Ironman Melbourne - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Melbourne, Victoria
15C / 59F
Total Time = 12h 04m 50s
Overall Rank = 961/1513
Age Group = M 45-49
Age Group Rank = 132/195
Pre-race routine:

First IM - wanted to make it special. And it started damn special when I caught up with Stephen (Swiss tri) and one of his friends, Michael, and then.... Yanti!! Yup, we had BT's resident superstar in town for her first IM start. Sadly, things didn't go too well for her on race day, but she was such a wonderful bundle of joy all week, it made things just perfect.

Got to Frankston the day before, checked in, went to the B&B, had dinner, watched some footy (AFL), and an early night.

Event warmup:

Slept pretty well, up at 4:30, brekkie of croissant and honey, a banana and some OJ before leaving for the site at 5:30. Got a parking spot pretty close, and went to check my bike.
First, and only real panic of the day was when I tried to pump my front tyre up and the valve core kept coming out when I unscrewed the pump. Really freaked me out, then decided that the core should be ok screwed back in, borrowed a different pump, and was all good.

Went to hand in my gear bag and bike SN, when I heard Yanti yelling at me! How cool was this. Introduced her to my wife, then got the wettie on and before we knew it, it was time to head to the water.

This next bit will live with me forever - Yanti grabbed my arm, and we walked arm in arm into the water, had a huge hug and got closeish to the start line before the anthem was played, then the gun went. No time to warm up, either me or the wettie, before we set off.

  • 1h 16m 47s
  • 3800 meters
  • 02m 01s / 100 meters

Being slightly late, I had to set off on the outside, but I had Yanti's feet to follow. Unfortunately, she's too good a swimmer for me and she'd left me after 100m!
After that, relaxed, got into a great rhythm and just cruised round. Sighting was pretty poor as there weren't enough buoys to look for and I'm not the straightest of open water swimmer at the best of times. Most feet I found were OK, but a couple were worse at sighting than me, so I left them and moved on.
Not having warmed up, I was desperate to pee halfway through, but I couldn't relax enough, until all of a sudden, the dam burst and I was happy!!!
Got to the finish, felt sand on my hands, stood up and started to wade the 100m to shore when the water got deep again. I'd already put my goggles up on my head so started swimming again with closed eyes until I felt sand again. Apparently that little sandbank caught a lot of people out, and there were some spectacular face-plants!
Felt as though I had swum well within myself, but at a decent pace - was hoping for 1:10ish, but I guess swimming the long way round, in a not so straight line, will slow anybody down. At least I know I have it in me.
Got out feeling the best I've ever felt, on any swim!

What would you do differently?:

Get into the water earlier, and push harder, but this time, I was happy as I didn't want to overdo it on my first IM
Transition 1
  • 06m 16s

Was a pretty full tent, no wettie stripper so just took my time, and did everything very methodically as I didn't want to forget anything.
Even though I knew it was chilly, I decided against the arm-warmers. Probably my only real mistake as I was cold on the bike for the whole of the first lap.
What would you do differently?:

Put arm-warmers on
  • 5h 57m 50s
  • 180 kms
  • 30.18 km/hr

Got my bike, and set off – first part through town was crazy busy and super noisy, before we hit the freeway, where spectators were only really on the bridges, which meant the ride was pretty quiet. Just concentrated the whole way. Took the first half-lap ridiculously easy and got passed loads, but still managed a 1:30:12 split. Halfway back down I was desperate to pee again, but decided against going on the bike, so stopped at 75km where I must have had the world’s longest pee stop. My bladder was full! Got back on, hit town, more crazy people, but had a great split of 1:25:03.
Back out onto the uphill part (not much elevation, apart from the 2 tunnels at the northern end, but it's mainly uphill heading out and downhill heading back), and needed another pee stop. Not much else to report, just steadily picked the effort up, starting to pass more people than were passing me. Think the wind picked up a bit more, so including the pee stop, ended up with 1:34:59. Think it was about here that I decided I was ready to run, so needed to get back to the finish with no more potty stops, and a sub 6 hour ride, so really started to put some effort in now - got passed twice I think in 45km, but passed lots of people which told me I was doing something right.
Saw Yanti heading north on her second lap and she looked in trouble - didn't know at this time how much trouble she was in :(
Got back to town, not so many people this, time, hit T2 in just under 6 hours with legs that felt as good as I have ever felt coming off a long ride. Again, I knew I'd paced it right, if a little conservatively, but hey, first IM and the run to come - glad I did it this way!

