a few very fast European women in my age group.

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Beautiful scenes along the Ironman run course

Unfortunately, I didn’t get my Kona spot this year. I was the 5th woman in the 45-49F age-group. Last year there were two Kona spots for my age group in this race, but this year there was only one and the first-place woman accepted it. I was a little disappointed not placing in the top three this year but I really did my best out there and gave a solid performance. Four European women were better than me that day. They are awesome cyclists and good at all three sports. In North American Ironman branded races 5th place earns you a podium spot. However, only the first three places were recognized which was a huge disappointment for me. I thought I had at least made the podium. I was very sad about this at the awards ceremony, more so than not qualifying for Kona. My time of 10:55:37 was a huge accomplishment for me but it just wasn’t quite good enough. I will try again next year at a new Ironman race venue for us! Like Desi Linden said after winning Boston, “if you keep showing up”…..

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Scott has been suffering from plantar fasciitis all season and we almost didn’t think he should do the race since he hardly got any run training in during the year. His foot wasn’t any better for race day but his plan was to run 5 minutes and walk a minute for as long as he could. He did this until about mile 13 where he alternated between walking and running. He is such a champ for finishing what he started and not giving up. He had a strong swim and a faster bike than me by 4 minutes! And he still finished under 13 hours which is very respectable! I’m so proud and amazed at him for doing so well with such a difficult setback! Ironman teaches you that truly anything is possible!

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There are always lessons to learn from every Ironman race experience and this adventure was no exception. While I was very confident and prepared, I did not handle the travel and time change of 6 hours as well as I had planned. We really should have arrived a week before the race. You do need a day for each hour of time change to recover. And we got into Copenhagen the Wednesday afternoon before the race on Sunday. I didn’t have enough time to adjust to the time change. It was also a long tiresome journey. With a 2-hour delay on top of a 6-hour layover in JFK, we were exhausted when we got to Copenhagen. When racing in Europe, get there as early as you can!!

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Another challenge for me was that we had no air conditioning in our AirB&B. Up until this summer it wasn’t really needed as the summers never get too hot in Denmark. But 2018 was the hottest summer ever on record. And it was quite warm when we arrived making our apartment very warm. I have trouble sleeping if it’s too warm. I sleep in AC every night at home during the summer. So I really had difficulties the first couple nights. Luckily it did cool off a bit for the Ironman, but was still warmer than I wanted. We had to keep the windows open at night, but this led to another problem of noise from the other residents in the building complex. One couple had a few social gatherings that were quite noisy! The time change and lack of sleep left me running at about 80-90% for race day!

The brilliant aspect of our AirB&B was that we were about a 3-minute walk from registration, the Expo and the finish line. This was super convenient especially after the race. The apartment was a super, nice, clean modern space with just about everything we needed. Our original AirB&B canceled on us 3 weeks before the race since the owner sold his apartment. I was in a panic but found this AirB&B luckily. It was a good bit more expensive which is why it was still available. But when you are in a bind like that, you’ll pay the extra price! We were very lucky to have secured our accommodations!

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On Thursday morning I did an easy shake-out run for 30 minutes on part of the Ironman run course. It was slow going and felt very warm out at 8:30am. I felt very sluggish and tired but knew I still had a few days to feel better. Later we breezed through registration and hit the Ironman store where we were very generous with buying plenty of Ironman Copenhagen race apparel. We felt like it was a once in a life time opportunity to be there racing! Later after lunch we made our way down to the swim venue to learn the Metro and do a practice swim on part of the course. The Metro was surprisingly easy and getting off at Amager Strandpark was only about a 10-15 minute train ride and then a long 15-20 minute walk to the beach start. The hardest part was walking through mobs of tourists from our apartment to the Metro station which was also a 15-minute walk. It was quite a project to get to the swim venue but I was so glad we made the journey and had a good swim. The water was so refreshing after feeling uncomfortably warm all day long. And we met a lovely young woman from St. Petersburg Russia named Irina. We swam with her and also walked back to the train together. It was so fun to hang out with her. I love meeting athletes from around the world.

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Friday, we tested our bikes to make sure everything was shifting and working properly. We decided to ride during the regular bike commute times which wasn’t the smartest timing. In Copenhagen there is a huge bike culture and bike lanes are built into the infrastructure. Many people commute to work by bike and we hit it when everyone was riding to work that morning. It was a bit stressful since I wasn’t used to this, but a bit entertaining as well. I was worried about taking someone out or causing an accident on my twitchy tri-bike. It was the worst bike for that kind of riding. I was very cautious and rode slowly when I was surrounded by commuters. It was funny to be passed by people in suits and dresses riding 50-pound bikes! But it was an experience we’ll never forget!

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On Saturday morning I did another 30-minute run which went better than Thursday’s run since it was a little cooler. Lisa gave me a 5-minute hard interval which went OK, but it felt a bit harder than I wanted. And my Garmin told me my recovery time was 32 hours which is ridiculous. But I wasn’t feeling 100% and still felt like I was jet-lagged. Our main goal on Saturday was getting our bikes and transition bags down to the transition area near the swim start. This involved a long walk through crowds of tourists, a ride on the Metro and then another long walk to the transition area. But it did go relatively smoothly. We met a nice guy named David from the UK walking to the transition area from the train. We continued to carb load throughout the day which went well. I was nervous as usual but that is normal for me before a big race. That evening was rather mellow where we just hung out and spent time on our laptops. I didn’t sleep well and had trouble falling asleep. I was up quite a few times and might have gotten a couple hours of sleep before our 3am alarm.

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The famous Little Mermaid along the Ironman run course

Race morning went well from the time we woke up. We were very efficient getting ready and cooking our oatmeal. We gave ourselves extra time in case anything happened. And this was very smart as we did have a mix up with the Metro that morning. The train we normally took during the week was different at 4:30am. There are less trains and the one we thought was ours, was going in another direction. We jumped off at the next station and ran into a couple from Ireland where the husband was doing the race. They thought we would be better off taking a taxi so we waited outside for a few minutes. I was so relieved when we all got into a nice large taxi who took us right to the race start. We sure got lucky with that! With the taxi ride, we arrived with plenty of time.

The Swim

The swim went well for me. It wasn’t my fastest Ironman swim, but it wasn’t a notably fast swim course either. While I was a little over a minute slower than last year’s swim at Ironman Lake Placid, this one went so much better and smoother. Last year was terrible and I hated every minute of that violent swim. This time it was uneventful and I had no problems. I was slightly disappointed I didn’t end up with a least a 75-minute swim but I still saw progress over last year. My swim time of 1:18:14 was still respectable for that course. The winner of my age group only swam a 1:12 and only one woman in the “pointy end” of our division swam around an hour.

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The swim course was held in an artificial lagoon at Amager Strandpark which was a 45-minute walk/train/walk from our AirB&B in Copenhagen. It’s a really nice beach area with sand dunes separating the lagoon and ocean with nice wide walkways. The lagoon was ideal for a swim race since there was no rough water and it was rather shallow. I also thought it was pretty neat swimming under three different bridges where spectators could watch and cheer. Scott saw small jellyfish but they were not an issue and didn’t seem to sting. And this swim venue on the beach never felt too crowded with both athletes and spectators like previous Ironmans we’ve done. I felt much less stressed and the atmosphere was a bit more laid back compared to the chaos at other venues.

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There was a nice area to do a swim warm up before the race started which helped me a lot. The water felt refreshing. The warm summer kept the temperatures from getting too chilly as in previous years. Each wave of people (different swim caps) were supposed to warm up at designated times. I went in a couple minutes early since many people were doing the same. There was still plenty of space to warm up. I wore the pink cap which was for the 71 to 75 minutes swimmers. Scott wore the light blue cap for the faster swimmers just ahead of me. The good news is that I was always surrounded by swimmers in pink caps so many finished a few minutes over 75 minutes like myself. I even passed a couple in the light blue caps who started ahead of us.

Lining up I ran into Irina from St Petersburg, Russia who we met at the swim course on Thursday. It was so great to have a friendly face in the starting chute. It definitely helped calm my nerves and I felt more at ease compared to my last two Ironman swims. This was a rolling swim start where 6 of us went off every 6 seconds. Irina went just before me.

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I was happy to get started as it was going to be a very long day. When I went off with my 5 other swim comrades it wasn’t too bad or chaotic. It wasn’t as easy going as Syracuse where everyone went off one at a time, but it wasn’t stressful either. There were still lots of bodies around me but I stayed to the outside (right) and stayed out of trouble. We swam out straight to the first buoy and then turned right to make our way down the long stretch of the lagoon. I broke the swim course into mental chunks which always helps. I focused first on making my way to the first bridge since I swam out to it on Thursday and was familiar with that part of the swim course. I was moving fine and it was nice to be breathing to my left side which is my stronger side the whole course.

