Monday, 31 December 2012

12 weeks and counting

This week marks only 12 weeks until Ironman Melbourne. After racing the Hervey Bay 100 I immediately turned my training towards a block of base building. This saw me heading out to Mt Glorious and Nebo often and lots of hill climbing on the bike. I decided that 90% of my runs were just about running and didn't concern myself with the pace I was running. In the pool, I just got in a swam consistent km's and didn't worry about looking at the clock or hitting certain repeat times.

For the past four weeks I have averaged about 13km swim, 250km bike and 60km running. They are not huge km's but I feel that I have been very consistent and getting the job done.

As with my prep for Ironman Australia, I have penned a 12 week programme to lead me into IMM. At the moment I feel that my swim and bike are progressing well and am very happy with the improvements I have made on my run leading into my 12 week programme. Over the past few months I have locked in my mid week sessions consistently and I will leave this very similar and increase my weekend sessions to get me the volume. I will mix it up with a number of races, Time Trial and brick sessions.

I will check in again with an update on my progress 

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Hervey Bay 100 Race Report

Can I start by saying if you have not thought about doing this race, then you really need to.

The view from our house on the bike course
Sunday 25 November 2012 was the second running of the Hervey Bay 100 consisting of a 2km swim, 80km bike, and 18km run. I am very confindent in saying that this race will get bigger and bigger as each year goes by and is a must for anyone wanting a challenging, highly spectacular race that has an extremely friendly feel to it.

I arrived on Saturday morning with my wife Hayley and two Border Collies Ozzi and Jordi and checked into a pet friendly house that was on the water at Point Vernon and was located on the bike course. Saturday consisted of a very casual rego and race briefing followed by dinner the local pizza shop that went down a treat.

Saturday afternoon, the wind had picked up and kicked up some decent chop in the bay. Throughout the night, the wind did not ease and we were met on Sunday morning with a gusty Easterly blowing and a decent amount of chop.

I towed the start line in the under 40 wave and was first wave of the day. The swim was a two lap triangular course exiting the water after the first lap. I started hard from the beach start and felt I was in a good position rounding the first can which was only 50m away. Sighting to the second can was made difficult by the sun coming up as well as the wind and chop blowing straight in your face. The leaders were off the front in the swim but I found myself in what was either the second or third pack of about 5 others, where I swam strategically. After lap one, I found myself on the front of the pack and was not interested in towing the others around so swam off to the side and slowed up allowing a couple of others come through and jumped straight back onto their feet. I stayed in this spot for the remainder of the swim and exited in 34min 35sec and fifth in my age group.

My bike is usually my strength and being not the fastest swimmer, I usually have to ride hard to make up any lost ground in the swim. Lately I have been working hard to turn my run into my strength so my plan was to ride the first 20km of the bike hard and then ride very conservatively to finish with a strong run.

The course was a four lap course over some undulating terrain of some long steady climbs and one short sharp one. At the first turn around (halfway into the first lap) I was about 90 seconds down on 4th and 5th overall being Jason Crowther and Nathan Fitzakerly. My goal was to bridge up to them steadily and then switch off a conserve as much energy as I could to setup my run.

By 30km, I had caught  Jason and Nathan and dropped my pace right back and did not worry too much about chasing 1st and 2nd as they were minutes up the road riding solo. We were slowly reeling in my good mate and superfish Dan Hutchinson who was also riding so but did not catch him until 60km.

With about 5km to go, our group of 3 were caught by a bloke who started in the wave 5 minutes behind us and was flying. He flew right passed us as we were coasting to setup our run. This shook our pace line up and everyone was scrambling to stay near him and not lose any time going into T2. I was the only one who managed to stay near him which gave me a 20 second buffer on the other two.

Bike time - 2hr 7mins 6sec, 1st in Age Group

My goal for the run was to run a 75min 18km therefore I had to maintain 4:05min/km. I exited T2 in 4th place just behind Paul Dodd who had a 5min buffer on me having started 5min back. He immediately put 50m on me but I worked hard to not lose anymore distance. At the first turnaround 3km in, I had approximately 100m on Jason and a bit more on Nathan who was further back.