What would you do differently?:

Again, pushed harder, but first IM, I wasn't going to hurt my run. My run is normally my slowest leg, position-wise, but hey, not today! My bike was worst, would never have believed it!!
Transition 2
  • 05m 53s

Dropped the bike with the handler, hit the potty for a well-deserved pee, then into the tent. A lot quieter this time, again took my time, and got everything sorted, before heading out for my first ever marathon
What would you do differently?:

  • 4h 38m 2s
  • 42.2 kms
  • 06m 35s  min/km

Oh my god! I ran a marathon! I ran a marathon with only walking 5 aid stations and 2 short, steep pinches. I ran a marathon without it killing my HR. I ran a marathon with a huge smile on my face from start to finish. Can I call myself a runner now?
This was the best leg of the race, by far. I absolutely loved this run! Given I had Achilles issues up until 6 weeks ago, I was pretty sure it was going to hurt (first 10k run for ages was done at Christmas, but I had got through the long runs on my plan, the last 2 giving me huge confidence), so I was totally not ready for this.
Set off out of town, on the little 2km loop before heading back to town and onwards to St Kilda. I looked at my watch and just knew I was going too fast but I couldn't slow down, was going too smoothly. I had Jeff in my ear all through the first 10km going 'too fast, too fast' but it just felt right. I knew I would slow down, I was never going to negative split, so took it as time in the bank.
People kept passing me, but amazingly I was also passing others! First 10km down in 58:45!! Had it all in my mind that I was doing 4 10km runs with a jog at the end and it all went to plan! By this stage, we were on a long section of road that had a nasty camber. Didn't think too much of it at this point, but after 35km my left ITB started to twinge and I had an ache behind the same knee. This wasn't stopping me though, not today!
Sorry, Jess, didn't see you at your aid station which I was mad at myself about, but at the first of the big live site aid stations, Seaford, I hit the park on my own, and shouted out for Tammie (bondgirl), and sure enough, I saw a huge smile, and just ran to each other for a huge hug! This will also live with me forever, and pretty much made me well-up for the next 500m or so until I got my race face back on. Thanks so much Tammie! Even had the other vollies there shouting at me it wasn't fair that Tammie got a hug and they didn't.... :)
Just carried on plodding away, starting to slow down now, then hit 20km in 2:04 and a HM of 2:13 (quicker than my first HIM run, and only 10 minutes slower than my second!!) Mordi aid wasn’t as good as no supporters were there, so carried on running and running, getting slower, but still hadn't walked at this stage. First of 2 short steep climbs came up which I did walk, then decided at 26km to walk the aid stations. Kept up the fluids, and food all the way which I'm sure helped me through the run. Got to 35km and I saw my wife which gave me a huge boost before I told her to hurry to St Kilda, or she would miss me finish! Then, next aid station, saw a friend who ran with me for 500m or so, and couldn't be I was still smiling and looking good (this from a marathon veteran, again did wonders for my confidence). Decided that 36km was the last walk I would have, so just carried on to 40km, passing more and more people, and being passed less and less, when I saw the expo marquee for the first time! Went over a pretty tiny bridge at this stage which was agony on my knee but plodded on and on. The last 1000m was just rock solid with spectators, and the atmosphere was unbelievable. Just lapped it up! Hit the last 500m, all my aches and pains just went away, burst into one final effort for the line, high fived the crowd, including my wife and friends, and crossed the line to finish my first marathon in 4:38:02, and first IM in 10:04:50.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing, again I paced this perfectly.
Post race
Warm down:

Hugged and kissed my wife and friends, got another her amazing hug, this time from Casie, before heading off for a drink, photo and finshers shirt.
Decided not to eat there, chatted with friends for a while, then went home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Having the confidence to push myself more, but given it was my first IM, and I didn't want to walk the run, I don't care. This was for me a perfectly judged race.

Event comments:

Volunteers all day, and spectators especially on the run made this such a perfect day for me.

Every single part of this whole event was amazing, from registration to the the carbo dineer, welcome show, expo, awards ceremony and finally the party - it was all so special.

Only wish I could have met Yanti at the finish line, as she had had a really bad day with the cold - when she sent me a text at 11:45pm telling me about the hypothermia, I was in tears, so so sorry for you, sweetie! I know you'll smash it next time, just make sure you do a warm IM!

On the Monday, we met up, had a(nother) big hug, went for lunch and visited my bike shop where Crowie and Rinny were doing a media gig. Such wonderful wonderful people, and awesome athletes. Got my photo taken holding Crowie's trophy which was pretty cool!
And that was race week.

So many thankyous to give out!!
To my wife who supported me during all my training, to my physio and myotherapist who got me through the dark days of my achilles issues, to all my friends in Melbourne who also supported me on the day and in the leadup. All my BT friends who gave me such great advice and support and wonderful inspires, I love you all, you helped me through this so much, you’ll never know. A wonderful wonderful special thankyou to Tammie and Casie for two amazingly awesome hugs on the day, and one final, special thankyou to Yanti, for coming to our wonderful town and being such a special person and friend for life. You will get an IM finish, I know you will.
Thankyou for reading such a long RR, I have had the experience of a lifetime just going through it all again in my head. I hope I haven’t missed anyone out, if I have, apologies!

Can’t wait for next year! Bring it!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-08-27 12:00 AM
01:16:47 | 3800 meters | 02m 01s / 100meters
Age Group: 120/195
Overall: 924/1513
Performance: Average
Suit: Zoot
Course: rectangular - 1km up the coast, left turn, 200m, left turn, 1.7km down the coast, left turn, 200m, left turn then 700m back to the pier start
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 18C / 64F Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:16
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
05:57:50 | 180 kms | 30.18 km/hr
Age Group: 135/195
Overall: 976/1513
Avg HR 145
Wind: Some
Course: 2 laps of Eastlink
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:53
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:38:02 | 42.2 kms | 06m 35s  min/km
Age Group: 134/195
Overall: 962/1513
Performance: Good
Avg HR 152
Course: Point to point from Frankston to St Kilda
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]