Thursday, May 16, 2019




It's safe to say 2019 has started really really well for me. Last weekend in Port Macquarie months many months of work where put to the test to ensure we're on the right track for Kona. While there are always things to work on, no matter how good you are at anything you can always look to improve, I'm certainly very excited to see the fruits of the hard work of many that have helped me get to this point in Ironman racing. I haven't written a blog for a very long time, simply put I've worked harder on my running than I've worked on anything in my life & haven't had the mental energy for a keyboard marathon. I'll do my very best here to bring everyone up to speed on how everything came together the way it did at Ironman Australia.

For the 2nd year in a row Fallon & I headed to LA to see in the New Year & for me to restart my training with Geraint Thomas or G as we affectionately call him. We both had a rather successful year by both of our standards, guess that's a rather massive understatement!!! So there was no reason not to start this year the way we started last year. This time around i was a little more behind the eight ball as i needed a longer break at the end of 2018, the 8 Ironman's certainly took there toll & with the running set to dominate 2019 we knew my body needed a good rest & reset before getting back to work. This meant LA was a real suffer rest for me as G was a couple of months into his preparation & well & truly putting to the sword. Last year we'd go toe to toe for 2hr TT efforts while this year I'd last about 30 minutes before retreating to the coffee shop & a caramel latte while I waited for him to finish. On top of that i started running again with the goal of building up to 100km per week by the beginning of February & with the 5-6kg extra I'd packed on over Christmas this only compounded to my daily torture. The positive during this period was my swimming as the combination of Gerry Rodriguez's Tower 26 crew & my extra flotation flab meant my swimming was far more enjoyable than normal & made the 5am wake ups something i looked forward to.

As is always the case for in LALA land i often have to pinch myself with what's going on around me. If getting up early to get your swimming done so you can be finished in time for the Tour De France champion to meet you for training at 9 wasn't uncomprehendable enough, the mindset & structure to my running really took me by surprise. Last year Brett Kirby was a sounding board for the queries we had on the run & was a major factor in the improvements we made there. Brett is a physiologist with Nike & most would recognise the name from the Breaking 2 project if you've seen that. In 2019 Brett was keen to play a more active roll in my running trying and work alongside my coach Tim Kerrison to offer his expertise.

Once again, I really had to pinch myself on one drizzly January morning when i rock up to the Santa Monica Track for my first interval session for the to find Brett, Tim & Per Lundstum all waiting patiently for me to pull on my shoes & get to work. Per is head of high performance at RedBull so basically the 3 off the greatest sporting minds on the planet all waiting to see how i run! And not only that standing there in the rain! Brett actually joined in as he's a great runner in his own right which left Tim & Per to do the supervising while Brett kept closer eyes on my snapping right at my heels for the 10 X 1200m reps we banged out. For so many reasons this session was a spin out. Carl Lewis is one of my absolute sporting idols so I'd grown up watching videos of him galloping around that very track & never in my wildest dreams thought I'd be on the same track having these guys watching over my own athletic endeavour's, absolutely mind boggling moment for me. Safe to say by the time that session was finished & we'd had the de brief i was 100% focused & determined to give it absolutely everything i had to improve my running.

I survived January with G & as it should be with a re commencement camp i was far fitter than when it began. I was now doing 90 minutes of the 2hr TT sessions & ready to start the 100km weeks in February. Fallon & I packed up Olive & headed back to our home in Andorra to enjoy my first real winter ever!!!! I'd literally enjoyed an endless summer for almost 2 decades so winter smack bang in the Pyrenees was certainly a bit of a chance. Andorra is special in so many way but most uniquely is that the town actually sits quite low at 1000m elevation while all the ski hills don't start till your up around 2000m. So with that being said each morning Fallon & I would leave the apartment together, me in my running, riding, or swim gear, & her dressed in her Snowboard Kit. I'd turn left & go to work & she'd turn right & walk the couple of hundred meters up to the gondola to do some shredding, certainly not the mountain winter I'd envisaged hahaha. No jokes aside the winter was very mild & barely affected my training at all & when it did I'm more than happy spending hours on the stationary bike or treadmill catching up on YouTube or watching Eurosport.


Throughout February, March & April the running was my absolute focus. In February in particular i only rode my bike twice for the entire month. I cannot remember riding that little in a month long period since i took my first paddle strokes at 2 years old!! Probably managed a few more swims in the vicinity of 5-6, every ounce of energy i had was going into building up a healthy running body. By the beginning of march i was regularly knocking out 120+km weeks & it was time to ease the riding & swimming in again to a level more required of a professional Ironman triathlete haha. When Tim & I sat down with Brett in January it was decided that I'd use the running focus to prepare for the London Marathon.

Now The time in which i ran the marathon wasn't really the focus but more the mental & physical application that I'd be required to adopt to endure such a training regime & running load I'd obviously never endured before & never thought I'd be capable of enduring. When you have the best minds in the business setting your regime however & the knowledge that Eliud Kipchoge is on a similar schedule all be it with paces around 1 minute faster than mine per km!! Isn't that just amazingly awesome!! It's easy to not ever think your working to hard as you know dam well there at least one Kenyan out there working a hell of a lot harder!!! Anyways as march rolled on & my riding & swimming picked up we noticed that i was actually running better with those two disciplines back in my routine than i was when i was basically only running.

We therefore decided to scrap the London Marathon idea & do Ironman Australia instead to get a real idea of exactly where we where at & what modifications we might need to make on the crucial next phase with kona now only 5 months away. The fact that I'd ridden & swam a hell of a lot less than usual was in many ways seen as good thing as it would probably put more pressure on my run if i wanted to win the race which obviously was my goal. With the plan now modified we found a tune up race, the Cannes International Triathlon to basically dust the cobwebs off my triathlon skills. The race was 2 weeks out from Port Macquarie so fitted perfectly with finishing the big weeks of training & allowed plenty of time to freshen up & travel to Australia.


Fallon, Olive & I packed the car and headed down to the French Riviera for the week leading into Easter. Sounds exotic doesn't it? Well it wasn't much of a holiday. G was home in Monaco so I took the opportunity to have my backside handed to me for a few days on the bike in the hope I wouldn't embarrass myself in the race that weekend. I really fitness crammed that week culminating on the Thursday where we rode for 6hrs before I pulled on the Nike's & ran 33km from Nice to Cannes. Friday i pre road the course for some active recovery as i was rather buckled from the previous 4 days & then enjoyed a very relaxing Sunday to freshen up as much as possible for the race.

Ive never been so excited to start a season which was a great feeling as i knew subconsciously my running wasn't going to be as bigger weakness as it had been in the past couple of seasons. I wasn't sure about the other 2 disciplines but i know i had plenty of time to get them to where they need to be for kona so that didn't really phase me. Besides I've always dreamed of winning a race by out running someone so a weak swim & bike could be exactly what i need to achieve that. You have to be careful for what you wish for as sure enough i got off the bike with Tim Don, the first time I'd got off the bike with someone in a long long time! I thought beauty, we are about to find out how my run legs will hold up.

The unique run course in Cannes was also only 16km so with Tim being a former Olympic Distance World Champ i doubt anyone except myself would've given me any chance to win that duel. To be brutally honest if I wasn't so stubborn I wouldn't have given myself a chance either but I'd dreamed of this scenario and now i had a chance to walk the walk or run the walk so the speak. I pinned the ears back and went for it straight out of transition to establish a small 15 second lead on Tim. There where multiple U turns per lap so wanted to be in front so i have an ideas of where he was and what was doing at all times. I held that gap through first 4km lap which was already a huge surprise. I was already rather uncomfortable so decided to get a little more uncomfortable & try to extend the margin & doubled my lead in the next lap.

I sensed he was really struggling so i sunk the boot in on lap 3 & doubled my lead again. I've lost so many races, basically every race I've done on the run I didn't let up & kicked again to double the lead yet again & win by 2 minutes. Obviously the perfect start to the season but with the cheer squad i had assembled i really couldn't lose this race. Gemma Porte (Richie's wife) & Sa Thomas (G's wife) had traveled down from Monaco to keep Fallon (& Olive) company during the race & add some firepower to my support crew. Pretty powerful female support right there so was really enjoyable to share Easter Sunday with them & i feel earn some Easter chocolate for the drive back to Andorra to get ready for our trip down under. The season was off to the perfect start.


We headed to Australia the next day in order to have a good week at home in Tasmania to re calibrate onto the Souther Hemisphere. Also I be got an awesome crew of guys i train with when I'm back in Tasmania & still bing light on the cycling fitness i knew Fox & the gang would bash me around the ears & harden up for my first Ironman of the season. I've got the best sponsors I could ever dream off & while obviously making money from sport is awesome its the support i have that make those deals priceless. Ive got bikes & clothing in each continent we spend our time. Los Angeles & also the east coast in Fallon's Home town, Tasmania & off course Europe. The stress of not having to lug stuff all over the worlds just makes it so easy to simply do my job & sure enough i was on the bike at 6:30am to meet the gang for a few hours of torture 7 ensure Jet Lagged had no chance of getting me down. After a great ride with the gang I knocked out a run on my favourite trails around the house & straight away i was back in the groove. The next week at home followed the same pattern, the guys would meet me early for a spin & we'd fit swimming & running sessions in around there work schedules. These guys are so tuff it just always kicks me in the butt. I basically now know if i can manage not to get dropped during our sessions then I'm in really really good shape! With that knowledge I headed to Port Macquarie full of confidence.

