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Noosa

November 5th, 2011 by daviddellow

Last weekend I had one of the best moments for me ever after winning the Noosa triathlon. Noosa is a non-drafting olympic distance race that’s been running for 29 years, every year getting bigger and better and this year was no different with more than 7000 competitors competing over the weekend. Noosa has a special atmosphere that no other race I’ve ever competed in even comes close too, only people who’ve raced Noosa will know what I’m talking about. The first time I went up to watch Noosa was when I was 10 years old and I still remember seeing the elite blokes run past and it gave me goose bumps.

Now that I’ve switched over to long course my tactic for the race was to swim towards the front, really push the bike to gap the ITU boys and then hold on for the run. The swim went to plan and after 2km of the bike I was in the lead. Frustratingly the small group of blokes that I was riding with couldn’t stay away and by the turn around there was a pack of around 12. Luckily when we turned we had the wind at our backs and this strung the group out and eventually a smaller group including Paul Matthews, Clayton Fettell, James Hodge and myself formed. We worked really well together for the second half of the bike which included going 103km/h on the downhill section and we took a lead of two minutes into T2.

I had a shocking T2 and after only a few hundred metres of the run I was already 100 metres down on the leading 3. Slowly but surely I reeled in the leading blokes and at the 5km mark I took the lead and that was it. Fortunately I had the race wrapped up early so I could really enjoy the last kilometre with the crowd and screaming family members and girlfriend on the side of the road.

It was a great day and a realisation of a dream I had when I first watched the race as a 10 year old. A big thanks to Brett, Alex and the the Team TBB sponsors and also my family, friends and Swiss.

All the best.

DD.

A post race interview
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-10-30/interview-david-dellow/3609136?section=qld

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Back Home

October 14th, 2011 by daviddellow

I’ve been back home in Mooloolaba for a few weeks now and as always it’s great to be back here. When I arrived home from 3 months away with the team in Switzerland I found that my unit hadn’t burnt down, my car started first go and summer had already kicked in so things were looking good.

The Team TBB camp in Leysin this year was really great for me, although at the start it was a bit of a struggle. Basically I turned up in Leysin unfit from missing a few months of training with an achilles injury, tired from doing my first iron distance race at Challenge Cairns just a week before and jet lagged. Needless to say I was pretty useless for the first month or so in camp, I was getting dropped on every ride and run, even the easy stuff. Eventually I found some form and started getting back some fitness and my race results slowly improved.

I must say thanks to Brett for having me in the team and also a thanks to all of my Team TBB team mates for some hard work and also some good laughs.

Probably the biggest positive to come out of this camp for me is for the first time ever I’ve returned home from a stint in Europe injury free, healthy and motivated so since I’ve returned home I’ve been able to hit the ground running and get back into some solid training for my upcoming races at Noosa on the the 30th of October, the ITU long course world champs in Las Vegas on the 5th of November and Phuket 70.3 on the 4th of December.

Finally I’d like to say a big congratulations to my girlfriend Caroline, who most people know a Xena for her performance in the Hawaii ironman last weekend. As always I thought she raced fearlessly, took her chances, did everything in her power to win the thing and left nothing out on the course. I am very proud of her.

All the best.

DD.

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Gerardmer

September 12th, 2011 by daviddellow

Last weekend Myself, Caroline, Aaron and Steve Bayliss all headed to Gerardmer in France for a half ironman. Gerardmer is known as one of the hardest half courses in the world with over 2000m of vertical climbing on the bike. All went to plan for me in the race and I ended up crossing the line in 2nd in front of some more established long course athletes

2nd in a half ironman is never usually anything I’d write home to mum about but I was actually really pleased with how I got the best possible result from the race with a less than ideal preparation. After Embrunman 3 weeks ago my achilles pulled up a bit sore, a similar niggle to what I had earlier on in the year before Busselton 70.3. The achilles problem flares up because of a weakness in my left leg as a result of knee surgery I had last October. It’s not really a major issue, all I have to do is alter my running style from running forefoot to heel striking and I just shuffle around on the grass and it’s all good.

So in the lead up to Busselton 70.3 I was throwing my hands in the air because I was injured again and was pretty down in the dumps. In the lead up to Gerardmer I accepted the issue and just did everything in my power to stay as fit as possible. During the swim in Busselton I just rolled my arms over and on the bike I cruised around in the front group. During the swim in Gerardmer I swam hard and came out of the water in a lead group with a good gap and on the bike I absolutely buried myself to establish a lead over the more fancied runners. On the run in Busselton I ran the first 10km on my heels to protect the achilles at which point I was only 20 seconds behind the leader so I thought this is too easy, changed back to my normal running style, ran straight up to the leader and then limped of the course after 13km because I’d flared up the achilles. On the run in Gerardmer I ran on my heels the whole way, even when the race was starting to get tight.

