IM Philippines 2018

Ironman Philippines 2018 – Another podium result and one step closer to Kona!

The 2018 edition of IM Philippines was the first time they have run the full distance event in the region. With over 1600 athletes lining up over the weekend, everyone was gearing up to tackle the weather and conditions that Subic Bay can deliver. The forecast was for temps in the high 30’s and standard maximum humidity! The locals and organisers have great passion, and this shined through on race day with so much support and a very well run event.

Beach start – sprinting into the 30deg water. Pic : MultisportPH

Race morning was the typical warm and humid temperatures as predicted, and the swim course was flat and calm. The male pro’s started 30mins after the 70.3 event, and we soon caught the back markers and dodged our way around the first loop. I had a good start, and managed to get a small gap by the first buoy – around 400m in. This gap grew steadily and through out the rest of the 3.8km swim leg I managed to build a lead of around 4mins heading into T1. This earned me the quickest swim of the day clocking just over 51mins. The water was close to 30deg, so we all had to be cautious not to push too hard early on. I found the swim pace was comfortable, and it was nice to be in control of the effort and not having to concentrate on chasing others or surging.

Transtion 1 was a 1km run from the sand to our bikes, and half of this was straight uphill.

Starting the bike with a nice lead. Pic : Anthony Yu

Out onto the bike, I held a steady lead throughout the first 70kms, and around this point Nick Baldwin and Freddie Lampret were starting to close the gap. We came together at the 100km mark, I stopped to grab my special needs bottle and the 2 of them got away on the long descent. I was happy to stick to my steady plan, and eventually caught up and passed Freddie again around 120km. Nick was riding strong, and cruised into T2 with a 5min lead. Cameron Brown was about 3mins back from me starting the run, so the pressure was on.

The weather on the bike was crazy – the first half was quite warm and humid as the sun was coming up, and then some black clouds rolled in. It started pouring down causing some surface flooding and the winds picked up for a solid headwind slog back into town.

This settled down again as we arrived into transition 2, and you could tell it was going to get warm again as the marathon was about to start.

All done in 3rd place. Pic : Anthony Yu

Nick and I were running a similar pace for the first 10kms or so, and Cam bridged up and came by me around the 12km mark. He was hovering around 1-2mins ahead for the next hour and we were all separated by less than 1min 45sec at about the 25km mark! I was feeling good and picked it up a bit, although Nick and Cam managed to lift also (I think we all were slowing down, but the effort was lifting!). Cam almost caught Nick although the final 10km really heated up and we stayed as it was through to the finish. Some great close racing all day!

 

1st place – Nick Baldwin      –        8:50

2nd place – Cameron Brown   –     8:56

3rd place – Simon Cochrane   –     8:58

 

Once again, my race plan didn’t involve power or pace targets, although in the heat I had some heart rate zones to keep an eye on – Heart rate doesn’t lie, and it’s a fine line between just right, and slightly too hard when racing in the heat. I managed to not walk one step in the marathon which was a pre-race goal and plan, I focused on steady pacing and grabbing water at each aid station on the fly. I handled the heat a lot better at this race and put this down to a very focused heat prep build up. Fire me a message if you are keen to hear how I did this, and if you need any help building up to some hotter races this season!

Podium presentation. Pic : AsiaTRI.com

It was a great event to be a part of and it was good to see so many kiwis over there racing – a nice change from the cold weather setting in back home! A big thanks to the events team who made us feel welcome all week and organised all the transfers / meetings seamlessly!

 

My sponsors and supporters are great as always, and are a huge part of my team that I couldn’t do with out!

CEEPO BICYCLES / ORCHARD GOLD / ST PIERRE’S SUSHI / SMITH OPTICS

 

Its always exciting and motivating knowing that so many people and family are tracking the race back home.

Talk soon,

 

Simon.

 

 

 

 

 

Ironman New Zealand – 2018

Training and racing had been going great over the summer and I was looking forward to lining up for my 27th Ironman race. (9th race at Ironman Taupo). I knew my form in each discipline had taken a step up and I was looking forward to executing a race I knew I had in me. I had decided prior to the race that I wouldn’t use a bike computer or run watch at all, as over the last couple of years of racing in the Professional field, it is a lot more clear that it is more about reacting to the race and other athletes, and less about a steady Time Trial effort. I knew my bike and run were good and that my internal pacing is usually spot on. Time to trust my body and the hard work form the previous months of training!

This year the weather was great, just some light winds and looking like a warm afternoon – we were set for a quick day!

Set for a nice fast day!