Port Macquarie

Racing in Port Macquarie had some extra significance for me. My parents divorced when i was 3 & Port was the town Mum decided to move us to where she felt she could bring me up on her own the best way possible. We remained there till i was 7 when we moved onto Lord Howe Island so most of my earliest memories in life are in Port Macquarie. I leant to swim, started little athletics, got my first geared bike & off course started school in that town so i was anxiously excited to go back & perform in what was in essence a home town crowd for me. Sure enough the town had embraced me as there own once again almost 30 years after mum & i had left. I got goosebumps when being introduced to the crowd & would start the race with the entire town in my corner & the weight of a home town victory firmly upon my shoulders. We arrived in Port a couple of days early so that i had the time to check out the bike course. As always the bike the centre piece of my strategy, its where I'm either on the front foot from the get go or giving myself a chance to get back into the race.

Not knowing what position I'd find myself in come race day but obviously wanting to win i knew a good recon of the bike course was crucial. It was 2 laps of a 90km course so much easier to recon than single lap courses. My Dad had travelled down from Noosa to do this ride with me & off course watch the race & that made it the first time I'd actually done a recon ride of a course with someone else. It really helped having dad there to discuss the things i was seeing & have some reassurances that i was reading the course the right way. No matter what sport I've done over the years dad has always been there to support me in anyway possible & give me every opportunity imaginable to succeed. To see him look at me with a set of eyes like i finally after all these years of sporting failure had some idea of what i was doing gave me huge confidence for the race. His been my biggest fan but also my biggest critic or perhaps the person most capable of giving me a reality check so this look of belief & approval meant a huge amount to me. With the all important course check done i was relishing favouritism status for the very first time & simply couldn't wait for the gun to go off so i could get stuck into Ironman Australia.

Ironman Australia

When the gun finally did go off i had a terrible start. I dangled to the front group for as long as possible before a combination off disorientation & fatigue meant i raised the white flag to swim my own pace. I quickly swallowed my poison & accepted I deserved this with my lack of swimming & decided to look for the positives, this was definitely going to put more pressure on my run. I excited the water 4 minutes behind with a big smile on my face which seems odd doesn't it? Well the reason was that firstly I'd expected to be a lot further behind considering how easily I'd swum, & secondly I hadn't been caught by the girls who started 1 minute behind us!! I'd got lost on the swim back from the turn around & assumed they'd gone past me whilst the life guards where getting me back on course. Instead I wasn't in such a bad position at all specially considering the caliber of swimmers that where only 4 minutes ahead as i know i could wipe out that advantage on the bike pretty quickly.

I got straight to work once on my trusty Pinarello & within 60km i was alone any the front of the race. I simply wanted to get control of the race as quickly as possible so that i could dictate things on the run the way i had in Cannes. Once in the lead however i got the adrenaline rush i always get when leading a major IM & decided to keep the pressure on. I surprisingly felt fantastic & very strong, perhaps the best I'd ever felt in the early stages of a bike leg. I'd been top have a bio mechanical fitting & aerodynamics checkups with the guys from Gebiomized & Staps in Cologne Germany. I can honestly say these guys are absolute genius's as i felt stronger than ever & faster than ever aerodynamically. We also did some product testing so all in all i was very excited in the knowledge of the speed we had found for free basically, I love technological evolution! Back to the bike & the sensations didn't change. I continued to feel strong & my lead continued to grow & not only that but it felt way easier than it had previously.

Brett had suggested that my unique physiological makeup thanks to my rowing & cycling background should mean that the more running i do the stringer i will get on the bike. Surely this wasn't the reality though as everyone always told me that when you start running more your cycling will really suffer!! Well on evidence of the first test for 2019 I'd say I'm going to have to side with my running coach Brett on this one as i felt awesome & by the time I'd reached T2 I'd averaged more power than ever for a IM bike split of 307 watts or 316 normalised for the scientific minds. As usual all this data is on strava so you can analyse it yourselves there but the best part was my heart rate was also much lower than normal so I'd really done this ride well & truly within myself. I was absolutely buzzing with excitement to pull on the trusty Nike's & get stuck into the marathon as I'd never ever started a run feeling so good.

Once onto the run course I instantly felt in control which again was a feeling I'd never experienced before on a run course. This i guess was where the 1600km over the first 4 months of the year where paying off, that's further than i ran during the entire 2018 season, felt the first time like I actually had some control over running. Once i established where my rivals where in the first lap i settled into a pace that ensured they didn't close on me at all. My good mate Tim Reed was my closest challenger & he was definitely pinning his ears back to come after me in his budgie smugglers. To keep him at bay & in an attempt to crack him psychologically i was forced to knock out a 1:20 first half of their marathon, my second fastest half marathon ever!

I felt like i was doing it easier than Tim judging by the pain on his face but he could also have been playing mind games so i just focused on trying to extend the lead. Unfortunately i lost focus a little on just doing what i was doing & maintaining my rhythm & started to panic that i was running to fast. Noe I didn't try & slow down but i did start consuming double the calories we'd planed for me to consume. My thought was I'd never run this quick before & i could run out of fuel so better cram some more in. This is perhaps the dumbest mistake you can make when your stomach is over 6hrs into an IM & sure enough it wasn't long before the wheels started coming off. Through 30km my lead was still stable but trouble was imminent.

I stopped for a nature break with 11km to go & once going again experienced my first ever stomach stitch in competition. Having never had one before i had no idea what to do so rattled my brain & remembered seeing Craig Alexander digging his hand into his ribs one year en route to winning Kona so hand into the ribs it went! After a couple of km's or so it subsided & while my lead had dropped a little it was still in excess of 6 minutes so i knew with 8km to go I just had to manage the engine carefully & limp it to the line if necessary. I knew exactly what the problem was so obviously stopped eating & gave my stomach a chance to deal with the excess calories I'd pumped into it.

Once around the final turn around & only 4km from home i was starting to feel not so uncomfortable again. I had a look at the watch & saw that a 2:46-2:47 marathon was still on the cards so i got back to work on finishing this thing off. I passed Tim for the final time with over 5 minutes still up my sleeve so i knew i could go for broke & worst case scenario grovel over the line before he could chase me down. I had a real spring in my step which in the final 4km was again a very foreign feeling for me, was like absolute night & day my experiences I'd had in 2017 & 2018 compared to in Ironman Australia, it just felt so dam good to know where those double run days had got me. Sure enough my eye's got too big for my belly & with less than a km to go my stomach said enough was enough & brought me to a grinding halt to empty its contents.

Safe in the knowledge i was over 5 minutes ahead I didn't panic & let my tumbling tummy sort itself out & once i did I straightened myself up & finished off the run with a real spring in my step. Running down that red carpet to the roars of my hometown crowd is a moment I'll cherish for the rest of my life, it was without a doubt the ultimate homecoming. I thought about all those hours if uncomfortable running I'd done over the winter & it made the effortless feeling i know have trotting along feel all the more sweeter. Fallon, Mum & Dad where all there waiting & after Fallon really went mad at me for giving up the fight in Busselton it was important she knew I wouldn't do that ever again. However the special moment was reserved for my Mum & she was the first one I turned to. As a young single parent she'd packed up her life in Tasman to come to a town she felt would give me the greatest opportunities to grow up in the best possible way. When I was 5 I distinctly remember coming dead last in my first 200m race at little athletics & crying my eyes out as i ran into her waiting arms. She simply looked at me & reminded me i was her little champion, 30 years later where it all began I finally got to prove her right.


P.s. as always all of my race data from both Cannes and Port Macquarie are on my strava feed as is my training for the period as well.

Sent from my iPad

Monday, December 17, 2018

The Grand Finale

The Grand Finale

2018 has been a McMassive year for me in the sport of triathlon. With all being said and done I've competed in and completed 10 events in total, 8 Ironman Distance and 2 half distance. It's safe to say that I absolutely love racing and when the opportunity came up to race at the Home of Motor Sport, The Daytona International Speedway, I couldn't resist in finishing off my awesome year in Daytona beach. What exited me most was dealing with the logistics of racing and Ironman on the West Coast of Australia and travelling literally halfway around the world to the East Coast of America to race again in a 6 day period. Busselton and Daytona literally couldn't be further away from each other, both ways around the world are the exact same travel time!! Through into that the fact i had to make a very important Pit stop to collect a Diamond ring on the way and the week was absolutely full gas from the moment the gun went off in Busselton to moment i crossed the finish line 6 days later in Daytona. Was the absolutely perfect way to finally burn the last bit of runner left on my continental tires and empty the physical and mental tank for 2018.

There are no secrets that i love America, and i love Motorsport. Despite the circumnavigation of half the globe and everything we crammed in between i was bright eyed and bushy tailed when we touched down in Daytona in the early hours of Friday morning. I snagged a few hours sleep but as soon as the sun was up i was off to the race track, I couldn't wait to get behind the walls of a Motorsport venue I've been glued to the TV watching over the past 3 decades! Pinarello decided to sponsor the event to celebrate the mantle we've earned over the past 2 years of the fastest bike in the sport being able to cut some laps on the fastest race track in the world. On top of that the Guys from Epic Cycles in Claremont Florida had a massive expo setup to give the Bolide some VIP treatment and display for everyone to came take a look at it. Fallon and i often joke now that people ask first where is Olive and secondly where is the bike,Then they ask how we are!! It's actually become rather comical how much attention that particular bike gets, and the dog of course, it's really cool.

Friday rolled on with the usual briefings and intros for the weekend with it being clearly evident the influence NASCAR had had on the organising of this challenge family event. Everything was so organised and as a pro athlete they really made sure we knew how important it was for us to interact and be as accessible as possible with the fans, just like there drivers are on a entirely different level of popularity obviously but you get the drill. They wanted this to be very American, a big show!! To ensure this they had invited a great group of pros to ensure that's exactly what they would get. The womens field was stacked with champions across all disciplines from ITU to Ironman Distance making it impossible to pick a clear favourite. The men's field was set be equally as exciting with Andrew Starkyowiz gunning to exact some revenge on me for what transpired in Kona and Dylan McNiece & Peter Heemeryck both sat tied one place behind me in the Challenge Family World Bonus rankings which basically meant whoever finished ahead of each other would be 4th instead of 5th and take home $12000 instead of $5000. Basically put i had a big target on my back. Through in local Ironman legends Andy Potts and Matt Russel and a whole rath of ITU guys and the men was set to be an epic battle from start to finish, exactly what you want the seasons Grand Finale.

