I had heard what lay in front of me from those who raced the event last year and was looking forward to racing this very challenging course. Tim Berkel and Cam Brown had raced this event last year with Tim suffering 3 flat tires and Cam with 2. After hearing this I made sure that I was very well prepared and chose to ride my Specialized S-Works Shiv with Roval CLX60 wheels front and rear. For racing I almost always use the S-Works Turbo clincher tyres however with rough roads ahead I swapped these for a brand new set of Specialized Roubaix tyres which I hoped would provide just that little extra security of the added puncture protection.
The swim course was held over two by 1km loops on a triangular shaped course. I knew that last year’s winner and course record holder Graham O’Grady would be the man to watch in the swim and sure enough Graham joined me at the front end of the field early on. The water temperature was very warm and so I didn’t swim particularly hard due to the fact that I didn’t want to cook myself too early on in the race. I exited the water right on the feet of Graham and made the call to put on running shoes for the 600 meter run into transition. Over this run I pulled up my Scody A.I.R tri suit which I had tucked into my HUUB swim skin during the swim leg. I have been loving racing in my custom Scody A.I.R sleeved raced suit as I feel like it actually keeps me cooler by keeping the sun off my back, shoulders and arms.
So in saying this my goal on the run leg was simply to stay as cool as I could and hold onto my lead (two of the pro men were forced out of the race on the run leg due to heat exhaustion). Over the four out and back laps I was able to get a good idea of my time gap to second place and managed to keep this at around four to five minutes for the entire run. I was very happy to hit the finish line and take the title of 2014 Samoa Warrior Half Iron Distance Champion in a new race record time. This course was totally brutal and one of the most honest and hardest courses that I have ever raced on and well and truly worthy of the ‘warrior’ title given to this race.
1. Sam Betten, 4:20:26
2. Ollie Whistler, 4:25:48
3.Stephen Farrell, 4:49:11
4. Jared Bowden, 5:24:58
5. Darren Young, 5:33:28
*Photo Credit MeadNortonPhotography *