We arrived on the Thursday morning with Matty White and his wife Danielle and we all stayed on the strip. Probably not the best idea and maybe we should have stayed out closer to the race – a few to many distractions and late nights leading up to the race all by accident of cause. It’s so easy to loose track of time in a city that never sleeps!
Race morning was all good and everything flowed easily. I might have been a little bit sleepy but in saying that it kept me fairly relaxed. The swim was a non wetsuit and I wore my Blue Seventy speed suit over the top of my awesome new Scody tri kit.
My swim was probably one of the worst swims of my career so far. I got absolutely smashed at the start by the other pros – note to self, take a few boxing classes before world champs next year to learn how to through a few down. This terrible start ruined the rest of my swim and saw me come out of the water in a time of 26:33. I think this had me in around 29th position and so I had a bit of work to do on the bike.
The bike course was what everyone expected, hilly, hot and very tough. I was very happy with my bike pushing some good power with the help of trying to keep up with Michi Weiss, that boy can ride well and also a fellow Cannondale rider. He is someone I would defiantly be looking out for in Kona. My SRM was pushing out an average of 282 watts, my overall time for the bike was 2:14:44 coming in at around 9th position. You can see below how I performed during the race.
Onto the run I always knew I would fell the effects of Ironman from a few weeks earlier. In saying that, I gave it a good shot and managed to run myself into 6th place on the second lap of a three lap run course. I didn’t hold this position very long as a couple of boys came storming past pretty quickly. I just didn’t have my usual bounce/turn-over like I am use to because of my Ironman legs. But all in all I was happy with my 8th place result at Vegas Ironman World Championships.
Well Vegas surely lived up to everything I expected and more. Bel and I headed of to the presentation, which was very nicely done by WTC – congratulations on a well run event. Now the fun really started with my mate Luke McKenzie and the gorgeous Amanda (aka Mr and MrsVegas) had us rolling in an awesome Cabana at the XS Encore hotel. we had free Moet and Vodka and partied pretty hard – thanks guys for lots of fun. The party didn’t stop there though! We went out the next night also for a lovely dinner with the Shimano Guys (Dwight and Paul) along with Matty and Danielle. We then partied on for a couple of drinks at Ceasars Casino followed by hitting up Macque night club in the Cosmopolitian with a few mates of mine from back in Australia. Well all in all I had a pretty awesome time in Vegas and I defiantly can’t wait to get back there again next year and hope for an even better result.
The moment has arrived for me to defend my 2010 Challenge Copenhagen title.
Here are some comments I made during Friday’s press conference.
This is such a great race and I had an amazing experience last year. The way we got looked after and the way it was organized was great. I have never defended a title before and it will be tough but I look forward to it.
Leading off the bike was great and the run was amazing taking us through the city and huge crowds and I’m looking forward to that again. It will for sure be a tough race and I’m going into this race with a big target on my back.
So stay tuned via Twitter for all the action.
I have now been in Boulder Colorado for the past month and a half. Having comfortably now settled into our Dakota Ridge condo. I have had a solid 3 weeks training and have now hit into full the US race season. My first race didn’t go quiet as planned, Rhode Island 70.3 Ironman, well actually it was a complete disaster. The story/adventure goes a little like this….
Belinda and I headed off to Rhode Island the Friday of race weekend at 3am. We managed to get our first flight to Baltimore before all the fun started! We missed our connecting flight due to Bel taking to long to eat her lunch, but lucky for us I am a charmer and managed to pledge our innocence’s and get on the next flight to Providence (Rhode Island). So we got onto the next flight and then proceeded to sit on the runway for the next 3 hours due to severe thunderstorms. Whilst sitting on the runway our pilot informs us that we will not be able to take our usual route to Providence due to the weather conditions and that he has made the decision to turn back the plane to refuel up as they will now be going the long route there.
The refueling process is going to take 30 minutes as the pilot informed us, whilst sitting on the plane people were starting to get a little pissed off and tired as the company we were flying with could only offer us peanuts and light refreshments whilst waiting that whole time. While we fuelled up the pilot announces that he wont be able to fly this plane any longer due to his 15 hours being up, so now the company was trying to find a new pilot, this was going to take a further 30 minutes. After waiting those 30 minutes we get an announcement from the pilot that they were unable to find a replacement so this flight was now cancelled and everyone was to get off the plane.
