When I lined up for Ironman Australia last weekend, what I didn't realise was that I would be lining up for the last time in a race. Although my race was marred by some mechanical difficulties on the bike, there was actually something more serious going on, and without having to go into the boring details I'll just say that it was very apparent that endurance racing was not what my body can do, wants to do or should be doing.
Although many know that I have been really struggling with my motivation in this sport in recent times I did have plans to race and obviously finish the Ironman in Port Macquarie and Ironman Cairns next month, before finishing the year out with some half distance races, the distance which despite not being as successful in in the past I actually prefer for it's less demanding nature and quicker recovery times. So although my departure from the sport was not too far away, it does come at a bit of a shock and not on my terms. It's not the way I would have picked to end my career. Hopefully in time the many good memories I have of my time in the sport will come flooding back.
I also have to remind myself of my major goal these last few years since I did come back into the sport in 2012 after having Benny. I always just wanted to survive as long as I could as the lifestyle enabled me to be so flexible and for Benny to spend a great amount of quality time with both of his parents. Although at times I think it surprised and perhaps frustrated my past coaches at my very unambitious nature in the sport, with a lack of any real goal, I think I can be personally proud that Benny has had the best first 5 years of his life that I could ever hope to give him. I absolutely have no regrets and feel so grateful that I was able to live the life I have been able to in these last few years.
I also feel incredibly grateful that although I will no longer be a part of this sport that has meant so much to me this past decade, that I will still be able to be a part of helping others' to achieve their personal goals in this sport. I feel so grateful that I have had some amazing people allow me to coach and guide them and I hope that I can continue to do so for many years to come.
I would like to thank my sponsors, especially my bike sponsor Ceepo who I have been with since 2008. To my current sponsors I greatly have appreciated your support and I am sorry I am not able to continue. Ceepo, Project Clothing, Asics, Rudy Project, Revbox, Keywin, Sweet Cheeks.
While I was still in Australia I was able to see the positives. Port Macquaire was a magical place and I was so glad that I had the opportunity to travel and race there for the first time. It reminded me of a less congested and more laid back Sunshine Coast with beautiful beaches. I was happy I was able to enjoy a few days with my family afterwards and was quietly happy that I could walk normally and really enjoy that time. When I arrived back in New Zealand it was a bit different. I felt numb and a bit lost with really coming to terms with the fact I would not be training and following my usual routine, but I am a pretty resilient person and I am coming to terms with things, and am already seeing quite a few positives in the situation. I have already paid up in full in regards to flights and accommodation for Cairns, so it looks like we will be going on what I guess will be my first real holiday in well over a decade. We won't have to lug the bike through the airports, Cairns is a fantastic destination which is why I was racing it in the first place, and I will be able to support one of my athletes in her first Ironman. So all good.
I'd like to thank anyone who took an interest in my career over the last decade and all the people who have helped me in some way during this time which there are far too many to mention. I will no longer keep this website going but will still be active on my coaching website coachginacrawford.com Ka kite ano, Gina.