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Oman 70.3 Race Report

In News

So it was time for my 2nd shot at the 70.3. This time in Muscat, Oman and 4 weeks to the day after Dubai 70.3. It was the first time Oman had hosted an Ironman so it was going to be new territory for everyone. During the 4 weeks in between the races I had travelled to the UK a couple of times and skied for a week leading up to the race therefore my training had been more relaxed and varied. It was time to see how it would all fit together again on race day.

I arrived fairly late on the day before the race with just enough time to register, rack the bike and look at the transition set up. The sea leading up to it had been wild so everyone was keeping their fingers crossed for it to settle down, thankfully it did.

The 1st of March started at 3.45am. I'd hardly slept a wink and had some bad stomach cramps which wasn’t an ideal start. I tried to force in the blended breakfast that I usually have before any race (oats, coconut water, protein powder and banana). This wasn’t going in well… it’s a tough one as you are obsessed with getting the nutrition in so you don’t fall off a cliff during the race but on the other hand if it’s really not happening at 4.30am there’s nothing you can do. I figured something was better than nothing.

The swim was a bit choppy but I felt ok. I completed the 1.9km in 25 mins and didn’t overcook it but it’s an area I would really like to improve on. The sea was really shallow so the exit was hard, you couldn’t swim very close to the shore or run, just walk which really goes against everything your body wants to do. I think I was thrown off by this (bizarrely) and didn’t start unzipping my wetsuit and before I knew it I was at my bag in transition starting to take it off from scratch….massive basic error and I lost lots of time!

The bike went well, a 90km loop, not as hilly as I’d expected (but enough hills to add 10-15 minutes to my bike time compared to the flat course in Dubai a few weeks earlier.) There were some good hills to grind up and then some downhills to enjoy. The scenery was amazing, winding up through the mountains of Oman, riding stretches by the sea and through the town of Muscat. The town seemed to really enjoy the fact that they were hosting a race and cars hooted horns as we went by. However the bike wasn’t all rosy, I had some awful stomach cramps during most of the bike and to be honest and thought it might be my race over. Two caffeine gels during the ride seemed to help (probably my mind more than anything). I survived the rest of the bike and got onto the run.

T2 was a lot better! The run was hot and became windy at the end. Everyone felt this and our times reflected it. The run was 4 laps with the heat of the day increasing on every round. However there was lots of support from spectators and support for each other as we passed. As the wind picked up towards the end my legs felt like I was running into a brick wall. I finished the run in 1:42 which was 1st in my Age group for the run split (I was 6th for the swim and 4th on the bike).

Turning the corner and seeing the finish line is the most wonderful sight on the planet at that stage, the relief that you’ve done it plus the elation and emotion that comes with it that you’ve completed another race.

My time was 5:10 overall, placing me 2nd in my Age Group and 12th Female overall. My 2nd place earned me another slot to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice in September so there’s really no backing out now!

There was a great pre and post race atmosphere with lots of the Dubai tri community there. For myself and many others it was our second Half Ironman in a month. Both very different courses and terrains, one hot and fast, one hot and hilly, no two races are the same but a great experience.

Overall it was an awesome race, another one for the memory bank and still lots of areas to improve on. Now onto some hot summer months in Dubai and training for Nice!

- Clare McCulloch

My Nutrition:

  • Race breakfast: blended oats, coconut water, banana, STEALTH Protein Mix (banana flavor) 20g - all blended into a smoothie (only managed half)


·         30 mins before start: 500ml STEALTH Training Mix (Watermelon)

·         15 mins before start: STEALTH Isotonic Energy Gel (Watermelon)


·         2 x 600ml STEALTH Energy Mix with STEALTH Unflavored Energy Mix (each bottle close to 60g of carbs in each)

·         3 x STEALTH Energy Gels (Real Fruit Energy Gel Banana, 2 x Berry with Caffeine)

·         500ml on course water


·         3 x STEALTH Energy Gels and on course water when needed

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