I got under and through the first bridge and it was cool to see so many people on the bridge cheering. The next section was another long stretch to the next bridge. I knew once I got past that one it wouldn’t be much longer until we turned around. There were lots of bodies around me heading down the lagoon but I never had too much problem finding clear water. There were some times of congestion but I was able to deal with it and just keep moving forward. I think it was on the way out I got hit on the back of the head but nothing too hard. It was the only time I had some real physical contact by another athlete in the swim. I had people hit my legs and feet at times but nothing out of the ordinary. I also noticed that there were not as many women in this event compared to racing in North America. That was true throughout the day.

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The turnaround buoy was welcomed and not too crazy to get around. Then it was straight across for bit before finally turning around. I was happy to be heading back but knew I wasn’t quite halfway yet. I just kept plugging away on the stretch back and used the bridges to break things up mentally. There were times I kept swimming out too far away from the buoy line and had to swim a bit diagonally to get back. This happened quite a bit. There was no surprise my Garmin clocked 2.5 miles instead of 2.4.

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Swimming on Thursday to check out the swim course

After a while I could see the swim finish vaguely on the other side but we had to keep swimming down the other direction which made the swim seem mentally harder and longer. But I finally got to the bridge on the other end. It was a little bit sketchy going under as there wasn’t a big space to get through. But there were no incidents. Then right away we turned around and headed back towards the finish. Again, it was cool to see so many spectators on that last bridge!

It was sometimes hard to see the buoys or where to go on the last bridge and then heading back to the finish. I had to sight quite a bit to make sure I was going in the correct line. And then finally the turn buoy came in sight and we made a right to the finish. That smaller stretch got a bit crowded as we got close to the finish. And then I had trouble determining the swim finish from the swim start. But it was to the right which should have been obvious for me. I needed a little help getting out of the water but it was such a relief to be done.

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I swam hard and was really out of breath at the end. And I was a bit dizzy and light headed running to the transition area. My transition was a good 6 minutes. No wetsuit strippers or volunteers to help bag our stuff. It’s more self-service in Europe. But my transition time was still slow compared to my competitors! And feeling a bit dizzy it took me longer to get into my bike gear.

The Bike

The bike course was really excellent! It’s a good mix of the city centre, coastline, and rolling country terrain out in North Zealand. And it was my best Ironman bike split coming in at 5:47:54. It wasn’t a very hilly course like Lake Placid but it had several elements that made it almost as challenging as the Ironman bike course in Mont Tremblant. The wind was the big factor especially heading back south in the North Zealand countryside. Wind is no joke in Denmark and race day was no exception. You see wind turbines all over Denmark for good reason! The wind made it difficult heading back on both loops. Also, there are very technical sections leaving the city from the swim course and then heading back into the city after the two loops. It was fun riding in the city but you had to make a lot of sharp and tight turns which really slow down your average speed. Another aspect to make it challenging were the twisty, rolling country roads with varying road surfaces. I enjoyed these roads but they were not conducive to fast time-trialing where you get into a zone. One of the positives is that the Europeans (especially the Danish) had excellent bike-handling skills. So much better than North America! I was so impressed with the riders in this race!

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I was happy with my bike split for sure. My goal was to come in between 5:45 and 6 hours and I nailed that goal! But two glaring issues leave me going back to the drawing board for my bike training next season. First my neck was screaming at me throughout most of the ride where I couldn’t ride in my aero bars after leaving the ocean roads on the second loop. It was excruciating! And this is after a very professional bike fit last fall. My other problem is my bike nutrition for the Ironman distance. While it works well for the half Iron distance, it left me with stomach cramps during much of the bike and into the run. So I have a few things to figure out this winter. But in spite of those difficulties, I still had a good bike ride.

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Leaving the transition area after the swim

It was a nice cool and cloudy morning starting out through the city centre roads. It did take a while to get onto the coastline with the beautiful ocean views. But I have good bike handling skills from my bike racing days 20+ years ago and was enjoying the technical aspects of city riding. It wasn’t crowded yet either so that was nice.

Once on the coastline I worked hard to get into a good rhythm. The wind was coming at us from the side but it was a favorable cross-wind. I was actually feeling warm since I was working hard. This segment of the course which was about 25-30 kilometers had several sections with rolling terrain so it wasn’t quite as fast as I anticipated but I never had to get out of my big chain ring. I was passing riders and many guys were still passing me. There were no real big packs like you see in North American events but at times there would be quite a few of us together strung out. No one was blatantly drafting. This is partly because there were many race marshals out on motorcycles. Much more than what I’ve seen in North America.