 

Goal for the swim : Strong start – nail the first 400m, make the front pack, and swim on feet to conserve energy.

This year I decided to start over to the left to have some clear water at the start. Dylan McNeice, Braden Currie and Callum Millward had a similar idea, although it was still well spaced out for us with most other Pro men cramped over by the right hand buoy. Had a strong start and after 200m or so we drifted right and ‘met up’ with the other quick swimmers who joined to make the front pack. I could see all of the swimmers I wanted to be with were there, and settled in for a great swim.

49min 11sec – 1:16/m pace

 

Goal for T1 : Hard running and quick out on to the bike.

Great transition, legs felt good and raced up the stairs, dumped wetsuit in the bag and off to bike, helmet on and out!  (2min 52sec)

Powering home over the last 20km. Pic by Bevan McKinnon

 

Goal for the bike : Start strong, and don’t be afraid to push the pace and follow some early moves. Position myself well in the front pack to make sure I don’t get dropped. 

This year the first section of the bike wasn’t quick at all, I was behind Mike Phillips and Braden, and no one was really looking to push too hard. The pace rolled on as we were caught by Cam Brown and Joe Skipper at the 45km turn and from there the tempo had definitely lifted. There were a few surges and I got strung off the back of the group a couple of times and hard to really fight to get back on. This is where I decided to go to the front and not drop back more than a couple of guys. Terenzo, Joe and Mike got away from the front group around 75km and managed to build a solid gap on the 2nd lap. I stayed near the front and felt great, lifting the effort during the last 20kms when I could tell everyone was getting a bit tired. I lead the group into T2 and was looking forward to the run. Great first race on my new Ceepo Viper-R, very comfortable position and could stay aero all day!

4hrs 31mins – 39.9km/h average. 

 

 

Goal for T2 : Smooth and controlled. 

Far from it! Ran into T2 and collected bag from the volunteer.. emptied bag and realized they had given me the wrong bag (cams bright orange shoes fell out instead of my green Sauconys). Had to run back and find my bag in the line up and then back to business. (1min 42sec)

 

Heading out on the run. Pic by Korupt Vision for Australian Triathlete Magazine

 

Goal for the run : Start strong and run the first lap by feel, dig deep during the last lap.

I found my self exiting transition just in front of Cam Brown, Callum Millward, and Dylan McNeice. Cam quickly bridged up to me and as he went to go past I decided to go with him and see how the pace felt. We were running around 3:40/km for the first 10km, and this was feeling great. The headwind back into town started to take its toll and around 11km I decided to ease back slightly and Cam carried on. (running a 2:41!) The second lap was tough but I just focused on getting some nutrition in and holding good form. As I turned in town for the final time (28km) I could see Dylan and Callum only a couple of mins back and looking strong. I really wanted to finish strong so decided to keep pushing and not look back. I got back into a good rhythm, and picked the pace up slightly for a strong finish.

2hrs 56mins – 4:11/km pace

Final push for home. Great shot from Mitch Buckley

 

 

Overall – 8hrs 21mins – 7th Professional Male. 

 

Massive thanks to my sponsors, family and supporters.  I couldn’t do this sport with out you. And to my wife Larisa, who at the time of me writing this is 6 days over due with our first child. Your support over the Ironman weekend was amazing and I am excited for the next big event!

My athletes looking nice and relaxed the day before the race!

My Coached athletes also had a great day out, and it was awesome to be able to get out on course after I was done to cheer them home! Its been great watching them all progress in the build up and I really enjoy the process of customising the specific plan for each athletes goals!

I have a few spots left for coaching new athletes, so get in touch via my contact form or email simon@simoncochrane.net to chat about some options!

Happy training, and talk soon!

 

2018 Port of Tauranga Half Ironman

 

The Tauranga Half Ironman is a favourite race for many kiwi athletes to kick off the new year with. It is usually a nice warm summers day with great crowd support, a fast bike, and a challenging run!

 

Pilot Bay – Swim course with Mount Maunganui in the background

 

The forecast this year was for wind and rain, although as race day dawned the sun was out and we were in for a scorcher, along with some stiff winds out on the course.

The start went well for me, but I found my self in no-mans land behind the quick front pack of 6 guys (including eventual 1st and 2nd place finishers Dylan McNeice and Mike Phillips), but well ahead of the main group behind. Exiting 1min down from the front, it was going to be a tough task to reel in the group of 6 on my own.

