Get breathless and raise awareness & funds towards Pulmonary Hypertension - Ironman Australia 3 May 2015
In 2006, Ironman Australia was my first IM experience where I found my love and passion for long course triathlon. I was completely inspired by its history, tradition and the life experiences which are unique to the Ironman family. The event has been a significant part of my triathlon career, one of my proudest achievements being Ironman Australia's Female Champion 2013.
It is a great privilege to be the 2015 Ironman Australia Charity Ambassador for Pulmonary Hypertension Association Australia (PHAA) in partnership with Bayer Australia, raising awareness & funds towards Pulmonary Hypertension and World Pulmonary Hypertension Day, Tuesday 5 May www.worldphday.org. 2015 is also a special year as Ironman Australia will be celebrating its 30th year anniversary. I'm really proud to have such a unique role as part of this historic occasion.
What is Pulmonary Hypertension?
Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) is a life-threatening condition that affects the lungs and heart. It is characterised by high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs which can lead to heart failure and death.
After a hard training session or race it is always a relief when I can stop to recover and catch my breath. I can understand how difficult it would be to suffer from PH and constantly feel short of breath without having a finish line in sight. I draw great strength and motivation from people who face a different kind of Ironman challenge, living a limited life from chronic and fatal health conditions including those who are diagnosed with PH disease.
Get breathless on race day and help raise awareness & funds towards PH
To help raise awareness of the condition and its symptoms, spectators & athletes are invited to participate in the following race day activities taking place at the Town Green, Port Macquarie, Sunday 3 May:
IM Australia & its 30th year celebrations is going to be a fantastic event and I'm looking forward to my Charity Ambassador role, supporting everyone involved and being part of the event activities. I hope my contribution can inspire and motivate others to continue to grow PH awareness and help find a cure.
Best of luck to all our athletes on race day. I'll be cheering loud with bells on!
Bec Hoschke :-)
Tre-X Snowies Mountain Bike Festival, 21-22 February - 4 stages over 2 days! The weekend presented perfect conditions from Crackenback to Thredbo for a fun day on the trails. What a fantastic event and atmosphere.
I packed the mountain bike as part of my trip to Crackenback and Specialized Team Camp, as the local cross country trails are superb and great condition to learn from. It was a spontaneous decision to register. With our Camp schedule including available time for training & resort activities on Saturday, racing is one of the best training sessions you can get so I was in! :-)
With a background of racing long course triathlon, my aerobic fitness felt strong. My favorite stage was the climb from Crackenback to Thredbo (Stage 2) placing 4th female overall. The skill and technical aspect of XC brings a whole new dimension to racing. Lots to improve in this area - thank you to the guys I shared the course with and for all the words of encouragement!
Tre-X & In2Adventure did a fantastic job co-ordinating the event. Meeting and riding with local and regional competitors within the XC scene was a highlight. A fantastic event which I'd highly recommend to all levels and abilities. I personally love the concept and challenge of a staged event and would love to support and come back one day in the future.
Cheers Bec :-)
Race report and results:
"Specialized Australia took their locally sponsored riders to Lake Crackenback Resort, NSW for the 2015 team camp. The cross-country, downhill and enduro mountain bike athletes joined the triathlon team for three days of riding, photo shoots and talking about product with Specialized..."
A fantastic weekend with a great team who love all things cycling and the Specialized experience! Our camp featured presentations on the history of Specialized as a brand, an insight to Specialized Bicycle Components University (SBCU), the ergonomic design principles behind Body Geometry Fit and Products including shoes, saddles, gloves and footbeds. With the broad range of Specialized mountain, road and women specific bikes, there's a huge appreciation of the endless options available in terms of features, specs, geometry, frame size, tech and design.
It was a great privilege to work with Sean Anderson - Photographer/Cinematographer (www.seanandersonfilms.com) and Tim Bardsley-Smith (www.tbsphotography.com.au), who did an exceptional job of capturing all the action throughout the camp. The Snowy Mountains of NSW offers some of the best trail and road cycling within Australia!