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Heading left away from the ocean the bike course took us through rolling, winding and twisty roads with many turns and pavement changes. This made it slower in some sections but I didn’t mind getting out of my aero bars for different sections of the course. It was quite pretty out there in the country side. There was even a wooded section of roads going through a forest. I enjoyed the one skinny road that felt more like a bike/run path. One woman in my age group from Germany (3rd place) passed me going pretty fast. I knew I couldn’t maintain that speed and hoped I’d catch her on the run but didn’t. My run was faster and my swim was much faster but she was a superb bike rider!

My stomach was getting crampy halfway down the North Zealand country side. I stopped doing my chews for and hour and just consumed water which did help quite a bit. Then I went back to my nutrition plan, consuming my shot blocks every 30 minutes. I took water at all the aid stations and filled my front bottle. That did help too.

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There are some larger rollers after the countryside and loads of cheering people on the Geels Bakke hill. It was great to see the crowd support lining the roads. It felt like the three bear climbs at Lake Placid. This was also where I got my Special Needs bottles. This process was quick and efficient with a volunteer grabbing my bag for me. Not as many Europeans use Special Needs like in North America. After Geels Bakke it felt like it took a while to get to the start of the next loop. I thought I might have missed it somehow and stopped briefly at an intersection to ask where the next loop started. I had a few miles. That cost me a minute or two but sometimes we do unwise things in a race!

I was happy to be on the second loop and riding along the coastline again with the pretty ocean views. I was getting tired but my legs were doing OK. My stomach didn’t feel great and still had a few small cramps that I could manage. More water than Tailwind did help but I made sure I still had enough calories The rollers on the coast did feel harder and I even thought about going into my small chain ring but decided against it. My neck was killing me at this point and I was taking turns riding in my aero bars and horns.

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I was happy to get back onto the North Zealand country roads again! After a few miles in the country side, another woman in my age group passed me on the bike. “Not again!” I thought so I made a huge effort to stick with her until a few kilometers from the bike finish. She wasn’t really going too much faster and I knew I could ride her speed. I did this mostly in the horns as the aero position was just too painful. I would try to get back to my aero bars every so often but it didn’t last long. Following this woman was a gift. I pretended I was back in my old bike racing days trying to catch someone or bridge a gap. It kept my mind busy and gave me a task. I made sure I wasn’t drafting and just kept her in close sight. My second loop was faster than my first loop due to this chase. Thanks to her I had my best ever bike split!

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However, she probably wasn’t too pleased knowing someone was following her. There was a guy on a road bike riding along with her on the bike path letting her know about me (he wasn’t in the race). This went on for a few miles. This is illegal and she would have been disqualified if an official saw this. At the Geels Bakke aid station she took a water bottle and I was right behind her getting water myself. She let it go and it dropped right in front of my wheel. Thanks to my good bike handling I was able to ride right over it and avoid a nasty fall. Did she do it on purpose? My guess is yes, sadly. That is not cool. But I’ve seen worse and middle-aged women have a track record of doing unsavory things at a race. (at the race I did in Syracuse, one woman got caught letting air out of her competitor’s tire). Yes, women are as bad as men sometimes!

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Luckily after the water bottle incident there were only about 20 kilometers to go. She picked up the pace and I was game. My heart rate had been higher than I would have liked to see in a full Ironman while following her pace. But I was still doing OK. Lisa said she thought I had been holding back in past races so this was a good test to see what I could do. Once we got back to the city centre I let her go with just a few kilometers to go. I didn’t need to go balls out on the technical sections. It was smarter to be careful after such a long ride. And I knew I’d catch her on the run which I did! (Lisa warned me I’d get passed on the bike in Europe, but would catch people on the run)

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I was so happy when I recognized the city streets and knew I was almost done. It was amusing to bike down the hill into the underground garage and hand off my bike to a volunteer. It was quite a ride. It was super tough with the wind and I never felt comfortable with my neck or stomach. And a good saddle sore added to the mix of discomfort. But I rode the best I could with my current deck of cards and that’s all I can ask of myself. I stayed upright and felt proud of my bike handling skills on the Danish roads and avoiding a crash. Again, my transition was slow. I was winded and a little light-headed. I had to sit down to change my shoes and put on my run gear. Changing socks always costs me an extra minute. And a much-needed port-o-potty stop cost me as well. I had another 6-minute transition. But it was onto the run which is what I do best!

