Rarely is there a 70.3 race held in Australia where there isnt at least a handful of athletes with impressive resumes, but I knew I had form on my side. I knew I could win the race if I put together a performance I am capable of, but its human nature to have some doubts. My lead up to the race wasn’t fantastic. I had been been up in Ballina for my university placement for the 2 weeks leading into the race and I wasn’t able to train as much as I had desired. On top of this, 7 days out I felt as though I was getting run down and starting to get sick, despite a reduced training volume. I stopped training on the Wednesday before the race and just focused on getting as fresh as possible and removing all negative thoughts.
Race day rolled around and I knew that there was an opportunity for a few of us to split the pack early in the swim and really put the pressure on the chasers onto the bike. I started hard and had James Hodge sitting on my hip for the first 700m or so. Thankfully he came past me and assumed the lead, allowing me to sit on and recoup from my earlier effort. I was suited up in a fresh BlueSeventy Helix wettie which provided unparalleled bouyancy bliss and we exited the murky water of Lake Burley Griffin in 23:17 (fortunately sans blue-green algae) with Michael Fox in tow and a decent gap to the chasers.
The three of us were really motivated to stamp our authorty on the race and put everyone else out the game. We all worked really well together trying to do exactly that, but the lumpy course didn’t provide much of an advantage to us working as a group. The 3 lap, looped course also provided no opportunity to see the gap to the chasers and with the traffic of age groupers realling thickening on the 2nd and 3rd laps, it was impossible to judge our lead. To add a little more flavour I suffered a nose bleed during the ride and it took about 20 minutes my platelets finally came to the party stemming the bloodflow. Resembling an extra from the Walking Dead, I pushing aside any thoughts of reduced red bloods cells and haemoglobin count I got on with the job at hand. I tried to push the last 20km on the bike as I knew some big gains can be made here and I especially wanted to clear out from guys like John Polson who has it over everyone with natural running ability.
The three of us hit T2 and after my usual sluggish transition I decided I was feeling antisocial and wanted go off the front. To my dismay I noticed we hadn’t put as much time into the chasers as I would have liked and Matt Pellow was charging through the field about a minute back. I kept on the gas and extended my lead to about 2minutes by halfway and I just kept telling myself to keep relaxed and stay focused. I felt really controlled throughout the run and was stoked to post a 1:14 run split to take the win. Matt Pellow ran into 2nd with James Hodge rounding out the podium. True to form Johnny Polson out split me by 8 seconds to cross in 4th.
Thanks to everyone for the messages of support. A big thanks also has to go to Tim Reed who has prepared me both physically and mentally over the past few months. He has been a huge influence on me and a facilitated my growth as an athlete to gain that extra couple of percent to challenge for the top step over the past few months and it feels great to get there. Thanks to all my supporters as well: Shotz, Scody, Echelon Sports, Blue Seventy, Hawkesbury Physio, 3D Bike Fit, Mum, Dad and Kat.
Hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Year.
Thanks for reading.
Check out a write up on the Ironman website.