The “BIG” Island!

The Hawaii adventures continue and that is my excuse for the delay in reporting on the race on the weekend. But I will attempt to break it down!

I was excited and ready to go! Feeling mostly calm, although there were a few moments where I had to breath and remind myself to relax and enjoy the whole experience! I slept surprisingly well and was in the water 15 mins prior to race start. Ready, set, go!!

By my standards I had a good swim. They had laid down the law at race briefing and if any pro’s were too far forward or seen to cause a false start then penalties would be given. With all the paddles in front of us this was never going to happen. But when the gun went off unfortunately they were still there and the first 10-20m’s of the swim was trying to swim over the top or around them.

I found myself in a good group that did eventually scale down to about 5 and we swum together the rest of the way. I was hoping to break the hour but was just over! A quick transition and I was on the bike on my way to the Queen K.

I felt great early on in the ride but held back to stick to my race plan and my goal. I was into my nutrition plan early and grabbing water at every aid station to drink and throw over me. I then made the left hand turn off the Queen K to enjoy the down hill before making a right and beginning the climb up to Hawii. It was as I (by my standards!!) was gaining some speed and getting into the aero position to overtake. But unfortunately I took too long, more than my 20 seconds anyway! As a result after the climb up Hawii it was 4mins in the penalty box for me! Frustration!!!

Apparently I was one of the lucky ones! Two people in there before me had 8 min penalties! After loading up on fluids and GU gels I was back on the bike for the return journey! The winds had picked up and there was no aero riding down Hawii! The cross winds were a challenge and I was constantly pedaling downhill. But back onto the Queen K and it was steady home!

Bike to run and I was ready to execute my plan. I started off easy and as a few of the guys went flying past. It was great to take in the atmosphere along Alii Drive. There was people everywhere. Aid station to aid station and nutrition were going to be the key! Through the first 10km I was right on track but as I began to make the return journey along Hawii the pace began to drop off, not just a little bit but quite considerably. I tried to keep pushing through, but I was feeling it, I knew that was going to happen but I didn’t expect to happen so early!! I just didn’t have it and I didn’t like it!!

I returned past the finish line to head out to the Queen K I noticed many Pro’s dropping out in front of me and behind, it was tempting but it was never going to happen! No Way!! I was getting to that finish line no matter what!

Aid station to aid station was the secret. 5km’s from home Karen Smyers ran past, a little in the sport, as she encouraged me to keep going. Donna Phelan passed me earlier on and I was able to catch her back up again, we had a quick chat about the day then ran together for the last few km’s. It was great as we pushed each other thru.

At the finish line 4 pro women had crossed in the space of 60 seconds and Belinda Granger was one of them. She gave me a hug at the line and said “we got thru it! Not our day but we never gave up!”

Alii Drive! The most awesome finish line in the world!! It was all worth it!

So what went wrong? 2 things – I chose to race Cancun 70.3 three weeks earlier for a good hit out in the heat, the reality, it took a lot more out of me than I expected and after all the hard work that was done before the race I was spent! It was too close for Hawaii for me, a race that you can’t go into half hearted. It is the world Champs, the best of the best! What else? It has been a big year for me! After not racing consistently for  1 1/2 years I went for it this year, for fun and for fitness, Hawaii was my 5th Ironman in less than 12 months! I am only used to doing 2 in that amount of time and in all the fun and excitement of being back I went for it! As a result I was tired!

Congratulations to all the West Aussies and there amazing performances on the weekend!!

To Luke and Renee for putting up with me! I am so grateful for them letting me stay with them, and being part of my adopted family for the race!

Mr and Mrs Mckenzie!!

Thanks for your friendship and the fun times leading up to the race, I am a little bit scared about Las Vegas if the last few days are anything to go by!

My sponsors! The K-Swiss family! You are the best! FELT, Blue Seventy, Ryders Eyewear, Novatron, SKINS, GU, Nuun, Computrainer, Ruth Chang Physio, Tony Bence Massage, Salle SMP Saddles and Swish Design, it has been an awesome year! A stepping stone back to that Podium, 2011 will be a big one!

Finally my family and friends! Although they were not physically with me in Hawaii, I could feel your presence every step of the way! Thank you!! Can’t wait to see those back in Perth soon! 🙂

Michael - this one is for you!!

Posted on: October 13th, 2010 by admin No Comments