Ironman 70.3

IronMan2Ironman 70.3, sau Half Ironman cum mai este cunoscut, este o cursa de triatlon la care se parcurge distanta de 70.3 mile (113 km). Probele la care se concureaza sunt Inot, Ciclism si Alergare. Iata povestea unui prieten al Asociatiei Tabere cu Suflet care a concurat la concursul Half Ironman din Antalya 2015:

Ironman 70.3 is common also as Half Ironman. 70.3 refers to the total distance in miles: 1.2 Miles (1.9km’) swim + 56 miles (90km) cycling + 13.1 miles( 21.1km) running. The  real Ironman is exactly the double distances.

My first Half Ironman took place in Antalya on 24th October 2015. As it was my first time, I said that i’m going only to finish the distance. Many elite triathletes around the world came to  participate and try to win the race. There were 1264 participants out of 63 Nations and the level of the contest was really high.

And here we start the race! I was thinking to finish the 1.9 km in less than 40 mins. This was my expectation. After following a good crew (for my level) of swimmers after the first lap (the distance was 2 laps of 950m) I felt really ok, and I kept following them so I managed to exit from the swimming on 33 mins. More than great for me, because swimming is my weakest point. After making a fast transition from swimming to cycling, I got on my bike and I was feeling great. The weather conditions was the best that it could be, cloudy with no humidity and around 22 degrees. When I got on the bike I was in the middle of the pack, in around 600 position total. I started to eat and drink in this moment and keep going. During the bike its easier to eat and drink, than the rest of sports. After the first 25 km I manage to pass more 100 cyclers. Until the 50th km where the uphill’s started I was around on 200th position,total, I almost managed to pass more than the half cyclers. From 50thkm until 65th was foul of uphill so I remained there with a very good group. Up to the end I managed to be in the 170-180 th position where I started to meet only high elite triathletes. And like this I finished my cycling part. I wanted to be near 3 hours, without calculating the 15 km of uphill’s, and I managed to finish on 2.44m. which was more than great for me. I pass on the transition zone to the running part, where I have to mention that the organization was great.

After that on the running part, I had calculated a pace of 25mins / 5km, 50 mins for 10kms, which truly managed to happen. My first turn on 10.6km was at 55 mins, which was in my target. With this rhythm I have to mention that I was not passing anyone, even they were not passing me, except the high triathletes that they were finishing in this moment the whole race. On the second lap of running I kept going with the same pace until the 17th km where I met my Limit. ‘’i Hit the wall’’. During the whole race I was hydrating myself a lot, so this was not a problem, but a big pain in my back appeared and I couldn’t continue. Every step down was like I had needles in my back, and then I decided to walk in order not to quit the race for few km of running after having done all this distances.

I started to walk until the end and there I lost a lot of time, too many triathletes passed me and I manage to finish in the 397th position, 34th in my age category, which is still great like performance.

I did the whole race in 5.24 mins. And I succeed this position out of 1120 athletes that finished the contest. In the start line was 1264 triathlete’s but finishers were much less. I lost too much time on the last 4 km(from 17th– 21) because of walking and trying to eat and drink, I was believing that this is the problem,so most of the time was lost also there.

Also I would like to add, that in these last 4 km, I had a lot of support from the spectators, they were giving verbal support which in this moment was great for my mental toughness, so here I am finishing the contest. But guess what! To my surprise,  high level triathletes, which I greatly admire, most of them they were also in their last km to finish their challenge, and they were stopping to encourage me and make me believe that there is no pain and I can finish the race. I really hope one day to be at their level and have the chance to do the same to someone that might need my help at the last km of such a contest.

After all having this great experience, few days ago I registered for my next one in Lanzarote, Gran Canarias. Ironman 70.3 again.:)

I really would like to do it again, and why not after few years to try the normal one with the big distances.

About me

Hi, My name is Christos Argyropoulos and I am 26 years old. I am from Greece but I live in Romania, Bucharest since June 2012. I work in Divertiland as Sports Director, and I am also the administrator of a lifeguard school- SALVALIFE, the first one in Bucharest. I was a professional athlete (runner) since 2000-2010 and a part time triathlete since 2011.

After the age of 21, I participated in many triathlon contests in Romania and In Greece, But always the sprint distances (750m swim+ 20km bike+ 5km run) or the Olympic distances (1500m swim+ 40km bike+ 10km run). I succeed to be in good places and many times on the podium for International, National or local championships here in Bucharest and in Greece. Before the age of 21, I was a professional runner in Greece of 400meters. From the age of 10 years old until 21 years old I participated in more than 92 competitions of running, at 200m, 400m, 800m,and 1500m or even 5km +10km for the participation. My main sport was 400m but I liked to differ many times, especially in the young age and try also other distances.

After being to army for one year 2010 I quit with the athletics’ for different reasons, plus the army, and I thought why not to train and also have fun. Then I decided to try a triathlon. I still remember my first time, I participated without the basic things as equipment and I manage to finish in a local event in 3rd position in my category in Volos Greece. So I decided to start training as a part time triathlete. The combination in training with running, cycling and swimming was keeping me alive and not letting me be bored. All these were happening when I had the time to train, that means 3-4 times per week only, which for a triathlete is not a normal training. On September 2013 I participated for the first time in Romania, Mamaia, Black sea in the National Triathlon championship sprint distance, and after a very difficult summer of work in Divertiland and not even the basic training I managed to finish 2nd in my category. In this time, one great friend of mine, Dimitris Tranakas borrow me one of his road bikes, and not only. I took most of his equipment in order to participate normally in this triathlon contest. So I had the chance to try here in Romania a normal triathlon, because by myself I didn’t have anything from equipment over here. By the way the bicycle I participated was an Ideal bike, that Dimitris borrowed me. After my success on this contest, D.Tranakas helped me again with a sponsorship this time. He spoke about me to the director of IDEAL BIKES company, and I managed to take a sponsorship by them of equipment in a cost of around 10.000 euro. (TT Bicycle+ triathlon suit + T-shirts+ shoes etc).

Usually triathletes start after 28 years old to train and participate in this type of competitions, because Ironman is a very hard and a very demanding sport. You need to have special equipment for these three sports, which is kind of expensive. So until this age you must have also a job in order to collect money and buy all the equipment, or either way find it by sponsors like it happened to me also. Even though me I started training from the age of 24, and I participated 25 years old in my first Half Ironman in Antalya, Turkey.

Foto & text: Christos Argyropoulos

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