Sharing the weekend with an elite group of Specialized sponsored athletes I found invaluable in terms of learning more about the logistics, training and race dynamics of their respective sports. An awesome team of inspiring athletes, wishing everyone a fantastic 2015 seasons ahead. A huge thanks to Emily Smith and Patty Young from Specialized Australia for such an awesome camp. Definitely one of the highlights of my cycling and triathlon career :-)
Bec's S-Works Shiv
Personal features: Size XS Frame, 165mm cranks, Quarq power meter, Sitero saddle, Turbo 24 clincher tyres, Trivent shoes size 38 + green footbeds, Evade helmet. Superior aerodynamic performance & comfort. Big fan of the ski bend bars! Blown away by the feel of the bike as a whole including hydraulic brakes, Roval carbon wheels and the experience which comes with Dura ace Di2. Light, responsive and fast :-) #aeroiseverything
Bec's S-Works Amira
Personal features: Frame size 48, women's 'Ruby' saddle (155mm), Turbo 24 clincher tyres, SW women's road shoes size 39 + green footbeds, Prevail helmet. My Amira is simply a brilliant ride. Light, stiff, fast, responsive, superb performance on all terrain.
As 2014 comes to a close it is time to reflect on the past 12 months. There have been many highlights with a number of podium finishes and experiences in new races and countries. It has been a fantastic opportunity to embrace the changes and challenges of a new career. I am feeling refreshed after a well earned break during the final part of the year and I'm looking forward to the 2015 season.
Highlights of the year:
2nd Busselton 70.3 - May 2014
2nd Philippines 70.3 - August 2014
2nd Korea 70.3 - October 2014
Thank you to Grant Giles and the Aeromax crew for another great year. Its a privilege working with a coach whose philosophy and coaching style I believe in and continues to deliver so many highlights across the whole squad.
Thank you to my sponsors who make it possible for me to continue to train and compete as a Professional Triathlete: Specialized Australia, Scody, TriShave, Eyeline, Compressport, High 5 Sports Nutrition, SaltStick, Fuel Belt, Kinetic by Kurt, Ryders Eyewear, BlueSeventy/Aqua Shop, Scicon Bags, USANA, Asics. Also to the people here in Sydney - Kira Sutherland, Daryl Phillips, Mick Smith, Paul Penna & John Bell who have given me so much help throughout the year.
A very big thank you to Sarah Anne & Warren of Karmea Fitness for welcoming me into the Karmea Community. Coaching indoor cycling on Tuesday and Thursday evenings is one of the highlights of my week! :-)
I'd also like to thank Annie and all the team behind Cantoo for giving myself and Mick Smith the opportunity to coach the Sydney Sprint Triathlon Program 2015.
Finally thank you to all the people including friends and family who cheer me on at races. Your support means so much and is a huge source of motivation to give the best of myself. Nige, your on-going support and encouragement in everything I do is amazing. I'm just so incredibly lucky to share this journey with you.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and all the very best for 2015!
A fantastic weekend away racing the Half Fling (57km) event. Wrapped to finish 2nd Female overall on my Specialized Epic Expert XC bike. The girls were great to race with and made sure I got the best out of myself today. Well and truly pushed outside my comfort zone, even crashed for good show! A super fun event and atmosphere, definitely keen to challenge the Full Fling one day as my skills improve A very big thank you to Nigel, all the Specialized Team, Scody, High 5 Sports Nutrition, SaltStick, Blue Seventy, TriShave, Eyeline, Compressport, USANA & Scion Bags for all your support, Cheers Bec :-)
I have really loved broadening my triathlon adventures within Asia Pacific this season. It was also an exciting opportunity to be racing and supporting the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Gurye Korea, 4 October 2014.
Gurye is a beautiful and unique tourist destination, located in the Southwest portion of Korea. The county's beautiful landscapes are popular for hiking during spring and autumn seasons. Gurye is also home to Korea's first national state park, which houses some of Korea’s most important temples such as Hwaeomsa, Cheoneunsa, and Yeongoksa.