Two races, identical circumstances but after Busselton I was laying around in the hotel room saying woe is me and what have I done to deserve this. After Gerardmer I was pleased with the result, picked up a few grand and was looking forward to the next race.

I have to thank Brett for this shift in attitude. I think it’s because of his boxing background that he instils the philosophy of doing the best with what you’ve got in his athletes. In triathlon if things aren’t going well it’s pretty easy to just ease off, in boxing if things aren’t going well the bloke in the other corner can kill you if he wants so you just have to make the best of any situation.

All the best.

DD.

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Embrunman

August 22nd, 2011 by daviddellow

Up until a few weeks ago when Brett suggested I do the race, I hadn’t heard of the iron distance event held every year in the French Alpes called Embrunman. Looking at the race website I saw Embrunman had a long and rich history with many of the best athletes in the world toeing the line over the past 28years. I also saw the course profile on the website for the 186km bike leg and I was surprised at how hilly it was with over 5000m of vertical climbing. For anyone from Brisbane that’s 13 times up Mt Mee and for people from the Sunshine Coast that’s 15 times up to Montville.
I knew the race was going to be a tough one but the thing that made me really realise that it was going to be hard was when I spoke to any of my TBB team mates who had competed at Embrunman in the past they all had a little smirk on their face when I was asking them any questions about the race.
Embrunman kicked off at 6:00am sharp in the pitch black with only a kayak with a light on it to guide the competitors over the swim course. After a few wrong turns I eventually swam up to the front group and settled in for the remainder of the swim. By the time we got into T1 the sun had come up and it was starting to heat up already. Straight out of T1 the bike course goes up a steep 7km climb and I knew there was some very strong cyclist in the race so I was ready to go hard out of T1. Unfortunately just a few days before the race I had a crash on my bike which had done a bit of damage to one of my ribs. The rib was uncomfortable in the swim but when I got out of the saddle for the first time on the bike my rib really bit and I’m pretty sure I made a noise like a dog that’s just had its tail stood on. I was 500m into the bike, instantly dropped by the front few guys, riding by myself, struggling to breathe and getting a bit negative at this early stage.
I eventually caught my breath and just settled into my own rhythm and prepared for a very long day. 40km into the bike I got a split to the front blokes and I was already 4min down. At this point I was caught by a Spanish competitor and we started working hard together and the gap to the front guys started slowly coming down and by the time we were at the bottom of the major climb of the day, the col d’Izoard, 80km into the ride we were only 2 min down. The col d’Izoard is a 20km climb and the first 10km is actually pretty gradual. By the 10km point of the climb I was really working my arse off just to stay with the Spaniard and we were now only 30 seconds down on the leaders. It’s at this point of the climb that the gradient just kicks up a few degrees and I slowly slipped off the back wheel of the Spaniard and I was dropped for the second time of the day when I could almost reach out and touch the leaders. Over the last 10km of the climb I worked as hard as I could but by the summit the leaders had a 3 min lead and I was alone again. I went for it on the decent and got the gap down to 2 mins and I thought I was in with a chance to bridge across but after the road flattened out the gap just started going out again and I was totally isolated.
Once again I settled into my own rhythm but by now I was totally exhausted and I was on the ragged edge, anything minor was setting me off. Hit a bump in the road – swear at the top of my lungs, fumble with a gel for a few seconds – swear at the top of my lungs, bad gear change – swear at the top of my lungs etc. etc. Thankfully Sutto was out on the course all day not really offering words of encouragement, more blood curdling screams. This was really what I needed to stay on track and to not spit the dummy all together. I finally made it into T2 and onto the run and the lead group had 10 mins on me and the group behind me was a long way back. Considering how hard the bike was my legs felt pretty good but the major problem now was not being able to take a deep breath because of the rib. Out of T2 I wasn’t even racing anymore, the mind set was just shuffle through this marathon, get the cheque and get me out of here.
I eventually crossed the line in 4th spot. Everyone from the team who’s raced Embrunman in the past has come out a few weeks or months later much fitter and stronger so I’m looking forward to the second half of the season now.
All the best.
DD.

