Cairns Ironman 2013

After a night of non-stop wind and rain, the sun rose to a nice clear morning in the Cairns harbour. The 70.3 started first and we set off quite late for an Ironman at 7:45am. One bonus from this was that the cafes were open and we had time to grab a quick coffee with the support crew before the race start.

Support Crew

Swim

We had about 5mins to get in and warm up, which didn’t take long as the water temp was up at 23degrees! I had a fairly clean start swimming the first 2k loop near the front of the main pack with Clayton Fettell a couple of minutes ahead of everyone. Coming around the turn buoy I slotted in on Tim Berkel’s feet as the pace had picked up, 20sec later I looked up and realised the main pack had surged forward and now had opened a small gap… I swam steady through the rest of the 2nd loop as we had to weave through the age group field, and make our way up the stairs and onto the pier for the 500m run to T2.

I was glad to get my wetsuit off! The final 15mins of the swim was getting really warm, the water temp combined with the sun heating up was intense.

Exited in 52mins and flew through transition.

Bike

The main pack of guys including Cam Brown, Macca and Matty White had a couple of mins on me heading out onto the highway. Luke McKenzie and Clayton had increased their swim lead and were pushing hard. Everyone kept the pressure on and powered up the coast taking advantage of the solid tail wind right into Port Douglas, I wanted to ride my own race and set the pace that I knew I could hold, knowing that the return trip into the increasing breeze would be challenging. The last 15k back into town was super tough but I knew everyone would be feeling it. Entered T2 after 4hrs 56mins on my bike.

Exiting T2

Run

Run form straight off the bike was great, I passed a couple of guys by kilometre 2, who had pulled the pin early into the run after the tough bike. Out into the cane fields the headwind was still blowing hard and I was getting some positive time splits to the guys up the road. I was pleased with my steady controlled run and trusted that my strong finish would pick off some guys late into the marathon. I passed 3 guys in the final 10k to finish 8th Professional and first Kiwi home!
3:11 marathon and a 9:05 finish

Thanks to my great sponsors: Orchard Gold, Saucony, Endura, TRI N RUN, PRV, Smith Optics, RockTape, Ministry of Swimming and Timex.

The season is going great, and we are on track for the World Champs in Kona!

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IMCairns-run-finish-shoot

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Ironman Cairns 2012

 

Cairns Ironman Logo

What a race! After 5 days of solid rain, wind and humidity, Cairns really turned on the weather for Sunday. Nice and still conditions for the early swim start and perfect hot sunshine for the remainder of the day!  A top class, experienced field turned up with a number of  Ironman champions including Chris McCormack, Cam Brown, Luke Bell and Luke Mckenzie among many others.

 

Ironman Cairns Swim
Ironman Cairns Swim

Swim : 54mins

The swim was a 2-lap course out from the pier in the warm murky waters that were supposedly full of crocodiles and jellyfish, according to the locals. That was the last thing on your mind as the start gun went, a fast pace was guaranteed with this seasoned field, and the group broke up into a few packs around the first buoy as everyone dodged the slower swimmers that had started earlier, in the Half Ironman race. I swam in the 3rd group for the first 1.5 laps then decided to push the pace for the last kilometer exiting 1min ahead of the group and having a clear run through transition.

Ironman Cairns bike course - Coastal highway
Ironman Cairns bike course – Coastal highway

Bike : 5hrs 1min

The bike course headed up the scenic highway to Port Douglas with an out and back section over the  rolling coast road a couple of times, the first 2 groups already had a lead and were working well together to extend the gap.. I ended up riding the entire course solo but just held my power range that I had aimed to race at. The way back to transition really started to heat up and we had to fight a light headwind for the final 60kms. I missed a bottle at the final aid station and rode the last 45mins without any fluids so was happy when I arrived in the Bike – Run transition.

Ironman Cairns run course - Through town on last lap!
Ironman Cairns run course – Through town on last lap!

Run : 3hrs 1min

Heading out on to the run course, I was 10mins down on the next 3 guys.. the first 5kms went by in under 20mins and within 8kms I had passed 3 guys ahead and was into 12th place. The tar was melting on the road as the temp was up and the wind had gone completely. I was getting some time splits from my supporters and people were blowing up everywhere! I held a solid pace through to the 30km mark and made steady progress passing another 3 runners including Luke Bell and Mitchell Anderson. The last 10km was starting to take its toll, everyone’s pace had slowed but I managed to push through and pass Chris McCormack with around 5km to go and hold on for my best result so far. I also had the 4th quickest run split!

8th Professional in 9hrs  2mins