Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 - The Year in review......Part 1

I say part 1 as this was how my year really was....In 2 parts and it would be unfair to really include both in the same review.

I started 2010 with grand dreams after a near perfect 2009, after just missing my Kona spot at WA, I really thought that getting that spot at New Zealand Ironman would be a walk in the park. I started the year thinking that it would just happen, little did I know in this sport.....nothing just happens. I was very complacent with my training and only swam three times for the year leading in. I did a lot of cycling (as I always did) and was very inconsistent with my running. I would run 20+k on consecutive days but then would be forced to have days off due to being exhausted. This was my pattern for most part of the months leading into IMNZ. My weight was also up on previous years, started the race at 96.5kgs. 4kgs more than the first 2 Ironmans that I had done.

Hence you could say that I was always going to struggle to have a good race let alone get my kona spot. Below is the race report of the race :

So after that disappointing race and not reaching my goal, I did some soul searching and decided it was time to find a coach who could take me to Kona.

The search begun, contacting no less than 6 coaches and seeking advice from many an athlete about various coaches, I was determined to find the coach who not only could take me to Kona, but who was also one that I was more than comfortable working with.

This process took a few weeks, which didn't bother me as I had no idea what was next in store for me. A lot of research went into my search for the "right" coach and I was determined to find him/her. I had my criteria, whether necessary or not, but I was adamant to make sure this coach was going to suit me, not just sell me a program and only want something to do with me once I started showing some potential.

After going through my process, I decided to take the next step and meet with Andrew Sinclair, from Triathlon & Multisport coaching, to see if we suited each other. After meeting up with him and talking about goals etc, he was my man. We then sat down and worked out goals for 2010 together in what we both thought was achievable and set about designing a program to suit this.

It would be easy to say the rest is history, but the year was way to successful to leave it at that.

For now...


Part 2 to follow in a few days.

Have a happy new years and a better 2011!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Good....The Bad....The Ugly....

So, after sitting down with Andrew last Monday night and deciding that I would start training again last week, it has not gone according to plan. But.....I DON'T CARE!!

I have had 1 session of each since WA and have hated every minute of it so far. What does this mean?? I am done for this year. I originally had plans to race next week up at Benalla but have also decided to scrap that idea. I know that I am done for the year due to the fact that training seems like a chore. Nothing seems enjoyable about it...even though I haven't been, just the thought is tiring at the moment.

Plans will be re-adjusted to start again next year, so for now I am just all about enjoying the festive season. Anyway....what do I care?? I am off to KONA 2011!!


Qualifying for KONA 2011 - can't say that enough!! Sorry if it bothers you, because it is not bothering me.

Not having to stress about a race early in the new year as I reached my goal.

Enjoying the festive season and I have been on the Corona wagon, drinking beers that rhyme with that Kona you can never complain about that!!! And plenty of them.

Being on the receiving end of a fixed wheel bike....this completes my set now. And to get out on it when the weather improves will be some fun.

Having an appearance in a local paper:

And an article about the race:

And finally, being notified that I have won the Australian Half Ironman series in the 30-34 a/g.


The me no incentive to train!!

The amount of Coronas that I have consumed since WA!! (well maybe not bad)


The 5kgs that I have added since WA!! All well paid for mind you!!

For now...


PS. I would like to add that I have received well over 4,200 page hits spanning across 20+ countries. So, feel free to through a comment in good, bad or indifferent!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The year is still going strong!!

So, after finally qualifying for Kona, my goal since I started this caper. I am still enjoying the conversations about it with every friend I see. It is amazing the support you have even when you don't realise that it is there.

I do want to thank every for their well wishes and congratulations since I returned from Busso. With Kona not being until October 2011, I extend an invite to ANYONE who wants an excuse for a holiday to come support.

