Ian takes on IMNZ 2018

In the midst of a red wine inspired moment in the aftermath Ironman Western Australia, I decided that Ironman New Zealand was a convenient sort of timing to allow for recovery and developing better fitness (ie three months).

Three months of training, a test day at Sufferfest Bunbury 70.3 and devotion to strength work would see me ready to perform, right?

Perhaps I am not alone, in reflecting on alcohol as being a driver of positive thoughts, with little room for the realities of life!

Christmas, New Year, working longer hours than usual at the clinic were things I had not considered and bizarre Perth weather that had weather forecasters embarrassed and left me short of some long rides (I refuse to ride a bike in thunderstorms).

However, with the loving support of Natalie (who told me I WAS going to go to New Zealand and race having booked flights and accommodation) I set off 4 days prior to race day.

Actually I set off, my bike case set off and my suitcase set off.  Only 2 of us arrived, with the rush for plane connection in Auckland meaning my suitcase sat there for another 24 hours.

So, eventually putting my bike together (and changing into clothes that didn’t smell clearly of 24 hours sitting around) I checked in to NZ relaxed version of IM.

I did a reconnaissance ride and drove most of the course (some hills, pretty windy, roads rough in places) – some parts of the bike course aren’t accessible except for race day.

Lake Taupo is beautiful, and so I swam a little (gee, water is pretty brisk isn’t it!).

I ran the lakeside portion of the run leg, and looked at the maps (BIG mistake right there – don’t trust maps,  get first hand feel for ALL parts of the course even if it means riding it).

I picked up Natalie and Gabs from the airport the day before the race, dropped off my bike and gear and did my best to forget all about it (still feeling a bit uneasy about my reliance on maps over eyeballing the terrain) and focus on the 2 girls having a good time in Taupo.

By the way, it is easy to have a good time in Taupo.  People are really friendly and laid back and helpful.  Great place to visit, having a race is simply icing on the cake.

Race Day

Usual raceday procedure.  Get to transition early, prepare bike ornaments, make sure the wheels go around and stop when brakes applied. Make sure gear is set to big cog on back (don’t laugh, I have made this mistake more than once before and it is embarrassing trying to take off from the mount line….).   Home and have coffee with Natalie and then wetsuit on, goggles and cap in hand and try to look relaxed (I failed the relaxed look).

I found the swim start (you guessed right, I hadn’t actually done this part of reconnaissance either) and joined the hordes of admiring age groupers watching in awe as the pros lined up on start line.

Then ……….BOOOM ….  Shit what was that?  Turns out they start IMNZ with a cannon which sounded like it was next to my right ear (I don’t remember reading anything about that in the Athlete Guide).

Fortunately I had wetsuit on so any wetness didn’t show.

Deepwater start, so swim out and get used to the water temperature. Is it just me, or does anyone else shiver uncontrollably whilst the race starters tell you “3 mins to start” and give you a good 7  -10 mins before they start you?   At least I was expecting the cannon this time.

With my swim expertise, I was self seeded at the back.   Even so, I wasn’t expecting somebody to (accidentally) almost rip my timing chip off my ankle.   I panicked, as I needed that chip (Natalie and Gabs wouldn’t know where I was without it, or when to go to finish line when I was finishing).   I admit I let this moment get to me, and spent the next 10 minutes trying to get my breathing somewhere near correct order-  breath out under water and breath in when you turn your head to air.

Eventually I got the required order of events right, and the swim was actually enjoyable.  Lake Taupo is clear,  can see the bottom of lake the whole way and can sight from both the buoy line and shoreline when turning to breathe.

Swim over, I stood and jogged/walked to transition.   Who has the sense of humour to put a 300m hill to run up to get to transition out of a swim?

Bike

I changed and asked my very cheerful and friendly Maori volunteer to put some sunscreen on me (I don’t really tan, I just develop different shades of red).

This guy was really enthusiastic, and totally dedicated to making sure that sunscreen wasn’t coming off any time soon. I was winded just by him slapping it on,  but to his credit I didn’t get sunburned!

Off on the bike with Woody’s very clear instructions burned into my brain.  Eat before the hill,  take the hill moderate then get your act together and find the burn that is just right.

The bike course has a mixture of uphills and downhills,  rough road and smooth road.

Everyone knows the headwind is coming on the second lap out to Reporua, but that doesn’t make it any easier to grind your way through.

