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Asia Pacific Championships Cairns

June 14, 2016

 Photo Credit: Asiatri.com


Known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef Cairns is possibly my favourite destination race on the Ironman Asia Pacific calendar. This was my fifth year back having raced the 70.3 three times and now the Ironman twice. It's a longer race report this time but stay with me...


Tourist stuff

We had fabulous weather leading into the race, so I took some time to visit Palm Cove, Port Douglas and Mossman Gorge and even squeezed in a hot air balloon ride over the Atherton Tablelands. All worth throwing on the list for next year (plus a reef visit!). 




Media stuff

Things got real on Friday helping the Texas production crew with a some content for the race production, then pro briefing and a small stop buy at the Ironkids event on Saturday. I also spent some time with the tri squad from Trinity Anglican School on Wednesday. It was so lovely to meet the next generation of talent. They also came over and kindly said "hi" on Sunday before the race. 


The race

Conditions for the swim were tough. The water was choppy and we had to negotiate the back end of the ironman starters on our second lap.  Jodie Swallow had the most amazing swim 3m ahead of Bec Keat who was 5m ahead of our chase group of four. 


Onto the bike and Jodie quickly turned the gap into a 10m one. Our group of four quickly condensed to three. Linsey Corbin headed up the road and formed a gap of 30s. After Port Douglas Linsey had a fall (the roads were wet and slippery following some rain). Michelle Bremer and I went past. I was on my own for a while before Linsey was back and we were three again. By the second time into Port Douglas we had all but caught Bec. Before the turn into the south easterly for the ride home. 


 Photo credit: Korupt Vision, Australian TriMagazine


Being more of a runner I was happy to sit the legal distance back and prepare myself for the foot race that was about to happen. I was in good spirits, I had good energy levels and was happy with how things were unfolding. I kept a constant effort on the bike for the whole ride. The time check on Jodie at this point was 19m!


Linsey was penalised on the bike close to home leaving me, Michelle and Bec to start the marathon together. I felt great heading out onto the run. Likely due to holding my effort constant on the bike and sticking to my nutrition plan.

I figured that (given the class of the girls I was riding with) for Jodie to grow her lead she would be pushing a lot harder than I was and there was a chance the sun could peek through, putting pressure on the back end of Jodie's run. 


I left T2 feeling good with the legs wanting to turn it over. I settled into our planned race pace feeling pretty good and happy with my rhythm for the first 20ks. Linsey was back on course and running about the same. Time checks had Jodie holding the gap. I started to tighten up and although we had trained at the pace I was running at it is still only about ten weeks since I started training full time. Although I was hurting I was able to hold my form, albeit at a slower pace. Linsey kept rolling through and ran passed me at about the 28k mark. I was unable to respond without compromising my race altogether. There was a big enough gap to Michelle that allowed me to consolidate and roll in for third.


Photo credit: Korupt Vision, Australian TriMagazine


Off to the big island

I am thrilled with my result. It puts me on the Kona start line.  I know we have a long road to go still but I have made significant progress with my quickest run/ride to date. I also maintained concentration and had control over my strategy for the entire day. I'm so pleased that all the work Cam Watt and I have been putting in and all the many changes (be them big and small) we are making are starting to shine through. 


Watch your local guides for race coverage in the coming weeks.


Lots of thank you's

Cam Watt and TriSutto for the awesome coaching. 


Scody, Blue Competition Cycles, Deloitte Australia, Flight Centre Active Travel, Skinstrong Australia, Profile Design, Rudy Project, Endura, Ceramic Speed, Orca Australia, and Brooks Running.


Matty's team at Avanti Plus the Valley, Nick Formosa at Bike Fit Studio, Ali Disher at Apple to Zuchinni, No more Knots, M5 Management, Damon from PerformanceSP for getting the parts so quick for my bike. 


Tammy Barker for all her help (not just at this race but more broadly as pro liaison over the past few years). All the best Tammy!


All my mates. Just calling out Kristen and Kel for looking after Penny and Charlie and Dale for all the training hit outs over the past three months. Last but not Least Mike for supporting me no matter my mood.  


Photo credit: witsup.com


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