Shaun Copland
Lisa Vincent

IM Philippines, Subic Bay 70.3 by Shaun Copland

Event : IM Philippines, Subic Bay 70.3

So, another IM done here in the Philippines.

June 11th, I did IM Philippines, Subic Bay 70.3 after downgrading from the full after losing training time to injury. And I’m happy about that after how the day was.

The weather was forecast to be cloudy and slight chance of rain, but… on the morning, the wind was incredibly strong and the rain was lashing down.. but the temp was still 28°C and 91% humidity.

The sea condition was the worst I’ve seen with the wind smashing the waves and swell into the shore and they were in all directions too. But I started the swim in high spirits, haha.. once in, the conditions hit, worst swim I’ve ever experienced and they’re all non-wetsuit swims here.. I got battered by waves and swell, couldn’t hardly swim, couldn’t site at all and barely breathe. At 419m I threw up after a couple huge mouthfuls of water.. I seriously considered quitting, but settled myself, had a mental word and got going again.. somehow I managed to get going and completed the swim.After a quick T1, which was huge, I was out on the bike, thank god. The first 1.5km was steady with a lot of turns, then we hit the mountain road, long climbs, not steep, but long taking us to a two-loop course in the mountains, which was constant rolling/hills.. once up there, the wind would suddenly pick up like a typhoon and the rain was so heavy and hard, it hurt. Going against the wind was insane even downhill, I hardly moved, but of course, if the wind picked up and was behind me, I flew, but it was hairy in the conditions at 69km/hr.

Shaun Copland Subic BayAfter a lot more elevation than expected and very tough conditions, I completed the bike leg and another quick T2, straight out into the run.

The rain was constant and just didn’t let up, which was nice as it helped to keep my core temp steady but makes the run harder with heavy wet shoes and kit. The run course was two loops and rolling, but quite sheltered from the wind. I started strong and had a good first loop, but after the injury, I suffered the first few months of the year with a torn calf muscle, I haven’t done enough longer runs, so knew I’d fade off, which I did. But psychologically knowing you’re on the final loop and every step is closer to the finish line, really helps. So I managed to keep going and just took a bit more time at aid stations and got myself to that finish line.

This was without a doubt the hardest IM I have done, harder than my full IM, due to the horrid weather conditions and the relentless heat/humidity of the Philippines. But the support here is always amazing and of course, once we cross that finish line, we’re absolutely buzzing and that’s what keeps us signing up again!

On to the next…

Published on 15th June 2023

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