3/11/2011 3:30 PM
I'd been eagerly awaiting the tauranga half ironman all summer. After implementing a different training regime this season Taurnaga was going to be a good benchmark to compare myself to last year.
The swim kicked off at 6:30am. I had done little swimming leading up to this race, maybe once a week, so was not expecting a great swim time. I made sure I took paced it well and got out in a respectable time a little over 27 minutes.
Next the bike leg. At the expense of the swimming, the cycling is where i had stepped up the training. I'd set a target of 2 hours 15 for the cycle, an average speed of 40km an hour. I set off on the bike and and looked down at my speedo to see if i was on the required speed and it was showing 0 km per hour, clearly i was going faster than this and my speedo was not working. Luckily i was wearing my garmin gps watch so i quickly set it to flash my speed every km. I started to reel in and pass a few people and thought i was out by myself as we reached the first turn around at about 20km. As we turned and headed back the way we came i relised everyone i'd passed had just slotted in behind me and i was leading a group of about 10 guys. Instead of dragging them all for the rest of the cycle i slowed and slotted in to about 3rd postion.
The rules for a half ironman state that you must be 7 metres behind the cyclist in front. Although not intentionally i had started to drift in and out of this distance. Suddenly a motorcyclist with technical official printed on their vest pulled up next to me and held up a card telling me i'd incurred a drafting penalty and would need to stop at the next penalty box for 3 min. Bugger, 2:15 was now out the door and I lose the group of faster cyclists. I stopped at the penalty box which was just before the half way mark and used the time to fix my speedo problem and get some fuel into me. I set off on my way again with what like seemed half the field passing me and began to try reel them back in. I managed to team up with another cyclist and we made some pretty good progress and managed finish the bike with a time of 2 hours 20 minutes. 2 minutes faster than last year including my 3 minutes spent waiting on the side of the road.
Onto the run I was feeling pretty good but was surprised to see other athletes flying past me. I tried to forgot about them and kept at a pace a thought i could hold for the 21.1 km. As we got to the mount base track I started to close the gap and the runners ahead and by the end of the first lap I caught the same guys that had flown past me at the start. With renewed confidence I was now running as fast I ever had and was feeling great. Every KM i was runnning i seemed to be getting faster and faster. I finished the run with a spilt of jusu under 1:27 and had managed to negative spilt the run by 2:30 minutes. My overall time was 4 hours 18 minutes which was 4 minutes faster than last year, taking off my penalty of 3 minutes i would have gone round in a 4:15 which was my goal time for the race.
All in all it was a pretty good day and everything looks on target for Ironman NZ on March 5.