The Run

The Ironman marathon in Copenhagen is spectacular! The course goes through the heart of the city and passes many historic sites and attractions. And the crowd support is the best I’ve seen so far in an Ironman. Thousands of people come out and cheer on the athletes. It’s not quite the Boston Marathon but pretty close! I really enjoyed the spectators! While the total elevation gain is quite small, it’s not an easy marathon course. There are tight turns, hopping up and down curves, pavement changes including cobblestones and tiny but steep hills at the north end of the course which feel harder each lap. You run the course 4 and a half times so that alone is very challenging mentally.

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This was a good marathon for me considering it was a bit more difficult than I anticipated. The cool cloudy weather (70ish F) helped a lot. It was a bit humid but nothing oppressive. My time of 3:36:36 was a nice surprise after I didn’t think I’d do too well after the first 13 miles. My original goal was to run a time of 3:30 to 3:40, but I was hoping to come in closer to 3:30. So overall it was still a solid run and a few seconds faster than my Ironman marathon in Mont Tremblant a couple years ago. Surprisingly my run was the 3rd fastest in my age group. I usually get the first or second fastest run in North American Ironman events, but these European women are just so impressive!

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The run course going through Nyhavn. Yes we ran on the cobblestones!

After a slow transition I ran up the ramp out of the basement parking garage. I was happy to be starting the run but knew I had a big job ahead of me. It was so neat to be running along the water and the old ships and historic buildings. I ran on this section during my short training runs earlier in the week. I wasn’t feeling great but wasn’t feeling terrible. My stomach was still a little crampy from the bike and not digesting the shot blocks very well. But it wasn’t as bad as Lake Placid’s Ironman marathon last year. I was able to just plug away and run conservatively even if my stomach never felt well during this marathon. The goal was to run around an 8-8:15 minute/mile pace. From the beginning I knew this was going to be a tall order, so I just let my body run and not over exert myself from the beginning. My first mile clocked in at an 8:26 pace but I was being conservative.

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The next couple miles continued on the north side of the course going by the Little Mermaid and then up and down those tiny but steep little hills heading out by the cruise ships. On the first lap they felt fine and didn’t impact my pace too much. At the end, there is a turnaround where you collect your colored bracelets for each lap. I had been running with another woman setting a nice pace but I noticed she only had 2 more laps and I had just begun my journey. But she was a good pacer as my next 3 miles clocked in between paces of 8:11 to 8:17. I was feeling OK at this point but not awesome either. It was fun to run back to the finish area section and head through the famous Nyhavn area with the pretty colored buildings. But this was another section of cobblestones that were wet form the aid stations. I was taking sponges and water at each one. I was also being careful not to fall especially in a section where we had to jump over some planks covering up wiring. (this could have been tricky on the 5th time)

I broke each section down mentally which helped a bit. After Nyhavn we ran the other direction with a right turn up another street with a turnaround. And then back to the main road heading out a bit with a final turnaround. Then it was back towards the finish with nice views of the water on the right side. And then it was back through the Nyhavn area, around the famous playhouse and then past the finish line to continue onto the second loop. I was still running paces of around 8:17 to 8:14.

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Dancing on Friday night. Running the marathon by the Playhouse on Sunday.

The second loop was still going well. I was happy collect my second colored bracelet and was just working hard to focus and keep on task. I was taking my gels every 30 minutes and taking water at all aid stations. My paces were still consistent but I could tell around mile 11-12 things were going to get harder for me. Once I went by the finish line I thought I should slow things down a bit for my third loop and save some energy for the last loop and a half where it would be very difficult. As a result, mile 12 was around an 8:50 pace. And that third lap did have slower paces ranging from 8:39 to 8:16. But my body was slowing down and I didn’t feel I could run much faster. After 13 miles I was getting a bit worried that my body might shut down like it did in Lake Placid last year but it never seemed to crash. I just got a bit slower. I was happy when I collected my third colored bracelet. Just one to go! But I wasn’t running as fast as I had hoped. The crowds were still great and I did enjoy all the athletes around me. It was never too crowded but there were a lot of athletes running. I was still trying to enjoy the sites and experience. I was in Copenhagen doing something epic! It was a rare opportunity and privilege to be running in such a beautiful European city!

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My forth loop was very tough and I definitely was slowing down more! I just took it one section at a time. My paces were ranging from 9:03 to 8:27. More miles were closer to 9 minutes but I didn’t have too far to go. After I went by the finish line I knew I just had to do a full loop one more time and then I would get to run down the finish line. I was in good spirits on my last full lap, but it was hurting! I was so tired and my legs were not moving too fast. I was so happy to collect my last wrist band! But those little tiny hills were tough and slowing me down. I was really grateful for the spectators!