Saturday morning i was up again ready to rumble, it was race day 1! I'd suggested to the organisers that us pros spread out in teams for the sprint relay to add a bit more of that interaction the NASCAR guys had spoken off. I was paired with Lesa France who's grandfather built the track and family now are not only the owners of multiple venues around the country but the driving force behind the sport. It was amazing to meet Lesa under such circumstances as I always say as i always say sport is the greatest leveller and to see her passion we consider very small on the grand scheme of global sports was really exciting. Along with her assistant Wendy we had an absolutely fantastic morning and the 850m swim head to head with Dylan where i finally learnt how to swim on someone's hip!! It's like your surfing, amazing revelation for me, was a great way to blow out the cobwebs for Sunday's main event, I actually felt fantastic.

Sunday morning finally rolled around. I was up and feeling great, excited to leave whatever energy i had left on the race track, literally. When we arrived at the track there was an announcement about bad weather on its way. The organisers decided to have all the age groupers go off as planned at 7am to complete a modified course and the Pro's would race once the storm had passed later in the day to ensure we could do the planned half Ironman distance. We were called into the "Green Room" for a meeting which was a special room setup for the Pro's complete with treadmills, exercise bikes, food, drinks ect to basically ensure we where comfortable all weekend. This room alone was something I'd never experienced at a previous race and yet another indicator of how serious NASCAR where to help innovate our sport.

During the meeting they outlined the details of the storm due to hit in a few hours and when it would pass to allow us to race safely. The speedway has a direct line to the national weather centre and it was remarkable how to the minute they where of predicting the weather to hit and pass. After a lengthy discussion of the different race and route possibilities we all agreed on a modified distance to take place entirely inside the stadium based of a 1600m swim. In other words that worked out to be a 60km ride (15 laps of the speedway, how AWESOME!!!) and a 14km run zigging and zagging around the infield of the track. The start time was set for 1pm so we all ad 5hrs to kill. Some went back to the hotel, some just hung out, while passed out on the floor in between a couple of treadmills, the jet lag had finally caught up with me! Finally 12:30 rolled around and just as predicted the rain stopped dead and the sunshine appeared, it was go time!!! All the athletes like one big happy family now after spending all morning together happily headed to transition to set up bikes and make the final preparations. Then bang on 1pm the gun finally went off for the final race of the season!

When it came to swimming I definitely saved the best till last and blasted off the line. Ive never felt better at the start of a swim and soon it was only the two super swimmers in Andy Potts and Dylan McNeice ahead of me. As we exited the water after 800m to then jump back in for a 2nd lap i was only 15seconds behind those guys, I couldn't believe it. The second lap Peter passed me but i clung to his feet and exited the water only 45 seconds down on Andy and Dylan, this was a massive improvement for me and i was absolutely wrapped. Now for the really fun part!

Going along to watch Jimmie Johnson at so many races I've always dreamed of riding on the speedway and i was finally getting my chance. I launched myself onto the bolide and set off in pursuit of Andy and Dylan and the lead of the race! About halfway through the first lap i knew i was in trouble as I just didn't have the punch I've enjoyed all year which left me with a simple decision, go hell for leather with what you've got and see if your remarkably hang on. Through the start finish straight people where giving me splits to Andy, was so cool having so many people so close to you so often, just and incredible experience. 3 laps in and i was in the lead and while it knew my pace was dropping every lap i just kept hammering away with every bit of horsepower i could muster.

Around 7 laps in i really started to struggle to compound my issues could also feel the looming Starky baring down on me like a ton of bricks. He was moving like a freight train and sure enough a few laps later he passed high up on the wall which was pretty cool to see actually and try as i might to stay in touch he kept riding away from me. I simply didn't have the goods to stick with him and was absolutely powerless to do anything about it. I'd experienced this 12 months before in Ironman Western Australia where that was the one race too far and i blew up halfway through the bike and latterly climbed off and sat on the road side. That was a horrible experience where i felt very foolish infront of my family and the fans so in this case i had the chance to wittier those wrongs and hang tuff as best I could and try to give the spectators the show they couldn't wait to see. Somehow i kept Starky insight until a few laps to go but then he just disappeared for good and pumped 2minutes into me in the last 2 laps, he was flying and on a mission! When i finally reached transition still in 2nd, I hadn't given up hope of one last blistering run for the title for 2018, I'm certainly ever the optimist.

Once my feet hit the ground it was very apparent there would be no fairytale ending to my 2018 season. My running legs picked up where my cycling legs had left off, flat out running out of sight on a dark night. 1 by 1 they ripped passed me until when I finally waddled over the final finish line for the year in 10th place. When it came to the exciting pre race hype between Starky and I battling the bike leg and could I hold Peter off to hold onto 4th in the world bonus I was well and truly the days biggest loser on all fronts. Peter not only finished ahead of me but he did it emphatically winning the race and obviously in the process ensuring himself a bigger Christmas bonus than I would receive, he was far and away the better athlete than not only me but everyone on this historic day for NASCAR and Triathlon and great inaugural champion of this great race.

With the curtains finally down on what was far and away the most fulfilling year I've ever had in all my years of sport I was looking forward to holiday. The race couldn't off been in a better location to get stuck right into the festive season with Fallon and I heading straight for Disney world and the first line at Magic Mountain and my favourite the Magic Teacups that I spun so hard in a bid to knock Fallon off her feet. While I didn't quit succeed at Disney World in doing so, later that evening once reunited with olive in her home town of Deep Creek Lake Maryland, I delivered her that Diamond ring I mentioned earlier. It fitted, she seems to really like it and I can't wait for whatever adventures lie ahead for us. It's been on amazing few years together where year on year has just kept getting better and better and naturally simply cannot wait to see what 2019 brings.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone and I look forward to hopefully seeing some of you if not all of you somewhere on some continent sometime soon.


P.s. As always my race data is all on strava, one victory I did have was the fastest lap recorded on a bicycle around the famous speedway!!

Sent from my iPad

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Hi Ho Hi Ho, Back to Busso I Go

Hi Ho Hi Ho, Back to Busso I Go

12 Months ago I Travelled to Busselton for Ironman Western Australia full of confidence and a lack of respect for the sport of Ironman. Fortunately i got exactly what i deserved, a big dose of reality and severe embarrassment in front of my home crowd and most significantly my family. That day i not only DNF'd but I didn't even finish the bike leg, i was so out of shape and thought i could still blow everyone away that i literally blew myself up after 100km and could even complete the bike course. It was a long long flight home to Tasmania with my tail well and truly between my legs but what i vowed to myself was no matter what happens in 2018 ill be back to Busselton to redeem myself. 12 Months on and i can proudly say i feel I've done just that this past weekend.

The Build Up in Tassie

I thought long and hard how to do Ironman WA right for the past 12 months and the 1st priority was if your going to do it do it properly. Last year i tried to keep things ticking over post kona and what that basically amounted to was i slowly but surely de trained post kona and became less and less fit to the point that it was out of shape come race day which subsequently led to me blowing up on the bike for the first time in my IM career. This year i took a completely different approach and took my off season immediately after Kona to refresh my body and mind and didn't do any exercise for 3 weeks. The result was when i returned to Tasmania in early November i was chomping at the bit to get going again, perfect. This basically left me 1 week to get moving again and 2 weeks of solid training to get myself back into some sort of condition knock out one last IM for 2018.

That first week was a real battle which it should be if you've had a proper rest. In fact on the Wednesday my very famous Running Edge Training gang dropped me during our track session. We do 30min + 3 laps and after 20minutes i could not only no longer do my turn on the front but I couldn't even hold the wheel of the boys. Anyways i expected this as the local lads are tuff as nails and there is no room for passengers in our group, was exactly where i wanted my condition to be and exactly the kick starter i needed. Things got better as the week went on and by the Sunday i was able to survive the whole Professional Criterium at the Launceston cycle classic without being dropped which was 55 minutes plus 3 laps, an hour of power basically and this told me the body was now ready for 2 weeks of solid training for Busselton. The next 2 weeks went perfectly to plan, the boys hammered my most mornings on the bike and i even survived the track session both weeks! I added in my intensive and long runs and the key swim sets we used building up to kona. If you want to know more about what i did in those sessions its all on my Strava as usual.

The middle weekend was another awesome Tasmanian event, the Point to Pinnacle touted as the Toughest Half Marathon in the entire world!! I'd done it twice as a rower in 1hr 52minutes both times. I vowed if it couldn't beat that time then I'd quit triathlon immediately and go back to rowing as that would've just been embarrassing. Fortunately for me and the work I've done on my run i had a 17 minute PB stopping the clock in 1hr 35min which i was absolutely wrapped about and gave me huge confidence ahead of Busselton which was a whole 2 weeks away. The final days went to plan and that gave me a week to freshen up a little for the big day. We decided to make the feared track session the final test on the Wednesday morning before the IM and I passed with flying colours. Fallon and i loaded up the Ute for the 15 minute drive down to the airport, life is so simple in Tassie!! And off to Western Australia we flew with my Mum in tow. I couldn't wait for race day.

