The race season is officially underway. I raced to 6th place on Sunday at Ironman 70.3 Hefei in China (their national championship). It wasn’t really the result I wanted but I have taken plenty of positives from it. My swim continues to improve, although it would help if I can get better at swimming on feet. Speaking of feet, mine are wickedly blistered after doing the bike/run without socks after they didn’t seem to be in my transition bag…?!
My bike was very measured. A few have asked since why I didn’t clock the fastest bike split as I seem accustomed to doing. Firstly, because Brad Williams is a very good cyclist and rode very well. Secondly, because my training is still early season and I haven’t really started my race-specific bike sessions yet. Thirdly, because it was my first race of the season and I wanted to give myself a good chance to run well also. That said, I was extremely happy with my bike data and in fact I rode faster than I perhaps should have.
The run was 2x laps. Kind of wish it was one. Because halfway through the run I was into 2nd (came off bike in 3rd) and slowly closing on Graham in 1st. By 12-13km my paced slowed and I could feel the effort become suddenly intense. I felt a little dizzy and my body was saying it had given me everything it had, but there wasnt much left. In the final 8 or so kilometres I hung on for dear life as I slipped back to 6th. Gutted to fall back so quickly but thankful it was all over.
So all up there are far more positives than anything. I ended up 4 minutes behind the winner, not too bad. I met Crowie Alexander whom I have long admired for the values he upholds towards sport and life/family. I was interviewed on a real television set and featured on live race TV that was broadcast across all of China. I caught up with some of my Chinese friends who went typically out of their way to look after me. I watched my mate Steve Brown race towards a Kona qualification which has been his goal for 8 years. I finally got to use my new Basso Konos and Rotor 2INpower/Q-rings in a race and loved them.
This was just my 2nd 70.3 race (1st one was Taupo in Dec). I have learned heaps and am excited to try for a better performance at Xiamen 70.3 on November 13th.
Thanks to the Xtrail team in China for hosting me. What a humbling experience it is to be hosted by these guys. The Chinese people are massively thoughtful, respectful and caring.
Thanks also to my group of sponsors, my coaches Val and Jeremy (for helping give me better perspective on the day) and my wife Amy who stayed home and kept some sort of order in the household while I have been away. I hate leaving my family behind. Perhaps Flynn hates me leaving him behind too because he gave me a wicked head cold just before I left.
Back to Oamaru on Friday to continue the process of getting better. Keep you posted.