By this time I was losing my cool just a little. Lucky I had Bel there to try and keep me calm! Once off the plane the next adventure was to try and get on the next flight out if possible. At the customer service desk, where every single person off that plane went to, was only one lady at the counter. We waited patiently in line for about 2 hours and I managed to meet some nice friendly Americans in the line with a big family. I would hate to have been them and trying to work out what to do from there. When we were in the line up I was hearing rumors going around from everyone that the next available flight to Providence wasn’t until late Saturday night. I said to Bel to try and get our accommodation money back as where we were staying was rather expensive. Bel doesn’t like to stay in crappy places! So Bel managed to get our money back in full, so I suggested she also try and get our returning flights back also – lucky for us we got them fully refunded.
Once at the front counter talking to the lady we told her of our situation and it was not going to be. We could not get to the race and the best she could do for us was to get us back home to Boulder free of charge. We took this offer and got home at 3am Saturday morning after starting our travels 12 hours earlier on the Friday.
So now what to do considering I had tapered for the race and needed a start somewhere that weekend. Luckily for me there was a local race here in Boulder, the 5150, which I could possibly try and get a start at.
So later that day after sleeping for around 4 hours we headed down to the race brief to speak with the organizer Barry and see if he could help me out. Barry was kind enough to give me a start. Now it was time to get my head around the fact that there was some big names in this 5150 race plus my track record at racing at altitude isn’t that crash hot either. Plus of cause all the stress and drama off the past 12 hours and lack of sleep will prove to have taken it’s toll come race day. Well a lot can be said from this learning experience. I had a disastrous swim, part way through I had a panic attack and had to backstroke for a few strokes to catch my breath. I got out of the water quiet a fair way down and I pretty much just finished the rest of the race off by having a roll around and finishing in 15th place.
A week later I was onto Racine 70.3 Ironman. This race went a little more to plan. In the swim I was not In the spot where I wanted to be rather in no mans land by myself, in between the front and second pack, having to do a bit of work on my own. The same happened on with the bike, riding solo for much of the whole 90km, and only seeing the front boys within the last 1km coming into transition. I was rather pleased with my bike as I had just put on a SRM Power Meter (Thanks to SHIMANO) and found that it helped me keep to a great power output and keep the lid on myself. I was not to blow my legs up for the run by staying within the range of 250 and 300 watts pretty much the whole time. I had a quick transition and was now onto the run sitting in around 6th position. Within the first 500m I passed Hackett and then I was surprised to catch and pass Crowie followed closely by Cartmell and Rhodsey was just down the road and he was passed at the 7km mark. So now I was in 2nd place and I knew Ambrose was going to be hard to catch as he was a man on a mission. The first lap I managed to put a bit of time into him but later on the heat caught up to me and the wheels started to fall off a little.
In the end I only managed to take 2 minutes out of him, he got a well-deserved win. Although I then later found out that I still managed to get the fastest run split of the day, having thought I did not run to my full potential, this gives me a little bit of confidence!
I have now had a couple of rest days and I am ready to knuckle down into full Ironman training for Challenge Copenhagen in four weeks, which I cannot wait for.
It’s been over a month since I’ve given my last update, and I sincerely apologise for that. Life has a way of getting ahead of you, but really there’s no excuse. I last left off with a bittersweet update. I got engaged to my sweetheart Belinda Coates, but I also faced a disappointing DNF at the Abu Dhabi Ironman. I simply wasn’t prepared for the extremely high temperatures we faced over there.
As an athlete, you never quite know how to approach a situation like that. I was as prepared for that race as ever, but no amount of preparation can get you ready for something so unexpected. After a DNF like that, you tell yourself to train harder, but that isn’t always the best solution. In triathlon, it often makes things worse.
So I just kept charging on, trying to put it behind me in the best way I can. I went up to Lennox Head to do some training with Team Aeromax and I spent a good four weeks with Clayton Fettel, Mitch Robbins, Joey Lampe, and Josh McHugh. My training for the Port Macquarie 70.3 started five weeks before the race, so I had plenty of time to prepare and get my mind off of things.