I met with Andrew Monday night to go over the race and have a de brief along with planning for the next few months (what I thought was the next few months!!) We have basically planned right up until October, without the finer details put in place yet. WTF?!?!? I cannot plan next week let alone 10 months in advance. I suppose that is why I have him as my coach!
After the 2 1/2 hour meeting a rough guide was penned and it was decided that I needed to get back into training not only for my sanity (is a shock going from 18+hrs per week to nothing!!) but also for my liver & kidneys after many a celebratory ale.
So, to date a ride, run and swim has been what I have encounted. Not to much joy, but with the summer about to hit (I hope), I know that it will be more enjoyable having coffee/catchup rides with mates. Having a chin wag and a laugh will be the order of the rides.
Flowing on from my successful year to date, I have also been asked to test out some new running shoes. It is a relatively new shoe, with having some success overseas, it has been introduced to Australia. You can check it out here: Below are some photos of the shoe. I am curious and excited to give them a go and am confident of a good report from them.
I have one more race left for this year and will be back into some reasonably consistent training again.
For now...

Friday, December 10, 2010

What to say?!? Where to start?!?

I have been thinking of where to start my race report. Realistically it should start back in March when I spoke to Andrew Sinclair ( about the prospect of coaching me. I can honestly say without him, I would have had to wait another year as the field for this Ironman was a lot hotter than my first two attempts and without the trust and respect I had for Andrew and his coaching, I know that my race report would be a lot different to the one that I am about to write.

So, firstly, a MASSIVE thanks to Andrew for instilling a program for me and my ways to get me where I wanted to get to.....KONA 2011!!

Coach Andrew Sinclair & his coaching.

Onto race day:

Pre race went according to plan....Ate some "real food" this year as previous years I had only ever had a liquid breakfast. I did have my usual race morning vomit, which I was happy with as there is nothing better than sticking to routine!!

Once we arrived down at transition, got numbered and prepared I was quite relaxed about the day ahead. I knew that I had done everything possible to be in the shape I was....FYI I raced at 92.5kgs.

The Swim:

I positioned myself at the front on the right hand side of the pack, thinking that I would have a direct line to the turn around. After conversations with others after the race, the general consensus was the pier side was the fastest. I had a really good start and got settled early, after about 15min or so, it got a little choppy and I drifted on top of another swimmer who gave me a nice elbow in the eye. Without panicking, I quickly stopped fixed my goggles as got going, cost me not time at all. After that I copped one on my funny bone, great tingle up & down my right arm. Didn't need to stop, but made me wonder if I was swimming straight to was it me going all over the shop?!?

Up to the turn around, where the chop was very apparent, I was still comfortable how I was going, hanging onto a group....No idea which one it was at the time!! With about 1.5k or so to go, I once again drifted on top of another swimmer, this time a lovely kick to the face.....Startled, but determined not to panic, I had to stop again to fix my goggles, but unfortunately I lost the group once done. I really didn't want to bust a boiler this early trying to get back to them. So I found my rhythm again and just plodded along until swallowed by 2 guys. I had a quick look to see if there was a pack coming, which there wasn't, so sitting with 2 was always going to be better than swimming solo.

I held these guys until the end of the swim and exited in 56min 31sec.....A pb by 30secs and was feeling really good.

In and out of T1 without hassles, I was pretty keen to get onto the bike.

The Bike:

I settled quite early and got into a good tempo. Once everything got going, I found myself riding with Luke Goard (Hawaii 2010 finisher in 9hr 14) and I knew that he would be a really good guy to stay with on the bike.

With Luke and another guy from an older age group we decided to each do 5min intervals on the front to make inroads to the respective leaders in our age group. With a few time checks, after giving 5min start, we quickly got that down to 2 mins after approx 60k. Things were going well and I felt really good. I got in plenty of nutrition and the three of us were going along very smooth until the "older" guy decided that Luke & I were going to hard for him. So, now it was2 chasing 2, as Brad Bullock and Tim Kitching were both in the same group up the road.

