I don't think I realised how much I wanted to go to Hawaii until that roll down procedure.

For those that don't know I finished up outside the automatic slots by 2 places. So I was relying of a few variables the most important one was that 2 people didn't want to go to Hawaii or had already qualified. It turns out that 1 person ahead of me had already qualified so I was relying on 1 person to not want to go. Which I didn't think was very likely as it was a very competitive field. What made it even worse was I was 1 second behind 10th place. I could think of 500 times over the past 9 hours and 32 odd minutes where 1 second was lost - running past my bike in T1; being sick outside the Tiffany shop in downtown Zurich; dropping a sponge and stopping to pick it up; standing with a hose down my back trying to cool myself down. Everywhere there were seconds. However there was one moment that I can point to where I pretty much threw away my chances. About 30 minutes into the bike, 90 minutes into the race I was given a 5 minute penalty for not dropping back quick enough once I was overtaken. I could argue that it was unfair because I was the only person penalised when a few others were doing it. I could argue that I was unlucky to be caught. I could even argue that the gentleman that overtook me shouldn't have pulled in where he did and that he should have carried on to the front of the group. I won't though and as much as it shames me to say by the letter of the law I was caught. I am not a cheat and I took my penalty. 5 minutes standing still. Watching people watch me as they went passed (in groups no further than 4 meters between riders sometimes) and I felt like a criminal. People say the 5 minutes goes slowly. That is an understatement of the highest order. After what felt like 10 minutes I set off again and rode more than legally with my criminal mark on my number - a red line through it. I think it served its purpose as for the majority of the rest of the ride people gave me space like a bad smell! Anyway the race had a different feel from there onwards. Gone was the happy relaxed me and in his place was the determination and anger that I felt necessary to do what was necessary to get me back to where I needed to be. I rode hard and I ran hard. There were good times and there were dark patches. Having a support crew of 3 and a rabbit to chase was amazing as I was getting splits to those in Kona slots and that gave me hope. Without that I would say the urgency wouldn't have been there to keep chasing on the run. So a huge thanks to Nico, Kai and Scott for being the support crew and Pablo for being the rabbit. Once I crossed the line I must admit I got totes emosh. Before the race Pablo and I had worked out (well he had) that we would be finishing pretty much together. We should swim together he should put 15 minutes into me on the bike and I could run him down by that. It didn't quite work out like that as I swam 2 minutes faster, then I stopped for 5 minutes and rode harder than I expected and then he had a very solid performance on the run. If I hadn't stopped for 5 minutes we would have been pretty much crossing the line together and would have avoided all the kerfuffle of the roll down. Anyway. Roll down did go my way. I think it was the person in 7th who didn't take his slot and I got a bit excited. I paid my entry fee and I am off to the Big Island in October. Finally I must say a few more thank you's to some people. Scott for being an amazing host in Zurich. Looking forward to cheering you on next year. Newton Running Shoes for the most comfortable pair of trainers I have ever raced in - the Distance V Zone 3 Wetsuits for providing me with such an amazing wetsuit in the Vanquish. So flexible. Prescision Hydration for helping me race again in the heat without any issues of cramping Xendurance for yet again providing me with the nutrition to get me through the run. I used their Fuel 5 drink at the beginning and half way round the run to great effect. Will