Matias raced the Austria Ironman for the fist time. He had worked with the Physical Edge Ironman team, and was fit and injury free heading into the race. It is a rule in Ironman to never make changes on Race Day.
Matias was nervous at the start of the race. Physical Edge Coach, Fran, was also racing, and able to support Matias. Matias admits he was so nervous he followed everything his experienced coach did.
Against his knowledge and coaching Matias decided to put his Garmin watch on his wrist before the race started, he had never done this before. Unconsciously, he saw Fran put his watch on his wrist and did the same.
The swim started and Matias completed two strokes. On the third stroke a foot kicked his wrist and his watch came off. It sunk to the bottom of the lake. Matias freaked. His Garmin watch was his speedo for his bike and run. It had alarms set to tell him when to eat during the entire race.
There were 3000 Ironman competitors and the swim was bunched. Matias found the swim tough as swimmers fought for space. It crossed his mind to give up after 800 meters. The loss of his watch and the energy used in the swim was a huge psychological blow.
Fortunately Matias pushed himself to finish the swim. He decided to ride on feeling alone. He went on to finish the race in 12.31 hours. He loved the race. Losing his watch was a psychological blow. Fortunately, he recovered to enjoy every second of it.
Lesson to learn: Never change anything on race day.