Monday, January 10, 2011

Tauranga Half Ironman – Race report

The Bay put a great day for us on Saturday and the Half went great for most of the guys that were doing the whole thing. The race was not only the national champs but the qualifying race to go to Las Vegas, where they will host the world champs next year. A few of the guys had that as an objective and all of them achieved it, which speaks very good of their talents. Graham O’Grady won the pro men race and Jo Lawn did the same on the women field. As I said on Thursday, she was indeed flying and got to win the race in the last 7km of the run. O’Grady won all the three HIM I did over the last two months, Karapiro, Rotorua and Tauranga. That’s is a mean achievement these days, there’s plenty of talent in NZ and to keep all your competitors at bay during 3 of the 5 long distance races in the north island is quite something.

My race was a race against the clock. I was on a mission to go as fast as I could during 90km. I hadn’t met my team mates until the day of the race, they were a local husband and wife and I was their cyclist because the original guy couldn’t make it. We had a little chat and organized ourselves to the predicted times to pass the transponder for the team. Really nice people.

I had the objective to go under 2.20. I had kept riding regularly after Rotovegas and the base was there. The conditions on the day were 0 wind and it was smooth roads for over 50% of the course (that would be the best road surface for a triathlon in the whole of the north island). The course is two 45km laps, that meant 1.10 per lap with a full on last 5km. Luckily long distance racing is not an exact science, and it is oh-so-common to get a great 1st half for your bike or run and then blow out that I decided to have a general scheme and then play it by ear. Nutrition was not going to be a problem, gels and water do the trick for that period of time. I left transition and settled into a good pace, I didn’t know what speed or cadence (lost my computer a week ago) but it felt OK. The first lap was 1.12, but I was fresh and I knew I had it to push harder on the next 45km. Unfortunately the wind had different plans for me and it picked up a notch, which was enough to slow me down and crush my dreams of negative splitting a 90km TT. The second lap was 1.14 and hurt, but it didn’t hurt as badly knowing that I had no half marathon to run after. LOL.

I was sore after finishing, but that didn’t stop me to be on the sides cheering as everyone went past. Jeremy, Nick, Oli, Josh, Bob, Kylie, Sue, Megan, Shaun, Vanessa, Jason, and a few others all did a great job of toughing it up on a hot run.

The rest of the weekend was all about chilling and going to the beach.


  1. STill a great ride and awesome weekend

    great work by your mates and you picked the Womens winner!


  2. Thanks for all your great comments- finally getting a chance to visit your blog.

    Great ride! (I have to say, it's kind of a relief to see that the headwind was the undoing of a great cyclist like you too!)