(Swim split – 26:35) – 1:20/100m pace

 

Swim exit caught by Mark Robotham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got settled in to a solid rhythm on my bike and was joined by Cam Brown and Dan Plews around the 30km mark. The pace was on as we pushed hard right back to T2. The front group had splintered, and guys were dropping off over the final stages into the headwind.

(Bike split – 2:11) – 41km/h Average

Flying out of T2 trying to keep Cam Brown in sight

 

 

 

A brutal pace set by Cam Brown out onto the run course had Dan and I on the ropes, although we had now moved up into 4th and 5th place on the road. A battle with Dan around the base track and newly installed stair section each lap was where I managed to gain a bit of time and run in for a strong finish in 4th place. Very happy with my form leading into Ironman NZ in 6 weeks time.

(Run split – 1:21) – 3:47/km Average

 

 

 

 

 

Ironman New Zealand + Ironman Australia

 

These two Iconic races are the longest running Ironman events down this end of the world, with each of them having had their 30th anniversaries within the last couple of years – there is a lot of history and that is why they have such a great turnout of competitors and spectators come race day! They both have very passionate communities with locals who embrace the event and show massive support on the day!

 

The swim courses couldn’t be more different  – Taupo with the crisp crystal clear lake and straight forward course, to Port Macquarie’s warm murky salt water zigzagging its way through the yachts and with an interesting mid swim exit climb up over some stairs and a weir – but the bike and run have a lot of similarities – a rough rolling bike course and a multi-lap flat run with a few short hills. This year both of the Professional fields were stacked full of very quick guys and multiple Ironman Champions, as the Asia Pacific Champs at Melbourne had been cancelled – these were the 2 races that were the next closest in the schedule and location wise.

Lake Taupo on a mint day!
Lake Taupo on a mint day!

 

Below is a brief rundown of how both of these races went and the progression in my training and racing over the last season!

 

Ironman New Zealand.

I have made great gains in my swim over the last year and was looking forward to positioning myself right in the mix, rather than chasing from the word go! – this showed through with a personal best swim of 48:30 and I was comfortable leading out the chase pack.

You always know you are in good company and setting up a solid race when you are no further than 50m away from the legend himself Cam Brown for the first 4.5hrs of the race! We worked bloody hard in the first 45 kms and managed to bridge right up to the guys at the front of the race who had exited the water a few minutes ahead of us. The ride was another personal best for me – clocking 4hr 32mins. Just shy of a 40km/hr average on those Taupo roads is quick going by any ones standards – Unless your name is Dougal Allen who posted an impressive new bike course record of 4hr 22mins!

Mr and Mrs Cochrane's bikes ready to go!
Mr and Mrs Cochrane’s bikes ready to go at IMNZ!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#ScottieTPhoto - great shot out on course!
#ScottieTPhoto – great shot out on course!

Getting off the bike after the big effort for 180kms, I was pleased to still be able to execute a well paced marathon of 3hr 3mins and run my way in to 9th place with a time of 8hrs 28mins.

 

The recovery after a big race is now getting better and quicker after each one – I think the body is now used to backing up the big training blocks and the Ironman race day isn’t too much of a shock to the system. The week after Ironman New Zealand was spent in Rarotonga for our honeymoon and was such good timing to enjoy some downtime in the sun and nice food!

Epic week in Rarotonga for our honeymoon!
Epic week in Rarotonga for our honeymoon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ironman Port Macquarie was next on the cards and training ramped right back up to get ready for this one.

 

 

Ironman Port Macquarie

I knew the swim pace at the front of this race was going to be furious as the level and depth of top notch swimmers even out did the one’s at Taupo. Once again – after the initial 500m max sprint, I had found myself at the front of the first chase pack and was quite comfortable and happy to lead the way through the inlet and canal swim. Sighting was very important and I stuck to my line and this helped pick up a couple of others who had drifted off the back of the fish up the front. Exiting in 46:50, this was a new PB although was still 2:30 back from the front of the race – showing how important the swim in an Ironman race is.

Swim exit at IM Port Mac
Swim exit at IM Port Mac

 

 

I had made the decision to ride slightly less aggressive than at Taupo, as the 2nd lap of the bike is where guys really feel the pinch as the wind picks up and the rough roads start to take their toll. I managed to negative split the 2nd lap of the bike by 20seconds although in hindsight I probably should have attacked the first lap a bit harder. Off the bike in 4hr 45mins but this was a bit too far back to make decent inroads to the guys heading on to the run.

