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CLIF Blog

Oct. 21, 2008
Ironman Hawaii—Linsey Leaves Her Mark
Over a week ago IM Hawaii took place in all its triathlon glory.

Over here at Clif we were all excited to see Chris McCormack back in action on the island defending his win from last season. Bryan Rhodes, Katya Meyers & Tyler Stewart were all sure to add to the day’s excitement as well. And here at the Team Clif Bar mothership we were eager to see what Linsey Corbin could muster up on race day.

As we all know by now, Chris’ day didn’t go as he (or any of us) had hoped it would. A mechanical on the bike ended Chris’ race early.

Linsey, however, continued her amazing streak of top-5 finishes ending the day well inside of the top-10 in the 5th spot. A huge congrats to Linsey! Those who know Linsey have known for a while that she’s a legit IM Hawaii contender—now everyone else knows it too.

Here’s Linsey’s race recap:

Greetings,

I am writing you to fill you in on my exciting day that landed me 5th overall and the fastest American at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii! I think it is safe to say that I am still on cloud nine about my breakthrough performance.

People keep coming up to me and asking me if I am surprised about my remarkable race. If anything, I am more surprised to see a dream of mine become reality. From the start of the year, I have always been focused on a top-ten performance here in Hawaii. While I credit several factors to the success of my day, when it came time for the cannon to blow, I knew I was as prepared as ever to "crack a big one." I came out to Kona 5 weeks ago to prepare on the course. I was acclimatized and ready for every inch of the race course. My coach, Lance Watson, had me dialed in with some great breakthrough (and key) workouts. I was racing Ironman Hawaii injury-free for the first time ever. I had a great support network of sponsors and friends behind me. I knew I had done the work...Saturday was just a matter of executing my day.

Pre-race week was amazing! I was so calm and relaxed and excited to show off how hard I had worked and prove to myself that I could compete well here. It was a great week catching up with friends and sponsors that I only get to see once a year. I made sure to keep things in check and only go to town for the necessities, but other than that, I was all about bottling up all of my excitement for race day and preparing for a BIG effort.

Saturday morning, I got into the water nice and early to warm-up. I swam out to the first buoy, and there, in the clear Kona bay, was a giant sea-turtle floating around. It was so surreal to look back at all of the tension and nervous athletes, to hear the drums of Island Breeze...meanwhile I was swimming alongside a sea turtle and feeling so calm and collected. After seeing this little buddy, I knew I was in for a good day and to be blessed with good luck!

The cannon went off, the chaos ensued and the race officially began. I found myself in a great position on the swim being surrounded by several blue (men's) caps and some great women who usually swim 57 minutes or so. It was a relief to see that all the hard work I have put in this year on my swim was paying off. Things turned a bit hairy when I got a calf cramp about 15 minutes before the finish, but I held onto some feet to get out of the water in an hour and be right in the mix.

Out onto the bike course, I was lucky enough to be racing the Scott Plasma 2 for the first time ever. I would like to say that bike just rode itself for 112 miles, but we know that is not the case...I had to do some work as well. I will say, I felt remarkable the entire ride, working my way up through the field and having a great time on the course. I hear it was windy out there, but I was having way too much fun to notice it! At the turn in Hawi (a little over half way) I was in 12th place...I used my pre-race training to my advantage, got down in my aerobars, and bombed down the hill paying no attention to the cross winds and found myself in 5th place with 30 miles to town. At this point, I was beginning to wonder if I had perhaps ridden too hard, as I wasn't quite expecting to be this far up in the field. With 10 miles to go, I had moved into 4th place and couldn't wipe the smile off my face, as I knew I was having the race of my life!

The first part of the run in Hawaii is a cake-walk. There is the ocean breeze, tons of crowd support, and your legs still feel pretty fresh. I stuck with my plan of keeping it nice and patient. At the painted church, about 4 miles into the run, I found myself in 3rd place and just didn't really know what to do with myself! I had never expected to be passing the athletes I had been passing, the ones I had admired in sport in previous years. It was quite humbling to pass Belinda Granger, and then to have her encourage me was even more amazing. I knew if I could stay level-headed and consistent for the next 18 miles, I would end up in the top-ten. Soooo much easier said than done! The Queen K and Energy Lab is where the race really begins (and ends!). On the way out to the Energy Lab I got passed twice and moved to 5th place. I will say I am quite proud of how I handled the situation! I just kept plugging away and never once gave up on the fact that I was having a remarkable day out there. Headed back into town is where I really had to dig deep. 6th place was closing in on me. On one hand, I was ready to surrender myself to 6th place (and I would still be over the moon about my performance). On the other hand, I wanted to keep my streak of finishing in the top-5 in every race this year alive. With 2 miles to go, I was still in 5th, and 6th place was only 200 meters behind me. This is where I really dug deep, and learned some valuable lessons that I will never forget. I mustered up the quickest pace my body could handle and got myself to the top of Palani. Once on Palani, I refused to give up my 5th position. All I remember is sprinting down Palani and breathing like a freight train hoping I wouldn't be caught. Did I mention my new Saucony Fastwitches say "No Brakes" on the bottom?! I turned the two corners to Ali'i, glanced over my shoulder and saw myself in the clear. Was this really happening? Cowboy hat in tow (I had to represent Montana!) I crossed the line in a personal best time of 9 hours and 28 minutes.

My finish was quite surreal and still gives me the chills typing this up. To see all of my hard work pay off is just the most amazing feeling ever. To finish the first American among so many talented competitors is one-of-a-kind. The power of believing is where it is at! A big thank you to my husband Chris, who has taught me that the sky is the limit!

I want to thank you all for being such a big part of my race and allowing me to do what I do: Base Performance, Big Sky Brewery, Clif Bar, Full Speed Ahead, Katalyst, Lifesport Coaching, Missoula Bicycle Works, Oakley, Power Tap, Saucony, Scott Bicycles, TP Therapy, Zipp & Xterrra Wetsuits. I fly the colors with pride!
Posted by:
Le Sensation American
Category:
Team Clif Bar
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About this Blog

We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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