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RACE REPORT: IRONMAN BRAZIL
written by: Nic Scibelli
posted: 6/2/03


Hello to all.  I'm just returning from 6 days in Brasil where I completed IM Brasil.  I finished.  And that's about it.  If ever there was a time where finishing was all that mattered, this was it.  Some of you know I decided to do this race about a month ago.  I happened upon the race website and saw that registration was till open.  Given the current tendency of races to close out in like 5 minutes, I thought how cool is this?  I could still sign up.  So before I did anything rash, I shot an e-mail to the travel link - Endurance Sport Travel - and expressed my intentions.  Ten minutes later, I got this phone call: "Hello, can I speak to Nic?, Yeah this is Nic.  Hi Nic, this Ken Glah...." Maybe Dave Scott or Mark Allen will be phoning next!  At anyrate, he took my info down, and proceeded to quote me one of the sweetest last minute deals I had ever heard of, telling me it'd be even cheaper if I got more people signed up.  So I sent out a far reaching e-mail, but only got one taker.  Amy!  You're the best!  So after flying about 24 hours straight, and losing my luggage, including bike box, we arrived at Florianopolis, which is just an amazing and beautiful place.  After not being able to get any info on my bike box, which by the way had all my race stuff in it, I decided to not stress about it and head to the hotel.  Ever stay at a hotel on the beach, have a balcony that overlooks the water, from which you can hear waves crashing?  If not, I highly recommend it.  The best place for a post race smoke!  The bike box and rest of my luggage arrived at midnight.  SO on Friday, put the bike together, do the bike check in thing, get all my race bags together and head down to the transition area.  All that done, I settled in for dinner and early to bed, but as usual slept maybe 4 hours.  After a 4 am breakfast at the hotel, Amy and I headed down to the start.  Pitch black.  And it stayed that way until about 5 minutes before the start.  At the entrance to the transition area, I ran into a guy who had been on my flight who's bike box also got lost.  But his didn't arrive till midnight before the race!  And even though he had all his stuff and had checked in the day before, they wouldn't let him in to transition.  Imagine coming all the way from NYC, training for months, and then because of no fault of your own, not be allowed to race?  Man he was hysterical, but they never did let him race.  I get in, get ready for the swim, pile on to the beach and as the sun comes up, realize it's rising right in the direction we need to swim.  I knew immediately this would not be good.vThen I saw the waves and thought "am I to far up to slip off before the gun goes of"?  But no.  The gun goes off and I have no idea where I'm going.  At the first buoy, a whole group of people turned left.  They cut the course.  Many of us just sat there treading water until we spotted a kayak that directed us straight.  Then I missed the turn buoy, so I swam back to it.  Then I missed another turn buoy.  Swam back to that as well.  When I finally got out of the water in 1:18, I congratulated myself on the fastest 3 mile swim I've ever done.  Think I'm kidding? Had a good "T" and was out on the bike fast and that's about all that was fast about my bike.  The wind that helped blow buoys around was out there on the bike course as well.  Good news.  I was pain free for 20K...I guess that's good news.  Pretty much after that I had pain in my lower back.  Fighting the wind didn't help.  Gusts were reported up to 20 knots.  I ended up stopping 6 times.  My official time was 6:30, but my ride time was 6 hours.  Man I suck, but the wind, at one point just ahead of me, blew so hard that it blew traffic cones into two riders knocking them over!  But I survived another horrible ride, and "T" two was a little slower.  I didn't have my usual bounce getting off the bike.  I guess I did really get beat up.  I never felt good, but pushed myself and was able to run, albeit slow through 30K.  Then the walk began and it didn't end till 40k.  Once back in town, I forced myself to run the last 2k and finished in the dark like the day began, in 12:13. Not a bad pre LP IM training day, but one hell of a hurtful one.  I am happy to say that recovery has gone well and I survived this race with no permanent scars, at least not physical ones.  I met a lot of great people, American and foreign out there, but none of them as special as Amy, who supported me throughout, especially buying my post race cigs and beer!  Anyone who wants to do an international IM, I'd highly recommend this race.  The volunteers were great and the Brazilians are a great people.  Ken Glah throws an awesome post race party with more food than you can imagine.  In my 20 years of racing, I've never done a race that's gives you so much.  And then there's the post race trip to Rio, but that's another story.....