After the long trip from Bahrian to Perth and with the body feeling pretty battered from the weekend before race, I was stoked to have my Physio Tawhai, here in Perth with me. After hours of massage, throughout the week, I felt back to normal and I was ready to get the show on the road. It was going to be a pretty hot race with some hot competition like fellow countryman Cameron Brown and Dougal Allan and I fighting against the Aussies which included Tim Van Berkel and Kona bike course record holder Cam Wurf just to name a few.
In the lead up the temperatures were very mild, like low 20’s but the forecast for race day was 34 degrees celsius. To add to the obstacles on race day, there was a shark sighting . Officials made the sensible decision to cancel the swim and we were off on 180km bike/ 42km run. I was last out of the blocks for the pro men and had a strategy to push for 20minutes then settle into my predetermined race plan. Well that all went out the window pretty soon, I blame it on my “Racer” mentality and always wanting to push and get 100% out of my body. The thing with Ironman racing is that “100%” for the whole race usually isn’t “Full Gas” from start to finish, you need to be patient out there.
After riding the 1st 90km in around 2hrs the 2nd 90km lap hurt a lot. The heat was picking up and my legs were struggling from the over use in the opening stages. Probably the past 3 weekends of racing and travelling didn’t help much either. A few guys caught up and I had to give everything to hang off the back and try limit my losses to Allan and Van Berkel. With my whole upper legs almost going into full cramp, I just had to tell myself that maybe, just maybe my running legs would still be okay.
Off the bike about 7minutes off the lead and after struggling to get into my socks and shoes, I filled my race suit up with ice and was off onto the marathon. A great course here in Busso, where you run through the race village 8 times. This kept the adrenaline pumping and by the halfway point, I was passing Allan and moving into the lead. Van Berkel hit a bad patch a couple kilometers earlier, which made for a tough 2nd half for him. I knew with the heat soring into the mid 30’s anything could happen out there and the body came close a couple times to shutting down. Fortunately I managed to use my strategies I have learnt over the years to work through those bad patches and hang onto the lead.
It was an unreal feeling defending my title and winning my 2nd Ironman!!!
4 races in 21 days, 20 flight sectors, 5 drug test and a bunch of jetlag but it was an amazing experience and a very successful trip with 2 race victories – Los Cabos 70.3 and Ironman Western Australia and 2 close 2nd places – Island House Triathlon and Bahrain 70.3.
Back home for a well deserved offseason and some fun in the sun with the family.