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!
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)
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)
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
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to chat about some options!
Happy training, and talk soon!