Ironman Australia 2014, the inaugural Ironman Club Champs and a big day out for Balmoral Triathlon Club with 50 entrants and a good number of first timers lining up. This year I had some specific goals set out after competing here last year, but my main focus of the day was to try to put together a relatively complete race with 3 solid legs, no physical implosions allowed!
The course was packed this year with club support, and the costumes and alcohol fueled cheering was especially amusing when you've been eating gels and bashed about by the wind all day, just what I needed to lighten my mood and keep me honest. Thanks to all BTC supporters, friends and family for their great messages of encouragement and to all my supporters who keep me kitted out and accountable throughout the training year, especially coach Bruce and Chris!
Here is a brief review of my race.
With a new 1 lap swim this year (and 2 weir crossings) I was looking forward to the swim course, the addition of the rolling start also made it easier for me to get straight into my own rhythm without going too hypoxic as the start was less congested. It was a cold start to the day, but the water was pretty nice and the currents were definitely favourable, I managed to swim with people most of the way enabling me to get out in under 55 mins, GOAL 1 achieved!
The beauty of a better swim is riding with better riders (this was a first for me), on a new bike this year and with my new Tokyo Wheels I was looking forward to a stronger bike leg, unfortunately my power meter was dead from the first pedal stroke and although I stopped at lighthouse beach on the way out to try to replace the battery, there was no luck - so from there on I was going by feel which I had happily come to terms with for the day. I tried to ride consistently, ride with groups where possible, and although there were strong winds on the second lap I was happy to be mainly passing people on the bike and getting nearer and nearer to the front of the field as I prepared to run (another first for me). I got off in 5.15 and was fairly pleased with my improvement and felt in control.
I got onto the run and I knew my SIS nutrition was working well for me as usual, I was feeling relatively good in the legs and I was soon moving past people on the run at a good pace. The goal was to try to stay consistently between 4-4.10 and not crumble in the final 12km like my previous IM attempts, but I knew the wind was going to dent this rhythm at times. I tried to measure my effort and not worry about pace too much in the final laps and the support I was getting from Bruce and the BTC supporters was keeping me very motivated (even if I don't look it). I finished with a 2.58, and felt like I kept it together pretty well and was glad to go under my goal time of 9.15, with Ironman WA to come later in the year.
The utmost respect goes to the top guys in the 30-34 age group, amazing times and solid performances,with 3 guys under 9 hours. Well done to all BTC participants and supporters, your efforts were amazing, and for the club to finish 3rd in Div 1 was a huge highlight. Seeing you all out o course definitely kept me going.
A special well done to Dani, who was amazing in her IM debut, not only did she finish near her goal of 11.30, she was smiling and focused all day! Very proud!