Posting one of the quickest marathons of the day – 3rs flat – was enough to bridge up and pass a few guys, but I didn’t execute the run I know I am capable of.  I crossed the line in 6th place in a time of  8hrs 36mins  

 

 

IM OZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This season has given me a lot more confidence. Each and every race has stepped up and the consistent improvement is still heading in the right direction. Each discipline is even across the board and now I am only a small percentage off the front of some big races and am looking forward to challenging the podium in the upcoming events as I continue to build and lay down the blocks in the long term plan. I am still learning at each and every race and now feel like I can RACE the full 8.5hrs right at threshold, and will keep pushing the boundaries – its exciting to see how far the body, and MIND can go!

 

 

A massive thanks must go out to my team of sponsors and supporters! Every one of you make a huge difference and keep me striving to perform week in and week out – and to my athletes that I coach, I am still learning something each race to give back the knowledge and experience that I have absorbed through out the last 22 Ironman races.

 

Keep up to date with my training and racing plans  :

 Follow on Twitter –   @CochraneSimon

 Instagram – @CochraneSimon

Athlete page on Facebook –  SimonCochraneIronman

 

Embrace the winter of training – Consistency is key!

Cheers,

Simon.

 

P.S – fire me a message if you want to talk about some coaching options – now is the perfect time to get committed for the summer season…. not 2 weeks before it starts 🙂

Sponsors

 

 

 

Ironman Japan 2015 – 3rd Place

 

‘Climate’ & ‘Climb-it’ are the 2 main themes for Ironman Japan!

 

Ironman Japan has always been a race venue high up on my list. The rural and scenic location of quiet Lake Toya sets the scene for a picturesque and easy race. Yea right!

Lake Toya
Lake Toya on a nice clear day!

 

It is one of the hardest Ironman race courses around the world. Starting with a beautiful and clear, warm lake swim, the ride takes you around the lake and into the mountains for 2800m of vertical climbing,  up to 15% grade in a few spots before descending down into the valley to start the marathon. A hot and humid run winds its way up a long and steep gravel off road track for the first section, before a 4km straight down hill back to the lake side. The final run back into town rolls along the road with the final stretch of lakeside path to the finish line. Add in the heat, humidity, rain and wind – it was an adventure!

Japan Bike elevation
Bike course elevation chart – perfect warm up for a marathon!

 

I was super excited to race as training had been tracking nicely over the last few winter months. I flew in just a couple of days prior and adjusted well to the warm weather and high humidity. We found out pretty early that the lake was fairly warm and that the pro wetsuit cut off temp of  21.9deg was likely.

5am on race morning the water temp measured 23.5deg, so the call was made and the swim skin went on. This would even out the field and show up some of the weaker swimmers that wouldn’t be getting the benefit of added buoyancy.

Lake Toya 2
Crystal clear warm water

Swim –  I had a great start and went right to the front after 400m or so and had the Brazilian Thiago Vinhal right with me. It continued this way, getting a Brazilian foot massage for 3.8kms while we put nearly 4mins into the rest of the Pro men. I was first out in 51mins,had the quickest transition and lead out onto the bike with over a 1min lead on Thiago and 4mins over the 2nd swim pack.

IM Japan - Simon Cochrane Bike
One of many hills

Bike –   The first section around the lake was flat and fast. I had to stay controlled and not get too excited with the lead motorbike and media bikes around, knowing that I had a big day in the saddle ahead of me! I flew through the first 20kms in under 40mins and fuelled up before the first of many hill climbs were to begin.

That was the last of any flat section, the rest of the 180km loop consisted of long climbs, shorts steep climbs, false flats and awesome fast descents. Seeing the big ‘Black bear warning’ signs was quite amusing, and I was just hoping they were still in hibernation mode. A few foxes ran across the road in front of me and also a Japanese local reversed out while I was heading down the quickest section of the course! I managed to swerve around the back of him as there was no chance of braking – checked my speedo afterwards and was ticking along just shy of 90km/hr!

The rest of the ride was less eventful, I was passed by 3 riders just before the long 18km climb and decided to stick to my own plan and not go with them. The steepest little section was about 5kms before T2 and the 5min ‘out of the saddle’ effort made sure that your legs had been totally fried before the marathon starts! Into transition in 4th, 5mins behind 3rd and 10mins back from the front two.