Special mention to the Running Edge Training Tribe:
Kimbo Gillard (2:15 marathoner)
Mickey "The Fox' Dalton (2:16 marathoner) Team Captain
Hayden Armstrong (Strongest cyclist I've ever ridden with)
Matt "Cat' Geappen (if you think your suffering look in his direction)
Wellsy (similar to cat)
Lewy (Super Fish swim prep finisherrrr)
Al Mearns (never missing a training session and never doing a turn!!)
Drew Ginn (google him)
Rhys "Shlonga" Long (has a lot under the hood in every respect)
Aaron Dunn (Pro cyclist who gets paid to be an electrician)
Brad Stevens (Crowd control, opens and closes the gate for us at track sessions)
Pete Barrett (similar to Al)
Justin "Mad Dog" Morris (he's actually very tame)
Gilly (once a week wonder at the track)
Matty Rundle (the only one who actually takes sport seriously in this group)
Andrew "smarty smart" (because every team needs a JP) Leigh "Waxy" Walker (team marriage & relationship therapist)

The Race

Despite the 3am wake up on race morning i was bright eye'd and bushy tailed. The favourable time change from Tasmania being 3hrs in front of Western Australia meant I'd basically be getting up at 2:30 am Busselton time for the past 3 weeks. I chomped down my 2 crumpets with butter, peanut butter and honey, a cup of coffee and off the start we went. Got my bike all prepared in transition and as you'd expect for my 8th Ironman of the year I've got that routine pretty dialed and had plenty of time to relax with fallon and Mum and Dad before the start. The new qualifying system for Kona meant that I'd need to finish in the top 2 to get that finalised in Busselton and consequently insuring i finished no lower than 2nd was my entire focus for the race. I was confident that a solid race would gain me that position but always felt if i had a perfect race i could challenge Terenzo Bozzone for the title. I shimmied into my wetsuit and it was finally time to get this party started and get some redemption.

The Swim

I've grown very confident in my swim since my performance in kona and being in a wetsuit i was even more confident i could put myself in a very strong position for the race. I knew Terenzo would be two quick so i simply wanted to ensure i got out of the water to who i saw as my two main threats for that 2nd place i needed, Luke McKenzie and James Cunnama. To do this i ensured i got a fast start and had those two behind me. I got myself between terenzo and the boys to ensure they didn't get away with him and ideally he'd be solo so have to work harder than he would've liked in the swim. It worked out perfectly and once i was confident he had an gap too big to close i let james and Luke pass me and i followed them around the swim course. When we exited the water we where only 50 seconds behind Terenzo and things couldn't have gone more perfectly to plan in what was probably my best swim of the season.

The Bike

I had a great transition and was one my bike before Luke and James, again i had them right where i wanted them and was in control of the race for 2nd. Once I Boarded my fancy new Pinarello Bolide TR+ it was time to go to work on racing for 1st! I quickly shut down the gap to Terenzo and was in the lead solo after 15km, I couldn't believe how perfectly things where panning out as I'd expected a 2-3 minute deficit on T out of the water. Getting in the lead so early meant i had more time to extend that lead and I didn't waste a km of road doing that. I'd been crossing my fingers for a fast bike course but despite the flat profile i knew with the West Australian prevailing winds off the ocean and the very heavy slow roads that wouldn't be the case. Instead the course would be relenting with no free kicks and if you wanted to go fast you had to keep the pressure on the pedals at all times. Obviously this makes the legs much more tired for the run but you'd be rewarded with potentially a race winning lead. I obviously decided on the pressure on the pedals approach and as much of it as i could muster of my 2 week preparation. I had some shakes moments in the last 50km where i had to bring out Mars Bar to get me to T2 in a position to be able to run but once that was on board i was ready for whatever the boys where going to through at me. I got of the bike with a 4 minute lead on Terenzo which i was confident wouldn't be enough given his running pedigree but more importantly Luke and the new threat to my 2nd place Matt Burton, where more than 12 minutes behind which was fantastic news to me!

The Run

As I headed out on the run i very clear heard my Mum say "Go Ribsy" which upon hearing that i instantly forgot about the fatigue and hit the turbo button. Hearing her voice made me decide to throw caution to the wind and just go for it. I sprinted through the first 10km in 37min, my 3rd fastest 10k ever and actually pulled away from terenzo slightly. More importantly this put even more pressure on Luke to chase after me hard as otherwise he and Matt where going to run out of Km's to chase me down. When i saw the situation after 10km i decided to keep my foot on the throttle and run as hard as i could for as long as i could. By the 21km mark nothing had changed and i was still holding Terenzo and starting to edge away from Luke and Matt, I'd finally broken them!! Unfortunately the effort of running my second fastest ever half marathon, 1hr 23min, had also taken its toll on me and during the 3rd lap of the 10.5km run course Terenzo shut down the gap quickly.

By the start of the final lap and into 10km to go he passed me and i felt i didn't have much left in the take to I fight him. At that point however we ran past the start finish area and where all the crowd was which gave me a second wind all be it very brief. I re passed Terenzo for the lead and held it for the next km or so, I'd never been involved in a head to head running battle like this before and although it was brief it did give me another little piece of race experience I didn't have in my bag of tricks. As we turned at the top of the course to head north for the final time with the wind at our backs, terenzo put up his Spinaker and set sail while i dropped anchor and powerlessly watched him run away from me with the title. I mustered all the strength i could to keep him within reach should he faulter or a miracle 3rd wind. Alas neither happened and i arrived in the finish Shute in 2nd place in 7hrs 57min, my fastest ever IM and around 1 minute behind Terenzo. This was by far and away my best executed race and the closest I'd ever come to beating an athlete of Terenzo's caliber. Hats off to T, he's been one of the best in the world for nearly 2 decades and after the horrific injuries he sustained in a hit n run bike accident early in the year its just great to see him back to his blistering best, he certainly hasn't missed a beat.

So that was that, i got everything came for, my 2nd place and 2019 kona qualification and redemption in the eyes of the Aussie fans and my family. Mum seems to hold a bit of a secret key as every race she's attended I've had a breakout performance, last year in Cairns where i ran 3:02, this year in Zurich where i finally broke 3hrs running 2:58, and then this weekend in busselton where i basically had the best race I've ever had in my Ironman career. Maby next year she better come to kona!!

That's a wrap for my IM's for 2018, there isn't actually anymore i could enter this year thank god! I will race for the final time this weekend at Challenge Daytona which is half distance so fingers crossed there is still a little left in the tank for that and to enjoy Disney World on Monday!! Ill take another Mini Break now until Christmas before G and I re convene in LA to start it all over again. We both seemed to have a pretty good year so only thing to do is try and do things even better in 2019.


P.s. As always if your interested on the data from my race or my training you can find all that on my Strava under my name, Cameron Wurf.

Sent from my iPad

Friday, October 19, 2018



Well..... Kona couldn't have gone more perfectly and so imperfectly at the same time. The entire year we'd had a plan we believed in and a scenario that would allow me to catch my rivals off guard. For just over 6hrs on Saturday it seemed we'd pulled off the ultimate cue but as happens every year to whoever doesn't win the race one man and women stand up tallest in that last 1/4 and Patrick once showed that the smallest man of the men up front would tower over us yet again and take another emphatic win. Fortunately due to the fact I did in essence exactly what i set out to do, the race wont require much analysis on my behalf. However as everyone loves hearing how things played out behind the Camera Screens here's my take on the 40th running of the Iconic Hawaii Ironman World Championship.

For the last 4 weeks or so I've just been chomping at the bit to get onto that starting line at Kona Pier on Oct 13. Ive never ever felt so fit and healthy in my life and the stress of how much work I needed to do during the year to condition the body for a run at the title was replaced by fear of ensuring nothing went wrong in those final days. For the first time in my sporting life i was truly ready to compete at the highest level of a professional sport. Our mantra this year was pretty simple, improve on last year. My coach Tim was confident that we did everything right last year and this year we simply had to do things a little better and we ticked every single box. Most importantly perhaps we finally cracked a bit of a flaw in my swimming when i discovered a shaft two beat kick simply needed enough force to keep my hips high in the water instead of acting like an anchor. I'd always felt if i kicked I'd be too tired to ride my bike but just "faking" a kick as our swim advisor Denis Cottrell calls it requires basically no effort. In fact its easier just keeping them up there and out of the way now that I'm used to it. Anyways this small change was the final dilemma that still lingered after an intense training and racing schedule over the European summer and with that now solved we knew it was the difference between the 54 minute pack and the 50 minute pack.

The rest of that final 4 week period we focused on our mantra, just do it a little better this year. Instead of sleeping at Big Bear Lake Fallon, Olive and i moved the base camp to Running Springs right on the ridge of the range sitting high above Redlands. The altitude difference was merely down to 1900m as opposed to 2000m at big bear but most importantly i was able to drive to the swimming pool in 15minutes as opposed to 60minutes which 12 months earlier meant i skipped quite a few important swim sessions. Not only that but i was able to drop down to the San Bernardino Valley inferno to ride and run easily and it just basically made it much easier to maintain a high quality of work during that period. Fallon was closer to the organic markets which if there is one thing that girl loves its organic grocery stores, if anyone ever wants to take her out on a date just take her to one of them, she just melts and is entertained for hours. Olive had an endless amount of trees littered with squirrels to keep her eyes, ears and nose occupied 24/7 so the whole team was much happier. Again all we had to do was simply do things better. We headed to Kona a few days earlier this time.

The heat was a bit of a shock last time so we landed on the big island a few days earlier. Also following my exploits of 12 months ago there where a few more demands on my time which i was determined to not interfere with what was most important, racing. We Took Olive with us this year, she'd been with us all year long and there was no question of keeping the team together for the Super Bowl. Last year my best mate Timmie looked after her while we where in kona so this year we just brought him with us as well. Timmie Eaton is perhaps the most capable person I've ever met on this planet and nature lay one of his endless lists of talents is a bicycle mechanic so also gave me the peace of mind the New Bolide was in the state my race mechanic Win Allen had prepared it to be in before i left LA. Naturally when you have the best hands in the business on your bike it didn't even have the faintest of glitches on race day, absolutely perfect. Other additions to our retreat in the coffee plantations this year was Fallon's best fried Emily whom just refuses to allow any doom and gloom in any room she's in, shines brighter than a shooting star that girl.

