What a week in Busselton for Ironman Western Australia! Great times, with great people.. Would be the most relaxed and confident I have been going into a big race. Staying with my family, coach and other athletes is always a risk for a stressful race week.. But was exactly the opposite, plenty of good banter, joking around and red wine were to set the tone for a well balanced taper week and prep!
The morning I was to fly out of Auckland didn’t go exactly to plan.. A couple of early Personal Training sessions with my clients ended with a 6kg dumbbell rolling off a bench onto my little toe! A swollen and bruised broken toe would usually send the mind into a ball of stress 5 days out from your first key race of the season, but as soon as I mentioned it to my coach – I was told not to mention it again and to trust the fitness and prep that had already been done.. This meant a cruiser taper week than I am used to, without any running, and limited cycling.. Hopefully this would help me freshen up and allow my toe some time to repair!
Race day rolled round and was set for a nice hot fast day!
A super strong field of over 30 international Pro men lined up for the beach start, and set off into the warm Western Australian waters. 50mins later I exited the 3.8km swim at the front of the 2nd pack leading Josh Rix and Matty White up the beach into T1, (after my little toe had been nicely tapped around 1000 times by the large 2nd pack trailing me.)
Out into the flat and fast Busselton Highway for the 2 lap 180km cycle, I stuck to my game plan – rode to my power and enjoyed a steady solo ride averaging just shy of 39km/h. Awesome flat roads, with 11 U-turns break up the aero position quite nicely.. It started to warm up during the 2nd lap and by the time we hit T2 the sun was beating down and a few guys out front were cracking already!
I took my time in transition as I used slightly wider shoes and regular laces to avoid any extra aggravation.
Within the first lap (of 4) I had moved from 15th off the bike into 11th place, steadily gaining on some fading runners up ahead. By the 3rd and 4th lap there were runners everywhere making it hard to know where the guys up ahead were.. But I kept my steady pace up as others were falling off, concentrating on keeping my fluids up and my leg turnover high.. I ran through to 6th place and secured a personal best time and a pay check!
Personal best time :
Swim – 50min
Bike – 4hrs 37min
Run – 3hrs 3min
Big thanks to all my supporters, my parents and sister for flying over, to Jon for the great company and accommodation, and Al for keeping us in check and relaxed. Larisa’s support from back home in NZ was huge – kept everyone up to date and was tracking from start to finish!
A big part of this success is my sponsors support also, Jason from Orchard Gold, Nick from St Pierre’s, Jason from Endura, Mike from Shoe Science and the team at Timex. You all play a massive role.
Consistently improving results are a great confidence boost, a big improvement over the winter months and I’m ready to step it up again in the lead up to the NZ summer season! Firstly a couple of easier weeks and to enjoy Xmas with family and friends.
Happy training and keep safe out there!