For the first lap, I averaged about 3:55min/km but was really hurting. It was tough running on the hot, tight twisting course but I just concentrated on my form and speed. I was running in my Asics Hyperspeed racing flats and I was confident these would get me through the 18km although being such a light weight race shoe. They are so light yet supportive at the same time.

After the first 6km lap, I settled into a good rythym and slowly gained on and picked off 3rd place and concentrated on holding my position. I maintained my speed and distance on Jason and kept ticking off the km's getting closer to the finish. By the second last turn around, I had put some more time on Jason and was confident I was going to cross the line 3rd.                        Run time: 1hr 13min 35sec

After the times were calculated, I was actually 4th overall having only put 4mins on Paul in the run therefore he had beaten my by 1min. I was stoked to come away with the win in the 30-39 age group which had some very handy athletes.

Total time: 3hrs 55min - 4th overall, 1st 30-39

It was great to be able to race alongside so many people from the Redcliffe Tri Club and the support from fellow competitors as well as specators was fantastic.

A big thank you goes to Nick and Dawn Downes and the Hervey Bay Tri club for putting on such an amazing event. The Hervey Bay 100 is definately a race I look forward to competing in next time.

For those interested, I have included my nutrition plan for the race.
1 gel 30mins prior to race start.
1 gel as soon as I got on the bike and then one every forty mins from there on the bike. A small handful of party mix lollies every alternate 40mins on the bike.
For the run, I had a gel every lap so each 6km's which was about 25 mins apart.

All roads now lead to Ironman Melbourne which is just over 17 weeks away. I have a 5 week block of base building consisting of alot of hills both on the bike and run.

Till next time....

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Noosa taper with a difference

Well what a week I had leading into Noosa. My lead up was going to be a different to other races that I have done due to an unscheduled trip to Canberra on the Wed, Thurs, Fri prior to the race.

Two weeks ago, I received a phone call from a great mate of mine whom I served with in the Army and was the MC at his wedding asking me to be in Canberra for something he could not tell me about. Straight away I knew what he was talking about and I was so pumped to be apart of such a special time in both his life, my life and the history of Australia.

On Thursday 1st November, my great mate, Dan Keighran was being awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia at Government House in Canberra. Dan and I served in the same section for the first four years of our careers and shared rooms in both East Timor and Malaysia. Both our wives have been best friends since school and were each others Maid of Honour at our weddings. The entire day was the most amazing experience to see the entire nation and its dignitaries fussing over Dan. It was easily one of the proudest moments in my life.

Being invited to his VC Investiture was a big enough honour, however Dan and Kathryn chose my wife and I to sit at their table during the official lunch alongside Julia Gillard, Govenor General Quentin Bryce, and Chief of Defence Force General David Hurley. Although it was pretty cool rubbing shoulders with the big wigs of our country, it was truly amazing to share lunch and then many beers following with Dan and Kathryn.

So with Noosa only four days away, it was the last of my worries as we downed many beers and had such a great time.  Noosa Tri was definately on the back burner but it was not a hard choice as to where my priorities lay.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Noosa - 3 weeks out

Well, as the title suggests, Noosa Tri is only 3 weeks away and Hervey Bay 100 is only 6 weeks away.

I have been able to string some very solid weeks together over the past three weeks. At times, I was going to some sessions very tired, however, once the session got going, it was easier to finish than to pull the pin.

I have just finished a great week of training that ended in a Sprint race at the Bribie Tri race 1. The week leading in, I had swum 16km, Biked approx 300km and run about 65km. The Saturday before the race I decided to head down to the Gold Coast Hinterland for a 4-5 hr hitout through the hills. While down there, I bumped into the boys from Aeromax tri squad which is made up of a few pros and a handful of very handy age groupers. It was great to have a hitout with these boys who took me for a tour through the Hinterland, into NSW and back to Southport. Defnately keen for a few more sessions if they will have me along. We ended up clocking 130km that included 3 x 15min TT efforts followed by a 8km solid run off the bike that I was loving along the Gold Coast waterfront.

