News

Warrnambool Sufferfest

I have toed the line 4 times at this race with solid podium finishes but on Sunday I got to break the tape at one of the hardest courses around. In past races I would get off the bike having to make up time to the leader/s and usually be closing the gap but run out of road so to speak. This year I wasn’t going to play the same old game. I was determined to make this my year to win so I had to change up my game plan and test my ability by taking some risks. I knew by doing so it was going to make or break my race but it was a risk worth taking for the chance to walk away with the win.

 

I have always put this race on the ‘must do list’ when planning my race calendar for the year because its location is ideal for a great race and has plenty to offer in terms of things to do and see if you want to do some adventuring. My preparation wasn’t great due to a cold but it didn’t affect me on the day. This is how the race played out through my eyes.

 

The Swim

17021338_10203062952450159_81203023660808115_n

 

This years swim start required a short run into the water allowing myself the chance to get a good start with Leigh Stabryla and we managed to make a gap on the rest of the field which included 4 x IM Champion Eduardo Sturla and ex pro cyclist Kyle lierich. I got out of the water in 2nd place just seconds behind Leigh.

17155444_10203062952050149_5003501567275953131_n

 

Onto the Bike I wasn’t going to waste any time I got straight onto the pedals soon overtaking Leigh and riding HARD to get away from him and the guys behind him who I knew could ride. The course is a Undulating 4 lap course with a difficult climb in it and 3 U turns which allow you to assess how you are going. At each turn I would ride harder with the motivation of making more time on the rest of the field. I got to T2 in first place with a handy lead (and the fastest bike split) on the guys but I laid everything down on the bike so I knew it was going to be survival on the run.

17148702_1348287455209956_1261850610_o

 

The run course is quite difficult as it challenging to get into a rhythm with some sharp inclines and declines, several variations in surfaces and twisty sections. These factors combined with the difficult bike leg make for some slower run times. It can be difficult at times to gauge how you are going as the pace is low but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are running bad its just a difficult section so you almost have to throw out the GPS and go old school and run to Perceived effort. I did exactly that and just ran as hard as I could and focused on my form and the race rather than clock watching. The run wasn’t pretty but I managed the fastest run split and to hold off the guys to come away as a Sufferfest Champion.

WS17_SUN-415

 

I dont know what I was happiest about. Winning, being at the finish line or seeing the kids smiling faces! Thanks to the Event People for putting on another great weekend of event and my family, friends and sponsors for their continual support.

 

  • ESA
  • Anker Concrete
  • Giant Australia
  • Mizuno Australia
  • Xterra Wetsuits Australia
  • Hammer Nutrition Australia
  • Zipp Australia
  • CEP Australia
  • Cannibal Australia
Mar 07

Ironman 70.3 Geelong Race Report

This race marks 1 year racing in the professional category. I battled for 13th and in the overall context of things I am happy with that except for the swim, missing the second pack. After Busso I had all of December off for some much needed R&R so I really raced off of 5weeks of training so I have to be realistic of what I was expecting. Here is how the day unfolded.

The Swim

16649151_10203007779270864_3816146448123428441_n

 

I had a solid start off the mark and was on feet for about 400 meters when a couple of kicks put me off and I found myself in no mans land. It’s been a frustrating ordeal working on my swim leg. There have been times were I feel great and swim bad or feel terrible and swim well or swim faster in the pool but not in the open water. Working on weaknesses is never easy so ill just have to keep working away at it and trusting in the process.

 

Out in 26th

16730400_10203007779590872_6990121837241508952_n

Onto the bike I road HARD out to point Henry with a couple of guys with me but being 1min back from the 2nd pack is a very hard task to make up. There are not may athletes who are strong enough riders to make up that gap so I either need to become one of them, or swim faster if I want to be in the game.

16807170_10203007779150861_6598239657570346869_n

After riding much of the 90ks solo I managed to come off the bike in 19th

 

Onto the Run leg I knew I was going to have to go out hard to make up for lost time and then try and hold on. I managed to catch up to a group of guys at ripple side on the first lap and slowly over take and hold them off fighting my way back into 13th place.

16807726_10203007778750851_6714440887362756953_n

As I said earlier taking into account my limited preparation for this race I am mostly happy with it. The reality is you can’t be at your best for every race but racing underdone I think is important for your development. Otherwise you can’t be happy with 13th, but I can look at the whole picture and how I fought for that 13th and be happy with that.

16649325_10203007779670874_5232709413317800052_n

Thank you to everyone who braved the very cold conditions to cheer me on! It was the highlight of my day seeing so many friends on there! And thank you to my sponsors for sticking by my side during this very difficult part of my career.

Giant Bikes Australia

Electronic Signage Australia

Anker Concrete

Mizuno Running Aus

Xterra Wetsuits Aus

Cannibal

Hammer Nutrition Aus

Images from Stef Hansen (WITSUP), Jaimi Joy and Maddy Kate.