The enduring memory of the ride for me was the incredible friendliness of all the people lining parts of the bike course, farmers sitting by their front gates with gumboots on shaking their head at the yearly race that brought triathletes down their road, and the surprisingly strong smell of cow manure in parts of the ride.   Agricultural, but in a really good way.

I was told that I should ride hard enough that I believed I couldn’t possibly run  once I hit the 140km portion of the ride.  No trouble achieving that feeling,  in fact I was ahead of schedule as by 120 – 135km into that headwind I was convinced that I was cooked by the time I hit T2.

There is a really nice downhill segment for about the last 7km heading into town at end of bike course, and this certainly helped legs recover, and to be honest the mind appreciates speeding into town with cheering crowd lining the road, rather than grinding up a hill.

Run

My volunteer friend was busy with somebody else at change to run,  so I got another guy to help me.   He was slightly smaller than t1 helper (he was probably only about 125kg),  but I didn’t want to risk more body damage so left out the sunscreen.

Shoes on, cap on, race belt on,  gels in hand and I wobbled out into the run course.

Fortunately it is a few hundred metres before you get to the crowds, so some of my wobble boots had disappeared.

As I was starting, Terrezo Bozzone (winner of race) was finishing.  He was loping up the street like a gazelle like it was no trouble to have previously covered 226km in about 8 hours. Amazing.

My mantra for run was simply to ignore Garmin and focus on cadence and rhythm that would allow me to get to finish line.

This worked really well for first 3 – 4km until I hit the part of run course that I had failed to preview.

There were uphills and downhills and going around corners into territory that I had no idea what it held for me.  In truth, the uphills and downhills aren’t steep, but for a body that was feeling a bit trashed by that time and with increasing warmth of the day (unlike the forecast of rain all day) I found this difficult.

With the usual strategy of coke and ice at aid stations being employed, I ended up dicovering a new friend on the day – Red Bull.

I have never drunk Red Bull in my life before, and frankly I think it tastes like crap.   But it sure does improve mental status.   There was only one aid station that seemed to have it, but this aid station catered to athletes running both out and back into town.   So I think I had 4 big cups of this for the run, and will be back for more in future races (but will take it earlier!).   Equally, all the coke and Red Bull probably explains why I didn’t sleep much that night either.

Again I have to say that the support of the crowds on the run course is nothing like I have ever experienced before.  Super supportive, very knowledgeable and sort of like a family party type atmosphere.

Coming in to finish the second lap I went over to where Natalie and Gabs were standing and explained that I was cooked, and the last lap was going to be slower than ever. Sorry.

As I rounded the corner for last time and ran up the road towards the finishing chute, two other guys sprinted past me (they were also finishing).   Geez, who has the energy to sprint the last few hundred metres of a Ironman race.  Not me.

I was lucky enough that we had arranged for Natalie and Gabs to be present at the finishing line with Gabs giving me the finishers medal and Natalie giving me the towel (I think she was wanting to give me a can of Rexona too, but was too polite to say anything).

Will I be back?  No question,  yes.

This is a good, honest and difficult race.  I gave everything that I had on the day and came up short on my desired finish time.  However I consider myself to be focussed and persistent (both Natalie and my business partner may have used the words “bloody minded” and “obsessive”) and will continue to work on improving my health and train as hard as my body allows me too.

IMNZ 2019? I will do everything in my power to be there, be prepared and be my best.

Sunsmart Women’s Tri

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Always a fantastic event, the 2018 Sunsmart Women’s Tri was a windy but enjoyable day out.

Anna did the mini which has lit a fire under her after missing a podium place in her age group. She will be working extra hard in the pool over coming months.

Jenny did her first sprint. She said of the event, “Great course, cross wind on the ride was a bit challenging, but it was also a blessing having the wind on the run course.” She is already planning her next race.

The blokes were down there supporting with unofficial club photographer Alex capturing the event and Coach Rob helping as a TO.

Fun and racing on the coral coast

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It was a fantastic road trip for the wolf pack with lots of family fun and podiums at the Allbarnone Jurien Bay triathlon.

The weather was warm and windy with bonus kms on the bike course but this was made up with the run course being a few hundred metres short. It seems the stingers were out to play (but thankfully no sharks!) with a few people copping a sting or seven.

Coach Peta thought it was a cracker day.