We eventually caught these two on the last lap with around 50k to go. I was still feeling good and happy where things were headed. We hit the turn around with 40k to go and once this happened, something happened to my back which forced my lower back and legs to go numb. I lost power and speed and could no longer work with Luke. He rode off and I decided to try and find a rhythm again, to no avail. I could not get going. My speed dropped from 39kph to 33kph and had no luck going any faster. Brad and Tim then rode passed me and my mindset was not to panic, but to try and limit my losses from there. I held Tim within sight all the way into T2. I had never been more happy to get off the bike and start running.

Ride time: 4hr 46min 13sec

Once again in and out of T2 without any issues.

The Run:

So, out of T2 and onto the run. I left with Tim Kitching, only to see him leave me for dead instantly. My mind set was, there is still 3+ hrs to go, no need to panic. Apart from the first couple of k's which were all around the 4.10k pace, I settled into a comfortable tempo, with a time looking to be around the 3hr 15min mark.

After around 5k, I caught Tim and knew that I was into 3rd. Still a long way to go was in my head. I was confident of running the whole distance as the training that I had been doing prepared me for this. Nothing else major happened for the next 10k, then Nathan Ashton caught and passed me. With seeing Carla in the opposite direction, see gave me a good old fashioned "rev up" and I told her that she was in 1st for her age. Nath stayed out in front of me for around 3-4k but never seemed to put much gap into me. Staying calm I caught him around the 22k mark and found myself in 3rd again.

I knew that I had to maintain my form as I still had the other half to go. I went through the first half in 1hr 37min, very happy. I was confident that if I did everything right, I would be able to hold Nathan at bay. At the end of the third lap the support crew got cheering (see pics) and I was still going well. The little whippet Nicolas Hemat flew by, causing my to drop a few OMG's!! He ended up running a 3hr 4min marathon and broke the 9hr mark.

Still refusing to panic and getting updates from the crew, I was still in 4th, holding 5th at bay. From here I decided that unless one if the guys in front pop, I am going to finish 4th. At the time I thought that there was only 3 slots in my a/g and 4th was more chance of getting a spot than 5th!! I made sure that I kept eating and drinking without jeopardising my position. The aid stations were easier to jog through than walk as my quads were well entrenched in the hurt locker. So the plan for the final 6-8k were a slow jog through the aid stations getting plenty on board.

Entering the final finishing chute I did something that I thought I would regret.....I kissed the M dot on the ramp...What was I thinking. I got announced as Zaviere Kopek, you are an Ironman, which is still bringing reminders from the lads!!

My run time was 3hr 20min 16sec.....A pb by almost 20min and a finishing time of

9hr 6min 52sec....4th in age group....24th overall and a pb of 17min.

After seeing everyone else finish, and watching Carla take her Age group and get an automatic spot for Kona, I was unsure where I was. Previous years only 3 in my age got spots. Did I have to rely on a roll down?? I had no idea. Tammy spoke to Luke's wife who said that he wasn't taking his spot, but you never know until acceptances are taken or refused.

Many a beer was had that night to celebrate not only my race, but Travs (9hr 38min) and Archs(11hr 47min) first Ironman along with ol' mate Benny's 3rd Ironman Finish.

The next morning, breakfast was on order before the 9am acceptance notification. We strolled down to this, trying to be calm but hoping for the best. Into the tent we went just hoping to see my name above the line. An instant smile and cuddle for/from Carla after seeing 4 spots in my age group. WE ARE GOING TO KONA!!

After going to roll down to see and pay for it, I realised that I had achieved my goal from 4 Ironmans ago....A Kona slot. After missing by 1 minute last year, I finally made it.

The awards night was fantastic and the smile on my face was always there.

I do have many people to thank to helping me get there and I do hope that these people will be there to see me finish KONA 2011!!

Benny, My training partner and 3 time Ironman finisher with me!
Stormy, just for keeping me honest about reminding me my goals!!
Jas, see above with Stormy.

The above 3 guys have been there for the 3 years and without them the training would have been very lonely.

Travis Atkins & Archie Ball for joining the journey this year and completing their first Ironman, rumour is Challenge Cairns for them....hooked!!

Coach Andrew, see first paragraph.

