A few weeks back I competed in the inaugural Ironman Melbourne. Going into the race I was happy with my preparation which consisted of a five week training camp up at Thredbo, then another great camp at Mooloolaba with Team TBB. Despite the great preparation I still had a few nerves leading into Melbourne because this was a very important race for me in regards to earning points towards Kona qualification. Towards the end of 2011 I had skipped some good opportunities for Kona points in Europe to solely concentrate on the Noosa triathlon. That decision had paid off but left me with only a few points that I collected at Phuket 70.3 leaving me ranked well outside of the top 100 (there’s 50 slots available for Kona)
The swim went well and I just settled into the front group of about 10. There was a few ups and downs for me on the bike but I eventually got into the second transition with the front group of 9 or 10. I got a bit of a shock in the second transition with how fast all of the others got out onto the run, I thought with a marathon to come everyone would take their time a bit but I only had both socks on and I was the only one left in the change tent. I eventually got out onto the run and the first little section was an out and back and I got to see everyone in front of me and I got another shock of how fast they were running and how far I was behind already. I tried not to get too flustered and just started to get into my own rhythm. It was 5km before I pegged back the first competitor, then at 20km I was feeling really good and caught a group of three and moved up into 5th. At this point I made a pretty big mistake, I was in a great rhythm and doing it easy and I backed it off for the whole 3rd 10km stretch. I took this conservative approach because in my first iron distance event 9 months before hand at Challenge Cairns I absolutely went to pieces at the 25km mark and went through the worst hour and half of my life just to get to the finish. I really should have backed myself and my training more and kept up my pace. I made it to the 30km mark and picked up the pace again and was taking time out of the guy in 4th but I’d left my run to late and came in 5th. I was a bit annoyed after the finish because I still had some fuel in the tank but that was a good race experience and I won’t be backing off after 20km ever again.
I crossed the line with an 8:04, a 2:45 marathon and 2400 Kona points which moved me up into the top 25 on the rankings. I’ve recovered well from Melbourne and I’m looking forward to my next race now in Koh Samui, Thailand on the 22nd of April.
All the best.