Feb 20

Sunsmart Ironman Western Australia Race Report

After missing the first half of the year with some ongoing niggles, I decided to push my boundaries and do three Half’s and two full distance races in the second half of the year which is typically what I would usually do in one whole year in the past. Doing two Full distance events 2months apart was an unknown for me but surprisingly I felt great in my taper.

When I woke up race morning I felt very tired which was a little unusual but it didn’t affect me at all.

15327262_10202673652797911_5406440980634299954_n

On the start line I was ready to go, I ran hard off the line and 50 meters into the swim, I got knocked in the face and both goggles flooded with water so I had to stop and fix that. Not a massive deal in an ironman really but not a great start. I felt pretty good in the swim, it’s not my strong point but I held onto the 3rdpack till about the 1.5k mark then I took the front position of the pack.

Out of the water in 53mins and in 18th Position

15391163_10202673653237922_7045701062920868751_n

Onto the bike and again not a great start when I lost my rear drink bottle mounting my bike. These things happen in racing and you cant’ let it effect you, you just have to stay calm and come up with a plan to over come it. I think it is very rare that things go 100% to plan during an Ironman. I rode HARD out of T1 to try and catch the guys in front, once I got an idea of where they were, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to catch them and a small pack of three including Evoe caught me from behind. We rode legal but together for about 60ks (this is one thing that takes A LOT of getting use to when going from AG to PRO field racing. Everyone is strong so you can’t just time trial away from your opponents. Its very tricky.) It was here that Evoe split the small group we were in by attacking off the front just after an aid station. The others in the group were none responsive to his attack and I knew it was very important for me not to let him get away. I gave it my all to try and bridge the gap but I just didn’t have it in me. Evoe is a very strong and experienced athlete and this situation is testament to that. I was now in no mans land for basically the rest of the race.

After some confusion with the turn point at the 90k mark, I stopped at the special needs to grab some fuel, as I had not trained on Endura so I wasn’t about to start using it in this situation. As a guide for anyone reading my blogs who is starting out, don’t ever try something new race week!

Toward the end of the bike leg, I was over taken by Cross but I was too fatigued to do anything about it. The cumulative load of the hard ride had taken its toll.

15267924_10202673652877913_7029419350949698387_n

I was off the bike in 4 hours and 38mins in 16th position

Onto the run I was defiantly feeling the full effects of the work done on the bike. My back was killing me, my gut and ribs hurt, I was simply suffering for the first 10k of the run. On top of this pain, one of my gel flasks wasn’t working properly and my nutrition was leaking out the sides and I wasn’t getting the full amount in. But I didn’t stress about it, I just got in what I could and tried to supplement what I could safely use from what the course nutrition had to offer. I knew I was going to have to suck it up and get though the rut I was in and stick to my guns. Lucky on this occasion it was paying off and things were starting to turn around and I was feeling reasonable again. I think the crowd support was a major contributor to this. I was amazed by how many people were cheering my name and positive feedback. I am sorry if I didn’t give you anything at the time, I was in the hurt locker zone. But know that I heard and very much appreciated it!

In the last 20k or so of the race, I think I pick up 3 or 4 spots with one coming at the 42k mark slotting me into the top 10.

Run time of 2:52 and 10th position. Total time of 8:28.

15337541_10202673653637932_3669944001948625856_n

Something will always not go to plan during an ironman event. It is very rare anyone can execute the perfect race. You just need to stay positive and calm and do you best to overcome these and minimize the effect they may have on your overall performance.

This race, although was my fastest it was also a harsh reality check of what it takes to be a professional triathlete. It is just so competitive in every aspect. There is much work to be done.

Thank you to the Ironman WA staff and volunteers who put on a fantastic and to everyone wished me luck and cheered for me on race day. I was over whelmed by the support.

I am now going to have a few weeks off over X mas and make a plan for the coming year.

As always I am very grateful to the following people for believing in me,

-Electronic Signage Australia

-Anker Concrete

-Giant Bikes Australia, Hampton

-Hammer Nutrition Australia

-Cannibal

-Xterra Wetsuits Australia

-Mizuno Australia

-Echelon Sports (For hooking me up with the Zipp wheels)

-Jarrod Evans (performance advisor)

-Maddy (my rock)

 

Dec 06

Challenge Shepparton Half

Here is a little report of how the day unfolded for me.

 

My swim was ok, I was by myself most of the time between the 2nd and 3rd pack. Its something I have been working on, spending a significant amount of time focusing on it earlier in the year and I will continue to work on after Ironman Western Australia. I know I NEED to wipe off 1min and 30secs to be in the second pack and be more involved in the race rather that playing catch up. My swim has improved with my times decreasing by 1min over the half distance since this time last year so I hope its just a matter of keep doing the hard work and the improvements will come.

 

I was 7th out of the water

 

Onto the bike and it was a tough solo slog for 90k. The stronger swim/bikers were off the front and apart from Matt Burton, no one else caught me. The conditions were wet, cold and gusty which made the ride tough. Just the way I like it!

