Archive for January, 2013

Mission Accomplished!

Posted on: January 22nd, 2013 by admin 1 Comment

Wow…what a place! Wanaka is absolutely stunning and the Challenge Family put on a day to remember! Most people wouldn’t realise but it had actually been December 2011 since I had completed my last Ironman! Crazy I know! Ironman New Zealand became a 70.3 then the 2nd half of 2012 when I had a few planned they all ended in disaster in the back of a golf cart, ambulance or just passed out on the side of the ride due to illness. There has been some mental scarring as a result of those races and whether I would actually be able to do an Ironman again. The only way to find out was get on the start line!

I had been wanting to do Challange Wanaka for a few years however, it just never fit into the schedule. Especially after racing Ironman Western Australia. It was always too soon. But with the disruption to the season in 2012, and no IMWA, the only thing holding me back was lack of fitness 🙂 No Worries!!

Mum and I made the journey across the country  from Perth to Melbourne, then onwards to Auckland for a night before finally flying into Queenstown then driving the 75 mins to Wanaka.


The location is stunning…as most places are in New Zealand! With the beautiful lake as a back drop, rolling hills, wind and trail running!

The week went quickly, although I was struggling to sleep due to the 5 hour time difference and day light saving! The sun wasn’t going down until 10pm. Something I was definitely not used to!

As a result race morning I was up way before the alarm and ready to go! After the short trip to transition I was one of the first there and everything was organised with time to spare. Considering it was quite windy and cold mum and I went back to the car to stay warm and get changed into my wetsuit!


A quick warm up to deal with the initial freezing face, hands and feet then we were off! It wasn’t long before we worked out it wasn’t going to be the cold that was an issue but the swell….in the Lake! I had a great start but unfortunately a breath the wrong way, a wave,  vomit in the mouth, and I needed a quick stop to breathe again and refocus. By then I had lost feet, but I kept going solo and felt comfortable the entire way. I was glad to be only be about a minute from the ladies in front!

Onto the bike I had the arm warmers on, and began conservatively unsure about about how the body was going to respond and also well aware of how much training I had done!! The first lap I was totally enjoying myself! Nutrition was going well, the scenery was incredible, there was a strong head wind, a massive tail wind, hills, descent, rain and sun! I was holding steady with Jo, but Gina was totally dominating out in front!

Onto the second lap and I unfortunately dropped my chain halfway up a long climb. I was off quickly to fix it but getting back on and moving again was challenge. About the 140km mark I began to get a really bad stitch. I had never experience anything like it before, especially on the bike! I was unable to get into the aero position because it hurt to much to breathe! I was then about 30km from home and pushing into the head wind, but here’s me sitting up making it even harder! I was pretty frustrated but reminded myself, the goal was back to basics and to finish! I have had so many doubts over the last 12 months that this in itself would be a massive achievement!

Into T2, sitting down taking many deep breaths as I put my run shoes and fuel belt on, then it was time for the marathon. In the first few km’s I can’t believe how many negative thoughts were going through my mind…..can I do this? Will I pass out again? How much pain is this stitch going to be! Thoughts I am not used to having when I am my confident self!

I surprisingly felt better than I expected! I was loving it! And loving running! But again, I held back! Especially during the first lap, knowing I did not have the fitness in my legs and did not want any massive meltdown’s! I was concentrating on eating and drinking at every aid station and had a quick porta potty stop! I completed lap one and then like everyone else it was a matter of one foot in front of the other! After 25km it was aid station to aid station, have a bit of a walk, eat half a banana, yes you can do this….then next aid station. By 30km’s it was time to put the I-Pod in for some music to get me home! I was going to do this!

With 4km I was unfortunately passed putting me in 6th position but a quick look at my hand reminded me of the Four P’s which are my mantra’s right now! Present, Powerful, Positive, Personal! Yes Kate…this is personal, remember your own goal coming into this race and nothing else!

2km left it was down hill and I could hear the finish line! I was excited! I did it! Like my first Ironman all over again. Yes, this was the beginning!

Gina had an amazing day breaking her own course record and Jo and Candice put on a show with a sprint finish. I had my own personal victory and finally have confidence again that I can do it! It wasn’t anything special, it was even one of my slowest marathon times, but I don’t care! I did what I set out to do and now I know with a good block of training I can get myself back on the podium!


To the Challenge Family, Victoria and Felix, Thank you for making me feel so special! It is an amazing family to be a part of and  I look forward to seeing you all again soon!

To my incredible sponsors Novatron, SRAM, Quarq, BlueSeventy, Churchhill Cycles, Ryders Eveywear, GU, Nuun, K-Swiss, Rolf Prima Wheels, %110 Play Harder, Super Ruth Chang, Paul Newsome and SwimSmooth, Computrainer, Rock Tape, Swish Design

Albany Half Ironman

Posted on: January 8th, 2013 by admin 1 Comment


The inaugural Albany Half Ironman was held on Saturday and what a spectacular day it was for competitors and spectators alike. With temperatures in the 30’s and a strong wind from the east picking up as the day went on, there were going to be plenty of additional challenges other than just the course! Race directors and organisers Dale and Scott had chosen a gorgeous 2 lap swim in Middleton Beach, a one lap 90km cycle straight up Mount Adelaide then heading to Denmark with some rollers, a tail wind out but an increasing head wind back. Then finally a 2 lap run made up of rolling footpath, up to 5km of beach running and a steep boardwalk run to the turn around before heading back to transition! What more could we ask for!


Guy Beach Run Albany

 Close to 350 individuals signed up along with 60 teams. An Open/Elite wave set off at 7am  followed by all women, all men then finally 30mins later the teams.

The beach start wasn’t ideal for me…something I definitely have to work on but I blame it on the short legs! But once into the beautiful water it didn’t take long to find my rhythm and pick up the pace a bit to jump on the feet of the guys in front of me. I was able to stay with them the first lap then again my dreadful beach skills left me behind heading out for the second lap but with a burst of speed I was able to get back on for the remainder of the swim.

Quite a novelty for me coming out of the water first but I did enjoy it!! Paige Bowman was next to exit just over a minute behind. I think I will even go as far as saying I had a much better transition than I had in Canberra a few weeks ago and was onto the bike and ready to work hard!

The first 10km consisted of climbing, descending, cornering…over the railway line..all to get out of town. Then it was head down and aero for the next 35km to the turn around. It was only then I was able to get a good look at how I was going and the work that needed to be done! Rachael Smith and Nat Laurendeau were riding strong! Guy and I have been doing a lot of base/aerobic work over the past month so I knew the endurance was there, but was lacking in the Time Trial department. We had crammed one ATTA race in last weekend (talk about leaving things to the last minute!!) So I used the memory of that pain to push into the headwind home!


Albany Bike

Off onto the run and the fun began! I knew that it was going to be tough…!! Lets just say it ranks right up there with Honu 70.3 run across the golf course and rolling trails.

The first 5km I just tried to concentrate on my cadence and getting into some sort of rhythm but was finding it a bit difficult with the continuous up and down! But I was loving the challenge! I was lucky to have mum, dad, my brother Blake and his wife Robbie there to support and they had spread themselves out along the course to off there support.

Following the turn around it was onto the beach for 2.5km! The first lap there were not many runners around, just plenty of locals swimming, sun baking and walking there dogs along the gorgeous sand! At least by the second lap there were more triathletes around but I thought it was smarter to keep my head down and focus on just in front of me rather than looking all the way around the point and how far I actually had to go! This seemed to work! I reached the soft sand section leading onto the boardwalk and was ready to bring it home!

Kate Albany Finish


Congrats to Rachael Smith and Kira Flanagan who had fantastic days and completed the podium. It is going to be a great season for both of these girls! It was also a special day as Guy won the mens race as well. Unfortunately by default and a DQ to Matty White for littering on the bike. However, even as 2nd across the line he had a great solid day!

It was a fun, well organised, challenging event and I would encourage anyone looking for an early season solid Half Ironman to head to Albany in Jan 2014!

Thanks to my amazing sponsors Novatron, SRAM, Quarq, BlueSeventy, Churchhill Cycles, Ryders Eveywear, GU, Nuun, K-Swiss, Rolf Primo Wheels, %110 Play Harder, Super Ruth Chang, Paul Newsome and SwimSmooth, Computrainer, Rock Tape, Swish Design

Credit to Mark Luckin and Paul Newsome for the photo’s!

Next up Challenge Wanaka!! Excited about my first Challenge Experience!