I went into the race on Sunday with a little bit of sting taken out of the legs but was keen for a bashing. I had a solid race finishing 3rd overall and pocketing a little bit of cash for my troubles. I was most happy with a solid run, coming off the bike in 5th place and running into 3rd. It was a good day all round topped off with another solid 12km run that afternoon.

So from here, it is another two weeks of solid speed sessions leading into Noosa prior to a taper and have a good crack at Noosa.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Moreton Bay OD Triathlon

Sunday 23rd of September was my first race of the season as I lined up for the Qld OD Triathlon champs held at Clontarf. Being a Redcliffe local it was very nice to only allow 10mins of travel time to get to the race. I missed this race earlier in the year due to Ironman commitments so was very keen to go around for this one and have a hitout across the Ted Smout Bridge (Hornibrook Bridge for old school locals).

Being the first race of the season, I was unsure on how I would go so was planning just to belt myself and stay on the gas as long as possible and hope to get some quality racing under my belt prior to Noosa.

We were met with glorious conditions on race morning with no swell, very light breeze and blue skies so it was a great way to start the season.

The swim was an M Shaped course and there were plenty of whispers of jelly fish in the water however compared to a Bribie Race earlier in the year, the odd jelly fish with a long sleeved wetsuit was not a worry. I stayed with the lead pack until just after the first buoy where I fell off the back which was a little disappointing as I was hoping to stay with the lead pack. I swam the rest of the way with one other and exiting the water it was obvious that the swim was short as I clocked 16min 52sec.

Onto the bike for 4 x 10km loops and it took about a lap to get going. Heading south across the Ted Smout Bridge for the first time we were riding into a slight headwind. I worked hard to catch some riders up the road. I bridged up to one group of riders who were not interested in riding legal so at the next turn around, I put the gas down in chase of the next lot of riders. I had ridden up to about 3rd place with three other guys in my AG. With about 7km to go, I again put the gas down to try and open up a gap on the guys with me. I put about 300m on them however by the time we reached T2, two of them had closed the gap which was going to make an interesting 10km run. Bike time - 1hr 1min 18sec
The start of a good battle

Myself, Tim Gado, and Christophe Manchon left T2 and Tim set the pace early. We all sat together until the 5km turn around where I cranked up the pace a little to try and drop the other two. This worked as I opened up a gap slowly and pulled away. I maintained a strong pace through to the finish and was great to finish in front of my family who were able to make it down to the race. I finished the run in 37min 32sec which is a little slower than I was hoping for but still gives me something to work on.

4km in and no-one was budging

Total time was 1hr 55mins 43sec for 8th overall and 3rd in AG behind Courtney Atkinson and Peter Court.

A big thanks again to my wife Hayley for coming to watch me race as well as my Mum, Sisters and Neice who was there for her first ever race and also the Redcliffe Tri club for their great encouragement.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The season is nigh

With a little over two weeks until my first race of the season, my training has been a little patchy although I still have been ticking most of the boxes.

I have competed in two races since my last post. On the 5th Aug, I lined up for my first ever stand alone Half Marthon in the Brisbane Running Festival. I had some good running under my legs leading in so I was hoping for a good hitout. I eased into the race and felt strong for the majority of the race. I crossed the line in a time of 1hr 21min and 10th overall. I was aiming for sub 4min/km's so was stoked to go 3:51 avg pace.

On 2nd Sep, I lined up for one of my favourite fun runs on the calender. The Bridge to Brisbane 10km. The alarm went off at 2:50am so to get into the race start nice and early ahead of the 40,000 other runners. I picked up my mate and QAS Triathlete Matt Brown on the way and we cursed at the early start. Matt was hopeful of having a crack at the win which would have been awesome.

I had an ok race and wasn't feeling 100% although I crossed the line in a time of 35min 22sec for a 13sec PB and 30th overall. Matt finished 8th overall in a time of 32min 30sec and was on pace with the lead pack until the 7km mark where he said they got away from him.