Once I was on my final half loop I was really slowing down. I hit my slowest pace of a 9:29 on mile 24. But when I saw I had just over a couple KMs to go I found the energy to pick up my pace. I got down close to an 8:30 pace and my final mile was a 7:44 pace! Where did I get the energy to increase my speed like that? Our mind is a powerful tool if we use it correctly! I ran by the Hoka One One guy one last time and he mentioned me running by so fast. I was just so happy! And running around the playhouse on the wood pier was just fantastic. I was flying and feeling so joyful.

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The finish line was even better. I was running down the red carpet yelling how much I loved Copenhagen. I was celebrating while crossing the finish line! What an amazing feeling. I had been dreaming of crossing that finish line all year! It was very special finishing so strong and successfully. In Europe they post your actual finish time on the finish chute and I was thrilled to see a time of 10:55! I had broken the 11 hour mark and it was a personal record for me!

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On Monday after the race we attended the awards ceremony and walked around a bit. Scott’s foot wasn’t terrible and we were not doing too badly after the Ironman. The best part of the day was sitting by the playhouse right on the water enjoying beers. It was so pleasant and relaxing. I could have sat there all day. And the sunshine felt nice. The temperatures had cooled and we were happy in our new Ironman hoodies.

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One important visit we made was to a wonderful farm animal sanctuary called Fields of Freedom in Espe, Denmark. We rented a car from the airport and drove a couple hours to Espe which is just south of Odense. It was really fun to drive over the long bridge to another island of Denmark and see some countryside. Chris was amazing to spend time with us and showed us around the sanctuary. I got to meet so many animals. They really touched my heart. Chris has given everything and dedicated his life to rescuing and caring for abused and neglected farm animals. He is quite inspiring! We plan to visit a couple farm animal sanctuaries in Vermont this fall.

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Food and Beverage Report

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Copenhagen is very progressive when it comes to vegan/plant-based food. We had no trouble finding delicious and healthy vegan food before and after the Ironman. I had scoped out MadeinItaly before we arrived and was so happy it was only a 4-5 minute walk from our apartment. This small and cozy restaurant was a dream come true for us. The owner, Eva was wonderful and the food was mostly vegan and excellent. Eva is from Italy and everything was vegan except for one pizza type with a biodynamic mozzarella cheese. The rest of her cheeses were vegan and amazing! Her pizzas were all very special with all kinds of creative toppings including potatoes and truffles. I had her delicious veggie lasagna the night before our race. It was the best carb loading we could have done!

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Amazing vegan tiramisu at MadeinItaly

After the Ironman we walked over the pedestrian bridge to the Christianshavn side of the canal for the Copenhagen Street Food Market with stalls and food trucks. This was amazing and many stalls had vegan options including the California Kitchen.

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My favorite was a vegan food truck called the Organic Boho which had the best falafel ever and fresh juice (done at their brick and mortar location in Copenhagen).

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The morning we left we had one more Chiaseed pudding bowl from Grød which was tasty and super healthy. Even the airport had a vegan restaurant called 42 Degrees Raw. While it did have raw vegan food, there were also cooked vegan burgers. We ordered four of these burgers for our long flight home. Healthy and delicious!

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Overall Ironman Copenhagen was an epic adventure for us! We are so grateful to we have the health and means to do these races in such amazing destinations. We love to travel abroad, visit new cultures and meet new people from all over the world. I highly recommend it! The air travel can be rough especially with time changes, two large bike boxes, and long layovers. But in the end, it is still worth it. Thank you to Ironman Copenhagen and to all the volunteers who made the day happen so well. A huge thank you to my coach Lisa who is always patient and provides me with the best training guidance for my unique lifestyle. She has successfully coached me through three Ironmans! And thank you to the best husband in the world. I couldn’t do this without my best friend!

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What’s next? This year we are not doing a late fall triathlon or marathon. I decided we both need extra downtime this year. Scott’s foot is getting better and will run soon. I am letting my body recover from the Ironman and long travel. This fall we look forward to riding our gravel and mountain bikes and doing a bit of trail running. It looks like September will be warm so maybe a few more open water swim weeks for us! And then we start back up our official training in January. Scott will be doing half Ironmans while I tackle the full Ironman once again in 2019!

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Cheers! Stop by again!

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