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Challenge Taiwan – 1st Place

This weekend was the first race of part 2 of my 2015 season. It was the Challenge Taiwan Half distance triathlo11178247_436236169876821_7138678628434562368_nn in beautiful Taitung in southeast Taiwan. The race was on a special day for us Kiwis and Aussies being on the 25th April which celebrated the 100th year anniversary of ANZAC day, the first time New Zealand and Australian troops fought alongside each other when we landed on the beach in Gallipoli in World War I. It also marks my mum, Diane’s Birthday… I forgot to get her a present before I left home so there was extra pressure to break the tape in 1st place for her.

The race was set to be an ANZAC battle if there ever was one with only one male professional not being from NZ or Australia. With Dylan McNeice in the race it was sure to be a fast swim, he built himself a good 1-minute lead over us, the chase pack with included a couple other kiwis and a couple Aussies. But the pace through the 1st transition was so hot that it would see us splitting that bunch, it was only fellow Kiwi, Mike Phillips and myself, bridging across that one minute deficit to Dylan within 3-kilometers. The 3 of us made sure to keep the pressure on to cement our lead, which we slowly grew through the 90km cycle to 8 minutes over the rest of the field. We were in a good position for a kiwi sweep!

Starting the run, the mercury was rising, along with the humidity it was going to be a battle of attrition. Who of us could handle the heat best and pace ourselves efficiently. My legs felt good heading out onto the run and I quickly found my rhythm which saw me gaining a small gap on Dylan and Mike. Thankfully my lead kept growing and soon I found myself in the final kilometers of the 21km run, at 18km I relaxed and maybe a little too much cause I went from feeling okay to basically running the last 3km sideways. The heat had finally caught up.

It was a great to be back competing and coming home with the title makes it that much sweeter. Next stop for me is Perth where I will spend the week getting ready for Ironman 70.3 Busselton, a venue I have been wanting to get to for a long time, who knows maybe some wine tasting along Margaret River after the race…

Life since Nutri-Grain Ironman New Zealand has been pretty full on but Kelly and I have had a blast. Some of the things we have been up to include a photo shoot for Aquasphere wetsuits in Melbourne, visiting my brother in Sydney, work trip to Indonesia for Zabbana, good friends wedding in Matakana, painted the outside of my house with my dad and all this in my 2 weeks off before getting back into training for this block of racing…

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