Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ironman New Zealand Race Report Part 2

Part two – race day
Well I could sum it up in a couple of words, RAIN + RAIN + RAIN
But you probably want the blow by blow account. The day started with hearing the rain beating down outside and some scrambled eggs for breakfast. Next it was off to body marking where I was lucky enough to be body marked by my mums Vet who is also the wife of a athlete GOG coaches (YES, New Zealand is a small place!)
Next step, get the tyres pumped up, make sure everything is in order and down to the lakeside.  It’s still pitch black and the rain is steadily coming down, I am hoping the sun is going to come up soon as my choice of goggles to bring was probably not the best, slightly black tint! Normally at 6.45 the sun is up and there is a small glare which I really hate but I didn’t account for the rainy conditions.
I then jumped in for a short warm up and then a wait on the start line. The few minutes to go and its still pitch black, I was seriously thinking about ditching the goggles but decided to keep them on and hope for the best. I hung with the front bunch including Bozzone, Hecht, Hiro etc for about the first 500m then drifted off the back of the bunch, I then waited for the second bunch and settled in, it felt very easy and I was scared of a big deficit once we excited the water, so was very surprised to hear the call of only 3min down, and Cam Brown was in the same bunch so I knew I had some good company.
The run to transition at IMNZ is the longest I have experienced being about 4-5 hundred meters long. It was still raining and but the spectators were still doing a great job in cheering on. I had a good transition and was first from our group out on to the bike. Cameron came past me at the top of the Taupo Napier Hill and I let him set the pace. We rolled past a few of the faster swimmers, then about 30k in I thought I heard a split to the front of 6min30sec, thats good I thought, Terrenzo is on another suicide mission like last year J But next thing I know is I can see all these flashing lights in the distance, they kept on getting closer and closer and I then realised we were riding up to Hecht and Terrenzo with the super swimmer Brent Foster just behind, by the 45k turnaround we had caught them and Scott Curry came past at the same time very very fast. The rest of us looked at each other and then let him ride off the front hoping he would come back later on.
My legs felt good and I rolled back through Taupo feeling under control at the front of the group, James Bowstead had rode up to us and I was expecting some fireworks from him but he settled in with the rest of us. (and it was still raining HARD)
About the 120k mark Cameron stamped his authority on the race and opened up a gap quite quickly. The rest of us looked at each other and couldn’t do anything about Cameron riding away, Hecht chased and opened up a small gap over me and Terrenzo and James slipped off the back of us. It wasn’t that pretty riding back into Taupo over the last 40k J
Riding up Taupo Napier Hill for last time

I was still looking forward to a really good run as normally if I feel good for the first half of the ride I will have a good run no matter how hard the last section is. So into transition and T got a gap straight away and I didn’t see him again. My legs were not good from the start and I felt really bad from the 10-20k mark so got in a lot of coke and started to feel a little better (and it was still raining HARD). At the end of the first 21k I was still in striking distance of Hecht, T and Curry if I ran well. I tried to get going and picked up Curry at about 8k to go.
It stayed like this to the finish and I ended up 4th again (same as last year). I was a little wobbly at the finish so had a lie down in the med tent, they said my temperature was quite low (34.7 degrees) so wrapped me up in a blanket. I never felt overly cold during the race, but must of been a little frosted. Some hot soup and blanket time and I was good to go in not too much time.

4th Place in the Rain
It was then great to see Candice who I coach come in 9th overall and take nearly one hour of her time from last year and be first amateur from NZ, and then Scott who is also a Vo2coach athlete get a PB by over 25min.

A big thanks to all the supporters who braved the conditions and a special mention to elite race rentals who sorted me out some super fast race wheels for the day. They hire out wheels and powermeters for events and training.
One little story from after the race, when we went to check out of our motel, the Baywater Inn, our host Adelaide had taken photos during the event of all the guests racing and then printed out the photos and made a little postcard, how is that for service! (you can check out the photos below)
Postcard from Baywater Inn
Photos from Baywater Inn

No comments: