Amanda StevensIronman 70.3 Brasilia.  It was fantastic to be back in Brasil! I must start off by saying a huge OBRIGADO/THANK YOU, to Tadeu and his family for taking care of me. You all are an amazing family and I really appreciate all you did for me! Hopefully you can come visit me and check out Oklahoma or Colorado sometime soon! Also, THANKS to Albino of REI Azucar for sponsoring me for the race, so lucky and proud to represent your company! Race day came quick and before I knew it, I was once again in the water waiting for the gun to go off. In Brazil, they do a single mass start, all Age-groupers and pros together. So many bobbing caps in the water before the start=quite a cool sight! The gun sounded and off we went. The swim was a rectangle, with the first long section, straight into the sun. Although I couldn’t see a thing, let alone a buoy, I was happy to have a few pro men to swim with. After about 800meters, they got a gap on me, and the rest of the swim (and race!) I was solo. I got on the bike and immediately my legs felt like they had lead in them. Ohhhhh, this could be a long day! I got my head right, kept the pedals turning over, and was happy that my legs came back to life about 15miles in. The bike course was 3 loops with alot of fun on-off ramps around the highways. I was surprised at how windy it was1 I got whipped around a bit on the open bridges, but man it sure was fun to fly down the road on the long straight aways with the wind at my bike. I didn’t see any of the other girls the entire ride, so I had no idea where I stood. I came into T2, ready to put together a solid run, which was also 3 loops. There were a few pro-men just up the Amanda Stevensroad, so I focused on them and tried to reel them in. I passed on at about 6km and as I started the second lap I thought I was going to catch the other one….however, he had other plans and picked up the pace considerably. I did my best to try to match this, but his gap grew and continued to grow. It was starting to get hot, and the sun feels so much hotter and direct (being close to the equator) that on the second half of the run I was happy to have my sponges. They gave us 2 sponges in our race packets and you could do with them what you wanted. I chose to just run with one in my race top. As you approached the aid stations, there was a chest level ‘trough’ full of freezing cold water, you’d dip your sponge in as you ran by and then grab what you needed from the aid stations, pretty nifty! The finish line came quickly and was so fun to celebrate down the chute as they played ‘Celebration.’ Great to get my finishers medal from Carlos (Thanks Carlos you did a wonderful job! Can’t wait til next year!!) What a great way to end my month of racing, with a 1st place finish and great to carry that good energy into my final training block leading into Kona!

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