In two weeks I will line up for the Qld Olympic Distance Champs at Clontarf. This will be my first race of the season and I feel I am going in a little underdone although it is still early in the season. I will be better for the hitout under my belt and hoping for a good race.

Til next time.....

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Jetty 2 Jetty

Sunday 15th of July saw another running of the Jetty 2 Jetty fun run. Lining up at the start of the 10km I had set my goal for myself that I thought may be out of reach at this time of year. I was aiming to run a sub 36min 10km which would break my pb of 36:20.

If only I had her record
The three weeks leading in had seen more of a focus on my run with a lot more speed sessions than I usually do. One of my key sessions was an 18km run broken up as 6km controlled (4:45min/km pace), 6km tempo (4:30 pace) and 6km race pace with 4 x 30sec intervals going straight back to race pace (3:40ish).

I though I would have a bit of fun with my race name instead of the usual first or last name to go on there so during the registration process, I mixed it up a bit. (As per the photo). I was hoping for some speed as per my namesake.

I got to the start line with plenty of time until the gun and had plenty of room. As the start time approached, we became crowded with a lot of runners who thought they were alot quicker than what they actually were. As soon as the gun went off, the sprinters took off and I was immediatley in about 15th. Over the next km the race started to sort itself out and I had settled into about tenth after covering the first km in about 3:20.

The two leaders had immediately shot off the front and were followed by another two runners. I was in the next pack of about six only 15 meters behind third and fourth. From there, we were running approx 3:30 pace and I was going a bit quicker than I had intended but was feeling comfortable so maintained my spot in the pack.

After the 5km mark, the pack had dropped to just three and I was sitting in behind the other two runners nicely as we made the turn and headed into a headwind for the final 5km. I sat in behind them and did not move from their tales. At the 7km mark, I was on pace to run a sub 35min however still had two tough climbs to go at about 8 and 9km mark. The downhill finish was a blessing after slogging it over the last two hills and they had cost me a little as I crossed the tape in a time of 35 min 35secs and sixth place overall. I had acheived my unexpected goal time and beaten my pb by 45secs.

Friday, 20 July 2012

The year ahead : Part two

This week I took the step of finishing my complete set of Ironmans in Australia. Having competed in IMWA, IMOZ, IMCAIRNS previously, IM Melbourne was the only race I had yet to race. The 24th March 2013 is now locked in for me to compete in IM Melbourne.

Having finalised my race entry through Tri Travel for IM Melbourne on the Sunday, the bank account was about to take another hit a couple of days later as IM Cairns was due to open on the Tuesday. Having had such an amazing time in 2012 at Cairns and having the beauty of racing in front of family, I could not pass up the chance to race up there again. So in the space of two days, I had locked in my two main races for 2013.

So for now, my focus will be on getting as fast and lean as possible for Noosa OD tri in Nov and having a crack at breaking 2hrs. This will then leave me 16 weeks to prepare for IM Melbourne and chasing the dream. I then have another 12 weeks to recover and reprep for IM Cairns on 9th June 2013.

Lets get it on!

Friday, 6 July 2012

The Season Ahead

After taking some time off following Ironman Cairns, and just pottering around with a bit of training, I thought it was about time to start putting some races down on paper for the upcoming months.

This season, I want to put alot of effort into improving my run so I am planning to compete in a number of "run" races to try and pick up my speed and motivate me more in training.

The races I have penciled in are
15 July - Jetty 2 Jetty 10km
5 August - Brisbane Half Marathon
19 August - North Lakes Fun Run
2 September - Bridge to Brisbane
23 September - Moreton Bay Triathlon
21 October - Moreton Bay Grand Prix
4 November - Noosa Triathlon

During the couple of weeks off, I ate alot of junk food and had a few more beer than usual. The greatest night of all was on Wednesday night at Suncorp Stadium watching the mighty maroons make it 7 in a row. The biggest highlight of the night was being there to say farewell to Big Pet in his last game for Qld.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Ironman Cairns - The Postmoretem

When signing up for this race three months ago, I knew it was going to be a tough ask as it was only allowing me 4 weeks to try and back up after competing in Ironman Australia. However, with the addage that this was now an Ironman race and the fact that I had family in Cairns that I could catch up with whilst there, it was a race that I could not go past.

