Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship Melbourne - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Melbourne, Victoria
World Triathlon Corporation
20C / 68F
Total Time = 10h 26m 40s
Overall Rank = 434/1500
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 57/211
Pre-race routine:

This might be longer than the average race report, so here goes. First off, a big 'thank you' to the family - you guys are great and totally supported my selfish indulgence as I trained for IronMan Melbourne. Thanks!

I arrived in Melbourne about 5 days before the race which allowed time to address a major bike malfunction - additional stress that was unwelcome. I spent the first few days downtown. Melbourne is a very cool city, something like a clean, sunny Seattle. Good food and coffee shops everywhere.

On the Friday before the race, I moved out to the race finish area in St. Kilda. The Novotel was within walking distance of the expo/registration tent as well as all the restaurants on Fitzsroy Street. On Saturday we boarded buses for the hour ride to the start so that we could drop off our bikes and bike/run bags. This is when it dawned on me that 42km was a long way to go.

Come race morning, I woke up at 3:30 had some oatmeal, took two peptos and headed to the bus for the hour ride to the start. In about 12 hours I should be running back in the other direction.
  • 54m 57s
  • 3800 meters
  • 01m 27s / 100 meters

After the pros started the 1,500 AG'ers headed out into the water. It was still dark and you could not see any of the bouys. As we were floating in the water, everyone was guessing which direction we need to swim. Eventually everyone just assumed we ought to swim parallel to shore and then eventually we would see the buoys, at least we hoped we would. A number of eager AG'ers started advancing so the field was spread over the size of a football field. The horn sounded and we were off. I was about 50 meters back from the front pack, so I spent about the first 10 minutes passing people, but then settled in with a group.

I normally manage to find some free space, but not today. I was surrounded by other swimmers for most of the swim, so I started to think that I was having a poor swim. I was pleasantly surprised to exit the water in under 55min.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. Had a good swim.
Transition 1
  • 04m 9s

Headed into T1. Grabbed my bag. Took my time to put on socks and shoes. Grabbed my cycling jersey, loaded with nutrition. It was overcast, somewhat rainy with no chance of sun, so I needed to improvise my wardrobe in order to retain some heat (yes, I live in Thailand). I placed a large zip-loc bag under my jersey in order to block the wind. Not high-tech, but effective.
What would you do differently?:

Not much.
  • 5h 12m 28s
  • 184 kms
  • 35.33 km/hr

A majority of the course was on the EastLink Motorway - fast but somewhat dull. Despite being a highway, the course had some rollers and a nifty v-shaped tunnel at the turn around. There also seemed to be some wind on the way out. The first rideout was fine, maybe a little too fast. I was getting passed by tons of folks, but tried to stick to my plan. Hit the turn around and flew back to T2. Got to the turn around in 2:30, umm a tad too fast for a course that was running long (184km).

I had a detailed nutrition plan based on 70 grams of carbs per hour. This is what I trained with. As I started the second of two loops, I started to fade. When I got passed by a 3-year old on a tricycle, I figured I had bonked. I needed a new nutrition plan. Out goes Plan-A and onto Plan B - Fuel up! I started consuming about 110 gr of carbs per hour. In about 1 hour I started to recover, but the ride out to the turnaround was not pretty.

The ride back went well and I finished the ride in 5:12 (35kph avg.). My avg. cadence was 70. Interestingly, my HR stayed real low as I was accostomed to training in 35 to 40C temps as opposed to 20C.
What would you do differently?:

Slower for the first half and aim for 2:35 + 2:35 splits.
Transition 2
  • 05m 25s

Dropped off my bike, grabbed my bag and headed into T2. Took my time to put on Glide, fresh sock, calf compression sleeves, etc. I was still cold from the bike, so I changed out of my tank top into a long sleeve shirt + vest. I also took an anti-inflamitory due to nagging running injuries that hampered training in the run up to the race.
What would you do differently?:

Not much (skip the Anti Inflammatory).
  • 4h 09m 39s
  • 42.2 kms
  • 05m 55s  min/km

Started running. Felt good :). Saw Vinnie (Coach) at 8km and got rid of my vest and hat. Hit 10km in about 50min and was starting to visualize a 10 hour-ish finishing time. However, right about the 10km mark things started to go sideways. I started to get severe cramps - GI issues. Hit the porta-potty at 10km, 12km and 14km. At 14km I was deep into the Pain Cave. Sub-10 glory was quickly replaced with blurry visions of DNF. How quickly things can change!

Switched to survival running. Started hitting bananas and coke at each rest stop in an effort to stabilize my system. 20km to 30km was a shade better, but for 2 hours I was breaking down the run into small segments - next cone, next tree, next sign. By the time I got to 30km (having visited every porta-potty since the 10km mark), I was starting to feel better. The new goal was to break 10:30. When I hit the 38km mark you could see the city of Melbourne in distance - what a beautiful sight! (see picture)

At 39km I was greeted by Wayne and Robertta (Sinagpore) - it was great to see a friendly face. A quick hello and time to push onto the finish. (see picture) Finished in 10:26. I stayed focused and kept my head in the game. Ultimately, I played the best hand I could with the cards I was dealt.
What would you do differently?:

Ummm, skip the anti-flamitory in T2.
Post race
Warm down:

Picked up my finisher swag, ate some food then headed back to the hotel to get showered up. I returned to the finished area and watched a bunch of folks finish in about 13 hours.

I do not think I will do an IM distance race in 2013. They take too much time and effort, which for a type-A person results in additional stress. The HIM distance is much easier to manage, so I figure I will stick with that distance for the next few years.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

GI issues. This could have been the anti-inflamitories, the cold, the nutriation issues on the bike. Who knows.

Event comments:

This was a well executed race and worth doing once. The bike was somewhat dull and the start/finish logistics was a hassle. I do have to comment on the average Australian triathlete - they are really good (and very nice). There were 12 45-49 Ag'ers that went under 9:30. There were 24 40-44 AG'ers that went under 9:30! The depth of the field was even better than Europe and way more competitive than what you find in the US.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-11-02 12:00 AM
00:54:57 | 3800 meters | 01m 27s / 100meters
Age Group: 4/211
Overall: 66/1500
Performance: Good
avg. HR - 152; max. HR - 164.
Suit: Xterra Vector Pro2
Course: Large rectangle running parallel to the shore.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 18C / 64F Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:09
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
05:12:28 | 184 kms | 35.33 km/hr
Age Group: 47/211
Overall: 373/1500
Performance: Good
Loop 1 - 2:30 / 131ahr / AC71; Loop 2 - 2:42 / 131ahr / AC70
Wind: Some
Course: A 2-loop out and back on the East Link Expressway. Course was a little long, about 184km.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence: 70
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:25
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:09:39 | 42.2 kms | 05m 55s  min/km
Age Group: 88/211
Overall: 690/1500
Performance: Good
10km - 51m / 133ahr; 20km - 1h05m / 123ahr; 30km - 1h02m / 122ahr; 40km - 59m / 124ahr; 42km - 12:30 / 129ahr
Course: Point to Point run from Frankston to Melbourne
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4