Photo Credit: Scott Norrish
I had been planning to do Ironman 70.3 Geelong for a while and needed to more so after a DNF in Ballarat in December. The race is a ripper and very popular so it was tough to find accommodation (so book early). I ended up staying with some mates (Scottie and Mathieson) in what could only be described as a little old ladies beach house at Torquey - which was awesome but a little logistical given the 25 minute drive into Geelong.
I arrived pretty late after work on Friday by the time I drove down in a hire car it was 9.30pm. We managed to score some pretty nice pizzas and stayed up for a while building bikes and chatting tri trash.
Saturday was horrendously busy for me. Up at 6am quick ride to check the bike over. My bike is brand spanking new so I was keen to get out on it for a ride to see how it travelled. What an amazing place to wake up to, Bells Beach was just 8ks away so headed over and were gob smacked by the beauty of the place - even Scottie was speechless for a minute there.
Back for a quick coffee then off to Geelong for the Ironkids at 8.30am. I had a absolute ball seeing kids loving the finish line. After Ironkids I caught up with the boys who were checking in and had another coffee and said hi to the boyz from Endura and Jacqui at the Brooks van. Then a quick dash to trusty old Bunnings to throw a bespoke hard shelled bento box on the bike. Back to the house for lunch then back to Geelong for the pro briefing at 1.30pm, rack and then home for a nap!.
We checked out a pretty awesome burger place called Bottle of Milk (7.5.10 -the extra 0.5 was for the chips) and then home for a Saturday night screening of Superman. Bags packed, in bed by 9pm. Link or the burgers if your curious: http://www.thebottleofmilk.com/index.html
It was so funny in the morning we all had terrible sleep but everyone had a different story, parties next door, people walking down the street, dogs barking possums fighting… reality was it was probably just nerves.
I was up and out of there by 5.15am to get to transition for 5.45am (I’m a nerd when it comes to transition and figure there is no point risking being late). Everything always goes so quick in the morning and before we knew it we had 30 seconds to start.
I had a good start off the line but was positioned poorly too far to the left and since I like to breath to the left I struggled to see and was looking up too much and getting chopped across. My stroke was shortened and I fell of the bunch… swim gone. I stuck it out and came out mid field.
I put the hammer down on the bike and tried to limit the damage and get myself back in the game. I started to make my move through the field. I ended up moving from 12th to 5th. In the last 10k I decided to hold back a fraction and recover the legs a little for the run.
I hit the run in 5th with 3rd and 4th in sight. I decided to run a controlled run and hold a steady pace for the first 10k. I passed for 4th at about the 5k mark and continued a comfortable pace for the next 7k until I was passed. I felt that I had a bit left and held off chasing for about 4ks. I was now at 16ks and was making ground back up. I increased my pace and waited until the final hill before I passed back for 4th. I had to put a number of surges down to hold onto 4th. I was happy I had raced my own race and stuck to my plan. I might have been in trouble had I tried to catch Radka at the start, she smashed the run and almost caught Annabel. Mel was in a class of her own on Sunday and really lifted the standard on the bike.
After the race it was a rush to recover, eat, find the boyz get back to Torquay to get my gear, back to Geelong for the presentation ... darn 2m late..Then off to the airport.
Photo credit: Pat from NRG Lab