“One of the highlights of the day for the pack was supporting each other, all the big smiles and high fives throughout the race in spite of it being a pretty tough challenge,” she said.

“Turquoise Bay is a tough course, particularly the bike, but I highly recommend getting behind it and getting your clubs down there. It’s a terrific course and a great place for a weekend away.”

Big congratulations to Brett on his first medal, to Ian and Alex on their first full Olympic and young Caitlin who had her OWS race.

Podiums

Brett McCrum – BRONZE in the Male 50-59 Fun

Caitlin Gray – GOLD in the Female 14-19 Fun

Jenny Watson – BRONZE in the Female 40-49 Novice

Matt Snell – SILVER in the Male 40-49 Olympic

Massive turnout at Mandurah interclub tri

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It doesn’t get any better than this. The 25th annual Mandurah Tri Club interclub championships were an absolute blast with Perth Hills Tri Club showing how it’s done.

Triathlon is mostly an individual pursuit but once a year we compete club against club. Our little club had 30 participants (that’s more than 40% of eligible members) and a huge support crew out for this fun club event.

The weather was perfect with temps in the high 20s, calm waters and a light breeze. A new transition area and run course provided plenty of entertainment for the spectators (not least of all the competitors trying to navigate the last km of the run leg).

Abdul and James had a great day, backing up from Saturday’s Power Station tri and the novice crew gave a great showing with Alex, Crystal and Trish making it look easy. Trish took a spill on the bike course and got herself some gravel rash to show for it but she powered on for a strong finish. All of our coaches were on course with Coach Yanti still recovering from a 10km open water swim the day before and Coach Peta having a great race in prep for Busso.

Top male finishers: Matt Snell, James Maycock, Mike Burns

Top female finishers: Emma Moon, Peta Woodland, Floora De Wit

 

Sufferfest Rottnest 2017

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Ten wolves headed over to beautiful Rottnest Island for the aptly named Sufferfest event however it seems all eyes were on the two metre shark which saw the first group of swimmers pulled from the water and all further swim legs cancelled.

Later triathlon events were converted to a duathlon format with the first leg a short sprint to get the heart pumping. It caused a bit of a scrum at T1 and having to carry the bike through sand was an added challenge but in true wolf style they got it done.

Poor Jeff was all set to do his first tri and the shark robbed him of that chance so he will give it another crack at Mandurah, but he did an admirable job in the duathlon.

The undeniable highlight of this race is, of course, the amazing scenery and the 20km bike course which took in most of the island – although one or two long course athletes did find the fourth tour a bit less exciting than the first couple.

The sun shone brightly on Saturday and with a late start, most athletes battled the heat with racers having to bike and run through the midday sun. Many found this a big challenge but I’m sure it made the beers taste all the sweeter at the obligatory post-race session at the Rotto Hotel.

All the athletes were thankful of the support from the crew who came over for the race and give them a big wolf howl for their support during training and racing.

Podium Report
– Big congratulations to Mike who took a silver in the Aquabike with a margin of only one second!
– Shout out to Floora who missed out on bronze in the sprint by 24 seconds.

 

Point Walter Enduro 2017

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It was enduro mayhem and a podium trifecta at the Point Walter All Bar None event with an exciting teams format that had everyone guessing – even the organisers.

Teams of two were competing in one of two categories – either combined age over 70 or combined age under 70. The enduro-style race included a 500m swim, 18km bike and 4km run for each person, but with the added excitement of tagging each other in and out of the race.

The format, while slightly daunting, made for a lot of fun and spectator involvement. Six laps to make up one 9km bike leg meant spectators got a real show and the athletes got to enjoy the race too while waiting for their next leg. As one athlete commented, it’s not often you get to stop twice mid race and cheer on your mates.

Special mention to novice Alex who took out a medal in his first event.

Podium Report
Podium clean sweep for the mens over 70s teams
– Gold to Ian and Shannon in the over 70 male category
– Silver to Mike and Justin in the over 70 male category
– Bronze to Mark and Bill in the over 70 male category
– Plus a silver to Alex and Abdul in the under 70 male category

Triathlon Pink 2017

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Some of our female novice’s took the plunge and competed in the Ramsay Health Care Triathlon Pink – the national all-female triathlon series which helps raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. These awesome athletes have been working hard under the tutelage of Coach Slim. Congratulations Kobie, Karen, Sue, Trish and Jodie.

