Ironman Australia Port Mac 2011
Swim – 00:49:38, T1 – 01:39, Ride – 05:28:59, T2 – 01:49, Run – 03:51:47, Total – 10:13:52
A big thanks to Mat (ETPA) and Justin (Physio health) for getting me to the start line in good shape, and an even bigger thanks to Eve (my fiancé) for putting up with me, especially my caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Me to Coffee…..let’s never fight again.
I’ve learnt the elation of finishing in 13hr and finishing in 10hr is exactly the same. The ironman journey is worth it regardless of how long it takes you to finish. It’s also great to finish strongly, settle a few doubts and leave your competitors behind on the run.
Solving the IM race day puzzle is part mental, physical and nutritional. ‘We’ had a plan for each these things. Knowing what to do during each stage of the race was a big help.
Swim tactics were spot on. Myself and a few age groupers managed to swim around the small elite field into clean water (sans Pete Jacobs). A group of 15 formed. It was a controlled swim from then on. My only mistake was sitting too far back in the pack with 500m to go and being caught out when the group split. The swim expectation was to go under 50minutes (possibly 48), I exited in touch with the leaders in 49.39. Good stuff.
Riding the first 90km with a lead group of 6 age groupers was excellent. Exactly what was required. We had a TO with the group for what felt like the entire lap. He was great, allowing us to bunch up over the little rolling hills or through the tight corners and ensuring we spread out as soon as the lead rider crested the climbs. Unfortunately at the 85km mark on the way back into town my vision was blurry, and I was going cross eyed. As we sped down the hills my eyes wouldn’t focus on the faster moving surroundings.
I lost touch with the group and was left to ride solo for the 45km ride back out of town into the headwind. I tried eye exercises but couldn’t shake the headaches. I ended up riding with my eyes closed, opening them briefly every 2 seconds to make sure I was still on the road (the road was rough enough that you wouldn’t miss it if you left it). I was very happy to finally have someone to ride behind at the 140km mark. All I had to do was follow this person for an hour into T2. After riding for legally for 5hrs I was pinged for drafting with 25minutes left to ride. The rules are clear on the 12m draft zone (riding 7m behind someone is no longer allowed unless you’re overtaking), so I took the 4min penalty on the chin. Entirely my fault for not staying alert.
My 4th quarter of the ride was much slower than the 2nd quarter. A lot of age groupers slowed down on the second lap, but I really lost time on this part of the course. Lap 1 was 2hr35min, Lap 2 was 2hr53min (2hr49min without the yellow card). No wonder it looked like I’d blown up when i took so long to complete lap 2. We were targeting 5.10-5.15 on the bike, lap 1 was right on target. Ended up with 5.28, so a missed opportunity there.
My target for the run was to stick strictly to my nutritional plan for the first 30km and to break 4hrs. Eating and drinking for those 3hrs were the biggest things that helped me bring home the final 12km. I ‘ran’ a 1hr53min half marathon followed by a 1hr59min half marathon. It felt bloody awesome to jog/run the entire 42km and to go 3:51. I believe 100% it was my nutrition that kept me going and not my legs. I was expecting to go around in a 1:45 and fade more in the second half. So really happy with my preparation to run-out the distance.
I’ve had a look at where the ‘action’ was on the results board. To be competitive out there in my age group it took about a 55 swim, 5.17 ride and a 3.32 run. So I’ve got a bit of work to do yet!
Pete Jacobs ran past his wife when they were both on first lap of the run (Pete in the IM and his wife in the 70.3). It took me a little longer to catch her but I ran past my fiancé (Eve) when we were both on our final lap of the run! Eve was up against an injury plagued non-preparation. She was thrilled to finish in a whisker under the 70.3 cut-off, and I was thrilled to see her out there.
Very happy to finish in good shape with a 10.13 and 8th in the A/G. Avoided the glow sticks, next time I’ll be back to give that 10hr mark a nudge.
aka Andrew Caune