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Challenge Aarhus

July 7th, 2011 by daviddellow

I made my first trip to Denmark last weekend for the half iron distance race, Challenge Aarhus. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the race because my first 2 weeks in Leysin were a bit of a struggle because I think I was still feeling the effects of doing Challenge Cairns in early June.
In the days in the lead up to the race it was unsure if the swim was going to be cancelled and the race turned into a duathlon because of the poor weather. Eventually the race organisers opted for a shortened swim of 1km and the full bike and run. The swim went to plan and I was out onto the ride towards the lead. It’s hard to believe but it’s July now and I’m still waiting on a bike from our teams “major” sponsor so I found myself in the ridiculous situation of taking on some of the better riders in the sport on a borrowed road bike with training wheels. I’m defiantly not an athlete that is overly concerned with having all the latest and greatest gear but not having a TT bike in a half ironman is just giving away a big chunk of time before the gun even goes off which is frustrating to say the least for someone in my situation who needs every single extra placing and dollar to stay alive in the sport.
On the bike I did my best to keep up with a group and limit losses and in doing so I got my first ever drafting penalty. Initially I thought stuff it, I’ll just not take the 4 min penalty in T2 and keep running to see how I could go and get disqualified after the race but when I racked my bike I thought if I take the penalty there’s still a chance I could still run up into the top 10 and get a few euros for my troubles.
I took the penalty in T2 which was the longest 4 minutes of my life and I must admit pretty embarrassing as well with a good few people watching. I did end up running ok and past a number of other blokes and finished up in 9th. So 9th is never something I’d be happy with but with a dodgy lead up, shortened swim, road bike, training wheels and a 4 minute penalty I thought it could have been worse.
I’m back in Leysin now and looking forward to a good long training block with the team before Geneva ITU points race and The Alpe d’Huez triathlon on the 24th and 27th of July.
All the best.
DD.

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Challenge Cairns

June 8th, 2011 by daviddellow

I’ve just arrived back home to Mooloolaba after doing my first iron distance race at Challenge Cairns last weekend. Up until 10 days before the race I had no intention of competing as I’ve been carrying an achilles injury for the past two months which actually forced me to pull out of Busselton 70.3 a few weeks back.
Brett suggested that I still give it a go for a good training day and just shuffle through the run or give the run a miss all together. It’s always a bit unsettling starting a race with an injury/niggle not knowing if finishing is going to be possible.
So to the the race. The swim was fine, the first thing you notice about half and full iron distance triathlon when you’ve come from an Olympic distance background is just how much slower the swim is. I got out onto the bike and started riding at my own pace until I was caught by a group of 4 blokes at the 30km mark. I jumped in with the group and let the km’s tick by. All was good until about the 100km mark when the reality of doing an iron distance race totally unprepared dawned on me. My neck, shoulders and back were all tight, I was cramping in my hammys and quads and I still had to ride another 80km and run my first marathon, at this stage I was getting pretty negative and thinking – what the hell am I doing here? I quickly tried to get these thoughts out of my head and just concentrated on eating and drinking and getting to little milestones like each 10km closer to home.
Through T2 and onto the run to my surprise my achilles was fine so I set about getting through the marathon. I went out pretty conservatively and after 10km I was in 8th but moving pretty well. The next 10km went past and I was still moving well and on course for a 2.50 marathon. Between 20km and 24km I was still feeling good and passed a few competitors and I was up into 4th and I thought there was a chance for the podium at this stage. This is when I had my first real bad patch, I was cramping all over and I was barley moving forward and the 2 blokes that I’d just past went back past me like I was standing still. I could not believe how bad I felt, I’m sure everyone reading this who’s done an ironman will know what I’m talking about.
The rest of the run was full of a few good patches but mainly just a painful shuffle and I struggled over the line for 6th in 8hrs and 41min. Two drips and a massage later I hobbled back to the unit and layed in the fetal position for almost 2 days.
Reflecting on the the race now I realise what a different game iron distance is to draft legal olympic distance. In the olympic distance stuff it’s just so fast your heart and lungs are screaming, then it’s over. At no point in an iron distance race is actually fast, it’s just a long grind that slowly but surely over the course of a whole day separates the boys from the men. I also have so much more respect now for how much of a physical and mental hard arse you’d have to be to actually do an ITT for the 180km ride and then put together a good marathon like some of the TBB athletes such as Caroline, Amy and James often do.
I’m off to Leysin next week for 3 months of training and racing with the team through Europe so I’m really looking forward to that.
All the best.
DD.

