The past 12 months has been filled with a diverse mixture of highs and lows. The highs of the birth of Alex, the Auckland Half title, PB at NZIM 08, the lows of my long walk at IM Canada and the Taupo Half seat post debacle. Then to top if off, following on from the lofty heights of winning the Tauranga Half, I was smacked back down to earth y'day with an insignificant crash at the turnaround on the first lap of the bike ruining my chances of a PB & top 5 position. It had been drizzling all morning and the roads were quite slick but nothing that caused great concern and as I approached the turning cone, at a sensible speed and gentle angle both wheels went out from under me and I hit the deck with a thud. I didn't even feel it coming, no fish tailing or sliding, one moment I was on my bike, next moment I'm lying on the ground. As you do in those embarrassing moments when you do something stupid in front of a large crowd of people I bounced back up and got back onto the bike and off I went again, my knee was aching and hip throbbing but I've had far worse crashes in my time and expected for it to subside to nothing.
I continued to ride well holding the same time to the front group that contained Cam Brown, Dirk Bockel, Terrenzo Bozzone, Stephen Bayliss and Jan Raphael. At the halfway point I was the same time down on them as I was out of the water, holding my own and feeling good. My nutrition was excellent and apart from the sore hip all was looking good. I moved into 6th not long after passing one of the American guys who had been dropped from the front group and rolled on out to Reporoa. During this leg I began to get quite sore in what I thought was my lower back on the opposite side to what hit the ground. This continued to stiffen and occasionally pinch on the last leg. My watts started to suffer a little with the pain but not enough to think my day was over. Back into town and I felt good, not too fatigued and ready to get the running legs going. As soon as I got off the bike the S*!T hit the fan. My lower bag was pinching, a real "nervy" pain and my right hip did not like the jarring of each step so I limped into the tent wondering what to do. The medics gave me some paracetamol which did nothing, I hobbled over the bridge to the other side of the road and limped off through the screaming crowd. It was a bad look, I looked like a 98 year old with chronic arthritis. I tried to jog it out but it was too much and I couldn't comprehend running a marathon with what was going on. I had many words of encouragement and words of wisdom and after 2km pulled the pin. Gutting, I had worked harder for this race than any other and have had more help from people in the lead up to this than ever before. The sacrifices made in time and finances have been huge, a split second destroyed all that work and I'm left with some impressive bruising and a possible 8 week lay off/recovery from a tear in my Sacro-illial joint (top of the pelvis). That was what all the pinching was in my lower back, not nice and tricky to get right according to the race Doc.
So that is that, an unhappy ending for me:( Aside from my day it was a brilliant race with Brown smashing everyone again and my Luembourgan training partner laying his lads on the line to go off the front on the bike and make the race interesting (finishing 3rd). Mates Westy (11th) and Mackay (12th) had great days so big ups to them. I will pay homage to them all tonight at the awards and drown my sorrows somewhat.
Thanks to all the people which have made a difference in getting me to where I was pre race. You are all special people and I am forever in your debt! It's definitely not a good time to make any plans yet for the immediate future but I can assure you I will be back to move on to the next challenge.
Oh, the pics show the bruising and swelling to my right hip compared to the normal sized left, not a bad effort for going 10kph at the time!