I had recovered from IM Oz relatively well and had no niggles in the body. I had done only some light training with a couple of testing sessions however I was unsure how my body would feel on race day.
I have an Aunt and Uncle who live in Cairns and I was so lucky to be able to stay with them for my time in Cairns. It was amazing to catch up with them and they were amazingly hospitible not to mention the one button press espresso machine they have that kept me going. There was also approx 15 friends from Redcliffe Tri Club competing in Cairns so this weekend was going to be great. I also had my Wife, Mother and Sister fly up to watch me and cheer me on.

Race Day
The weather leading up to race day had been miserable. Each day had constant drizzle so it was a blessing when I woke up on Sunday to perfect conditions. Not a cloud in the sky and very little wind to be seen.

I headed down to Transition with my wife Hayley, mother Terry, and sister Storm to set up. I got down there nice and early and headed to the swim marshalling area to get a spot close to the front.

I positioned myself on the front row right next to the right hand swim bouy. As the gun sounded, it was the usual mad dash for 100m and then try to settle in as quickly as possible. I have worked very hard on my swim over the last few months so was again keen on a solid swim. The two lap swim went by fairly uneventful and I exited the water feeling quite good.

It must have been a slowish swim course as I swam a time of 57:30 however was stoked to learn later that I was 6th in my Age Group for the swim. A 56:40 at Port Macquarie only had me 17th in my age group.

Once again, my plan was to go fairly hard for the first 15km and try to settle into a good place. Early on, I already had three or four strong riders around me so it seemed as it was going to be a fast ride from the start.

We had a Tech Official riding alongside us and he seemed to be a no second chance official. He pinged two blokes for drafting penalties which seemed to be very harsh as I thought everyone was riding quite legal. The two blokes who received the penalty decided to put the hammer down to get up the road prior to having a 5 min breather. I decided to tac on the back of them but remained the 12m draft distance behinde them. Immediately we had broken away from the pace line we were riding in, and we were flying on the way to Port Douglas sitting on 41-43km/h for alot of it.

Getting close to the turn around in Port Douglas we could see that the helicopter that was following the pro leaders was not too far in front of us so we were wondering how close to the front we were. The problem with going with the two blokes who were done for drafting was that when they pulled off to serve their draft penalty, I would be left riding hans solo. At the turn around, I saw that we were only 1 minute down from a group of about 8 riders including the womens pro leaders so once the two blokes pulled off, I put the hammer down for the next 10km to catch the group in front. I finally caught the group and tacked onto the back legally for the rest of the ride.

The bike was amazing riding along the Captain Cook Highway along the waters edge, up over the hills and lookouts and weaving in and out of pockets of rainforest that lined the coastline.

Pulling into T2, I wasn't feeling great as the last 10km of the bike the pace had picked up to about 43km/h and the pace line I was riding apart of had splintered up. I rode into T2 with Justin Granger (one of the pro men) so was stoked to just be alongside him, but wasn't sure what price I had paid during the bike.

Bike 4hr 59min 50secs. First ever sub 5hr bike.

From the word go, I knew this was going to be a tough marathon. My legs were already jelly and I just wasn't feeling the stride that I am used to. I set off at a very controlled pace. Heading out to Yorky's Knob, I passed the oncoming pro's who were about 6km up the road from me.

My goal was to run 4:45min/km avg pace and maintained this for the first 6km. I decided to dial it back to 5min/km as I knew I had no chance maintaining this pace in the heat and the fatigue I was already feeling.

This run was one of the toughest runs I have done as I battled for nearly the entire 42kms. I was not feeling good at any stage and just turned it into a battle to see how long I could hang on for. I was in 2nd place coming in off the bike and had slipped to fourth by 21km. I remained here until 3km to go where I was passed by two other blokes to slip back to 6th in my age group however the athlete tracker still had me in fifth.

