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On 20th of August 2023 in Ironman Copenhagen I have qualified for Ironman world champinship in Kona, Hawaii. It has been a dream of mine for... many years!
Logistics from Europe to the middle of Pacific is not cheap and even though (as the name suggest) it's a world championship one still needs to pay a hefty registration fee which for me was 1446,61 €.
Collected money will be used to cover registration cost.
Long story: I've started doing triathlons back in 2017 with a solid track and field experience, but zero for swim or bike part. On my first race (sprint distance (750/20/5)) I was second to last out of the water. All was so new to me that I was competing with diving suit (that slowed me down) instead of wetsuit made for triathlons...
Years passed and I've tried Olympic (1500/40/10) and 70.3 (1900/90/21) distances. I already knew that I'm slowly moving towards full Ironman distance (3800/180/42) and impossible (back then) dream has born. It looked as unrealistic as to qualify for Olympics. That's why actually been able to qualify for Kona means so much to me.
On 15th of August, 2021 I have completed my first Ironman. Same day after the race I swearwd I will not do this ever again! Few days later I wrote:
"It was the best and the worst race I have ever had. From pure joy to unimaginable suffer. Enjoy. Experience. Execute. I did it all, 100% and more!"
A bit more than a year later I completed my registration for Ironman Copengahen. Training months have passed and the race day came. After an everage swim (1:17:06) weird things started to happen straight away on the bike. After close to crashing I've learned I'm riding with a flat tire Many precious minutes have passed until I was ready to go again... almost. Another mechanical - gear shifters stopped working which left me with a fixed gear bike just after 3km of the bike course. Luckily bike mechanic at the first aid station was able to fix the gear issue and my race started for the second time of the day. I have dropped to 56/60 place in my age group after having two mechanicals. Having nothing to lose and living up to my "Not less than your absolute best" I managed to caught many people on the bike course. Bike split was 5:58:40. Run being my strongest and favourite discipline gave me hope to be able to finish faster than 11 hours. After one of the best runs of my life (3:18:43) I managed to climb to 9th/60 place in my age group and finished the course in 10:43:22!
Next day during world championship slot allocation I've learned that my age group has been given 9 slots for Kona. I couldn't been more happy!
If you managed to read to this place, thank you! If you want to support me, thank you even more! If you'll be following me on the ironman tracker during the race especially over night time, I can't thank you enough ☺️
- Ruta Juskeviciute
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