GK's Justin Martin talks us through his day at IMWA. We are going to miss you Justin (as Justin explains in this blog, he's moving away from Perth for a few years to pursue work opportunities) We look forward to hearing of your adventures and meeting up with you some-where around the globe!!
IMWA 2014 I needed to finish for my sanity. My last 2 races had not quite gone to plan. Ironman France I attempted with a stress fractured hand and elbow and torn cartilage in my chest after an unfortunate bike accident 3 weeks out from race day. But I had paid the money and flew out to France to give it a shot! Although not a good shot though as Ironman France finished up with me passed out cold in an ambulance at the 12klm mark on the run!
Fast forward to 70.3 Mandurah and I felt ready to roll. But this also was not going to be my day. Although more bad luck with 3 flats in rapid succession took me out again 14 klms into the bike leg. I was thinking the race gods were against me. My wife Belinda was running in a team so I decided, so after watching her cruise through the first lap, and then seeing her not enjoy the run into the second lap, I decided to run with her as she didn’t look like she was having much fun and I managed 11klms with her which I am not sure she hated or loved me for.
IMWA was next and my last race for the season so I regrouped mentally, and headed to Busselton for the GK Endurance Camp. All whilst in the back ground potentially getting ready to relocate the family and myself to Saudi Arabia for work. We are also building a new house so everything is coming towards a very rushed and busy finish to 2014. I had been getting all my vaccinations, which was making me feel very ordinary too.
The GK Endurance camp was awesome and made me feel very confident. Kate and Guy had me do things in training that I did not think was possible. Even though the camp was 4 days, I only managed two with work commitments and a quick trip to Melbourne to finalise things for my new job in Saudi
Before I knew it IMWA weekend as here. Although my mind was full of other things, I was excited, as I knew this was my last race in Australia for some time.
I arrived in Busselton on Thursday night very late after work and spent Friday registering and spending time with my girls. Saturday breakfast with my girls and then checked my bike in. I missed the swim bike run with the GK Endurance crew Saturday morning which was not optimal as I find it settles my prerace nerves. Kate and Guy have a way of making it seem better!
RACEDAY- 4am breakfast of crumpets spread with honey, and I was down at the transition. Very quick check over my bike including dropping all the nutrition on, and I climbed into my wetsuit. At the start line on the beach I was standing behind a very nervous and slightly emotional Kate Luckin. I gave her a big hug and told her to enjoy the atmosphere. This girl is an absolute rockstar, first Ironman and she qualifies for Kona!
We were off, I settled onto the feet of someone swimming reasonably well and before I new it was on the beach. 1:17. Fairly uneventful but always a beautiful swim. Not my best swim time, but I was feeling good.
I was into transition and then onto the bike settling into a good pace and working my way through my race nutrition plan. Although with no Garmin as it had decided not to play nice. This really messed with my head, as I have been training with a power meter, heart rate etc. It was all gone. I had no numbers to watch and monitor. I decided to stop overthinking things and settled into what I thought was a good pace only later to find not the best pace. The new 2-lap course was great. Nutrition was on the money and no quad cramps or niggling issues. Coming back into town the wind picked up and I had to dig a little deeper to get home.
Onto the run and although I felt ok from the waist up, although the legs did not want to work so I just started moving forward until I saw Kate and Guy. Kate gave me the biggest hug and said just finish it along with a few more words of encouragement. Guy was “ I can see the fun levels are full now J.” It meant the world to me having those two there on the run course especially after they had also raced that day!! My pace picked up a little and coming back into town my wife Belinda met me and ran with me a little while. Kilee Giles also ran with me a little while. Kilee always seems to be there to give me that last little push to the finish line! I am going to miss her when racing overseas.
I crossed the finish line just under 15 hours, not happy with my time, but happy to have broken my bad luck and to finish! It is a long day, longer for some, but the satisfaction of finishing is indescribable. And the best part of the day – Kate and Guy were on sidelines of the finish shoot with my wife and daughter to watch me finish.
IMWA was my last race in Australia for a while as I relocate to Saudi Arabia on the 30th December. I have made some beautiful and amazing friends. Even more recently through GK Endurance. I have some great training buddies and coaches that I am going to miss. My 70.3 and Ironman days are far from over. My first item I have packed was my TT bike and race gear in case I can get to Challenge Dubai in February 2015, although my first race is looking more like Challenge Bahrain in December 2015.
My beautiful coaches Guy and Kate, you two are amazing - I look forward to carrying the GK Endurance name into different locations around the world and look forward continuing our partnership and having you guide me towards my dreams and inspirations! Although I am thinking training in the desert will be interesting; especially during June to August – “90 days of the devil” with minimum temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius.