So on Sunday at Ironman Western Australia, I have 5 athletes racing. I just thought I would give a small profile on the athletes I coach that are racing.
From youngest to oldest:
Kerri Thomas Female 25 - 29.
This is our first Ironman together and has been an enjoying time. Kerri did her first Ironman at Melbourne this year and finished in a time of 11hr 53min. Kerri then raced at Port Mc 70.3 and finished in 5hr 42min on a tough course/day. Noosa then followed a week later where a 12min PB was recorded.
Some solid training, doubts about how much was done and then realisation about how much had been done and Kerri arrives in good shape for IMWA.
What I am expecting from her:
Without putting pressure on, just small improvements across all 3 disciplines and maybe the biggest improvement on the run leg. A 4hr 24min Melbourne could be a lot closer to 4hrs here. I am looking forward to supporting her come Sunday.
Alastair Thompson Male 35 -39.
Al and I started together not long after Ironman Melbourne in which here was there as a spectator. Our first Ironman journey together was Ironman Cairns this year.
The planned result at Cairns for Al was to have a fun day and experience his first Ironman. We discussed him going around the 12 hour mark. I remember following all day watching the 5 athletes there via Ironman live and as Al was getting closer to the finish, I was texting Kerri (the better half) and giving her instructions on what to tell him what to consume at that time of the race.
The end result was Al finishing in 10hr 58min + change. We were both so over the moon, but I did remember asking him what he was doing in transitions as from memory it was up over the 10min for combined.
Since Cairns, Al & I have discussed different ways for him to get "Free time". Transitions was one of them, experience from his first was another. By being able to supporting him come race day, I know there will be a lot more improvements coming his way this weekend.
We have talked about "goal" times for this race and I believe that Al will go under the 10hr 30min mark if he replicates what he well at Cairns and improves on the little things that we have spoken about to get the "free time" with transitions etc.
Will be exciting to see Al go around with a firm goal of breaking 10hr 30min.
Travis Atkins Male 35 - 39.
The hardest trainer I know. One of the very few people that I refuse to train with as it just hurts to much. Day in day out, Trav just goes hard. Not always to the plan, but that's Trav.
We have been working together for 3 years now, the last section of this build Travis has been working with Andrew (my coach) whilst I was in Hawaii, trying to work out how to get the 10 or so minutes of his time to try and jag a spot for Kona.
He has been close without being close enough. Being a veteran of 5 Ironmans now & having a 9hr 33min & 9hr 38min next his name means that he can push the leaders in his age group.
I know come Sunday Trav will leave it all out there and will be around the mark. Just hope that with another voice (Andrew) preaching the same theme as what I have, he may be able to get into the low 9hrs where he deserves to be!
Kevin Choate Male 35 - 39.
Kev & I have been on the same path since January this year after Kev had an operation on his feet and was informed that his running days were over! Being a tough kid from the Western Suburbs, Kevin didn't accept this and we started him off very small (5min runs) back then.
The conversation has always been about how small the runs were and me talking him through the length of the runs come November (around 2hr 45min).
So Sunday, it will be great seeing Choatey prove a few people wrong and cross the finish line.
Having a fastest time of 11hr 59min at Ironman Australia 2008 and only doing 1 Ironman since, Kev is a big chance to set his fastest Ironman time on Sunday.
Kev will be smiling soaking up the atmosphere and just cruising along having fun. The only issue that we might encounter are the beers and bbq's set up on the side of the road. So if Kev's times disappear, big chance he has stopped for a few cold ones and a snag.
Seriously, I think Kev is capable of turning in a time of 11hr 30mins if he has his mind right and just ticks the boxes one by one come Sunday!
Last but not least is Adrian Ball Male 55 -59.
The most interesting of all. Last year Arch got dragged off the course whilst on the bike for riding on the wrong side of the road due to being really unwell.. (made to stop in medical after the ride)
Once checked over, he was told that he was right to go, with the medical team thinking he was done for the day. No not Arch, he went out and finished the Ironman.
A late starter to triathlons, Arch has come from a solid running back round boasting a sub 3hr marathon when he was in his 40's. Learning to swim has been his biggest battle, however once he gets onto the bike, he starts to smile and enjoy the day.
We all have hard luck stories, however at this race in 2010, Arch had the dreaded 3 punctures. Using up his spares, he had to wait on the side of the road for the Spares Van to give him a new one so that he could complete the race. Many would have pulled the pin, but not Archie Ball. Tough as nails.
He has visited to medical tent more than anyone I know post races and just knows how to hurt himself.
We have tried something totally different with his training this preparation (him training to his age and not trying to keep up with the young bucks!) and it has paid off so far with a 4th place at Shepparton 70.3 a few weeks back and having the 2nd fastest run time in his a/g.
I have also put Archie onto Daryl from Shotz Nutrition to help him get a nutrition plan that will work on Sunday.
With a few 11hr 47min under his belt, I really expect to see Arch down between 11hr and 11hr 15min which will be a great result.
So, overall I am very happy with the above are at and where I believe they will finish. Am happy for them to prove me wrong and perform a whole lot better ;)!!
Another quick shout out to Kim Michell (30 - 34 fem) who is also under the TMC banner and great mate "Ron can swim". Ron Ziessler who I stayed with here in my first Ironman. The man can punish the water and will be supporting him all day long.
Good luck to everyone who is racing!
PS. I have started my Canberra carb load and taper 9 days out. Will be fresh/fat & big chance of being slow!