Thursday, November 22, 2012

Shepparton 70.3... Another great race!

Race Number 5 at Shepparton 70.3 has come and gone.

I didn't have my fastest time there, however did manage my best result. 2nd in my A/G & 8th Amateur across the line.

I didn't think that the field was as strong as previous years when I went through the start list due to a lot of the familiar names in my age group either missing or in the 35-39.

As the saying goes, you can only race against those you turn up.  My main threat for the day was Jamie Black (4hr10min Busso 70.3 2012) and whom I swim with (when I get there) at Yarra Tri.

The swim start was the calmest that I have ever been in, so it was easy to settle into a good rhythm.  I was a bit surprised how early in the race we caught the waves ahead, so all I could do was to negotiate them by taking an inside line to get an uninterrupted swim.  By half way around the swim I did notice someone in my a/g that I was swimming next too.  A bit of experience here and I know how big the male ego is, I let him go and just tucked in behind him and got sucked around for the remaining part.  Thanks Brett!!

Swim time: 29.07...nothing flash, but was 8th in my a/g on the day.  Probably a little faster than where I am at due to the Rocket Science Wetsuit.

Getting my wetsuit off, I also removed my timing chip, so was unsure what would happen post race.

On looking back at the results, I was really surprised that the fastest swimmer only swam 27.37 as previous years there had been  few 25's in there.

Onto the bike, I was just satisfied with having a solid day.  I settled quite early and started to pass people at a rapid rate.  I did recognise Barny who was in my a/g and when I went by, I was confident that I would be near leading the age group, if not in 2nd.  The good thing about Shepparton's numbering system is that it is in alphabetical order, so unless you know the person, it is hard to determine what age group they are in.

Catching Banger around the 35k mark was also pleasing as he is a far superior swimmer than me and also started a few minutes ahead.

Heading back towards the turnaround, I could see the pro's coming towards me and looked like a fair bit of separation at the head of the field.  Once I turned, I saw the age groupers coming towards me and did see some good packs (but that doesn't mean drafting as you can legally sit off the back and still be a back) and was expecting them to catch me on the second lap.

Nothing else exciting happened on the bike, I started to catch a few female pro's and at about 75k into a cross head wind, David Meade caught me, which was a blessing due to I was just starting to struggle.  I was able to pace of David and work a few turns with him (all legal as we had a bike with us) until into T2.  As we were getting near T2, I noticed Jason Shortis was just ahead of us and was pleased to have caught him getting into transition.

Ride time was about 2hr 16min (results not correct on site due to timing chip and they made up the times!)

Fastest in Age Group and only possible due to the Schnell Carbon Wheels, so thanks again Karl for your support and also to CBD Cycles for fixing my bike on the Saturday pre race!

I got off the bike and got my running gear on and got out in front of Jason Shortis and David Meade.  I was and settled into a sub 4min pace and had David Meade fly by.  The guy is a freak.  After 2k Jason Shortis came steaming past and all I could hear was the puffing and panting he was making.

I was really happy with my pace, running about 4min/k and when the 3k mark hit, Jamie came smoking by.  My next concern was to minimize the loss and the amount of people running by, so I kept the intake of the Shotz Gels and knew that I would be fine.   My legs held really strong until the 18k mark where they started to fatigued and my splits blew out above 4min 10sec per k.  But by then I had 2nd in the bag.

Run time approx 1hr 24min

Getting to the line in 4hr 15min & 2nd was really satisfying and another solid race and podium under the belt.

The more pleasing part of my day was the athlete's results that I coach.

Rene Rutze 4th 50-54 incl Vegas Spot
Adrian Ball 4th 55-59
John Cahill 5th 45-49 including fastest age group swim time of the day & Vegas spot
Ben Hughes 6th 35-39


Michael Harvey 8th 25-29


Tim Tingiri 30min PB
Jason Dwyer 6min PB


Cameron Wood 1st 70.3 5hrs 20min
Adam McCarthy 1st 70.3 5hrs 31min
Naomi Wood 1st 70.3 5hrs 32min
Nathan Coppock 1st 70.3 6hr 24min

With the remaining athletes, everyone got something out of the race, whether it be a good hit out for Ironman or a PB in a particular discipline.  So a BIG congrates to all who took the start line.

For me, have to thank Andy again for getting me up and about for this race only 2 weeks after my 3rd at Murray Man and only 5 weeks after the Hawaiian Ironman.

For Now... A bit of rest and recovery before I get fine tuned for Canberra 70.3 in 3.5weeks.


PS.  A big shout out to Matt Stacey for the treatment to get me mobile again after my back was playing up.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Next Stop... Shepparton 70.3

As I have stated in earlier posts, I have decided to have a big season of racing.  Not to perform at my best in every race, just to get a few races under the belt.

After Murray Man 2 weeks ago, this weekend sees me back in the 30-34 a/g at Shepparton 70.3.

A quick update on how things are going:

Swim: Average, if I swim 29min it will be a good result

Bike: Ok, aiming for a fast first lap and then hold on for the 2nd sub 2hr 20min will be a good time.

Run: I am happiest running at the moment, with the only concern is the constant flaring up of the sciatica at the moment.  It has been really random and comes on without any regularity.  I am getting treatment a couple of times a week just to free it up.  So based on this I will either run just under 1hr 30min or blow out to 1hr 50min if it flares up on race day.

Shep 70.3 for me is just for a good hit out.  This will be my 5th race here and one that I have had good results but never been on the podium.  A few years back I went 4hr 11min and finished 7th in my a/g after towing the group around on the bike.

To have a good result, I need the wind to be blowing a bit to break up the bike and give me some time to catch the swimmers and put time into the runners.

After Shepparton, I head to Canberra to race for the first time there which I am looking forward to.  Canberra will be my last race for the year.

In the new year, I am off to race the Trek Albany Triathlon in WA, then hit Auckland 70.3, then Geelong Long Course before I have another crack at Ironman Melbourne.  I have a couple of other options in mind also and will make decisions on those races as it gets closer.

So, what am I looking for by doing all these races??

Just to have some fun with races that I know and races that I don't.  To experience a few different courses without any expectation on results.  I know once I get to the start line I will want to race well, however I will not be focusing on 1 race more than an other.

To get a series of races in the legs will also save me from the real long hard slog of training leading into Melbourne, yes I will have long days, but this will be mixed in with racing.  A perfect blend I think (hope!!)

For Now...


PS. If anyone out there is willing to offer any kind of support, please either leave a comment and I can contact you or send an email using the contact section in the top left of my blog.  I am happy to discuss what I can do in return.

My next blog will discuss "Operation 30"!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Murray Man - Race Report

This one won't be as long as my Kona Race Report... The race was only 1/2 the distance.

After being first across the line in 2011, I thought that I would throw my hat into the "open" category for 2012.

Seeing a good dozen or so male "open" entrants was going to enable me to just gauge where I am at. 

And No, I don't have ambition to take a pro licence!  However, if I think that I am in good shape I might do another "open" level race.

Seeing Matty White (triathlete, not cyclist) on the list meant that the rest of us were really racing for 2nd unless something went wrong on race day for him.

The race morning was rather eventful, getting to the race at 7.20am for registration and transition closing at 7.30am meant for a frantic start.  The main cause of this was due to the temperature forecast for 39 deg and me pumping in 3-4 bidons of Shotz Electrolytes on the 2.5hr drive there from my best mates house.  So, yes the morning started at about 4.30am.

Getting everything set up, with the help of Carla, Paul, Sam & Isla, I was done by about 7.32am.  The next 20min were about getting relaxed ready for the start.

I was excited to have a good race, not to make up for Kona, but to see if I could "hold my own" in "open" company.

I had also heard that a swim start for the "open" is easier as you can find someone's feet to sit on from the start and there is less hustle and bustle.

That was my plan, find Kev Fergusson (2nd O/A 2011, 1st Open 2011) and try to sit on his feet as I was sure that if I worked to this plan, I could be able to run him down earlier than last year.

After a short warm up, getting the HR going again, I was ready.  The countdown was on and I was in the perfect position for me.  As the horn sounded, we were off.  I had the perfect sit, behind Kev and another guy (think his name was Phil, I will call him that for now!!)

After about 300 odd metres, Phil started to swim me off course, unsure if this was a plan or just bad navigation.  I tried to bridge the gap across to Kev, however I had lost his toes.  Phil was a far superior swimmer to me and he left me for dead.  I was back solo and with my arms and lungs screaming at me, my initial thought was it is going to be a long day.  I settled back into a rhythm and was soon passed by some other "open" category male and females and then some age groupers came swimming by (Yes, swimming is my weak leg).

The rest of the swim was uneventful and seeing 30min + change as I hit the beach, I wasn't that disappointed from what training I had done since Kona on my swim.

The weirdest thing about the swim... With a couple of days in a row above 30 deg, it was still a wetsuit swim and the water was cold.

Getting into T1, I saw most of the "open" bikes had gone and thought that I have a lot of work to do.

Onto the bike and noticing that sun was out in full force.  My main goal was to have a solid ride and see if I could bridge the gap to Kev.  Carla let me know that I was 3min behind him.  Being a 4 lap course, it was easy to see the field.  I was passing a/g after a/g and then a few of the "open" athletes.  By the time the 3rd lap was starting I was in 5th overall and 3rd "open".  My legs felt heavy and the heat was taking its toll on me.  The hot dry wind meant that the fluid intake felt like it was just being sucked out of my body.  I vomited a lot on the bike (becoming a regular thing) and also squirted electrolytes on me as I thought it was water, sticky situation!

Getting back into T2, I knew that I had given up another 3min to Kev on the bike (Meanwhile Matty White was a long way up the road on the run).  A 6min lead to run down over 20k was always going to be tough, esp after Kev was fresh and I was unsure how much carry over fatigue I had in my legs from Kona.

Heading out onto the run I was in 2 minds, do I try to run him down or do I try just to hang onto 3rd?  I decided to have a crack for the first 10k's and see what my position was and then reassess.  The temperature was hot and staying hydrated was another key.

After the first 10k I had caught 2 1/2 min on Kev and when the course changed to run a short lap (2 big and 2 small laps) Kev, ran the big lap by mistake which meant that he ran an extra 500m or so.  The call came out that I was then only 2min down on him with 4k to go.  Was going to be tough.  Did I want to defeat a guy who accidentally ran too far, or could I even catch him??

I decided that if I tried to run him down, that I would battle to get to the end, so I played it safe and protected 3rd which by then I was informed that I was over 10min ahead of 4th (talking open category).

Getting to the end was a massive relief and knowing that I finished 3rd "open" was very satisfying also.  I was 4th across the line behind Matty White, Kev Ferguson & Derik Cross (30-34 a/g).

Once official results are posted, I will add them here.

For Now..


Next race Shepparton, back to age group racing where I belong!!