Tim Van Berkel (AUS)TRIATHLON - Ironman Cairns 70.3 / Cairns Airport Adventure Festival - Palm Cove - Captain Cook Highway - Cairns Esplanade - Cairns - Queensland - Australia - 2014

Waterlogged at Ironman Cairns

I’ve always loved racing in the tropical north of Australia. Not from just being a beautiful warm part of Australia but allowing me to race close to home. There’s nothing better than having friends and family watching and cheering for you.

Leading into yesterday’s race I’d made sure that my preparation was as good as I could make it, where I headed over to the USA post my win in Busselton a few weeks ago. This 4 week training block was done at higher than normal (sea level) altitude in stunning Colorado. This allowed me to clear the head and stay focused on my training.

10452651_882201508462635_1051428401_oTo add to the mix of pressure before a big race, my bike nearly didn’t arrive back into the country. It was lost for a little but was eventually found in LA and was re-routed back to Australia. One less headache sorted out.

Given the very nature of tropical weather, it can be either super warm or raining and warm with a good mix of humidity. So yesterday’s race was just that – rain with more rain. Talk about waterlogged – I think I’ll be wet for the next few weeks.

The swim wasn’t going to be a whole lot of fun for anyone. The weather was crap coupled with sizeable waves which just added another layer to the already challenging conditions. Pardon the pun… but hey, we were all in the same boat, right? I was able to swim a good time of 52:11 which put me in 3rd coming out of the water. I could see I had Casey Munro and Peter Robertson ahead of me by around 2 minutes with Courtney Ogden right on my heals.

The wet roads were going to play a roll in the race and heading out onto the bike leg my main focus was to stay upright while crossing my fingers for no punctures. Leading out on the bike was Robbo, Casey and myself. Shortly after, Mat Burton and Cam Brown caught us. I felt gutted for Casey when I knew he punctured – it’s tough when you do as your day slips away.

Matt looked really strong and he and ended up doing a lot of the work out the front. All day long on the bike the rain was going to be there but then we had the wind to content with. The 5 of us came together into T2.

Heading out of T2 I found myself in the lead. I was quickly followed by Robbo and Cam. The 3 of kept pace for the first 12km and then Robbo dropped off. This is going to be a war a attrition.

Bpl7h2XCMAAmaff.jpg-largeAround 19km Cam started to turn the screws on me as I’m sure he could sense I was hurting. Each quicker step hurt just that little extra. By 21km he dropped me by a minute or so and that was the race done there. I wasn’t able to put any time back into Cam. And looking at his back half of the marathon, he was very strong.

I’d really like to take my hat off to Cam Brown today. He’s so consistent at this sport and as I said in the press conference on Friday, he’s going to be a hard man to beat, and he was with a 2:44 marathon.

For the curiously minded, here are my numbers from the day.3.8km swim in 52:11. 180km ride in 4:39:35 / avg. 38.63 km/h. 42.2km run in 2:48:15 / avg. 3:59/km. Finished the race in 8:23:23.

Also a big shoutout to my wife Belinda as it’s her birthday today. Happy birthday!

Time for some rest and recovery.

Tim

Images supplied by Delly Carr, http://www.sportsphotography.com.au

3
Post by Tim

I'm an Aussie triathlete and three time winner of the Long Distance Triathlon (2008 Busselton, 2010 and 2011 in Copenhagen).

5 comments
Warren Taylor
Warren Taylor

I just ran A park run at 4min 30 sec pace and thought I was a legend how good are you Tim I struggle to get my head around it your a legend

Molly JC
Molly JC

Super effort mate. Well done! Love reading ur blogs and keeping up to date with how ur travelling. Keep it up bud

Adventurethon Paddle Bike Run
Adventurethon Paddle Bike Run

well done and thanks for the vids leading into cairns..was cool to see a bit of your humor re the dogs at training ;)

Kelly Minahan
Kelly Minahan

I can run 4 minute Ks for about 1km!! A super human effort. I don't think most people can possibly comprehend the speed that you travel. I reckon an average fit adult would be lucky to finish in double this time... If at all. I'm loving the spectacle. Cheers to your continued reign as King of the Aussie Ironman scene.

Billy Guy
Billy Guy

Well done Tim, was awesome seeing you out on the bike and run leg. In awe how you blokes can just keep punching away with the times you do.