Aaron Buchan

Race report – Christmas Day run 2023- Failures make you stronger.

Title: “From Setbacks to Success: A Running Journey Down Under”

After returning to Australia following a two-year stint in Thailand, the uncooperative weather in Adelaide during December kept me off the bike. Instead, I redirected my focus to running, a passion that had taken a hit after an accident ten months prior. Severe neck pain and headaches limited my runs to no more than ten kilometers, until the incredible physiotherapist, J.P. from Pro Health Care Kidman Park, worked his magic, eliminating the pain and allowing me to resume training without the accompanying discomfort.

With only 2-3 hours of bike training per week due to the weather, I intensified my running efforts, clocking in 6-8 hours weekly. Despite putting on some muscle weight, I felt confident in my ability to regain my previous running form. Building up to the challenge, I incorporated 20-kilometer tempo runs with a race pace finish, setting the stage for a personal record attempt.

On race day, battling unpredictable winds and a strategic course with headwinds and tailwinds, I set out with determination. Starting conservatively at a 4:20 pace, I watched a small group pull away, knowing that I would catch up as I warmed up. Maintaining a steady 4:10 pace through the gusty conditions, I navigated switchbacks and began overtaking those who had taken off earlier. Utilizing the assistance of my Nike Vaporfly’s, I maintained excellent posture and technique, even when faced with challenging headwinds at the 15-kilometer mark.

The last two kilometers brought a momentary struggle, resembling an “old man shuffle,” but I summoned my strength for a strong finish. Crossing the line at 1:29:10, I achieved a personal best, surpassing my previous record by 40 seconds. The triumph fuels my motivation to continue honing my running skills.

As I reflect on the journey, the resilience gained from setbacks over the last two years has shaped me into a stronger, more determined individual. This success is not just a personal victory but a testament to the power of perseverance.

Looking ahead, my next challenges include the Proclamation Day Swim on the 28th (pending a weather check) and the Aquathon State Champs on January 6th, leading up to the Australia Day Triathlon at West Lakes on January 26th.

Merry Christmas to everyone, and may the spirit of overcoming challenges inspire your own journeys in the coming year!

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