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.