And finally but perhaps most importantly of all, Tim Reed. Tim's my childhood buddy from Lord Howe Island whom happens to also be one of greatest triathletes of this current generation. I was so excited that Tim wanted to join our rolling circus for race week as knew he'd ensure i knew exactly what was going on regarding the race and my rivals at all times. He's the ultimate professional and has race week absolutely down to science. I simply had to follow the leaded, it was awesome. Naturally everything went perfectly on those all important days leading into the race and we ticked another box in the doing everything better category.

The Race

Naturally Tim had race morning schedule all mapped out and i just did what I'd done the previous 10 days and followed the leader. Dropped off the all imported run bottles, loaded the bike up with the war food and for the first time ever had a solid hour to relax with Fallon and Olive before the start whilst i got dressed for the race. Finally 20minutes before the race start Fallon zipped me into my swim skin, it was go time. I can honestly say the entire year I haven't felt any nerves or jitters when i thought about the race but merely excitement and optimism. Well walking away from Fallon and Olive toward the swim start that after all the sacrifices, camps, product development, training, suffering it was now me, my race suit, swim skin over the top, Swim Cap and goggles and a timing chip. It was now just me who could effect the outcome of all that everybody had put into me walking barefooted to the swim start and i tell you what that made me so dam excited. I just couldn't wait to get in the water and get stuck into it.

I lined up surrounded by the known strong swimmers knowing i was ready to box on with them. I'd done a 1000 standing starts in training and rehearsed the sound of the cannon. Its a sound i can here more vividly than just about anything else. When it went off i went off right with it and immediately led the field away. I could see Dave McNamee over to my right and just decided to keep him an arm length behind me until the chaos settled down and i was certain i was in the front pack. Sure enough after around 400m the argy bargy settled down and I allowed Dave to lead our pack that had formed on the right over toward to faster guys who's taken off on the left. From there i looked for a solid set of feet to follow and trust for the remaining 3k. I knew it was going to be a great day as of all people i spotted the Professor Himself Tim Reed and beside him my hero Sebastian Kienle whom was also having a much improved swim. I wedged myself between these two and enjoyed the most peaceful tow around the swim course I could've ever dreamed off. I felt like I'd really hit the Jackpot. When we exited the water i had the biggest grin on my face and it was such a surprise for everyone except myself that I've never seen so many concerned faces as i bolted past them to get to my bolide in the first few and really pile on the pressure. My transition was flawless just as I'd visualised it would and thanks to my tri specific Pinarello Bolide which is 1 Inch lower to the ground than the bolide i used last year i launched onto that thing and was outa there! Was time to go win this thing.


I knew there was a group of strong swimmers up the rd and my plan was to get to them and leave Kienle behind. I needed him chasing and causing panic in the running group as there was no way they could let him disappear up the road. I knew Sebi was behind me so i just went for it to ensure he stayed there. Sadly i had no idea of the mechanical issues he would face in those first few miles which really ruined his day. He'll be back with a vengeance in 12 months time that's for certain. I galloped across the gap to the front within 20km and was finally in complete control of the race. I scooped up starky and Josh and went to work on gaining time. I felt sensational, could keep my heart rate under control and could use the power spikes where I needed to to keep the speed where i felt it needed to be to give myself a shot at the title. Timmie had ensured my food would make it further than mile 3 this year so was nice to actually have something to eat this time around. Not only that my hydration was spot on aswell. The way i was plucking the bottles out of the hands of the volunteers at the aid stations would've made Bill Bilacheck want to through me into the Patriots lineup as a wide receiver. The gap back to Patrick continued to grow and all the way out to Hawi just couldn't believe how on earth everything was a going so perfectly.

When we finally saw the running group after the turn around something caught my attention. Andy Dreitz was dressed the same as Patrick and it could tell he was riding the perfect pace to pace Patrick so long as some others provided some extra protection and didn't realise what was going on. Sure enough Patrick was sitting around 4-5 spots behind and barely looked as cool as a cucumber, he was in complete control. I couldn't help but admire what they had managed to do, it was really really clever. Keep the fastest runner on your team as close to the front as possible and let him loose. The Brownlee's mastered this tactic in London, i just never thought I'd see it happen in an Ironman. Well gloves where off, it was just as i imagined it would be, me v's the german's. To be honest I wasn't overly worried about there tactic at that point as i knew nobody could hide once those ferocious trade winds starting blowing from Tasmania across the pacific. I simply went to work on lifting the pace and blowing things apart on the way back to town.

As the miles ticked down i noticed the gaps weren't blowing out as they usually would with how quickly i was going. At this point, around 20 miles to go, it dawned on me that there was no wind. The running group wasn't blowing apart the way it had every single year since the races inception. No, instead they where back there happily rolling along behind Patrick's domestic delux, lets call him handy Andy, and where happy as pigs in mud. I had to make an important decision. Go all in and just get as bigger lead as possible. Or, cool the jets and accept if i want to win this thing I'm going to have to run faster than I've ever run before. There was really no decision to make, i was here to win so i eased up and started to prepare for the run, i had to go for it. Last year it was pretty exciting entering T2 all alone, a dream in fact. This year was all business with the nostalgia replaced by a determination to nail transition and finish this thing off. I rocketed through transition and headed out in my fancy red Nike's determined to get as much real estate between myself and Patrick before he starts running.


If someone had've said I'd have a 7 minute lead last week onto the run I would've taken it. The reason I would've taken it was because i knew for these guys to be that close would mean they'd suffered like hell in the trade winds and would've had the sting taken out of there running legs. Unfortunately for me this was far from the case today but still i had the same self belief that it could be enough as i settled into my rhythm. Along Ali drive i felt great as i churned up pace that i felt would have me losing time but atleast make them have to work hard to take it off me, unlike the way i stared the run last year 12 months prior in this exact position. My focus on the run was simply to get in and out of the energy lab in contention and then see what i could muster up down the stretch. When i saw all my rivals at the first turnaround i felt like i was on track to do just that as i focused on eating and drinking. Just on that if i had $1 for every person during the run that reminds you to eat and drink I'd have enough many to buy Ironman from the Wanda group which is for sale by the way. Might try and set that up for next year!! I hit Palani still with a good lead and passed the legend Jan Frodeno whom gave me the biggest cheer I've ever had from a German in my sporting life! He's another that was sadly missed from the front end of the race this year, be bloody exciting to have a fit Frodeno and Kienle on the line next year.

Once atop Palani all that stood between me and the title was the most feared running out and back in the Ironman world, the infamous Queen K, Energy lab in midday sun combo! Once here assuming i was in the exact position I planned to just get in a good groove and as stupid as it sounds now, try and recover a little for that final 10km. Well probably comes as no surprise that once i mentally shifted to being soft the wheels well and truly fell off. I lost my nice flighty rhythm and was now reduced to a slow heavy grind. The gap to Patrick began to plummet rapidly and around 17km into the race the inevitable occurred and I wasn't going to be the winner on the day. There has been much interest in the infamous fist pump as Patrick ran past. I simply complimented them on there tactics on the bike and said I didn't see that coming. I then encouraged him to make sure he goes on and smashes the record as that's what i dreamed of for the race and the race was perfectly set up for it. It was a nice moment and one I'll cherish but also one that'll drive me going forward to try and avoid it ever happening that way again. I did rally and try to match his pace but when he sensed i was staying there he kicked again and broke my will, i knew I couldn't match him, he was simply too good for me this year.

From there i just focused on getting to the finish as quickly as possible as comfortably as possible. The championship was gone and I'd have to wait 12 months for another shot. I know there wont be many times in your life you can go to the well on that run in that environment and I'm simply not even capable of doing that at the moment. My run has improved out of sight compared to last year but the glaring facts where there for me to see as the next 8 men rolled on by my, they are simply stronger. They just look so bloody strong and know how to suffer on that run, something i just seem incapable off still. It's funny because in the swim and on the bike I take those two disciplines personally, i refuse to not be in the position I believe i should be in, I fight and fight and fight. Once on the run i just can't seem to maintain the same intensity so that has to change, obviously that has to change.

All in all i go back to what i said at the start, the day couldn't have started anymore perfectly than it did. Had the conditions been like they'd been every single other year for sure the dynamic could've been different but the outcome certainly the same. While everyone continues to lift there game Patrick's been able to do it the most. He's raised the bar both physically and tactically which gives us a whole new range of things to plan ahead of next years race. To be apart of the fastest race in history and the only other man to lead other than Patrick on the run is a massive step in the right direction for me. Also entering T2 in a shade over 5hrs was also something i doubt people thought they'd see in Hawaii so I've relished the challenge to move that swim/bike benchmark up a little. Having said that considering my coach is the mastermind behind the last 6 out 7 Tour De France wins and a former Olympic swimming physiologist you'd definitely have to label me uncoachable if I couldn't at the very least be good for that part of the race. At the end of the day we did exactly what we set out to do this year, simply do everything better. Judging by where we've come from and where we have gotten to, i cant see any reason to change too much of what we do, just simply do it better. We may have come up short this time around with 9th place, however, despite losing this battle I'm more determined than ever to keep fighting to ultimately win the war.


P.s. As always my racing files are there for everyone to see on Strava because if it ain't on Strava it didn't happen (unpaid advertising)

Sent from my iPad

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Euro 2018

Euro 2018

Finally the time has come to switch continents & begin the final phase of our year long pilgrimage to Kona. Before we get there however we have one last important stop off in California for an Altitude Top-up in Big Bear Lake, a couple of hours south east of Los Angeles. While I'm extremely excited to finally be getting closer to the showdown at the World Championships both geographically & also by the colander! I'm also leaving Europe behind with a little sadness as I've had the most incredible Euro 2018 i could have ever dreamed off.