I battled through to the end I got to see my Mother and Aunt swanning it up in the VIP marquee above the finish chute. I slogged the marathon out in a time of 3hr 31mins for a total time of 9hr 34mins.

The highs and lows
Going by the athlete tracker, I thought that I had finished fifth in my age group and would have missed out on Kona Qualification by one spot however I soon learnt that 4th had already qualified previously so that would have bumped me up to fourth. I was over the moon however was not getting my hopes up too much as I still had to get it confirmed at roll down the next day.

Well, when I arrived at roll down, I learnt that I had finished 6th instead of 5th as one of the guys wasn't on the athlete tracker. All four Kona spots were taking once again by the first four hence I missed out yet again on the big ticket for Hawaii. Lesson learnt, you aren't on the plane until you are on the plane.

Despite the emotional rollercoaster, IM Cairns is by far the best race I have raced. I was able to visit my Aunt and Uncle and stay with them. They are the most hospitible people I have ever stayed with. We got to cruise around in a 1949 Pink Cadillac, eat crayfish tail during a family dinner and have leftover crayfish tail omlettes the following day.

The foreshore of Cairns is amazing and the restraunts and cafes are amazing too. This is one race that I will definately be back for next year.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Ironman OZ Vids

Ironman Oz videos from the on course cameras.

1 Week on from Ironman OZ

It has been a week since completing Ironman Austrlalia on 6th May 2012. I woke up on Monday morning with daggers in my legs. Tuesday consisted of an 8 hour drive from Port Macquarie back to Brisbane.

The following days consisted of some light training as I just wanted to get the soreness out of my muscles.
Wednesday - Light 4km swim
Thursday - 40km ride to spin the legs out
Fri - Swim 4km speed session followed by 30km bike light spin
Sat - Cruisy group ride - 80km
Sun - First run since Ironman - 30min trot to make sure my legs and feet were ok.

I only had a light niggle in my right foot hence I did no running until Sunday. That run felt amazing as I was rested and felt nice and light. I had absolutely no pain in my feet or legs.

With 3 weeks until Ironman Cairns, I am filled with confidence now that I have had a week of recovery and am feeling good.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Ironman Australia 2012 - Close but no cigar

The Lead up

This was to be my second ever Ironman race after competing in IMWA 2010 and finishing in 9hr 49min. As with Ironman races these days, I had signed up 12 months prior so had plenty of time to plan out an attack on Port Macquarie.

After winning my age group at Goondiwindi Hell of the West, I was confident of a strong race. This time around, I had a solid base under my belt and my week in week out training had become more consistent. I decided to continue my standard training until 12 weeks out where I started focussing on my Ironman programme.

The week leading into Port was a little unsettled weather wise up until the night before where perfect conditions were predicted for race day. Waking up with not a cloud in the sky and no sign of wind was certainly a blessing.


Entering the water,  I immediately headed over to the front left of the start line that was only 50 meters wide. I wanted to get away with a good start so I was willing to accept the swim start boxing match.

I had sussed out where the first turn can was which was a large L shaped yellow can. From the shore, I had noticed that it seemed quite a bit to the left as you head down the course.

As the gun went off, I sprinted for 100m and got away to a clear start. Gradually more people converged as we headed to the first can. It took me some time to spot the can as it was hidden by the boats marking the channel for the swim however luckily for my recon of the course, I was headed straight to the can where everyone who started to the right had to swim over to me.

I found myself in a pack of about ten for the rest of the swim with only the odd arm or elbow to upset my rhythm.

Swimming towards the exit, I stood up and was stoked to see 56min on the clock. First box ticked off for the day. Swim: 56:40


Prior to the race, my plan for the bike was to ride hard for the first 15km and then settle into a pace. The plan of this was that after 15km, anyone that was still left around was going to be there for most of the 180km and hopefully break anyone prior.