The Bussleton 70.3 was six days after the Port Macquarie 70.3, so I had to be a little more careful about not wearing myself out. I got back to Port Macquarie one week before the race to do a little light training, visit with the family, and get fully recovered before the race. Much thanks for Coastline Chiropractic for the adjustment, and of course to my mum for her amazing home cooking. Exactly what I needed to get race fit.
2011 Port Macquarie 70.3
The field was fairly well stacked for the Port Macquarie 70.3 this year. At the top, you had Joe Gambles, who has won several 70.3 events in the past few years, and 10 time New Zealand Ironman Champion Cam Brown. All of my favorite Aussies were there too. Matty White, Josh Rix, Leon Griffin, and Tim Reed all made an appearance.
Overall, I was happy with the way the race progressed. I came out of the swim with the main contenders, Gambles, Cam Brown, Tim Reed, and Matty White. I knew I had four people ahead of me, but that didn’t matter too much. The run is my strength, so as long as I was close enough by the time we got there, I knew I had a chance at victory.
Port Macquarie had a new bike course this year. It was a single lap 90Km course. The first 45Km put us right into a strong headwind, and I lost my pace with Gambles and Brown somewhere around the 13Km mark. My legs were exhausted, but I managed to pull off a strong ride back into town. I gained on a few of the other guys, except for Gambles who looked like he was on a mission from God.
Right around the transition from bike to running, I was in fifth place with Gambles a good 5 1/2 minutes ahead of me. There were four other guys in the transition area with me, and as we exited, I made a wrong turn. It took me some time to correct it, and by the time I did, I was back to ninth place.
That’s when I got frustrated and really started to push it. At the end of the first 2 and 1/2 Km, I was back in fifth. It wasn’t too long before I pushed past Joey Lampe and Leon Griffin, putting me in third place.
I kept pushing. Somewhere around the first part of the second lap, I overtook Christian Kemp for second place. By then, I knew Gambles had won the race, but I still managed to get a good three minutes into his lead. Aside from the mishap at the beginning of the run, I’m still very happy with the results. I had the fastest run of the day and ended the race in second place.
Everyone wanted to party after the Port Macquarie race, but I knew I had to stay within reason. The Busselton 70.3 was just six days after that. I also knew I had to fly out to Perth on Wednesday to meet with a group of 20-24 year olds who show promise in the sport. They invited me to visit a nearby high school to, talk to some students, and do a few drills with them. Time flew by, and before I knew it, I was racing the Busselton 70.3
2011 Busselton 70.3
I’ll admit that I still felt a little fatigued at the start of this year’s Busselton race. I kept telling myself, “you’re a little tired. Don’t do anything stupid!” The swim felt good, and just like Port Macquarie, I came out with the main pack. Guy Crawford had a phenomenal swim and appeared to be on his own program for the entire bike leg.
A part of me suspected that Guy would eventually “pay the price” for his lead, so I didn’t pay much attention to it during the bike. The transition went well for me this time (no wrong turns!), and I had all of the top runners in my sights. I put in a big surge to give myself a gap on them, and I managed to hold onto it!
At this point, there was no looking back. I could hear them. They weren’t too far behind me. I overtook Jamie about 500 meters into the run, and then I caught up with Josh Rix somewhere around 3Km. That only left one person. The mysterious Guy Crawford who hadn’t yet paid his price. I caught him at 6Km.
By the end of the first lap, I had Dellow, Reed, and Matty White about 50 meters behind me. Just for good measure, I surged ahead some more to put a little extra space between us. The run felt really good as I slowly pulled away from the other guys. When I made the final turn towards the finish line, I saw that nobody had gained on me, so I eased up and enjoyed the win.
Now the Port Macquarie and Busselton are done, I’ve got my eyes on Challenge Cairns. It’s less than four weeks away, and there’s plenty of work to do. Before I go, I want to thank WTC for putting on two fantastic events. I also want to thank the organising committees and Triathlon Western Australia. You always do a great job of looking after the athletes!
See you in few weeks.