Race morning started early for me making the driving down to the race after staying the night about 15 minutes away at Tweed Heads. Being that the race was in a different state I played it smart by booking a hotel closer to the race saving myself from a 2:30 am drive on race morning due to the time difference with daylight savings and woke up at a more reasonable 4:45am.
Upon arriving at the race I jumped aboard my Specialized S-WORKS SHIV to get the legs going after spending the previous day racking up 125 kms on my road bike including a cycling race. Honestly its been a big week of training and I was really unsure on how the legs would respond so getting in a decent ride warmup was a must for me. Even warming up I could feel the wind building which I knew would be a telling factor and make for a hard 40 km ride.
Training partner Sam Speechly and I warming up
With an 8 am start for the elite men I gave myself plenty of time to walk the 15 minutes from transition down to the swim start to ensure I could get in decent swim warm up. I positioned myself towards the outside of the pack on the start line with the intention of pushing the pace early and keeping out of the way of the carnage usually associated with the swim start.
Sam and Sam in HUUB SKN-1 swim skins
Training partner Sam Speechly and I swam towards the first swim turn side my side with ace swimmer Bryce McMaster. The pace felt really easy (this might have been due to the fact that I was swimming in my new Huub SK:1 swim skin) so I pushed forward after the first turning buoy taking up the lead. I emerged from the water in front with Sam Speechly and Bryce McMaster along with a few others.
Leading the swim
A quick transition and I got up to speed and pushed the pace early and after lap 1 of 4 my lead had grown to 30 seconds over 2nd place. From there I really struggled over the next 30 kms of the bike especially with all the wind along the coastal roads. After such a big training week and the 125 kms on the bike the day before my legs were quite unresponsive. Going onto the final lap of the bike New Zealand's Callum Millward (winner of multiple Ironman 70.3 events) overtook me. I pushed hard and played it smart, letting him push the pace and sitting 10 meters behind being careful to keep my distance and not risk getting a late drafting penalty.
I overtook Callum leading into T2 and went out onto the 10 km run at what was a stupidly quick pace straight up the steep hill from transition. My plan was to really push the first few kms of the run to crack anyone else who tried to come with me. The first 4kms were ultimately my quickest and once I hit the sandy section of the course just before the run turn going onto lap two of the run I really hit the wall. However I dug deep and kept pushing my body right to the finish line taking out the 2012 Kingscliff Olympic distance triathlon and what was my 2nd win within 7 days of racing.
Thanks to all my sponsors, coach, family, everyone out supporting today and those who sent me text messages and twitter messages post race. It really means a lot.
Post race. Shattered but happy
NBN News report