Sean at Bike Addiction had my bike running beautifully with a pre-race tune up and the lend of a Zipp 808 rear back wheel. Bags packed and Thursday I was on a plane, bound for the west coast and the competition ahead. I took advantage of the 3 hour time zone difference opting to stick to Sydney time (early nights!) given our race start was scheduled 5.30am on Sunday (8.30am Sydney).
Friday morning I was fortunate to have a swim session with super fish and Eyeline team mate - Graham Bruce (Bruice), one of the best open water swimmers in the sport, along with other members of my local Warringah Triathlon Club. Pro briefing and lunch followed, it was great to catch up with other pro athletes racing and valued the opportunity to meet with the WTC/USM team organising the event. Saturday my bike computer decided to not co-operate and died. I'd like to make a special mention to the boys at South West Cycles (www.southwestcycles.com.au) who made the time to replace the old with a new working model for the race. I felt relaxed and present leading into Sunday, followed my pre-race routine of light exercise as normal, keeping the engine moving.
Over the course of training and preparing for this event - I toed the line with 3 goals in check - to race hard, smart and with passion. I love the feeling of being focused in the zone - pushing my limits to get the absolute best out of myself like any other race. I new I was in a good head space and was super excited and ready to rip come race day :-)
We had clear sky and beautiful sunny conditions scheduled for race day :-) The professional field had a separate start at 5.30am, with the age group athletes commencing at 5.45am. The ocean conditions were choppy with increased swell towards the end of the jetty. The pros shortly split into two packs with strong swimmers leading the field, I managed to stay with the second group of girls for the first 2kms of the swim leg. The group turned at the end of the jetty, then started to swim wide. At this point, I opted to pull out of the group swimming back and parallel to the jetty, with a direct line to the swim exit. I was working a lot harder by myself, the swell didn't make things easy, but felt I made the right decision in the circumstance, consistent with my race plan.
I have been working with Ian Dodd (retired AIS swim coach) the past 6 weeks with a focus on technique and stroke correction. Recent training has involved extensive drill work which is starting to pay off as I felt a lot stronger, consistent and comfortable in the water - all work in progress towards improving my swim leg in the sport over the coming months.
I exited the water in 1 hour.02mins and ready to get stuck into the strengths of my race :-) I moved through transition as smooth and as fast as possible with a goal to "get to the bike as quick as I can". Gilesy - you will be pleased to know that I had the fastest female T1 split of the day ;-)
IM Western Australia is well known for the wind and increasing temperatures on the bike and conditions didn't fail race day. Once I crossed paths with the girls in front (Lap 1), I had some idea of the lead from the swim. Britta and I exited the swim @40 seconds apart and the gap between us remained relatively consistent throughout Bike Lap 1 and 2. I new I needed to ride well to move my position up the field and was prepared to take the risk and push my limits, trust my fitness and step my game to the next level. That's what I love about racing! :-) It was great motivation to see Britta powering ahead (ex pro cycling talent) to push my potential.
The windy conditions maintained tough and challenging conditions throughout the bike leg which helped break up age group packs and improved space between athletes. Around the 140km mark I hit a real low patch and new I needed breathing space to re-fuel with High 5 nutrition, take another SaltStick tablet and hydrate. This state was shortly overcome and I was back in the game with the last 25km feeling strong, consistent and connected. Temperatures were reaching 30+ degrees. The last aid station on the bike I grabbed as much ice water as possible to cool my body temperature down in preparation for the marathon ahead.
With a big smile back into town I finished the 180km bike in a split of 5 hours.03 (pb) followed by another fast and smooth transition.
I felt in great shape hitting the run course (5th position) and commenced lap 1 with a relaxed and moving pace. Energy and hydration levels felt good and I was able to take in a gel and SaltStick tablet each lap combined with coke, water and ice at every aid station. Cooling my body temperature down at every opportunity was also critical given the heat of the day.
I absolutely love running - its been a passion my entire life and gave the marathon everything left in the tank, consistent with my goals set from the start of the race. My position steadily moved up the field and by lap 4 I was in 3rd position. The spectator, volunteer and commentator support was awesome. The encouraging words from members of my local Warringah triathlon club competing and watching the race, as well as thoughts of encouragement and belief from friends and family watching the race on line -gave motivation to remain focused and forward.
I'd like to make a special mention to Amanda Makenzie for her amazing support, positive energy and encouragement throughout the day towards the female pro race. Running into a podium position in an Ironman was new territory for me and I just wanted to say a huge thanks mate for your incredible support. Stef Hanson (Witsup/Australian Triathlete) was also following the pro race and just loved seeing you out there, your words of encouragement really lifted the atmosphere.
With 4km to go, I turned towards the final run home, then a massive blister burst with the most unbelievable foot pain. I remember convincing myself that adrenalin would take care of it, this was no time to be soft Bec - keep it together girl! And that my focus was not to be at the ground but forward and running as hard as I could towards that finish line, I was just so close.
A huge congratulations to Britta Martin and Jimmy Johnson - Female & Male Champions for your outstanding performances. Multiple fantastic professional and age group results all round with challenging conditions throughout the day.
I gave my race absolutely everything and that was my ultimate goal and commitment from the start gun. I've learned so much from this experience - what worked well, areas of improvement and its given me a lot of confidence that my best races are still to come.
I am very fortunate to have such a fantastic team behind me and my achievements are attribute to the mentoring and guidance from my coach Grant Giles - Aeromaxteam as well as the incredible support from Nige, friends and family.
A very special thank you to my sponsors for your on-going support throughout the year - Skinfit, High 5, SaltStick, Compressport, Bike Addiction, TriShave, Eyeline, ISM, Team Latitude and to my fantastic team of specialist sport practitioners www.rebeccahoschke.com/sponsorssupport-team.
Wishing everyone a safe and Merry Christmas and I look forward to advancing my potential and love for this sport in 2013.
Ironman Western Australia, 2012 - Professional Results
BrittaMARTIN New Zealand 1:02:13 5:00:11 3:06:10 9:13:00
RebekahKEAT Australia 0:53:58 5:03:44 3:11:57 9:14:39
RebeccaHOSCHKE Australia 1:02:44 5:03:28 3:09:26 9:19:48
BreeWEE United States 0:54:04 4:58:59 3:26:59 9:24:40
MirjamWEERD Netherlands 0:54:02 5:02:14 3:24:12 9:25:48
NicoleWARD Australia 0:54:03 5:22:03 3:23:13 9:43:29
MegumiSHIGAKI Japan 0:58:17 5:22:02 3:33:57 9:58:58
JoannaCARRITT UK 1:08:44 5:11:48 3:43:41 10:09:14
DanaWAGNER Germany 1:04:18 5:26:39 5:42:42 12:20:42
BelindaHARPER NZ 0:54:11 0:00:000:00:000:00:00
ReneeLANE Australia 0:58:16 0:00:000:00:000:00:00