 

I was in 5th place off the bike with the 5th fastest bike split.

 

I knew if I was going to get myself onto the podium I was going to have to run a 1hour 15mins. I have done this in the past so I went for it. The run course was 3x7k laps. I ran the first lap on target for a 1:15 half, the second half the fatigue set in along with some rain which make things harder again and I slipped behind that 1:15 target pace. I could se at the turn points that Walsh was gaining on me and that I was catching Betten, so I gritted my teeth and ran as hard as I could. In the end I couldn’t hold off Walsh who went on to run the fastest split, and I was on the red carpet with Betten sprinting to just miss out by 3 seconds.

 

So I ended up on 6th position with the 3rd fastest run split.

 

I have been on the rough end of some finishes, but I am sure if I continue to work hard on the swim and keep learning race dynamics, tactics and the mental aspects of racing Pro, I will be on the good end soon. I am just going to have to continue to work hard and be patient and allow myself to adapt and learn which I am getting a little more knowledgeable and confortable with each race. (inspired by some wise words from Luke Bell)

 

 

Thank you for to my sponsors for their ongoing support. It is these relationships with my sponsors and the relief to have a stable platform to work off of that allows me to focus on my athletic development. I cant thank you enough for making it possible for me to do what I do.

 

Next up, Ironman Western Australia in three weeks time (Dec 4th). This venue is where my Ironman racing career was born, so I am looking forward to returning here to compete in my first professional Ironman on home soil.

 

 

Thank you to my performance advisor, Jarrod Evans who is helping me through this transition.

 

Electronic signage Australia

Anker Concrete

Giant bikes aus

Giant bikes Hampton

Mizuno running aus

Cannibal Australia

Hammer nutrition aus

Compress sport Australia

Xterra Australia

Enduranceteam

Nov 15

Ironman Taiwan My First Pro Race

This race was my first Ironman as a professional and it was a very tough day with extreme heat and humidity, in fact the toughest race conditions I have ever raced in. I was going into the race after a solid result at Challenge Vietnam Half three weeks earlier where I came 2nd unfortunately this performance didn’t flow onto this race where I finished 7th. This Race result wasn’t what I was hoping for, but that’s the harsh reality of ironman racing.

swim

I had a good swim for me. I lead the 2nd group for the first lap of the 3.8k swim but the group split up on the second lap when we had to navigate our way through the 1500 age groupers. I was in a great position out of T1 in 12th place, however I managed to cut my big toe on a drainage grate in T1 and didn’t notice until I looked down to a bloody cycling shoe.

toe

There was a small group of us including Patrick Evoe who is a very experienced Ironman athlete, champion and known for his cycling capability. I managed to stay with the group for about 20mins but Patrick was setting a very solid pace and for some reason I was off this day. I just could not push any power to the point where I was thinking, “are my brakes rubbing?” but I knew it was me that was off. In Ironman racing you need to start the race 100% health both physically and mentally. It’s a 8-10 hour race which if you are as little as 1% off on the day, that amounts to 8-10mins! I think my sub optimal bike performance was due to compounding factors that had come up during the taper post Vietnam. These Factors included falling ill on the way home from Vietnam with a stomach bug, a run niggle that kept me from running for a week and the extra stress with the bike not showing up and being stuck in a Typhoon with flight cancelations etc. I am sure with more experience I will learn to cope with these situations better.

typhon-megi typhoon fallen-tree

I was off the bike in 12th Place.

bike

Onto the run and 500meters in I had sever stomach cramps again! I had this in Cebu, which also made me suffer big time! I walk/jogged the first 4k taking on pretty much everything I could at the aid stations to try and turn things around but I was in so much pain! I couldn’t even stand up straight. As I passed my partner spectating, I said to her “I don’t think I can do this” But she pushed me on and at about the 5km mark the cramps settled down and I was able to run again. By this stage I think I had fallen back to 15th Place but with my 2nd wind I managed to run myself back into 7th position.

 

This was my 6th ever Ironman and was my slowest overall time and marathon time. As I said earlier, I was hoping for a better result but I think all races whether good or bad result adds another notch in the belt of experience and knowledge and you learn more about yourself with each performance. So with that in mind I am proud of my result even though I wanted more. Time to recover, plan and rebuild for the next race!

 

Thank you too everyone who wished me luck and showed their support! I am overwhelmed by how much you all care and follow my journey as it unfolds.

Thanks to my sponsors who make my journey possible. My coach who gets the best out of me and my partner for pushing me on the day.

 

Congrats to today’s champs and everyone who finished as it was brutal out there! Time to recover, plan and Rebuild for the next challenge! Big thank you to the Ironman Taiwan organisers for being so helpful and making the most out of a very difficult situation with the Typhoon! The team did a great job all things considered!

 

Electronic Signage Australia

Anker Concrete

Giant bikes Hampton

Enduranceteam_triathlon

Cannibal Australia

Xterra Australia

Mizuno running Aus

Hammernutrition Aus

Compressport Australia

Oct 04