Posted by: Xavier Faux

By now, we can all agree it has been a fantastic season for all of us and well done all. I managed to catch up with our very own Parys Edwards, one of our two middle and long distance pros, after her Phuket 70.3 race where she powered to a 4th overall place and here is what she said:

“And finally my latest race- Phuket 70.3. Coming just 2 weeks after Malaysia I knew it would be a venture into the unknown. My body had recovered quicker then if I’d run hard for the marathon, a silver lining of sorts to compensate my bruised ego.

A very competitive women’s field lined up for the start. All the women (and many of the pro men!) somewhat relieved not to be pitted against Flora Duffy who withdrew days prior to the race.
I needed a good swim to put me in the mix, but I made a poor judgement call right at the start. I found myself cornered against the lane rope to the first buoy and forced to drop to the back of the pack and try swim round. It didn’t work and I watched a the group I had targeted swam away from me as I thrashed around entirely alone for the whole swim. Cursing myself all the way for getting the worst possible start to the race. Out the water as the last of the pro women who would finish the race, I set my sights on making back time on the hilly bike course. It was raining and the climbs and descents were treacherous. I did not takes risks with speed but I did with exerting myself – had I learnt nothing from Malaysia?
However it felt justified when I’d passed 5 girls and was in 5th place after just 30k. I saw the South African athlete Magda Niewouldt 30seconds ahead of me at the turn point on the highway and hoped to catch her but she rode a fast final 45k and was off the bike about 1min ahead of me.
Onto the run and it was a matter of holding on best I could, me legs felt wrecked from the bike and I hurt badly from early on the run. I caught Madga after 6k and then began the calculations to those behind me. There are 4 around turn points to time the gaps to others and with 10k still left to run I could see that American Robin Pomeroy and the talented young Guam athlete Manami Iijima were gaining on me fast.
The gap was down to a minute with 7k to go, I was sure they would catch me but I wasn’t giving up without a fight. I drew on every mental strategy I had, and did not stop until that blessed finish line!
Under the circumstances I was lucky to finish in 4th, but I can’t help but wonder how the race would have played out if I’d swum in the pack. ‘What ifs’ can eat away at you, and it’s my philosophy not to live like that, so I’ll bank this lesson and set my sights on my final race of the trip- the Toyota Sattahip Triathlon. An Olympic distance event outside Bangkok that boasts the final race of the Thailand Tri League. One more rev of the engine here in Asia then it’s back to SA to stay fit for the SA70.3 at the end of January.”

Sounds like we won’t have to wait for very long to see her back in action on the distance then – wishing you a great 2018!