morning was a good morning for me as i was heading home ready to compete in my first Ironman, this week was very relaxing with a few massages, sauna and chilling at home. Can't forget the last few dreaded training sessions. Before I knew it, it was friday the last day to check in!!! Driving from Margaret River to Busselton late friday afternoon thinking I would have a nice relaxing morning check- in and training session with all the GKE athletes.
When driving to Busselton, a mate rang to ask weather I was heading to the athletes dinner? He also asked have I checked in, thinking nothing of it as I read the program list for the days leading to it and read that I could check- in and compulsory bike racking ... DIDN'T see the ironkids bit. Panic arose and I started freaking out, I rushed off to check in arrived at !!! They wouldn't let me in, didn't know what to do so I called Captain Awesome. Thinking it was Telstra he didn't answer.. I managed to convince the volunteer to let me race, he informed me that i must come back the following day.
morning we all gathered around for a bike, run, swim.. I was awarded the dreaded turkey "George". Completing the training session, feeling a little happier that I would be able to compete . I decided to head over to the checkin where I received my race bag and entry tag, (so relived)I could go home and finally pack my bags and get ready for IMWA.
morning, having the usual breakfast with the added toast, I made my way down to the bike racks. To the surprise of Guy, I was in and ready to race. Seeing a few familiar faces made me a little more relaxed. Suncream and wetsuit on, I was ready and making my way down to the start line. I stepped into the pen and watched the pros leave, they had gone and this was it, it was the "Age Groupers" turn... A fellow age grouper came up to me and asked "do we swim around the white thing in the ocean" my reply was simple, "i have no idea"! It looked so much further then the end of the jetty. After this I began to freak thinking there is no way I am going to swim all the way and live to tell the story, I began to walk towards the jetty ready to pull out when Brad, found me.. (Thanks Brad) We chatting for what seemed like forever then gun finally went off.
Swim: I hit the water running knowing that I have done the training with some of the best in the business, I got into an early rhythm following someones feet! I also had someone on my feet for most of the way out scratching at my feet each stroke, I began to get really frustrated . I picked up the speed a little and managed to shake him off, I found a nice rhythm again and was swimming comfortably, turning both the bouys with no trouble at all I was on the home straight, sticking on someones feet for the journey home. I suffered two bad cramps and had to stop for a short time, but I came out of the water and into transition thinking that wasn't so bad. Having everything done for me in T1 I left feeling relaxed and ready to have a good bike...
Bike: Heading out of the T1 change rooms I managed to find Brad a fellow GKE athlete, I was to stick with him and use his power, we left out onto the road and as always I went to hard, feeling a little out of breathe I managed to settle down after crossing the first bridge on the way to taurt drive. The ride was a little out of my comfort zone but I wanted to stick with Brad as long as I could, having completed the first lap still only 12M or one place behind Brad we powered onto the next lap. Sticking with brad for another 50kms until began to loose him finding it hard to catch him again! I opted to sit behind another strong rider dropping 3km/hr average over the last 30 to 40 kms. coming into T2 I never felt so happy to see a crowd.
Run: Leaving the transition area I could barely run, it felt like I was going so slow, but I was a little over paced. I completed the first lap feeling comfortable and was slightly into a rhythm. Turning around at the east end on the 2nd lap I began to hit the wall, I managed to run past the family where I shouted " this is Fu*****" feeling the pinch a little earlier then I was hoping. After seeing coach just before the next aid station he shouted "walk the aid stations" I can't express how grateful I was to hear those 4 words. Another 2 laps past before a fellow competitor caught me (Andrea Hopkin), I was so happy to see her and have someone to run with, the last 3 aid stations were all that was between me and the finish line. Hoppy and I were determined to get through the pain and to the finish line. We walked each station and each time we began to run it hurt more and more. Following the last aid station about 1km to go I said to Hoppy, "Iwould like to go under 11hrs", so I put in one final effort and crossed the line with a big jump and a fist pump. Waiting at the line for Andrea to finish in style also, nothing could beat the moment of watching a true champion cross the line.