Wednesday, October 28, 2009

World Long Course Champs

My first World Champs racing in the Pro Category has come and gone, good times and a great race. An interesting distance, 3km swim, 80km bike and 20km run. It is really more suited to the Olympic distance guys stepping up than IM guys stepping down due to the extended swim and shorter ride. Still I was keen to see where I was against some sharp athletes. I had a farily good lead up, Taupo's weather made it challenging but I made the best of it and was in good form. I was ranked 38th and was keen to show everyone that I was better than that and deserve a smaller number next time!

Race day came with a howling wind blowing directly down the opening 1800m swim leg. This made things very tough from the start with a short heavy chop that made sighting tough and breathing tougher. Once the cannon sounded the pace was brutal, I hung onto a group for around 800m before losing them and swimming the rest solo (again!!!). The dirty black water and jellyfish added to the unpleasant experience and I ended up exiting the water 24th around 6 mins behind the leaders. I didn't know this at the time and set about getting on with the rest of the day.

Onto the bike, a 4 lap ride that only had one short section where you felt the full benefit of the wind behind you. The rest of the time was a "mean" side/head wind. There was a 12m drafting rule which worked well and I was impressed by the competitors adhering to it and the firm marshalling working hard to remind people of the rule.

It was a cool course and a lovely surface. I didn't feel as dominant as normal, my goal was to average 300W for the 80km, something I felt from training would ensure a good run. By the end I averaged 299W so pretty close. My heartrate was very low showing good fitness but I put the feeling of non-dominance down to too much wind-trainer riding and not enough on the road. I was lacking that little bit of extra strength I normally have and am confident of pushing more in the up-coming races. I had pulled in around 6 guys on the ride so was now up into the top 20.

Onto the run I started out pretty conservatively to make sure I did'nt cook myself in the 32 degree heat. I knew lap 3 of the 4 was going to be the killer so the focus early was to ensure I saved a bit up fo that. A guy from Monaco and a Brazillian past me early but by lap 2 I had pulled them back in and started working on the next few.

I also had the NZ gazelle Liam Scopes working on catching me so there was added motivation to keep pushing harder. My heart sank for Paul who had a re-occurance of a heart complaint, still put any non-finishers to shame by finishing it off and then promptly collapsing into bed back at the hotel.
I had a couple of flat spots but was happy with my strength and pushed on through to finish with a top 10 run split and 14th overall. A solid effort for me, great to see the running coming on well. I need to get this swim time down so am planning some real focus in this area. Coming from our winter, I had done zero open water swimming in the lead up, not good when trying to match top ITU triathletes. Had I come out of the water closer to the leaders a top 10 overall was definately on the cards.

All in all a great trip, big thanks to travel buddy Westy for all his help, putting up with me, sorting my dodgy hip and showing me around Perth. Also to Liam for pushing me hard and Bev McKinnon for his help and great support. Thanks to all my support team and sponsors, without you this will not have been possible so thanks to everyone. Well done to the rest of the NZ team, next year is in Germany I think, a 4-120-30 which would be a better distance for me. Better start saving!


  1. Hey nice post Dunc... you have to be very happy with this result... this has to have been your best race result overseas?? It's always harder to be competitive 'away from home' and your performance shows how much you have improved as an athlete... I hope you're back on the straight and narrow though now... no beer, no wine, no sugar... no gluten... no this that and the other... ;-)

  2. Good work champ. That's the Worlds you're talking about there. Impressive stuff, especially this early in the NZ season.

  3. @ West+Tom, thanks chaps, yep best o'seas result so far. Must have been the Westerlies calming influence;) And yes, the no-list is back in vouge.