Well what a month: Not only did I complete my first ever Half-Ironman in June, but I have smashed all my previous records, hitting 136% of my target distance!
It was also good to have some well-spread results with, for the first time, better totals in the Swim & Run columns than my ‘other’ section, meaning I was able to get in more proper triathlon training (and racing) than classes, machines, etc. Funnily enough my cycling total was actually one of the lowest of the year at just under 300 km, but I suspect this was as much as I nearly did not want to touch a bike again after those horrendous hills in the Avenger…
As for progress with the Chile Challenge, this month saw me pass the halfway point of just over 2200 km. It also finished with reaching the capital, Santiago, which is conveniently located right in the centre of the nation. As such, if you visit Chile, chances are you will end up here as some point or other, whether as a stop off on the way to San Pedro, Patagonia or Easter Island. Whatever you are here for, I highly recommend spending some time to get to know this place and the variety is has to offer.
Santiago is a large, modern city with around 6 million people living there, just over a third of the population. Climbing the San Cristobal hill in the north of the centre brings spectacular views of the urban landscape, with the Los Dominicos area and its backdrop of the Andes mountains just 20 km or so to the east, and lush wine regions to the south & west.
In the centre you have the main Plaza de Armas (above right) surrounded by museums and churches, as well as being the point from which distances to all other cities in Chile are measured (important for this challenge then!). Obviously my training also never ends, and I even managed to get in a quick workout in one of the open gyms in the parks around the city centre (below left)! Finally this is a place you can wander around neighborhoods such as Bellavista & Providencia in the evenings, with plenty to see such as the fountain display (below) and on the night we went even a pop-up ice bar, carved out of huge blocks while we watched. I can’t wait to be back again this time next month!