It may have been a late start to the 2016 season for Danielle Mack but the end result was worth it as she pulled off her third professional IRONMAN win at IRONMAN Taiwan on October 2nd after a forced hiatus from racing for over a year.
Towards the end of 2015 Mack struggled with health issues, spending the following months trying to find answers to resolve them as she detailed on her recent blog post. Forced to take 5 months off of training, it wasn’t until May that she was able to slowly start training again. With a few months of health and training under her belt, Mack set her eyes on IRONMAN Taiwan for her return to racing.
Though there were questions leading into the race whether it would in fact be on with Typhoon Megi on the way, the weather cleared out in time for race day and the town of Penghu banded together to be ready for the race which Mack commended “The local town’s people were incredible and swept all the streets with hand-made brooms (twig brooms) so that we could have clear roads to ride and run on. I can only imagine how long this took and I am so incredibly thankful!”
Mack was well aware that the intense heat of the day would take its toll and was sure to focus on her nutrition to stay hydrated. Starting cautiously she built throughout the race as the temperatures intensified – third out of the water, pedalling to the second fastest ride and cruised to a race best run winning by a 20-minute margin. “Ironman Taiwan was brutally hot! The heat intensified very quickly after the first lap of the bike. It was mandatory to stay up on your nutrition throughout the entire day…just to finish (let alone have a good race). My First Endurance nutrition was what powered me through the scorching heat and onto the Victory. During the first 4km of the run, the heat was absolutely draining me. I knew that I purposely went conservative on the bike in preparation for the heat on the run.”
Elated to be back to racing after a year and to come away with the win Mack expressed
“To win my first race back was a truly phenomenal experience! Just a few months ago, I had doctors telling me that they were not sure I would be able to get back to where I once was, let alone race again!”
“To cross the finish line holding the finisher tape was additional confirmation to me that when you do the right things and stay patient, persistent and positive you can overcome the greatest of obstacles. Don’t let someone tell you, you cannot do something! Always believe in yourself and your dreams!”
October 2, 2016
- Danielle Mack (USA) 9:50:03
- Shiao Yu Li (Taiwan) 10:10:43
- Katharina Grohmann (Germany) 10:21:10