3/11/2011 3:23 PM
The Tauranga Half Ironman is one of NZ's premiere triathlon events and this year had sold out within an hour with about 1300 competitors entered to race. This event doubles as the national champs so there was a strong field of elite athletes racing as well.
I wasn't really targeting this race so I had done a lot of mileage the previous week and was a bit tired and sore. However I was still quite excited as I had watched it a few times from the sidelines as a kid and it was one of the races I had always wanted to do.
The morning dawned with a cold southerly and the water was a bit choppy for the start of the swim. The swim course in Tauranga consists of two loops, the first is a small 700m loop and the second a longer 1300m loop. I didn't really feel very good at all during the swim which wasn't helped by the fact the tide was going out by the second lap and there was quite a strong current to swim into. I found it a bit tough to swim into so the weaker swimmers must have really struggled. Anyway I completed the swim in 27:41 which was about a minute slower than what I wanted.
My main focus for this race was the bike. I had a terrible ride in Taupo and wanted to make amends here. The bike course was two laps over the same course so I wanted to make sure I rode each lap with an even pace. I rode the first lap in 1:13 and felt really good so decided to up the pace for the second. I managed to do the second lap in a 1:09 for a total time of 2.22. It was 22 minutes faster than Taupo so I was pretty stoked.
The run was another two lap course. I had already achieved my main goal for this race of improving my bike spilt so I was pretty relaxed starting the run. I just wanted to get into a good rhythm and run the two laps as evenly as possible. I started off quite easy and after about 5km was feeling quite good. I went out in 44min for the first lap and did the second in 44min as well.
I crossed the finish line for a total time of 4.22 which I was rapped with. There is still plenty of room to improve but my goal of 9:30 for the full ironman is definitely on track. I have 8 weeks to go till the big race so I can look forward to some long sessions over the next couple of weeks.