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Reflections on Krabi

April 24th, 2011 by daviddellow

I’ve been back home at Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast for almost two weeks now after my first Team TBB training camp in Krabi, Thailand. Originally I was only supposed to be in Krabi for three weeks, then fly back to Australia for my home race, Mooloolaba world cup. Despite finishing 2010 as the 5th best placed Australian on the world rankings, I was overlooked by the Triathlon Australia selectors for one of the ten start spots allocated to Australians at Mooloolaba world cup. Initially I was really disappointed to miss out on a start in Mooloolaba but as it turns out not returning home early to race was a blessing in disguise.

For those that don’t know me I am very injury prone and for the twenty four months in 2009 and 2010 I was injured for sixteen of those months. So in reality if I would have raced Mooloolaba it probably wouldn’t have been pretty. Being able to forget about racing and knuckling down to some serious training with Brett and my TBB team mates for an extended period was exactly what I really needed. I ended up spending seven weeks in Krabi and just in the last two weeks there I felt my old strength coming back to me that I hadn’t felt in years. Being able to go out and train hard day in and day out without carrying or getting over an injury was a great feeling and a massive relief. I’ve still got a long way to go but coming out of this camp I am feeling much stronger and the confidence is also on the improve.

Our hotel in Krabi was a long way from any of the tourist hotspots which I liked because I got to see the real Thailand, how people lived and worked and how families functioned. The differences between life in Krabi and life in Mooloolaba are huge. When I first arrived in camp I got a bit of culture shock because in Krabi most people have virtually nothing and the place is actually pretty lawless. In saying that though while I was out riding in Krabi it was common for a local to be driving back to their shack on their scooter and they’d slow down and give a wave and a smile and then cruise off. In Mooloolaba it’s common while I’m out riding for a local to be driving back to their $800,000 house in their BMW and while they speed past they scream at me to get off the road. So who’s got it worked out, who knows?

My next race will be Busselton 70.3 on the 7th of May so I’m looking forward to that one.

All the best.

DD.

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Singapore 70.3 Review

March 21st, 2011 by daviddellow

Singapore 70.3 was my first official race for Team TBB and I was feeling good before the race so I was really keen to have a good one. The race got under way at 8:00am sharp and after about 100m into the swim I settled into third position behind eventual race winner Kris Gemmell and team mate Dan Halksworth. Eventually I exited the water in 2nd spot with a good gap over most of the contenders for the race.
Onto the bike it was all good before I committed probably one of the worst possible school boy errors for a long course race, on the bike I was using gels and sports drink that I had never used before. Turns out neither of these products agreed with me and I didn’t keep down any gel, sports drink or water for the whole 90km. By then end of the bike I was starting to run a bit low on energy but I was still in the front group which by T2 was about a dozen blokes.
Starting the run I felt ok but by the 3km mark I was totally blow and freezing cold from dehydration. At this point I thought, bloody hell, this is going to be a struggle to finish from here. I just made it over the line and finished a distant 9th.
So after the race I was pretty disappointed because this was actually my worst ever result in a 70.3 but the positives are I still got in a good training session and I learnt a very valuable lesson about nutrition.
Congratulations to all of the other TBB athletes who competed. A special congratulations I think should go to Hiro and Maki. They were both pretty down in the dumps for the week in the lead up to the race after what happened in Japan. They still managed to front up to the race and also raised money for the disaster relief, an awesome effort I thought.
I’m back in Krabi now ready to rip into the next block of training with Brett and the team.
All the best.
David.

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Singapore 70.3 Preview

March 15th, 2011 by daviddellow

So this is my first blog and it will also double as a preview for Singapore 70.3 this weekend. The decision to race this weekend was only made a few days ago by Brett and myself and thankfully someone has pulled out of the race this so I’ve been able to get a late entry. The last two and a half weeks in the TBB training camp in Krabi have been great, the weather’s been warm, the people are friendly, the foods awesome and it’s been a good change to train with a group instead of training solo as I usually do back at home at Mooloolaba.

The lead up to this weekend has been some what limited as I took me some time to recover from knee surgery that I had in November but it’s been over two years since I’ve done a half ironman so I’m really looking forward to it. We’ve also recieved a lot of the 2011 TBB kit this week so it will be good to be out in the team colours for the first time.

Hopefully I’ll have some good news for you all in my Singapore 70.3 review.

All the best.

David.

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