"Athletes will begin with a 1.9km swim in the clean, calm and fresh waters of Jiri-san Lake, surrounded by the natural beauty of the scenic Jiri-san National Park. They will then experience a mostly flat, fast 90km bike leg taking in the scenic Guyre region, passing Jiri-san Mountain, rice fields and the Sumjin-gang River. The 21.1km run leg takes athletes along the picturesque Sumjin-gang River before heading into Guyre Stadium where runners will complete a lap of honor before crossing the finish line..." (www.ironman.com/korea70.3)
Reduced swim leg: A morning thick fog hovered over Jiri-san Lake which delayed our 8am start till 9am. With almost zero visibility, the swim course was significantly reduced, I'm unsure of exact distance, I think around 1km. Pete Murray (well known Sports Commentator and Emcee of WTC & IM events throughout Asia Pacific) did an unbelievable job keeping all athletes, volunteers and event organisers entertained during the delay with hits including YMCA and other funky dance tunes 'Gangnam style'. WTC/Ironman Asia Pacific combined with local event organisers did an amazing job managing the circumstances and we were still given an opportunity to get wet as part of our triathlon experience.
A traditional 'Gong' featured as the start gun (that was pretty cool, adding to the Asian triathlon experience) and the pro swim wave was finally off, swimming into the mist and fog in hope of finding our first turn buoy! I did my best to stay near to the group, guided by their navigation skills being better than my own.
90km bike: I felt the bike course was honest and harder than how it was described and looked on paper with a mix of flats, undulations, long gradual climbs and local wind patterns. The road surface was smooth, overall a scenic and pretty ride through Guyre's country side. With the design of the course and a field of around 600 athletes, I was able to ride by myself. I do love my own space on the bike! :-) Ride as fast as I can was the goal, maximising every moment with what I had to work with. I was really happy with my High 5 and Salt Stick nutrition which is well dialed for 70.3 racing. Riding my Shiv has always been a highlight in the sport for me, aero is everything! The smiles and cheers from the local Korean community throughout the 90kms and at various aid stations all contributed to experience.
21km run: No run legs today. With limited training and race fitness going into the event my run really suffered. Slow, heavy, cramping and a pissed off left hip flexer. Things did improve in the later part of the run and I started to feel more comfortable.
The finish line - 2nd place female: I was extremely happy to finish the race :-) I gave the event the best crack I could based on a limited training block and what fitness I had on the day. That's all I can ever ask of myself so I feel I personally achieved and learnt a hell of a lot. Congratulations to Katy on a strong performance, a consistent race throughout and her first 70.3 win. A well deserved result and with Katy's improvement & potential, I am excited to see her continue to develop in the sport. It was also great to race with Emi Sakai once again, her big smile all day a highlight.
As background, since the Philippines 70.3 in August, its been a challenging period to maintain a consistent training routine and build race fitness. We're all human, that's living life. A hamstring injury, a bad case of the flu, then an ugly fall running which took a heap of skin off my knees, swelling the size of a football, bruising and bursitis. I couldn't walk properly a week out from this race. My body and immune system is still showing signs it's not firing properly yet, but getting there. With improvement each day and the encouragement from my coach Grant Giles and support team here in Sydney including friends, family and my husband Nigel, I still felt it was important to go to Korea. There is something you can learn from every experience and I'm so glad I made the choice to go and make the most of it.
A very big thank you to all my sponsors who I'm so grateful for your continued support and encouragement - Scody, Specialized, Eyeline, Compressport, TriShave, SaltStick, High 5, Kinetic by Kurt, Asics, AquaShop/BlueSeventy, FuelBelt, Team Latitude, Ryders Eyewear & Scicon Bags.
I'd also like to thank the event organisers behind Ironman 70.3 Korea for making me feel so welcome and the opportunity to be involved and race the event.
Loving the warmer weather in Sydney right now with spring season and summer around the corner. Looking forward to building and improving my fitness from here and the next challenge ahead. Onwards and upwards!
