“I will give it all and shed the last drop of swat. It will take me a lot of work. This is not an easy route, but I will enjoy it on Sunday night in my bed, if God allows me to,” said Mata, who has extensive experience in international events.
For Cristy, as known by her friends, this has not been an easy year because she does not have as much time as in previous year to train.
"I have trained more thoroughly whenever I have the opportunity because I do not have as much time as before. The good news is that every time I train, I take it very seriously and focus on what I am doing,” she said.
As for the time expectation, Mata said that last time she did a half record time of 5.26, “even though my best time is 5.07.” She also mentioned that she has never raced on this route.
"I have no idea what will come of this. It is exciting, Whether or not I am among the favorites. Competition is competition. And you never know," said Mata.
On the other hand, Gaby Aued said she’s ready to compete, even though she has been able to train as last year (Ironman Cozumel) due to labor issues.
"In December, I recovered, and in January, things got complicated because I had to travel to Ecuador very often," said the executive and triathlete.
Something Aued has very clear is that "no matter how well prepared you are, the sun and heat conditions get very strong," making it the most difficult stage of the tour.
Aued, who is already qualified to compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Cup in September in Las Vegas, said that she always takes the races very seriously “giving the best of me.”
Both Mata and Aued were considered, by many triathlon experts, as the first Panamanian women to cross the finish line, something that makes Gaby very proud.
Mata believes that "it is best to relax, eat well, and enjoy the approaching battle."
"The country is full of international figures that many do not recognize. I am very excited to be around people with such level," concluded Mata.
According to the event organizers, all professional athletes have arrived to the country. They hope that Sunday will be a great day.