Simon Cochrane - IM Japan run
Final stretch along the cobbles

Run –  Straight off the bike you could tell the temp was getting up, every step was getting more and more humid as I started running down for the first couple of kms into the gulley. This only became hotter as the road turned into straight uphill gravel trail for another 3kms. Steadily gaining time on the front guys and feeling strong, I just stuck to my plan of running an even paced marathon. Aid stations were between 3 and 5kms apart so making sure you got what you needed at each one was very important. I passed  3rd place at about 15kms and he was obviously paying for his over zealous riding. I had to make a pitstop at 25kms and never look forward to a hot portaloo but when you gotta go.. Opened the door to find a ‘squat style’ Japanese toilet and could only laugh to myself. Just what you feel like doing half way through an Ironman marathon! The last part of the race winded its way around the coast before and out and back section on the lake front. It was good to see all the supporters and also how close the front 2 guys were. I had made up some time although all 3 of our run slits were within 1 minute of each other.

 

What a challenging course,  talking to everyone after the race, there was a fairly overwhelming conclusion that this was the hardest Ironman course around. After 20 Ironman races I can definitely say that also!

It was a great week hanging out with a few Kiwis and the group travelling with the Tri-travel crew, awesome celebrations with some great Japanese food and a few Asahi’s!

Kiwis at Japan
Kiwis in Japan
Awards Japan
Great food and beer!

 

 

Massive thanks to my parents for making the trip over, and to all my supporters and sponsors back home – I have a couple of weeks off now before I plan out the NZ season. Summer is not far away! The next big event for Larisa and I is our wedding in November!  The #dreamteam will be official. Lots to look forward to, and exciting to see the results improving each race. Very happy with a solid season and keen to start the next one refreshed and rearing to go!

Keep up to date with my training and racing plans  :

 Follow on Twitter –   @CochraneSimon

 Athlete page on Facebook –  SimonCochraneIronman

Running – Benefits of a faster cadence

Run - Cadence

Running – Cadence (number of steps you take per minute)

“An athlete with perfect technique will always perform better than an equal athlete with poor technique”

 

Today we take a quick look at running Cadence.

How to check your cadence: Warm up for 5mins and then get running at your ideal race pace, count how many times your right foot hits the ground in a 60seconds. Double that number and you have your steps per minute (cadence)

 

If you are frequently injured or feel inefficient, gradually increasing your step rate (which in turn decreases your stride length) by five to 10 percent may help you run more economically while lowering your risk of injury.

A longer stride causes runners to extend their legs more, landing with a foot strike in front of the body creating a braking effect. This not only slows you down but can increase the risk of injuries by increasing the vertical loading pressure on the lower leg muscles and joints.

Increasing your cadence can also help with the overall metabolic cost of running. You are a lot more efficient when you are moving forward, the more that the body moves ‘up and down’ the more energy it will take you to run.

Focusing on some running drills and technique can help you with the transition into a slightly faster cadence. There isn’t a perfect cadence that suits everybody – but most people out there would benefit from a slight increase and might be pleasantly surprised at the added performance benefits that come their way.

 

Most common benefits may include:

–         Improved forward momentum

–         Less effort

–         Increased speed

–         Lighter ground impact

–         Less injuries

So have a go at upping the cadence – it might just be that key you need to unlock your next level of running!

 

Contact Simon for Triathlon and run coaching – simon@simoncochrane.net

– www.facebook.com/SimonCochraneIronman

– twitter.com/CochraneSimon

Hawaii Ironman World Championships 2011

So stoked to be back in Kona! , I arrived 7 days out from the race feeling alot more prepared than I was a year ago, after the good season of racing in Europe. I was staying with a local guy that I met last year 30mins out of Kona in Waikoloa. It was nice and relaxing to be away from all the action of race week , and just being able to pop into Kona for the registration and race briefing/dinner etc. And a bonus that I had my own room with a new king size bed and a view of the ocean!

There were a few dramas on the trip over, the airline ‘misplaced’ my bike and gear and I missed one of my flights waiting for airport staff to try and locate my luggage..  My bike and gear finally arrived 4 days before the race and I got a few good sessions in on the course. I didn’t have any hard sessions planned as I had raced the  Half Ironman, Aix en Provence 70.3  in France 10 days earlier as a good last hit out. The body was feeling quite fresh after a real easy week of short sessions, the only niggle was a blister on my right heel that was still hanging around from the previous race.

 

Swim – Race day came around quite quickly and before I knew it I was stepping into the water at Kona with the other 1800 age group athletes. I decided to start further to the left this year after getting smashed in the chaos of the swim start last year. The swim started pretty casually and I just got into a pack of around 20-30 people. the pace was a bit slow but I decided to stay in the group as it was going to be a long day! There was a bit of swell and current so I was happy to come out of the water after a comfortable swim in 1:04.

