Faris Kindilchie’s Race Report: IRONMAN Muskoka
This was my first half distance Ironman race since last September, so I was a bit anxious traveling into the race.
I prepared well with the rest of my Team Phenomenal Hope teammates the past couple of weeks, but nothing like race week. The race location was in Ontario, Canada in the beautiful town of Muskoka.
Friday, July 7th
We got there early Friday afternoon, checked in to our hotel, which was a beautiful resort right on the lake, then headed out to town so we can check-in for the race.
The “Iron Village” was setup in the historic downtown of Huntsville. After a lovely dinner at one of the local Italian restaurants, we headed back to the hotel to relax and get ready for the day before the race.
I was thinking about all the PH patients and how they became part of this journey
We almost made it the entire day without any drama, but the night was not over yet! Right around 8 p.m., a storm was coming through, but it didn’t look too bad to us. However, the lights in the hotel started to flicker then we lost power!
At this point, we are thinking “A couple of minutes and we’ll be back right?” Wrong! the minutes and soon hours kept rolling and we did not get the power back! It looked like the storm was a lot worse than we thought, and the entire town lost power! No internet, tv, or lights. The only option was to go to bed hoping that the AC would be back on soon. But, it took eight hours to get it back!
Sat, July 8th (Day Before the Race)
After a quick breakfast, we headed out for bike and swim on the course. Bikes were racked, we ate dinner early, packed the rest of the race day stuff, and got ready for an early night.
Sunday, July 9th (Race Day)
As usual, the alarm went off way to too early (3:40 AM). I had my breakfast and we were on our way out to the start of the race. Right when we got there, the rain started. The forecast was supposed to be dry until 2 p.m., but it’s race morning: anything is possible. We took shelter until the rain stopped. Then we got back to setting up our transition area (where we change from the swim to bike, then bike to run).
As we waited to start the swim, I started to get in the zone and also reflect on the this part of the journey. I was thinking about all the PH patients and how they became part of this journey. I was very proud and honored to race on their behalf. I knew no matter what I will face this day it is nothing compare to some of their everyday struggles.
I was in the third wave to start, which meant that I had a few faster people swim over me 🙂
The start was great and I felt that we were moving well. But then the current came and it felt like swimming in sand! I knew I was not doing that bad because I was passing people, but I also knew that we were going a lot slower than I planned.
During this time I reached for inspiration from all the PH patients and how much they go through every day.
I finished the 1.2 mile swim in 47:51, which was one of the slower times I’ve had in a race, but I was happy to be out of the water.
I already knew the bike course was going to be hilly and longer than normal, so I was ready for it. However, when that first steep hill hit I was in pain! We did one big loop around the lake. Sites were beautiful and the rain held off, but the wind did not! I was happy to see the town and knew that we were at the bike finish. It took me about 3:14 to complete the bike and I was very happy to be off of it!
The run course was a lot of fun. Athletes go around the town of Huntsville and spectators are everywhere!
It really helped me get through the miles. However, the heat and the hilly terrain started to take its toll on me. During this time I reached for inspiration from all the PH patients and how much they go through every day. They gave me the motivation to keep moving forward and ignore all the pain. I crossed the finish line!
I want to thank every one of my teammates who help me prepare for this race. I want to thank all the PH patients who provide us with the courage and motivation to toe the line with other athletes.
I promise you all, keep fighting and we will keep taking this journey with you at every start, finish, and every step in between!