Skip Navigation Links
TriathlonExpand Triathlon
BikesExpand Bikes
MinisExpand Minis
PrintingExpand Printing
MiscellaneousExpand Miscellaneous
MembersExpand Members

Ironman New Zealand, 1st March 2008

Not nervous at all
Into the water, game on
Bike leg, about to get wet
Rain and more rain
Wandering down to transition the weather was clear and the sky turning red from the coming sunrise. I was relieved the lake was pretty much mirror flat and not rough as it had been two years ago. At transition things seemed calm and controlled with the plenty of people going about their race morning routine. I put my drinks on the bike and pumped up the tires then wandered around a bit to make sure I knew what I had to do. At racking the day before a marshal walked me through transition, explaining where everything will be laid out and what you need to do to get through as quickly as possible. That's the first time I've ever had a tour through transition and it was a good thing. After sorting the bike we found a wall to sit on and watched as the race site got busier.

In no time at all it seemed I was putting my wetsuit on and walking down to the beach for the start. There was a Maori welcoming just before we got in the water but I think most were to tense to take much notice. The water seemed fairly cool, about 19 degrees they said at race briefing, but pretty good for swimming. The lake is a crater from a past eruption and is fairly shallow so once I'd warmed up a bit and found somewhere sensible to take the start I stood on the bottom and waited for the last few minutes to run out. Once the cannon went off I got into my stroke and found some space but it didn't go well. It felt as if my suit wasn't on right and it was restricting my arms. I struggled on but it was tiring me and I could feel my stroke getting sloppy and it was really hard work. It wasn't until about the 1km mark things suddenly improved. I'm not sure what happened, maybe I'd escaped the pull of the river or maybe a few tight muscles suddenly loosened up but things got a lot better very quickly. My stroke was suddenly joined up and felt good. After the turn things went well and it seemed I was back to the final buoy in no time. The water in the lake are very clean and I spent most of the swim watching the crayfish on the bottom.

Out of the lake and there is about a 500m run into transition. They'd carpeted it so it was pretty uneventful and once there I grabbed my bag and ran into the change tent. Chatting to the marshal it seemed I'd missed the main pack, they'd gone about 15 minutes before, so things were calm. I got to the bike, put my helmet on and set off for the bike ride.

The first part of the course takes you though town where support was good, shortly after that you take a left turn and go over the only real hill on the course. That's short enough and after that its undulating roads through farm and forest land. There was a fairly strong headwind but it was still dry, at least for a while. About an hour in and it started to drizzle and quickly turned into rain. Then the wind picked up and I was riding into a strong headwind and driving rain. I changed my race plan as plodding along wasn't fun at all and decided to hit it quite hard to get to the turn point then coast back with a tail wind. I figured this might be the best way to stay in control and limit the time I was pushing on into the headwind. Trouble was, after the turn it was good fun to keep pushing with the tail wind. Seemed I was passing quite a few people and making up a lot of places.

On the second lap I kept pushing but things went wrong at about 98 miles and I'd run out of energy. It seemed like a long 14 miles back to T2 and a fair few people passed me. I started to get cold as I'd backed off the pace and I was a bit concerned about the run.

The T2 marshal said I ought to keep my sunglasses on as the rain and wind was fairly intense at the far end of the course so that's what I did. He even had an anti-fogging cloth to wipe my glasses with. Out of T2 and the rain was just as bad. I jogged the first couple of kilometres but I knew I'd not keep that up for long and in fact it was only until I got to the first hill. I then power walked the rest with the very occasional jog down a hill when I wanted to see how running felt. After the turn the rain was straight into your face with a strong head wind. Luckily I wasn't cold at all so it was just a case of keeping your head down and clocking off the kilometres. After the first turn I started to get dizzy so knew I had to take on some food. I really didn't want another gel so grabbed three chocolate chip cookies and they worked well. I stuck to coke for the rest of the 'run' and felt happy in myself so no further feeding problems. The support on the run course was great, it was peeing down but they stayed right until the end.

Running down the finish chute I felt pretty pleased with myself. On seeing the clock I felt even better, there were no clocks on the course so I had no idea what race time was and I imagined it was much later than that. Straight after the race I was ushered into the recovery tend and given my finishers T shirt, which I put straight on, then sat down for a cup of soup and a chat with Duncan74. Although this is the worst finish time I've ever done it's probably the happiest I've felt about a finish since my first Ironman back in Austria 2005.

TOTAL SWIM: 2.4 mi. (1:29:33)
Swim Pace: 2:21/100m
Position: 995

TOTAL BIKE: 112 mi (7:06:27)
Average Speed: 15.76 mph
Position: 900

TOTAL RUN: 26.2 mi. (5:47:18)
Pace: 13:15/mile
Position: 900

Overall Position: 900
Age Group Position: 116

Skip Navigation > Triathlon > 2008 Season > IronmanNZ 2008