Kona Ironman Swim Start

Bike – The pace on the bike explodes straight way as everyone is keen to get out on the ‘Queen K’ highway. We had a slight tailwind on the way out to the turn around at Hawi so I decide to push the pace. I was steadily passing groups of cyclists, even though so many athletes were drafting! It was good to see the draft busters being alot more aggressive than usual and handing out penalties to most of the culprits. I was feeling really good (apart from a wasp sting on my quad!) as alot of people were struggling with the intense cross winds out at Hawi, I had ridden up to a group of 10 solid athletes to pace off on the way back to town so I kept the intensity up. The average speed slowed a bit but the effort was still near maximum as we battled the headwind for the last 40km. I kept the power on as much as I could and entered the second transition with a Bike split of 4:59.

 

Simon Cochrane - Kona Ironman Bike

Run – I ran out of transition and my legs felt great, I was holding 4:07/km till the first turn around at 8km, the heat was intense as the wind on this part of the course was light. I was craving water and ice and grabbed as much as I could without slowing through the aid stations. The next section from town out to the ‘energy lab’ is slightly up hill and coupled with a headwind my energy was starting to fade. It is hard to keep the pace up when people all around are starting to walk, you have to keep the mind strong and remind yourself to run your own race. I kept fuelling the body and using the ice and sponges to try and cool my body down, but he heat was taking its toll over the last 10km. My legs and lungs were screaming but relatively comfortable compared to the extreme heat that was cooking me! I was still on for a good marathon time and managed to keep my average pace under 4:30/km for a personal best of 3:09.

 

I was really happy with how the day went and had a solid placing, 2nd New Zealander home and 12th in the 25-29 age group in the world with a  time of 9:18.

Simon Cochrane - Kona Ironman Run 

Ironman France – Nice

The South coast of France is so impressive, Crystal clear waters, hot sunny weather and lots of steep mountains! The perfect setting for an awesome Ironman course. The France Ironman in Nice is known as one of the hardest courses on the circuit. With the biggest field of over 2700 athletes,  all competitors start the swim at once (beach start diving in off the rocky shore), the cycle has over 2500m of vertical ascending and the dead flat 4 loop run course is a scorching 35+ degrees with no shelter or shade!

Ironman France - Nice

Ironman France - Race Start

The Swim start is a chaotic place to be in any race let alone starting with 2700 athletes all at once off a beach of boulders, my swim was OK but didn’t feel as good as I was hoping, my shoulder was still recovering from a pinched nerve and wasn’t comfortable when I pushed too hard. I was pleased to exit the water in 1:00 and head out onto the bike. The scenery was incredible and helped to keep your mind off the pain of all the climbs. The biggest climb was 21km long and windy, it was hard to watch as my average speed was diminishing , but I was still passing alot of cyclists and an awesome descent making the most of the closed roads and came into T2 after a bike split of 5:22 in 11th place in age. The run was hotter than anything I had experienced before so I was very careful with keeping the fluids and nutrition up. athletes were collapsing and sitting down all over the place and I was worried that maybe I was setting out too fast for the conditions.. I felt good the whole way and managed to press on and win my age group. My marathon time of 3:10 was over 10mins quicker than 2nd place.

Ironman France - Ride

 

I wasn’t expecting to do as well as I did in this race and ended up winning my age group by over 18 minutes in 9:40, and qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.

Ironman France Podium
Ironman France Podium (1st in Age)

 

 

 

Ironman 70.3 Italy – Pescara

This Half Ironman was the inaugural event for Italy, situated at the Adriatic seaside in small town called Pescara. The Italians know how to do the ‘Pasta Parties’ really well with fresh local produce, it was the tastiest one ive ever experienced!

Ironman 70.3 Italy - Race Start

The Ocean swim was inside a break water and was a 1km ‘out and back’ along the shore. It was a wave start so was quite hard to tell who was ahead of who once we got out onto the bike. Quite a hilly course through the Abruzzo county side and finishing with a 3 lap beach front run along the promenade in the stifling heat.

I had a solid swim exiting in 26 minutes and was able to get into a good group of cyclists to pace off. I only took my TT bike away and it was soon clear why most of the field had chosen to race on road bikes.. Some steep inclines early on split up the field but I was able to regain some lost time coming into a nice strong head wind on the last flatter part of the loop.

The run quickly became congested as everyone converged on the 3 lap course, I was happy with my 1:21 half marathon in the 32+degree heat after the challenging bike. This was enough to earn 2nd in age group and fastest run split.