So, after many months of planning and training it was finally race day.
I was confident of a good result knowing the work I had put in.
The brief version in like this:
Swim 1hr 5min
T1 3 odd min
Ride 4hr 47min
T2 3 odd min
Run 4hr 26min
Total Time: 10 hr 24 min
Race Morning was the standard up early. I felt really great on race morning as I went to bed about 8pm the night before and was up at 4.30am. Had a few toilet stops, but nothing different.
My pre race vomits also happened, a coffee, breakfast and then down to the start.
I love this sport for many reasons, the nerves you get race morning when it is pitch black and all you can see is the Transition Lights, all you can hear is Mike Reilly (The voice of Ironman) and all you can feel is the nervous energy from all athletes and supporters.
Getting down to the meeting point and seeing my support crew was really great. I saw Mike Reilly and got a photo with him (All photos will be downloaded on my return to Aust).
I then went to get the famous stamps on my arms, on the way out, who was walking next to me Faris Al Sultan, I was loving it. Walking side by side with a previous winner here was just amazing. Getting weighed was next....
I weighed in at 96kgs, happy days. No that was not my race weight, it was well under 90kgs, that was fully loaded from carbs and liquid. I must agree with what Pete Jacobs said in his victory speech that too many people start way too light and by the time they get to the run, they have nothing left!!
Off to my bike to add my nutrition and pump up the tyres. A bit of De Ja Vue here as my front tyre wouldn't inflate... My first thought was not again, I didn't panic, I checked the valve and noticed some muck in it, so I got rid of that and bingo, tyre at 120psi.
After double checking everything, it was time to relax for a bit before the start. With the pros starting 30mins in front of us and me being ready with 1hr to go, I just kicked back with the family. Greg & family also were near us, so we had a chat about a few things and relaxed. Andrew and a few others were also there, so a few pictures and things were looking good.
Fast forward 30min.
The first of the cannons sounded and the pro race was off. Oh, I love that noise.
This is where I made my first change from last year. I decided to get into the water early and find a good spot (or what I thought was). I swam up to the marshalls on the boards and just hung onto one of those. All things looking good. I positioned myself about 10-15metres from the pier and was really happy with this.
After a few more minutes, it got crowded. REALLY crowded. I did question my reasoning for choosing this spot and did think about moving. No, not today, I needed to find out if this was a better spot than last year.
The nerves were all in check and I was just counting down the time until race start. Coping a few kicks and some elbows, I was really enjoying this.
The cannon misfired so all we got was Mike's voice going... GO GO GO!! Then apparently the cannon sounded.
Straight into a fight... Arms and legs going everywhere, I couldn't find a good rhythm, but I just kept forcing my way. This must have lasted for 500m, wow, I started to think that this was probably a bad position to start in. Never mind, let's just keep going and see. The speed suit I wore started to chaff me (I have some great pics of this) however it didn't stop me, I knew it was going to hurt later.
Don't stress, I have a race to try and win here.
Getting to the turning boat in 32min 50 sec was just a fraction slower than last year, maybe a favorable current on return.
Oh yeah, I failed to mention the guy whose toes I was touching, who turned around, pushed me and said, "Stop touching my toes Asshole!" in a real strong American accent. This surprised me as with this many people, it was always going to happen!
Anyway, back to the turn boat where I stopped after 1 guy tried to swim over me and dunked him under, I think he got the point!!
Heading back to the pier, the chaffing was hurting but all I could think about was getting onto my bike, knowing that I was here to give that a massive crack!
With about 500m to go I was still feeling good and was thinking that I might swim close to 1hr. I stopped at one stage to have a quick look at my watch and saw 51min 40 sec (don't know why I did this one as I had no idea of how far I had to go!!).
Getting back to the pier I was relieved, once I looked at the clock and saw 1hr 5min + I knew I had some work to do. Getting some sunscreen on my back, I realised then that my chaffing was bad!! (It is just about healed now, 6 days after the race).
Shoes on, banana eaten, a flask full of gels consumed and I was ready to "start my race".
I will update the ride part soon and try to add some photos.