Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships Cebu – 3rd

This year marked my third time in Cebu racing the Ironman 70.3. For me this race is undoubtedly the best Ironman 70.3 event in the world and a perfect location to hold Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships. The stunning location, impeccable organization and insane local crowd support are just a few reasons why this event is so special. Having finished 2nd in 2014 & 6th in 2015, I knew what to expect from race day and just how brutal the heat and humidity can be. Being that this year Ironman 70.3 Cebu played host to the Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships, the professional field was deep with talent. Following my win at Regent 5150, Subic Bay in June, I had spent the last two months training specifically for this event.

Race Day:
I felt pretty relaxed on race morning and during my swim warm up. The gun went off at 6:20am and I managed to get a good start and take up the lead before Jake Montgomery hit the gas and swam away from the front group. My plan for the swim was to be smart and expend the least energy possible by keeping my heart rate low in the 27 degree water temperature so I wasn’t too worried about pushing the pace myself. After the first 500 meters I slotted into the group in around fifth position which is where I stayed until the second last turning buoy where I managed to take the inside line and slip into second behind Canadian Brent McMahon. Just before the swim exit I lifted the pace ever so slightly to lead out of the water. Behind me was a select group of 10 pro men who all hit the big leg together.
The pace was on from the start and a few athletes were dropped from the group in the opening few kilometers. At around 15 kilometers a gap started to open up in the group and I had to put in a big effort to ride past Brad Kahlefeldt & Braden Currie to rejoin the front group.
I tried to ride smart and ensure that I kept focused on those just in front of me throughout the entire bike leg. The pace was on during the bike leg with some big surges up front which saw an average speed of 43.7kph.
At about the 75 kilometer mark a gap opened up in front of Leon Griffin which forced me to overtake him and spend the next 4 kilometers chasing back up to the lead group of 5.
Our group of 6 entered transition together and I headed out onto the run in 5th place. My plan was to run the opening kilometers conservatively and stick to a 4min per kilometer pace to ensure that I didn’t blow up out on the run course in the heat and humidity. At the 5 kilometer point I passed Brent McMahon and took up 4th position.
I could see that I was  slowly gaining on Frenchman Antony Costes but kept focused on my own pacing trying not to rush making my move. Just before the 10km turn around point I passed Costes putting me into 3rd place.
For the final 3 kilometers to the finish line I had to dig very deep and was really struggling in the heat. Coming down the finish line in third at the Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships behind fellow Australians Tim Reed and Craig Alexander was an unbelievable feeling and I crossed the line completely spent.
A podium performance at the Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships in Cebu was a career best performance for me and a result that is honestly still sinking in. A huge thank you to those who support me and it is an amazing feeling to be able to share a big performance like this with so many people who help make it happen behind the scenes. A special thank you to those people in Philippines - Sir Fred Uytengsu, Sunrise Events & Alaska Milk for another amazing Ironman 70.3 event in Cebu

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