Philippines 70.3 was my first race experience in Asia, an opportunity to test myself in the environmental conditions and experience the culture and scenic attributes of Cebu. I simply loved it. The event was extremely well organised and I felt privileged to be so well looked after by the event organisers during my stay at the resort. The help, support and smiles from the local community made me feel incredibly welcome. I had a solid race finishing 2nd place. A hard and tough course with the heat, humidity and wind. There were many highlights throughout the whole experience including racing along side former Formula 1 World Champion, Jenson Button who took time out from his own race schedule to compete and support the triathlon event with mates.
Pre-event activities and highlights:
Highlights - The amazing fish throughout the swim course, clear tropical ocean, swimming with a small pack of athletes and feeling aerobically good in the water, the fantastic event atmosphere among participants and local community spectators.
Areas to improve - My confidence. That's probably the biggest thing I took away. I actually enjoyed the swim and I could feel the strength & endurance benefits of training I'd done leading into this event. Confidence that my training and peace of mind was moving in the right direction.
Highlights - The bike course lined with loud excited cheers and colours of local school children and the community of Cebu. The huge smiles and support throughout the entire course. My nutrition plan including High 5 and Salt Stick worked well, drawing from previous hot weather racing. My "ride like you wanna blow up" race plan, pushed boundaries in the heat and humidity but I loved it as I steadily moved my way up the field, racing against the conditions. And as always I love pushing my strengths in triathlon. My Shiv, the Roval wheels with Turbo 24 tyres excelled.
Areas to improve - Corning (and there were a lot of 360 degree turns) could have been a bit better! I know from experience, I improve a lot from 70.3 race fitness, which is why I love to race. A strong hit out and platform to build potential.
Highlights - The crowd support throughout the entire run course! Wow that was special. It was very hot and humid, I felt like a chicken, roasting away in the sun (sun burn afterwards to prove it!). The sideline dancing, music, the cheer squads - all helped with motivation to run as fast as I could. The showers, ice baths and post race food and banquet was unreal, little things that mean a lot and contribute to an amazing experience.
Areas to improve - I relied on aid stations for hydration but my consumption was sketchy. The coke was the 'diet' kind, not much use for fuel without sugar. And I really love my coke in the run. Next time I'd seriously consider running with my Fuel Belt.
My mind wanted to run harder, so did my heart. But my body was struggling with the conditions as I was fairly dehydrated by the end of it. Very happy to finally see the finish line! I felt I gave my race everything I could on this day and wrapped to come 2nd overall. A very big congratulations to Caroline Steffen, defending her title for the 3rd time. A top class athlete and chick :-) It was also an inspiration to stand on the podium with Belinda Granger with her career achievements in racing and who continues to resonate such a huge positive impact in our sport.
When I first arrived in Cebu, I thought to myself, "everyone is a winner", with the vibe, energy and heart behind this event. Thank you so much to everyone involved for your support. My coach Grant Giles Aeromax, my sponsor support team, family, friends and especially Nigel for all your guidance and encouragement. Definitely a bucket list race and one of the best half ironman experiences of my career.
What I love about Busselton?
Race hard for the love of it! :-)
Weather on race day: Air temp 9-20 degrees, water temp @16 degrees. Clear skies and light winds. Fast conditions which keeps the pressure on.
Swim as hard as you can and hang on!I The water was calm and crystal clear. I focused on staying with our pack including Kristy and Michelle, maintaining a consistent rhythm and pace.
Bike like I wanna blow up! Today, both mind and body were switched on towards driving 110% into the best 90km bike split I could, irrespective of where my position would be at the end of it or how shattered I would feel. Trust your training and fitness. With a decent gap between the FPro and Age group swim waves, I could concentrate on riding hard by myself and maintaining my nutrition. Power felt good and I manged to move my position from the back to the front of the race, rolling into T2 with race leaders Anna and Kate.
My transition was terrible to say the least. The girls had already shot off like a rocket, while I was still trying to put a sock on, pathetic! Moving on...
Run with no limits….Smashed legs alright! This sport is such a mental game and I love the mind-set challenge of it. Smiling allows me to engage with the atmosphere and to focus on key words and people who inspire me, including Belinda who was also racing with us today – To never ever give up, believe in myself, dig deep, and run with no limits. I don't think I could have given much more on this day, and for me that's racing happy.
Kate has always been an inspiration in my own career. Her drive, passion, personal achievements, goals in this sport and what she brings to this community. As a local WA athlete, to see Kate finally win Busselton 70.3 and achieve the double title in both 70.3 and IM, is testimony to her talent and hard work ethic.
I personally feel I achieved a lot in my own race and really proud to come runner up to Kate. Given my strengths and weaknesses in triathlon and racing from behind. But also, re-connecting over the past few weeks, with the reasons why I do this sport - To simply race hard from start gun to finish line…for the love of it.
The depth, experience and talent of female professionals supporting the event was fantastic. Well done Katy on your podium 3rd place result.
A big thank you to:
Next Ironman Cairns. Looking forward to racing among the palm trees of tropical North Queensland!
Xterra! An off-road triathlon for those not shy of getting dirty and love the challenge & fun of the adventure scene!
What is XTERRA?
XTERRA is a series of off-road triathlon races including swimming, mountain biking and trail running, which gives athletes around the world a chance to race in some of the most diverse, spectacular and challenging natural environments on the planet!
"Xterra is far from your ordinary triathlon in all aspects; instead of putting your head down and gritting your teeth to see who can just go the fastest over a certain distance, you’ll test your mountain biking skills and technique, your cognitive ability to keep your wits while physically navigating the obstacles on the course, your physical strength and fitness as your energy systems are constantly fluctuating from aerobic and anaerobic due to the changing terrain and your mental strength to keep pushing forward as your body fatigues. Xterra is your chance to play in the dirt, challenge yourself on difficult courses, and have fun doing it. You’ll swim in a lake, river, ocean or pond; any body of water is fair game. You’ll mountain bike on rolling hills, up and down mountains, through mud and swamps, over rocks, roots, grass and everything in between and then you’ll finish by trail running; twisty, turny, sandy, grassy, muddy terrain, water crossings, hills, and of course mountains! Every race course is different and utilizes the unique features of each venue so race with a smile and open mind to expect the unexpected!.." (www.graskyendurance.com).
The events include an opportunity for everyone of all ages and abilities to participate including: the full distance Xterra triathlon events, short course Xterra sport races, trail runs from 5K to the marathon, open water swim events, as well as kids triathlons, runs and bike races. The option for team entries with your mates is also available for those not ready for the entire Xterra course. And for anyone looking for a bigger goals in competition and performance, there's a qualification series and opportunity to race at the Xterra World Championships in Maui!
XTERRA is booming in the Asia-Pacific region, highlighting this growth includes two established races within Australia:
With the Xterra scene now having found a place in the land 'Down Under', I was super keen to 'have a go!' at the challenge of off-road triathlon, throw myself outside my comfort zone and learn from the amazing people who compete in this sport! I was also attracted to the fun community atmosphere and local vibe of the event. Best part was having Nige share the experience and we both raced at each event :-)
Xterra Asia Pacific Champs, Callala Bay, April 2014
"Team Hoschke both had a great time and very pleased to finish! Nige had a great race, loved the bike! And I managed to not fall off the mtn bike, still horrendous skills on single track, loved the run! Now enjoying a burger and coke..."
Race Manager, David Livanes and support team from Limelight Sports did an amazing job to make both Xterra Great Ocean Road and Xterra Asia Pacific Championships such a fantastic success supported by an amazing & talented field of national and international professional athletes. A huge thanks to all staff and volunteers involved.
A special mention to Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack for their positive words of encouragement. Both amazing ambassadors and athletes who make a fantastic contribution to the growth and development of the sport. Also to good friends Michelle & Dale Hemley, and especially Nigel for motivating me.
Would I have another go? For sure! Next time with more training done on my mountain bike skills. I love a challenge, the sense of improvement, and learning from experience :-) Lots of areas I can work on over the next 12 months as I'd love to have another go next year.
Well done to all competitors involved. I'm inspired by everyone, all levels and abilities. Thanks for having us! Cheers Bec