Update - James Cunnama, May 2018
Back on track
After spending all of April working hard to build my fitness back to where it needs to be to start the season, Sun City Ultra triathlon this past weekend was the first real test of 2018, and the first real test since my injury. I was looking for a hard hit-out, something to actually gauge my fitness, but also something of a kick-start to my season of hard training; to remind my body what ‘hard’ is before the hard work starts.
I’m happy to say that this race achieved all of those things. The race is at Sun City, a casino resort in North-West South Africa and beautiful part of the world, but at 1100m above sea-level it is a tough place to race hard! My heart rate was uncomfortably high for most of the race, and if I had the luxury of backing off a bit and settling into more of a rhythm I would most likely have taken it. Unfortunately for my body (but fortunately for my season goals I suppose) taking it easy was not an option as 2018 Ironman 70.3 South Africa champion Matt Trautman was on hand to keep me pushing all day. A fellow Trisutto athlete, Matt and myself were close all day.
We swam together, and then Matt had me on the ropes in the early bike miles while my body tried to remember how to race after almost 7 months away from a race course (March’s Durban Ultra aside, seeing as that was just a ‘are my ribs healed?’ event). My body and legs did slowly remember how to race and I made up the 20secs I had lost to Matt and then was able to run a solid half-marathon to take the win.
I won this event last year, but had slightly faster bike and run times this year which is certainly due to Matt pushing me, but for me is still a great confidence booster starting the season, and for my coach is an official ‘Cleared for Duty’ stamp. I expect the mileage to ramp up significantly now!
Looking ahead, I will race Challenge Samorin ‘The Championship’ in Slovakia in four weeks, which will be en route to our Trisutto summer training base of St. Moritz, Switzerland. Then its a month of head-down hard work in the altitude of Switzerland before Challenge Roth in Germany on 1 July.
Thanks for your support.
See you at the races!