The last few weeks have not gone as smoothly as I would have liked. After a great preparation race at Ironman 70.3 Budapest I predicted my form would lift up nicely for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Austria the following week.
My body started to recover extremely well, energy levels were good and my muscles were on track. That is until Wednesday. I hadn’t managed to have one good night sleep while in Europe and suddenly my guts were playing up. With World Champs fast approaching my body was not heading in the right direction. I did my best to stay on task and I did a great job preparing mentally for a good race. I had a good swim and once on the bike I felt okay. I didn’t have the legs I had in Budapest a week previous but I didn’t feel as bad as I felt the on Saturday warming up. I was moving through the pack to chase down Frodeno who was slowly riding away from the group, I had passed Raelert who was slowly dropping back from the guys in front of him so I slotted in (staying well out of the draft zone of the guy in front), I was there for no more than 10seconds when I decided to keep rolling through the group. As I pulled out to pass the rest of the group the draft marshal decided he would give me a penalty for pulling into a line of guys who were evenly spaced. I still stand by my word that Raelert was dropping back and there was space to move in but at this stage there was nothing I could do. It is pretty hard to argue with a guy on the back of a motorbike when you are travelling over 50km/hour.
I tried to keep my focus but probably road a little too hard for the next 10 kilometers and when we hit the 14 kilometer hill my legs had turned to custard and no matter how hard I tried I could not stay in contention with the front group. At the 70km mark I had to stop for my 5minute penalty and watched the leaders ride away and the chasers pass me by. I didn’t want to give up mentally and I think I stayed pretty positive, that was until I got back on my bike and my quads, hamstrings and claves all started to cramp. Unfortunately this was the end of my race and all that hard work and preparation and being in the running for the $1 million Nasser Bin Hamad Triple Crown was over.
It was a long sobering trip back to NZ and finally a week later I was trying to get my last minute preparation done for the Sunshine Coast 70.3. I was really looking forward to unleashing the World Championship form I had under my belt and travelling with my new family for the first time. Also my brother Dino was doing his first 70.3 race. It wasn’t until the day before the race that my legs finally felt normal and I was ready.
The Swim went well and I felt strong on the bike, unfortunately Luke McKenzie and Tim Berkel bridged the gap during the bike and the 3 of us battled it out in the early stages of the run. Berkel was the first to make a move and he managed to snap the elastic to McKenzie and soon after to me. I tried to keep it together but my legs were not feeling it and with 1km to go McKenzie caught back up and unfortunately I had nothing in the tank to match him. Still on the podium I had to settle for the bronze. Tim and Luke showed they are in good form leading into the Ironman word championships in Kona in a few weeks
Kelly, Cavallo and I will be making the trip to Kona to watch the race and help out with some sponsor stuff. I am looking forward to getting a good block of training under my belt in the 2 weeks I am up there so I can finish off my season well.