IM France, Nice 2014
July 16th, 2014 by Fraser
From Briancon in the Alps with two train journeys under my belt and I was on the Cote d’Azur and the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Ali had planned this event as her qualification race for hopefully getting back to Kona later this year and I was chief supporter for the trip. I’d rested hard on the trains in anticipation 😉
We had a great little place to stay just off the main promenade front where all the expo and race shennanigans were going on, and having arrived on the Wednesday we had plenty to time to familiarise ourselves with the area and all things triathlon. Nice is an iconic race for many reasons, and you really got a sense of how big an event it was from a few days out. I wasn’t surprised in the slightest, given how superb races of all distances are in the country. France likes its Triathlon and it was more than evident all race week; the atmosphere was superb.
The beach in Nice is quite unique in that it is stone rather than sand. It is also quite a steep drop down into the water – there was only really ever the one solitary wave that crashed onto shore, but it was quite a tricky one to negotiate! We had a few practice swims each morning and that went a way towards settling Ali’s nerves a good deal pre race, as the swim is always her main concern.
Boats and water: I’d say it’s safe to say these are amongst the first things to spring to mind when visiting this part of the world, and the old harbour didn’t let us down. I enjoyed a few runs along this area and marvelled more than the once at the aqautic hardware on display!
Race day forecasts had threatened to bring rain, and by the time Ali had headed off up into the mountains that for the single bike loop we were already reading reports of the race leaders crashing on the initially descents. – Always a worrying thing for a supporter to hear. You just hope that whoever you are waiting by T2 for gets back there safe and in once piece. There is a feeling that once onto the run, all is ok. You forget it is a marathon they have to complete sometimes! Thankfully Ali had a perfectly safe bike ride (although she saw a crash or two herself) and started the run in 3rd place amongst the age group women and comfortably leading her own 30-34 age group.
Supporting on the sidelines of the marathon within an Ironman is not an easy thing. I find it hard not to keep repeating myself! We were wondering what I was actually saying in the picture above, but I don’t think it had anything to do with the rain pouring down early on in the run. It was actually a welcome break before the strong sunshine that was about to reappear by the time she had finished a couple hours later.
Ali had a really great race all being told. She was nervous leading into the weekend but thats usually a good thing, especially when racing over an Iornman distance and even more especially when you have done all the endless hours of training beforehand! Winning her age group and finishing 8th place overall were just rewards. Onwards to Kona she goes!
Big thanks to Richard Melik from Freespeed who flew out to Nice just for the day to hang out, support Ali and take most of the pictures I have used in this post!