I love traveling to New Zealand and racing in Taupo. Jane and Janette put on such a fantastic race and although the conditions were not going to be on out side this year. The race was still fantastic and crowd support amazing!
Mum and I traveled from Perth to Melbourne where we met up with Aunty Rita who flew in from Townsville. Together we then ventured to Auckland finally arriving after 1am Monday morning. Tired, but excited to be back!
The next morning after an easy treadmill run it was a leisurely drive to Taupo for the ladies as we stopped a number of times a long the way and enjoyed the gorgeous country side. We eventually arrived at “The Lake House” where we had stayed last year in Acacia bay and it didn’t take long to settle down and feel right at home.
Guy and dad flew over on Tuesday and although dad had to work in Auckland until Friday I picked Guy up from Rotorua on Wednesday and he came to spend the week in Taupo.
The week flew by and before I knew it, Friday was over, registration, interviews, Pro Press Conference, bike check in, Women’s only breakfast, it had been a busy few days! Early dinner, dad had arrived and I was feeling relaxed and ready to go! The sun had been shinning all week, it was going to be a great day!! Or so I thought!!
It began raining late Friday night and unfortunately it didn’t stop until Sunday! Saturday was going to be the wettest race day I had ever experienced!! It was better to be racing, staying warm and moving than being a spectator. But lucky for us, thousands of supporters were still out all day!
In the dark the Pro’s were in the water ready to go and the start was as fast and furious as expected. And again like my last few Ironmans all too quickly I found myself on my own and again ready to swim 3.4km solo!! I am getting quite good at it now!! The additional problem in NZ was when the rain became exceptionally heavy I couldn’t see any land marks at all. I had no idea where I was going! Lucky there was a paddler near by who was able to keep me in a relative straight line.
Onto the bike I was concerned about the slippery roads in town and was prepared to slow it down and take it easy until the long stretch out to Reperoa. The plan for the day was steady, controlled, nutrition and enjoy!! It had been a short, quick build after a good break post WA so I was not going into the race with any ridiculous expectations. For the first 3/4 of the bike I did just that! After the final turn back into town I decided to push it a little harder back into transition and was able to maintain it all the way.
Onto to the run I had no idea what had happened on the bike and was surprised to find myself in 2nd position! Although the rain continued to pour the crowd support was amazing and I had to give them a wave at the first turn around! Pacing was the key for the day. It wasn’t long before I saw Jo and Rhinny and had found out what had happened to them on the bike so I was not surprised they went flying past me on the run. The last section it was definitely a matter of survival. There was some milage in my legs but not enough to allow me to really go for it. If I did, I would surely blow and it would be a lot worse then even my finish at Ironman WA!! So playing it safe, it was one foot in front of other, nutrition and just enough for me to hold onto 4th place.
I am happy with how the race went all things considered, it is a good sign for the year to come! It was nice to spend a few extra days in Taupo and visit Rotorua and surrounding areas.
I am now home, back in Perth! Enjoying some R and R and catching up on sleep (while trying to anyway!!)