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Ironman World Championships - 7th Place
Well, another Ironman World Championship has come and gone.  And once again the Island did not disappoint, challenging us mentally and physically in every way possible.

I walked away from Kona this year with a mixed bag of emotions.  Last year I had the performance of my career and raced up to my potential in every way.  This year I lined up better prepared both mentally and physically, yet my result was the same finishing in 7th.  I had big expectations of myself and though my performance in many ways fell short of those, I was extremely proud of the effort I gave. I had to fight tooth and nail, asking more of my body then I ever have before.  It made me appreciate just how special of a race Kona is and how hard it is to perform consistently year over year there.
There were a couple highlights of the day, however, that I'd love to share.  Last year I exited the water in 2nd to last and over 15 minutes behind the leaders.  This year, after a tremendous amount of work with my coach, Matt Dixon of purplepatch fitness, I narrowed that gap to 10 minutes and swam the majority of the race with a pack of 10 or so women. 
It was my first race EVER swimming with a pack vs solo, so you can imagine the party I was having in my head when I found myself surrounded by other people!  I could hardly believe it!  This was a huge step up for me and something we were extremely excited about.  They say you can't win the race on the swim, but you can lose it, so this was some exciting validation for the work put in.

The second was at the very end of the race.  I was running in 8th place and with 2 kilometers to go I was 45 seconds behind 7th.  Matt yelled to me "you need to throw the kitchen sink at this RIGHT NOW - I don't care if you don't finish! Give it everything!".  As I made the right turn to run down Palani I said to myself "you either go now or you don't go at all".  I put my head down and sprinted.  At the bottom of the hill I had narrowed the gap to 10 seconds, and somehow, despite being at my absolute limit, managed to make the pass into 7th and run a 6 minute mile to finish the race.  It was an exciting end to a very very tough day and showed me how resilient the mind and body is.
After a few easier and more restful weeks I'm getting back on the horse and prepping for my last two races of the season: Xiamen 70.3 in China onNovember 13th, followed by Ironman Western Australia on December 4th where I hope to defend my title from last year.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support.  This sport is a beautiful combination and constant circle of pain, passion, triumph, disappointment and resilience.  It is a journey and would not be possible without the help and support from SO many people - from my sponsors to my team of coaches, massage therapists, strength trainers and physios to my friends, family and fans.

I'll check in after my season has ended.

Don't dream it.  Be it.
Sarah -
November 13 - Xiamen 70.3 (China)

December 4 - IM Western Australia
KONA Press

Runner's World - Human Race

NPR - Ironman Triathletes Ride the Fine Line Between Healthy and Risky Exercise

Outside Magazine - How Can I Go from Office Worker to World-Class Athlete

Breakfast with Bob - Sarah Piampiano 

Witsup - Wahine Warriors: Sarah Piampiano

Ironman - My Kona Checklist

Endurance Ladies - Betting on Sarah Piampiano

IMTalk - 2016 Kona Super Special

ESPNW - What Athletes Eat

Ironman - "I Want to Win"

Freeplay Magazine - Kona Countdown with Sarah Piampiano

Australian Triathlete Magazine - Kona Contenders

Triathlete Magazine - Kona 2016, Ones to Watch

Spark People - 10 Dos and 4 Don'ts for Recovering & Refueling After a Workout

Innervoice - The Exceptional Introvert

Saucony Runaways: San Francisco
Behind the Scenes
My coach Matt Dixon and I.
My dad ready to cheer!
Pre race start with my coaches Matt Dixon and Paul Buick of purplepatch fitness and my boyfriend Mike Lord.
Post race high-fives with my family, team, and Jesse Thomas.
Awards ceremony!
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Little Red Racing · 338 Bayview Street · San Rafael, CA 94901 · USA

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