When Fallon & I arrived in Europe it took us a little time to finally get settled. First we tried living in Nice but logistically it just wasn't quite easy enough for me to get the work done training there that i felt i needed. We decided to move onto Andorra and quickly fell in love with the little principality ultimately settling in a cosy little apartment at Anyos Park, right next door to the training facility I Swim and Gym at. Basically its turned into an oasis for all of us as Fallon loves the mountains & Olive (the Golden Doodle) loves everything Fallon loves! Olive also does swimming lessons twice a week so its by far the most settled we've been in our few years traversing the globe together.

For me and my training its simply everything i could ever wish for. I have about 5 swimming pools to choose from, endless trail running options, a track, and off course some of the best rd riding you'll find anywhere in the world. The gym also has a state of the art recovery centre with ice baths and anything and everything else you could imagine so being fortunate enough to find a home literally 50m from the centre was an absolute stroke of luck. Through in the fact the people in the Catalan region of Spain are some of the nicest you'll meet anywhere in the world and its really ticks every single box we could think off that needed to be ticked.

The Reason I'm in Europe in the first place is really for one simple reason, my coach Tim Kerrison. Tim is head of performance at Team Sky & I'm his little side project experiment if you like as the man seems to just love endurance sports. Tim was national Rowing team coach way back when i was on the national team and coached the world championship Winning U23 Lightweight Quad in 2002. In 2004 he was a physiologist with the Australian swimming team before performing the same role with the British Olympic team in 2008. Following that he was recruited by Dave Brailsford to be head of performance at Team Sky obviously signifying there intentions to do things differently than had been done historically in cycling and the rest they say is History. 7 years down the line and 6 Le Tour De France titles down the line with 3 different athletes, a giro and Vuelta title thrown to ensure he's athletes have claimed the whole set, he's obviously one of the most successful cycling coaches ever. And now he's graciously decided to apply that knowledge to the sport of Ironman Triathlon with me as the test pilot. Yes I'm extremely fortunate to be in the position i find myself in.

So back to why we choose Europe as our home these days when not in Australia. Again because of Tim. Obviously for Tim to be able to apply time to me i need to be heavily integrated with the Boys at Team Sky as i spend many many many many days with them at team camps all over the world really. In the past 18 months I've been at camps in Australia, LA, Monaco, Tenerife, Chatel, Isola 2000 and each spot on more than 1 occasion. Basically during the season which for me spans January to October there are not too many months we are not at a camp checking to see where things are at. Now the other unquantifiable advantage of me being in Europe is that the standard of not only world cycling but also world triathlon is based in Europe. Simply put all the best guys setting the standard in the sport are there so its an extremely motivating environment to be in and certainly ensures you never ever rest on your laurels. For example Jan Frodeno lives just 90 minutes from me in Girona Spain, a place made famous by Sir Lancelot Armstrong. When i go to races i can line up against the likes of Sebastian Kenle and Frederic Van Lierde for example so a reality check of exactly where your are at compared to the best is never more than a short drive away. Being someone that gets distracted easily the constant reminder that I've got lots of improvement to do has really kept me on the straightened arrow this year.

Back to Tim and how all that works. Ove the past 18 months my Time around Tim and the team has definitely become more and more structured and specific to my goals in Kona on October 13. Initially i was simply tagging along to there team camps and squeezing in the odd swim and run where it fitted. I had 3 years away from top level sport people have to remember and lived like a normal person and certainly to the fullest!! It's taken 12 months just to get myself back to I'd say a semi elite level of fitness and the Team Sky training camps where the perfect way to get me back into shape. At the same time the fact i was available to be at the camps often meant Froomie and G had someone to train with which i feel like hasn't hindered them in anyway as they've both had a rather successful couple of seasons since my first Team camp with Chris back in January 2017. So last year i was most definitely tagging along as i very very rarely swam or ran at the team camps which my give a good indication why i was able to ride rather well in Kona last year but swim and run extremely poorly. Still there was no option as i was so out of shape 18months ago it took time to build the body back up.

In January this year Tim really started to ramp my training up while i was with G in LA. There was the first time my swimming and running was really structured into the daily routine aswell as i actually started misusing rides to do hard swims and track sessions instead. This at first upset me as i loved doing all the rides with the guys. Yeah its awesome having the opportunity to ride with the best guys in the world but also we just really have a great atmosphere in our groups when on these camps. After a few days of missing out on the harder ride days and seeing some instant improvements in my running i was reminded Tim knew exactly what he was doing and it was all part of an evolution to the level at which I'm able to train at today. The next camp in Tenerife was more off the same where I spent lots more time in the pool than on the bike and finished rides early to go for runs but again with my weaker legs improving i embraced the process all be it with some slight trepidation that I'd lose some of my edge on the bike. Sure enough this never happened and by Challenge Salou i was able to win my first half Ironman and run 1:18 off a 360watt average 90km bike ride which was absolutely full gas for me. This race was the first indication to me that if i can continue on this path ill be capable of attaining my goal of riding as hard as i possibly can and then running as hard as I possibly can and was interesting to see the correlation between the way I'd worked at the training camps and then performed in the races.

Fats forward to august and the team camp in Chatel and yet another evolution in my tagging along at Team Sky training camps. Tim obviously has friends in the swimming world all over the world and organised for Team GB open water swim maestro coach Sean Kelly (not the cycling legend version!!) to join us at the team camp. This camp also Tim kicked things up a gear in my training and also added running in daily. So for the first time ever I'd go to the pool each morning with Sean, saddle up on the bike with Kwiatkowski, Puccio, and Sivakov, and then run in the afternoons where we Tim introduced me to sprint sessions for the first time!!!! Was by far the most productive 10 days of training I've ever done in my life and certainly the most food I've ever eaten in a 10 day period in my life! All my data is on Strava pretty much so easier for you to check it out there than me explain here what i did. Obviously training in the company that i do everyone wants to know what we do. Honestly i have no idea. I'm absolutely focused on survival pretty much every single day of training that i just focus on each and every interval and move on. I'm hoping myself that one day i can go back through my own strava files and figure out what i did! So August really kicked off with a bang but there was more to come.

Fallon, Olive (yes we also take the dog to the team camps) and I shot back to Andorra for 5 days to recharge before jetting off again to Monaco for my final camp with the guys ahead of kona. Here again Sean was present so got us access o the Olympic pool on the Monaco Port each day for 90minutes before they opened the doors to the public. Can't thank the Monaco swim team enough for along me to steal one of there lanes and get another couple of weeks of consistent swimming in with one of the best swimming coaches in the world watching over me. Not only the pool but we where also able to utilise the Mediterranean for open water sessions which as you can imagine is a pretty enjoyable spot to be swimming! From the pool it was a quick change and up to the team house to meet the boys for the days ride where Tim showed zero mercy on the fact I'd been swimming that morning. Once the ride was done I'd shoot home and pull on the running kit for the final session of the day and they ended up being the biggest runs I'd ever done. I did two back to back weeks of 100km of running which i did in 4 runs a week, one of 20km's, another of 30km. Pretty easy to rack up 40+hr training weeks when your training like that.

We decided to through in challenge Almere at the end of the block to test some things ahead of kona on an equipment front and also see where my running is really at as with me we really don't know unless i run the full distance. Sure enough Tim the genius had got my running legs moving finally over the marathon distance just in time for kona where i was able to run a 2:52 marathon off a very hard bike ride. I honestly couldn't believe my watch when i went through halfway in 1:21 and got very scared about damaging my legs ahead of kona so did my best to just enjoy the sights for the back half of the marathon, running on grass where possible and looking after my body with nutrition and hydration. I don't know what surprised me the most, running a 6 minute PB or doing it on the back of the training camps I'd just endured without any rest. I'm just so excited about how I'm feeling running at the moment i honestly cannot wait to get out on that run course in kona on October 13 when it really matters!

Following Almere our techniqual partners organised a wind tunnel day for me at the Boeing facility in Germany. We had the opportunity to make some final examinations of equipment we'll use in kona and off course get some data on how well my Rower/Cycling/Wannabe Triathlete body moves through the air. While i wont reveal what we've got install for kona as really all i can tell you is nobody outside that tunnel has seen what we'll use.... I can reveal i have a CDA value of 0.214 or whatever that means. I believe it good but again don't really know what good means but i guess i have to hope that being comparatively weaker than my rivals might keep me closer if I'm more aero?? Anyways it was a really interesting day spent with some incredibly intelligent people where i learnt a hell of a lot including how planes get off the ground, stay in the air, and come down to land! I guess if your ever going to learn about that the airbus factory would be the place to do it!

Finally back to Tim and the evolution of the Team Camp. Following Almere and the wind tunnel adventure i had one final 3 day training block in Monaco. Again i started in the pool before it opens to the public!! Made me feel so special, then rode one day with Kenny and the Next with wout before my afternoon Runs. On the final day however Tim through a curve ball in that not even I expected, Geraint Thomas got added to our Ironman Training group chat! Sure enough i was asked to bring along some swim trunks and googles for the Tour de France champ and pool buoy and band! He turned up full of beans which is very unusual for G at 9am in the morning and was in his new trunks and chasing after me up and down the beach. I have to say when i turned around at the end of the 200m stretch of water we use at Larvotto Beach for our supervised open water sessions I couldn't believe how close he was. He can definitely swim!!! He made it very clear he'd like to transition to Ironman in the next 3-5 years and like the champion he is he's laying the foundations.

