1.9km Swim - Rookie error 101, I missed the race start!
A lot of people have asked me how I missed my swim start...
I arrived in Cairns Saturday morning and was unable to attend the pro athlete briefing the Friday night before, I emailed USM accordingly. Sunday, my pre-race routine was in full swing as per normal. I thought the swim start was 6.45am (male pro wave followed shortly by the female pro wave), as printed on my copy of the information guide and time confirmed by the PA announcer Sunday morning (who wasn't aware of any time change either). I did my swim warm up at the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon where I had a quiet space to get in my zone. Then 6.35, I made my way down to Sailfish Quay, swim to the start buoys @150m off the pier, for a start time of 6.45 (so I thought anyway). As I was making my way to the Pier (congested by athletes waiting for their 'wave start' to enter the water), I heard a start gun go off at 6.40. First thought was - 'They're just testing the start gun, its fine!' Second thought was 'Oh shit the battery on my watch is dying and my watch is slow!' Nothing was wrong with my watch or start gun - the race was underway! And 6.41 the female pro wave was off, I was now running down the ramp to the water entry - I still had @150m swim to the start buoys!
Post race, I've worked out that the information guide I'd printed was an earlier version and that the swim wave start times had been adjusted closer to the event and also communicated at the briefing (which I was unable to attend). I wasn't aware of this change, hadn't heard anything during activities on Saturday and hadn't double checked information on the website. So lesson learnt, I take full responsibility for my mistake, a kick up the backside and will know better next time. Moving on to the bike...
I put the hammer down from the start to try and make up lost ground and was able to ride with Kristy and Ange for the first half of the bike course. I soon felt the lack of training as well as a lack of energy (dead empty legs!) having been wiped out with the flu 4 weeks prior, I soon realised I wasn't going to fire today. Kristy and Ange road away from me, both had fantastic rides - well done girls! Kim Jaenke was having a fantastic day and blasted past us on the bike, this was a big highlight for me to see Kim's awesome race in progress.
My nutrition worked well on the bike. I spoke with Darryl Griffiths earlier that week to fine tune my electrolyte and gel in-take. I stuck to my nutrition plan (even though my body felt completely empty) and thank god because it was the key thing that got me through the run and home to the finish line!
OMG - my legs felt friggin awful moving through T2 - how on earth was I going to run 21kms! I reminded myself of the reasons I was here racing and put one foot in front of the other and started to feel improvement with each km. I really like the point to point run from Yorkeys Knob to Cairns - great mental challenge and it was a strong head wind which kept conditions tough. I was not far behind Rachel Smith (backing up after Busso 70.3 with another stand-out race! :-) for the first 10km which I thought was positive given how bad I was feeling on the bike and I was able to keep the gap fairly consistent. Rach then pulled away and I remained focused on my key goal to soak up the atmosphere, get the job done, finish and support my mates. I was very glad to see the finish chute! It was a tough day but just very glad I stuck it out and got there in the end.
It was great to catch up with the girls after the race, another reason I love this sport. So much talent and potential - its a huge buzz! :-)
Well done to all athletes who took part in this fantastic event. Loads of stand out races in both the 70.3 and IM event and it was super cool to support from the sidelines! Congratulations to all the first timers who achieved a massive goal by finishing their first Ironman 70.3 or IM.
Special mention to Liv (aka the Livinator! :-) - Just so super proud of you mate, how far you have come and your achievement last Sunday finishing your first half ironman! An amazing inspirational story and so lucky to know you :-) https://www.facebook.com/thelivinator
Many thanks to my friends, family, my support team and sponsors for your continued support and words of encouragement - Specialized/Cyclery Northside, Skinfit, Eyeline, Compressport, Everest Sports (SaltStick/KineticbyKurt), TriShave and Team Latitude.
2. WARRINER, Sam NZ 00:26:460 2:27:450 1:38:140 4:39:191945 Pro
3. NIWATA, Kiyomi Aus 00:27:550 2:38:460 1:28:110 4:40:252048 Pro
4. SMITH, Rachael Aus 00:31:560 2:33:180 1:32:010 4:43:01855 Age Group
5. CASTLE, Ange Aus 00:32:470 2:34:200 1:32:120 4:45:412161 Pro
6. RAYNOLDS, Matilda Aus 00:29:140 2:34:320 1:36:450 4:46:322263 Pro
7. HOSCHKE, Rebecca Aus 00:33:070 2:36:550 1:32:580 4:49:562373 Pro
8. MACKIE, Briarna Aus 00:28:550 2:38:350 1:40:310 4:54:081388 Age Group
9. HALLETT, Kristy Aus 00:32:400 2:36:010 1:40:470 4:56:132498 Pro
10. ZAMMIT, Tracey Aus 00:28:440 2:36:490 1:44:420 4:56:381799 Age Group