Scott from Xosize, David from Hammer, Florian from Erox amongst many others for looking after me with product.

There are many others who have assisted along the way and I thank ALL of you for this.

For now...



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's going to take a while for this to sink in!!

Just a quick one before I do my main race report. I am going to have a few days to really reflect on the significance of the weekend. Not only for myself, but for Carla, who won her age group and is going to Kona for the 3rd consecutive year.

Both very happy after accepting our Kona Slots!! (No roll down for us either, just automatic qualifying!!)

Now for me, everything was amazing....I will wait until I get some photos from the whole day to post and it will probably indicate more of the happiness and excitement of what I have achieved. I do have many people who did play a BIG BIG part in me qualifying for Hawaii and will ensure that they are acknowledged.
Me after my name was to accept my spot.....VERY VERY happy!!!

The calm before the storm..

For those who have never experience the site of an Ironman swim start, it is one amazing feeling.....Check out this pic below, this would be 30 sec after the gun went.....

For now I will just leave it at that until it actually sinks in and then post a race report.

My times were: Swim - 56.31

Ride - 4:46.13
Run - 3:20.16
Overall - 9:06.52
Age - 4th
Overall - 24th
For now
We're going to KONA baby!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

T's crossed and I's dotted

As I sit here the day before the race at 5.20am local time, I have been trying to keep my sleeping patterns the same. Perth is 3 hours behind Melbourne and since we arrived I have been making sure that try to I maintain the same patterns. With the early start tomorrow 5.45am local time and the transition opening at 3.30am, this does not seem like a big deal due to the fact that it would be race start at 8.45am and Transition open at 6.30am.

So, in saying that I missed the pre-race briefing at it started at 8.30pm last night. This morning includes a few small final sessions then carb loading continues, which has not seemed as bad this trip as we have added a lot of sweet things in....mmmmmm

The weather for tomorrow has continually changed and I am hoping for a little wind not long after race start, as along with this and the new 12 metre drafting rule, I think that it will be a little more advantageous to the cyclists. But really at the end of the day, if you don't nail the marathon, who gives a 5h1t what you did on the bike.

It is a good field across most age groups and also in the pro's, with reigning champ, Patrick Vernay back again, Pete Jacobs racing after another fine Kona effort including a 2.41hr marathon off the bike. Luke Bell is trying to regain some IM form also. This is just a few top quality pros going around tomorrow.

For me, my age group has some real quality age groupers. All the 1/2 IM winners so far racing, Luke Goard, who recently did Hawaii in 9.15hr or so along with other familiar names to me. But really at the end of the day, I can only control what I do on race day and am confident that if I only worry about what I do, my result should be what I want it to be.

I did get some advice from Kristian Manietta yesterday about a few little things as he went 8.57hr here in 2008 and only got a roll down slot...WTF?!?! But anyway, he is a well respected coach and had 6 athletes recently compete at Kona with 4 podiums.....A guy worth listening to!! So I did take those little things on board and along with his Trigger Point therapy which he showed me, Kristian was more than happy to lend a hand.

Good Mates Trav & Arch are venturing into unknown territory tomorrow for there first IM and I am very excited to see them cross the line. I have been assisting them all year and have seen them improve rapidly over this time. Trav clocked a 4hr 15min at Shep recently (30-34) and Arch broke 5 hours for the first time 4hr 53min (50-54). I can see the nerves building with these two guys and have been trying to give as much advice as possible, like Ronny did for Ben & I in our first.

Ol' mate, and great mate Ben, although after this race we did decide to have a break from each other :-) is going well and is as calm as I have ever seen him pre-race. We both know that he has been more consistent than the previous 2 IM's we have done together. The nerves might kick in later once we check all our gear in, but for now things are calmer in the hotel. There has been no items in fans, no mystery drawings about the place. Things are looking really good for him also.

For me I am excited, relaxed, but edgy all the same, wanting more to start the race than to wait much longer. All that I know that all the t's have been crossed and the i's dotted.

For Now...


Woof Woof