Saturday, December 12, 2009

Taupo Half Ironman

Yesterday I finally managed to line up for my first race of the NZ summer. I had to miss the last two on my calendar as the winter/spring /summer transition always seems to deal me a bout of some kind of illness. This year a bronchial flu that rendered me out of action for around two weeks causing me to miss the Karapiro Half Ironman, and then not allowing enough preparation for the Tinman Olympic Distance race. So it was great to actually get in the water yesterday morning feeling good and ready to "feed it" to myself once again.

Rumours of Keiran Doe racing failed to eventuate which was disappointing. Any chance of racing against top athletes with a chance of beating them is something I love. Still, Keegan Willians, Tony Moulai, Blair Jordan and Brodie Madgwick were all here to make it quite a talented line up.

The Swim went quite well, I exited alongside Blair, Keegan and Brodie so I was happy with that as I had limited swimming in the lead up and was a little concerned as to how I would fare in the lake. Craig Stewart had a good lead after soloing to an excellent swim time and was quite a way up the road. I had a slow transition dropping my helmet and race number which caused me to lose the group. No biggie and within 5km I had reeled in and passed everyone apart from Craig. By around 12km I had caught Craig and was in the lead and set about putting time into everyone. My goal was to ride at 300W all day, however as I was pulling away from everyone I decide to back off a little and dropped it down to 290-ish to ensure a good run later on.

The Ride was pretty rough with torrential rain in parts, greasy roads making cornering very dodgy and some strong, gusty winds that freaked me as I was using a rear disc wheel. Still, it was warm and having the SRM power meter ensured even effort and I was happy and comfortable.

At the turnaround I had 3 Min's lead and by the end of the ride this had extended to 5m30s. I was stood down for 30secs in transition for un-clipping my helmet too early. I was off my bike, running through transition and un-clipped but left the helmet on. All new to me and very annoying considering I had been working hard for nearly 3 hrs to make the lead I had and now had people yelling at me to stop, the last thing I wanted to do! Still a good learning experience and a mistake I wont make again.

Once out on the run I dialed into just under 4min kms with my Garmin GPS watch pacing me. Its a very cool piece of kit to ensure you don't go charging off when full of adrenaline and end up ruining your chances of finishing well.
It was pretty comfy for most of the first lap and heading out on the 2nd lap I felt really good. Once at the turnaround I started to loose it a bit with the legs dying, I had to concentrate hard to keep my form efficient and flowing. I was running with guy who was on his first lap as part of a team, good to have him there to pretend I was actually racing him. I still had a 6min lead but was keen to keep running strong for the training effect to set me up for my next big race, the Tauranga Half in January. This is our National Champs where I am attempting to defend my title. Running up to the finish line was fantastic with heaps of friends and family there to cheer me on and of course Manda and Alex there at the end with my finishers medal.

I ran even splits which was pleasing considering the chequered lead up, and to win my first Taupo Half IM was fantastic and something that I have desired for some time. Im very confident of developing everything futher from here to be "fizzing" on January 9th in Tauranga.

Thanks to all the help and encouragement from all that have assisted and supported me. I hope this result goes someway to repaying the investments you have made in me =)

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