And as if that wasn't a surprise enough for one morning!! Following the swim he pulled his running shoes on with me for some speed work where he seemed at ease rolling along at 3:40km/pace, absolutely blew me away. In fact he'd only swam around 500m before announcing he'd like to race a half IM before the end of the year to get his feet wet so to speak!! How cool would that be!! But honestly how cool that a guy like that you'd expect to be wrapped up in Cotten wool looking foil something to entertain himself with for the off season, just an absolute class act he is, an absolute class act. Ill also add this for free, don't rule Froomie out from a similar off season approach. He's been running this week aswell and i gave him a new swimming wetsuit on Thursday, wouldn't surprise me in slightest if he utilised those things and climbed aboard his bolide for a race himself!! Watch this space!!

So as I set sail to America for the another milestone in the journey that began on the Gold Coast last January its been nice to reflect on the evolution of where I started out with these guys and where I'm at not. Certainly the "Team Camp" transformation is one I didn't see coming from me tagging along, to adding in some swimming and running, to a swimming coach at the camp, to one of there Tour de France champs joining me for swimming and running sessions!! Holly guacamole to me it just highlights what a unique enigma Tim Kerrison is in the world of endurance sports coaching and just how so dam fortunate i am that he's allowed me to Tag along.


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Sunday, August 5, 2018

Breaking 3

Breaking 3

Last weekend was without a doubt the absolute pinnacle of my Running Career!! Finally my proud pigeon plod carried me through a Marathon in an IRONMAN!!! in under what was proving to be the elusive 3hr barrier, 2hrs 58min 58seconds to be precise. In the running world I've noticed everyone rounds down so lets just call it a 2:58, that sounds good to me. They say most of the fastest marathon times are set on the most picturesque courses in the prettiest cities and I've got to at running around the pristine city of Zurich full of celebratory Swiss spectators was a great way to take your mind off the suffering. Like everything Swiss they where educated and informed and seemed to know the exact right thing to say at the exact right moment to ensure you got the very best out of yourself. It was just splendid but off course it was a marathon so a bit had gone on before i even strapped the red Nike's on for my jaunt around the city.

I love Zurich so was always going to be at the race regardless of where i was at in my preparation. Back in my rowing days i had some of my best races in lucerne just down the road and cherished every off day we had in those days to explore the city of Zurich. Always thought that one day I'd live there and work in a bank, who knows that could still very well happen one day but I'm happy what I'm doing for now. Another reason for racing Zurich was the fact that its Fallon's favourite city in Europe and she desperately wanted to take Olive there so she could swim in the pristine lake Zurich! So why not make a family holiday out of it and through in some Sunday sport for good measure. The Brady bunch actually grew to 4 in Zurich with the arrival of my Mum from Australia so we stayed an extra few days to enjoy some precious family time considering the fact Fallon and i operate across 3 continents during the year.

I had modest goals for this race as has been the case all summer. It's a little tuff to set your expectations to high when your simply training up to and through all these events but i always try and have some small goals to strive for regardless. In Zurich my goal was not to get caught by any of the women in the swim as they started only 3 minutes behind us. Secondly was i wanted to break the womens run course record on 3:00.24 seconds. The bike would be what it would be but when i suggested in the pre race press conference the bike course was quicker than you'd expect Ronnie Schildknecht scoffed and said he'd be very surprised if it could ride under 4:20. That type of comment is like a red rag to a bull for me so then had 2 more goals, to go sub 4:20 and beat Ronnie to the finish line. The stage was set and i was champing at the bit the start gun to go off on Sunday morning.

When the start gun finally did go off i quickly felt very unready for the challenges ahead that day. I don't know if it was the fatigue but I've noticed that as I've raced more and more and trained harder and harder between races I've been more and more sleepy on the start line. This was extremely evident in Zurich when i was dropped like and absolute hot potato in the first m's of the swim. The days eventual winner Jan Van Berkel had muscled his way in beside me on the line and was out off sight and swimming before i even took my first stroke! Made for a very very lonely 3.8km swim where i was now only focused on staying ahead of the girls! Fortunately I exited the water a minute or so head of Aussie Annabel Luxford and only had people in my category to pass on the bike, as there was already a lot of them!!

Once on the bike i settled into my rhythm began to feel a little coming back into my body, I've noticed the fatigue usually subsides and the race goes on and feel better and better so with the experience of that in Nice and Roth i knew if i could keep the pressure on the pedals on the first lap I'd definitely have a stronger 2nd lap. As expected i was further back than fullback on Jan and his band of Swiss merry men in the lead group and took me around 120km to catch them and get into the lead. Once in front i really smacked the throttle as if I'm racing I'm racing and regardless off my condition I'm going to do everything i can to fight for the podium. I was able to hit transition in the lead and was confident i had a big lead on Jan and his pack. I was very wrong about that I had only managed a 30 second lead on David Plese who'd ridden in way nobody knew he could. Even he admitted he couldn't believe it but he saw the opportunity to match me and went for it. I love it when guys get stuck into it and actually put themselves in a position to win. It may not be the smartest but it sure makes the race way more exciting. Anyways i was wrapped with my bike leg regardless and clocked a 4:14 to take 10minutes of Ronnie's bike course record, that felt good!! Now just had to break the women's run course record to make it a perfect day.

Onto the run and i realised i only had a slim lead so i booted it, i wanted to get to Fallon to receive my first turbo bottle in 1st so had to survive 2km! I did and also meant mum got to see me in the lead of an Ironman for her first time, was a big day of milestones. Once they objective was ticked off i settled into my lazy long run pace. Like in nice and Roth i decided to not look at the watch and just go on feel. I find a pace that i feel like I'm running at but not fast enough that i risk blowing up, basically a pace i could run at for 50km if they decided to through in another lap. I've learnt over the summer if your going to race for training you have to take the ego out off it and be sensible and risking a blow up is certainly not acceptable as I could leave me in a hole I can't get out of for kona. David flew past after a few km so was a pretty lonely first half marathon while i waited for the inevitable charge from Jan. Sure enough as i enjoyed a nature break at the Porta John around the 25km mark, he ripped pass me so fast he sucked the hat clean off my head. To say he was on a mission was an understatement and knew that was the winner. The only questions for the final 2 laps was could i catch back up to David and would anyone else catch me in the process. I slowly began to build my pace and with 10km to go i was still trailing David by 3 minutes. With 5km remaining it was down to 2minutes so I upped the anti again with some more purposeful running for the first time that day but fell 45 seconds short at the line and had to settle for 3rd.

I was wrapped to finish on the podium, absolutely wrapped with mum there and all was happy I'd put together the best race i possibly could. I didn't want to ask about my run split as I couldn't handle hearing another 3hrs something! But when i saw fallon and her face i knew she had good news and i was absolutely overjoyed when she informed me I'd run a 2:58(rounding down remember). So with that I'd also broken the women's run course record so ticked all my boxes for the day and on top of that Fallon got some more flowers and sunflowers are her absolute favourite which was a real cherry on top. Oh and I beat Ronnie across the line but like the 9 time champ;ion he is he pushed hard all day, he's just the type of guy you hate racing, he's never beaten till your across the line. I was extremely happy for Jan to win his first ever Ironman in his home race and 7th attempt. Was also so great to witness how he did it. I knew form the second he elbowed me out of the way at the start he was going to win that and in course record time to boot!!! What a way to take your first big win and he's an absolute gem of a bloke, one of the few that's always been there to offer me advice during my journey. All in all a very successful day and record breaking day, what more could you wish for on a smoking hot Sunday summer afternoon than smoking hot racing to match it!

I don't like the word redemption however this year my schedule could suggest I've been chasing such with my choice of events mirroring that of 2017. In South Africa i improved on my 11th to 4th, Nice I went from DNF to 3rd, Zurich a very distant 7th to 3rd on Sunday. Sweden isn't a male race this year so wont be back to improve on that 2nd and i wont be going back to wales because I've already won so cant improve there! Now ill set my sights on the biggest monkey on my back from 2017 being Kona, and nailing that swim and run. I'm happy with where this training and racing preparation phase has put me physically and mentally. Racing tired has taught me to utilise the low energy stores i have in the most efficient way possible to get the best result i can on the day. In the process i think its made me a much smarter racer and in a much better position to go to Kona and see if i can finish the job i started last year. Time will tell....

With zurich my summer of preparation racing phase comes to an end. From here we will focus 100% on being as well prepared and fresh as possible for kona on oct 13. Many have questioned the way I chose to do things both racing and training and that's fine, everyone has there opinions and i obviously have mine. The fact of the matter is i want to beat these guys in kona and ideally be apart of another record breaking day. There is no way I'm going to beat them by doing things the way they do them. We are all such different athletes. They have all been racing triathlons for a decade or more with the exception of Lionel, off course they will have a traditional build up. Ive rowed at the highest level and raced in the world tour on a bicycle so my physiology is completely different and lots of long hard days is a preparation I'm familiar with and we believe will work best for me. The exiting thing is we are all going to find out in 10 short weeks if i can put it together. I'd like to say I'm nervous but I'm not, Ive got nothing to lose. I just cant wait for that start cannon to go off on Kona Pier on Saturday the 13th of October!!


As always my race data is on Strava. I remembered to not only save my ride data but also wear my heart rate strap so a bit more info than usual for IM Zurich.

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Friday, July 6, 2018

Tremendous Two Weeks Part 2

Tremendous Two Weeks Part 2

With round about way of tapering and IM Nice behind me it was time for part 2 of my double header and Challenge Roth. I'd heard so much about this event being a "bucket list" race and figured there are no guarantees on how long ill even keep doing this sport so i best do it while i have the chance. As it turned out this year it fitted in nicely with our little experiment of doing back to back races for training loading. The positive was that with the last minute schedule change a week earlier it had turned out to be the 2nd race so I'd be a little fresher and be able to give it a few more herbs with a rest week awaiting me after I crossed the finish line. We spent Monday in Nice and enjoyed a lazy day with olive at the Dog Beach frolicking on the Mediterranean before attending the presentation that evening which did include another bouquet of flowers for Fallon. Had a good sleep and woke up Tuesday morning ready to crack into another race week. We loaded the Car and set sail for Isola 2000 for a few days with the boys.