Heading out of town, there is approx 8km of rolling hills that are quite testing. I rode these hills strong picking of riders one by one. By the time we left the hills and got to the flat roads, I was following one other rider with no-one behind us. We were joined by two other riders after approximately 25km one of whom was in my age group.

Once in a group of four, I sat at the back trying to save as much energy as possible. The pace was varied at times  ranging from 34km/h up to 41km/h. Through the first 45km we had averaged a speed of 36km/h.

Slowly over the next 45km on the ride back into town, we had picked up and dropped a few more riders so we had about 12 riders by the time we got into town.  Heading up Matthew Flinders Drive for the first time was amazing. There was hundreds of people lining the hill and we were all slogging it up there. During the first lap, I had realised that the guys I was riding with really did not like the hills as I found myself really sitting up as we were climbing as the other guys seemed to be doing it a bit tough.

Heading past the mighty Redcliffe Cheer Squad in town gave me a real buzz and I was ready for lap two and feeling quite comfortable.

At 120km we headed up a decent climb that led into an aid station. I decided to climb the hill strong, grab a couple of things from the aid station and keep powering up the hill. I kept the power going over the top and down the other side to try and break our group up a little push some of the blokes who were just holding on. I looked back and found myself about 500m in front of the pack on my own. I did not want to ride the rest of the way by myself so eased up a little hoping only a couple of riders would cross the gap but the whole group came back although fairly scattered so I was hoping it had tested some of them.

Coming back into town, I decided to use the hills again to my advantage and put the power down with about 15km to go and led the pack back into town. I looked back and could not see anyone so I had gained a break on them.

Heading through town was amazing and once again passed the Redcliffe Cheer Squad was great again. The legs were feeling quite good and I was ready for the marathon to follow.

Bike : 5hr 5min 25sec 3rd in age group and 23rd overall


Heading out on the run I was running with another competitor who I realised was one of the pros once I glanced at his race number. He slowly pulled away from me after about 6km but I was not phased by that. I was trying to run my own race. I covered the first 4km in 16min which was quicker than what I wanted to. I backed it off a little however was still feeling strong so kept the pace going.

I could tell by the guys running the opposite direction that I was in either 3rd or 4th in my age group. I did not worry about trying to chase them down but tried to concentrate on my own form and staying relaxed.

I felt good going through 20km and switched over to cola during the aid stations. I had one guy run past me who was in my age group and he was flying so there was no way I was going with him. I just had to stick to my plan.

Going through 34km mark, I was starting to really hurt. My legs had gone numb and I was starting to feel dizzy. I decided to walk through the next aid station and take in everything that was on offer. Gatorade, water, cola, lollies, gel, water was on the cards. The walk really made me hurt even more and I was really battling. After the aid station, I forced myself to run again and slowly got into a rhythm however I was not passing people as quickly as I was previously. I had gone through the past 4km in 20min 30sec so was slightly slower than 5min/km pace. I did the math, and knew that if I could hold 5min/km pace I was on target to break 9hr 30min.

I was passed by another guy in my age group at 36km and tried my best to go with him. I stuck with him for 100m but could not stay with him. Now I just had to battle to the finish and I just went as hard as I could.

The final km was amazing although I was hurting I was powering home. Coming into the finish chute was spectacular as I had it all to myself. I spotted my wife Hayley and two friends Tom and Casey who made the trip down. Then I spotted the huge Redcliffe contingent and that got me so pumped. I ran up the ramp fists pumping. All was done

Run : 3hr 21min 23sec

Total time 9hr 26min 47sec. 6th in age group and 20th overall.

A huge thank you goes to my wife Hayley who has supported me 100 per cent over the past 12months. She has made so many sacrifices for me to chase my goals and without her, it would not have been possible.

Thank you to everyone who supported me on the day both at home and to the huge contingent that made the trip down. Ironman is a tough race, but Ironman spectating is just as tough in my mind.

I went to roll down for the Hawaii spots the next day. There was four spots on offer for my age group so I needed two blokes to turn it down. Unfortunately the top four all took their spots so I now need to wait until Cairns in three weeks to have another crack at it. I just hope my body pulls up ok.