On Saturday I finished my 5th Half Ironman at Busselton. Race day coincided with my birthday this year and I must say it was a fun way to spend the day, doing exactly what I love!
I slept well the night before the race…. I mean really well…. Apparently there was a storm… I only found with out when Lisa and Mark were talking about it in the morning. My first thought was ‘I hope Di2 is water proof!
The Western Australian waters are now classed as the deadliest… thanks to our pointy friends in the ocean. With increased shark sightings/attacks in recent months, the event organisers opted to change the swim course to keep competitors closer to the shore.
Conditions in the water were choppy… which generally suits me; however this swim was another story! The conditions made it almost impossible to slight the buoys and I went WAY off course (like most people). I was really disappointed with myself during the swim and was quite negative (not what you want at the start of the race). I exited the water and had a look at the clock, showing just over 31min (it was a slow day)… When I got to my bike most bikes where still around and Mark and Luke were right there too! My attitude immediately changed –game on!
I am very confident on the Busselton bike course, my legs know what to do and they came out to play. I rode the first few kms with Mark and Luke and at the turn onto Layman Road I noticed Brad Wauer just up the road. I signalled to Mark that we need to bridge the gap and I went and never looked back. I rode up to Brad who then matched my pace. I rode hard for the first lap and went through the first hour in a 41km/average. Out on the second lap I continued to push the pace and opened up a gap to everyone behind me. At the 60km mark I lost my gel flask and made the decision to leave it. I still had enough on board so kept on pedalling. The last 20km were tough as the wind picked up. I managed to catch the leader of our age group just before transition.
My legs felt heavy getting off the bike which was not a great sign. I made a quick transition into my running shoes and started the half marathon. I struggled through the first 6km while my legs started to feel the rhythm. Brad passed my just before the end of the first lap and I made an effort to go with him, but could not match his pace. I kept turning my legs over to get to the finish line! Not a pretty run and I walked most of the aid stations.
I crossed the line in 4.26.44 enough for 2nd in the 18-24 age group – a great result and a BIG confidence booster leading into Hawaii 70.3 in a few weeks.
Congratulations to Brad Wauer for great win and to Luke Burton for rounding off the podium.
A special mention to Lisa who managed to get to the finish line in a PB time! We both accepted spots to the Ironman 70.3 World Champs in Las Vegas in September!
Well done to everyone who toughed out a tough day!
A big thankyou to Total Triathlon, LMW Hegney, Team K-Swiss/Break Your Limits, XU1 Sports and my Coach Stu (Eclipse Fitness) for you continued support in helping me chase my dreams. My preparation for this race was not ideal but to come out with this result gives me a lot of confidence.
Next stop, Hawaii 70.3