One thing that I learnt in this whole experience is the importance of keeping the engine ticking over if your going to back up with two Ironman's 7 days apart. Wednesday morning rolled around and i was back in the saddle for a "cruisy" 6hrs with Luke Rowe, Wout Poels, Micheal Kwiatkowski, and off course my usual sparing partner Chris Froome. Cruisy!!! Yeah right, 6 minutes for me with these guys is never comfortable let alone 6hrs but i did my best to hide my suffering and pretend i felt sensational just rolling around with these Tour de France stars, after all i was preparing for another Ironman in 4 days, off course i felt great!! I managed to survive there "general ride" which means easy for them until the final km of the final climb back to the chalet where I completely ran out of juice. I dropped back to the car grabbed onto the roof racks and told Tim i was empty, a strange empty as my legs felt ok I'd just simply ran out of fuel despite eating all day like a horse. Tim wasn't at all concerned and said the good thing was i had a few days to refuel ahead of Roth and everything would be fine. There are so many reasons why Tim s regarded as the best endurance sports coach on the planet a she could tell me anything and I'd believe and sure enough this explanation took me from down and out to confident as a cockatoo for the weekend ahead!

The next day we headed out again this time minus Luke as he headed off to recon the feared cobbled stage in this years tour, well feared for most but certainly not Luke, he eats them for breakfast. The remaining 4 of us headed down to the valley for some intervals. The first was a 15km 4 man Time trial for a bit off a warm up. I was certain I'd be dropped after my first turn if i even made it to the front but was pleasantly surprised as i noticed the power was already back in legs and I survived the entire interval. From there the boys did some more hard work in the mountains while i climbed casually back to the chalet to cap off my preparations for Roth, i now had 2 full days to freshen up, seemed like 2 months! Fallon and i loaded the car and jetted off to germany. Wa sober 1000km so we split up the drive with a night in Austria on the way and arrived in Roth bright eyed and bushy tailed Friday morning. The organisation of the race is absolutely 2nd to none and they had organised us a wonderful home stay for the event, even our dog was welcome. Surface to say we settled in nice and quickly and once again i had an entire day t rest up and recharge the batteries ahead of Sundays big race.

Now Roth i have now learnt is like no other race. The entire city and surrounding cities shut down for the day as an estimated 250,000+ people come out to cheer which honestly i think is being very German and a conservative estimate! Ive been very excited about doing this race for another reason being it had the potential to have a very similar dynamic to that that ill have to deal with in Kona on October 14. There was one key reason for this and that was the presence of the great Sebastian Kienle. On the drive to the start i said to fallon how cool this was going to start a race where i was literally going to have the opportunity to race shoulder to shoulder with my hero of the current generation of Ironman. I'd enjoyed watching Sebi the most when pouring over recent NBC kona highlights packages be when he won or was beaten, there is just something i really admire about the way this guy races and carries himself. Before the start he did even more to endure himself to me when he helped me pump up my tyres. I didn't have a crack pipe for my disc wheel and fumbling around with Co2 canisters when he jumped to my aid. He even suggested the pressure i run, the ultimate gentleman. Despite being star struck i was extremely relaxed for the race as I felt I had nothing to lose. Sebi once again had a chat to me before diving into the canal for our warmup which again made me pinch myself about the fact i was actually about to race him. I watched him swim off for a few strokes before snapping put of my day dream and said right its time to make his day as challenging as possible!

My goals for Roth where pretty straight forward. Firstly avoid losing 3 minutes to Lucy Charles ensuring i get on my bike before she reaches transition! Secondly try and do a good consistent bike that's put me in a position to again fight for a podium spot, training day or not it was a race and was going to race! And finally stay controlled and conservative on the run again until the final 5km then fight for whatever position is up for grabs at that point. The atmosphere was absolutely bonkers before the start and following my horrible swim in Nice in was so incredibly determined to put that behind me with a great swim here in Roth.

When the gun finally sounded i was outa there!! Quickly into the lead and i put my head down and swam as hard as i could. Lucy Charles was starting 3 minutes behind me and was determined to my as much of the course between her and I in that first 3 minutes. It wasn't long however before i got bulldozed the stronger swimmers but instead of blasting past my more eased past allowing me to jump into a nice slip stream, already this was worlds apart from just 7 days before in Nice! Around halfway in the swim i spotted Sebi and his bright yellow cap as race favourite and settled in beside him behind the front runners. At first I thought oh shit I'm actually having a terrible swim but the lead kayaker was just ahead of us so Sebi was also having a great swim. As we swum stroke for stroke i had visions of the Dave Scott and Mark Allen Ironman and thought wouldn't it be amazing to have Roth War with Sebi! Reality quickly set in when I remembered i cant run but still was nice to pass some time day dreaming about races in future years perhaps. As we exited the water we couldn't be separated on time and i was buzzing like a kid in a candy store as we again bumped shoulders grabbing our transition bags. Again side by side as we headed for our bikes but here i quickly got the upper hand with my superior helmet clipping on ability and i was in motion on two wheels ahead of him, the race was on.

With Sebi behind me all be it 10m's or so i hit the gas hard once out on the open rd. While everyone else including the man i saw as another big threat Andrei Dreitz fiddled around putting there shoes on i decided to get to the lead asap and worry about sliding them on later on. With Sebi behind and out of my vision i really went hell for leather if nothing else to make him panick and have to use some extra matches to come and find me. It was at this point however i was wracked with the reality stick of how fatigued i was as i simply didn't have the power spikes i do when I'm fresh. I decided after around 5km when sebi was not planted 15m directly behind me I wouldn't have the legs to drop him today so the best i could do was make it as uncomfortable for him as possible. Once I'd accepted the fact I didn't have the fresh legs I'd convinced myself i had i decided to just ride as fast as possible the the energy i had and not focus at all on power. I'd forgotten to wear my heart rate strap so i only had power as a reference but to be honest all i really looked at was average speed. I figured a decent ride would be around 44kmph average so just worked on keeping the speed around there as best i could.

At the end of lap 1 i looked and could see not only sebi but also Jesse Thomas. I felt i was probably being a little cautious on the pacing so started to pick things up as we began the final 90km. Soon after Jessie was dropped and it was just Sebi and i and i was very happy with this situation. I knew I couldn't beat him on the run today so figured if i keep it smooth and fast for him perhaps i can set him up for a potential course/world world record held by Jan Frodeno. Around 120km into the ride i looked back at Sebi to ensure he was fine with pacing and he thought i signalled him to come past. He said I don't know if can help you out at all but ill try. Cool I thought I'll just sit back here for a bit for a change of scenery. After about 5 minutes of that i got sick of sitting behind and rode back sebi and told him to save his legs for the run and that I'd keep it nice and smooth which got a laugh out of him. Unfortunately with about 30km to ride i heard the motorbike behind me which knew meant sebi was no longer right behind me and a quick glance back confirmed this. Just like in kona last year i thought well i may aswell hit the gas now and see how big a lead i can get as you never know what can happen on the run. I hit T2 feeling great which is always welcome when you've got a marathon ahead of you and couldn't wait to get stuck into it, quicker you get started the quicker you finish right! Anyways as we exited T2 i had 2minutes on sebi, 6 on drietz, and 12-15 on the running pack, i was right where i wished to, in the race for the podium.

My plan on the run was to take it as easy as possible for the first 37km then race for whatever spot is available to me at that point. I quickly got into a very cruisy rhythm and sebi blasted past me after 4km to relieve me of the lead I'd enjoyed for the previous 4hrs or so. Around 15km into the drietz dropped me back to 3rd and now i knew the final spot on the podium was touch and go. I could see Jesse Thomas, Joe Skipper and James Cunnama all charging along and making light work of there 15minute deficits so i just had to stay calm. Sure enough Jesse galloped passed me with around 10km to go so i knew if he stayed strong the podium was gone for me today. By the time i hit 5km to go Jesse was way to far ahead to mount a challenge and now Joe and James where running shoulder to shoulder and had me in there sights. If I didn't pull my finger out I'd need up coming 6th and again in this quality opposition I'd have been wrapped with that at the start of the day with 5km to go was going to fight to fend them off. Joe was simply too strong and dropped my like a hot potato with 2km to go but not before delivering some good news that james was now struggling and to hang tuff. I found another gear and managed top keep him out of sight to enter the famous Roth Grandstand finish arena in 5th place.

I was extremely satisfied with this but when i looked at the timing board and saw 7:58 I couldn't believe my eyes, my first sub 8 finish to come after the previous few weeks I'd endured i was absolutely wrapped. I quickly checked my watch to find out I'd run a 3:01 marathon which is my equal best ever which was an even bigger surprise as I hadn't looked at my pacing clock once all day. This was far and away the most balanced and perhaps best race I'd ever done. For the record I thumped lucy in the swim!! Well sort off, she only swam 1 minute faster so had 2minutes up my sleeve. I broke 48minutes for the first time and took 3 minutes off Jan Frodeno's bike course record which is particularly motivating to take as many more records of him as i can. And then an equal best ever run on those very tired legs was definitely the best part of the entire racing for training experiment. Yep, i guess i did exactly what Tim though it would do by giving me huge motivation to work even harder as we keep heading to Kona on October 14.....

P.s. I accidentally deleted my power file on my Garmin do to be too over excited to upload it!! But i basically hovered around 300 watts all day and didn't ever go much above 400 watts simply because I couldn't. Every time i tried to on the climbs my legs screamed in agony so i had to back it off, just didn't have the mumbo jumbo on this occasion. Run splits are all on my strava account Cameron Wurf

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