 

Brizy’s Season in Review (including Busso 70.3 Race Report)

How it all started…

My season really started in august when like most people I had a rush of blood to the head and a tax return burning a hole in my pocket 😁  I went and bought a brand new TT bike , the reason was I wanted to do Busso 70.3 solo, I had done it as a team cyclist in may 2016 And had got the bug!!  By September I had entered it as well……another rush of blood.

Once I had the bike I then was committed, I joined our club and started a strength training program.  This season for me was to get into club life and finish all the events I entered, all had their challenges but were met and completed.

The training

So to get a bit of a look at what I needed to do this season I was doing a bit of training….what I thought was good enough.  Hahhahahha how wrong I was, I couldn’t swim 750m with out switching to breast stroke, couldn’t run 1k with out my lower back giving up on me, my cycle was my strongest leg but I was pushing too hard and my legs and back were even worse.  All of this was made very clear at the interclub event at Mandurah.  So I spoke to the club and got some training plans and loads of advice and the improvements came in big waves, kept to the strength program and the results were coming, all the work was starting to come in results in the way of being able to complete the distances.

Kicking goals

Because the goal was Busso 70.3 I needed to do more distance races to get used to them, so I did my first Olympic distance in Busso in January and also did Karri Valley (the hardest day in the office…) and the longer distance in the legs was paying off again.  By now I was well into the club 70.3 program with Peta and loving the structure and club life, I could now do the full sessions in the pool and swim all distances and my lower back issues were gone.  Roll on May and Busso 70.3.

Race day (with added shark!)

All was well with the body, I think I was the only one with out man flu that week hahaha.  With everything set up and ready to race I was very calm and soaking it all in , a few bouts of banter before the race with Trav and other competitors was fun, until some one mentioned a shark in the fun and banter (you know who you are…..)  Well needless to say everyone know Mr Shark did come to say hello to the the competitors in the last wave, yes my wave… I got pulled from the water like a fish and dumped onto the deck of the boat, 300m from the beach.  I didn’t think too much of it once I was on the boat however the heart rate says different when told to get out the water!

The bike leg was good for me I did it in a personal best time and also had another first on the bike (I peed for the first time on the bike) LOL.  Into the run, I knew it was going to be a long hard leg.  I had never ran more than 16 km and it was always my worst leg, I cramped at about the 2km mark and then managed it at every single aid station with all they had to offer.  It stayed away but was always in the front of my mind, then when I pushed it would come back.  I settled into my plan and made it to the finish, but not with out the help of Trav.  He helped me through the last lap and a half and made the hardest leg so much fun, the beer and pizza helped as well but having all the club there supporting everyone and myself was amazing. 🙂

To the coaches Trav and especially Peta, thank you for all your help this season and getting me through my first full season.  Onwards and upwards from here for me.

Brian Stearn

#MPFP 😁

Show Us Your Kit

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Ever wished you could be a model with people throwing cash and gifts your way for doing nothing but looking amazing?  Well now you can!

Triathlon WA has just launched its Show Us Your Kit competition and it’s your opportunity to demonstrate the undeniable fact that Perth Hills Tri Club has the best looking kit in WA, if not the world.  As well as winning a Fly6 rear light and camera if your photo is chosen as the winning image you will also get $200 cash and the club a further $300.  How good is that!!!

To enter all you have to do is:

  • Follow Triathlon WA on Instagram (@triathlonwa)
  • Share a photo to Instagram showing off your club kit
  • Include the hashtag #showusyourkit2016 and tag Triathlon WA using @triathlonwa

Terms and conditions

  1. The Show Us Your Kit competition is being run by Triathlon Western Australia (TWA).
  2. Entries for the Show Us Your Kit competition open on the 20th October and close at 5pm on the 17th The winning individual and winning club will be announced on the 21st November.
  3. The competition is open to all current TWA members and triathlon clubs affiliated with TWA.
  4. To enter the Show Us Your Kit competition individuals need to follow Triathlon WA on Instagram (@triathlonwa), share a photo to Instagram that shows off their club kit, include the hashtag #showusyourkit2016 and tag Triathlon WA using @triathlonwa.
  5. Chance plays no part in determining the winner. An independent panel will assess all competition entries on creativity and originality.
  6. The individual who submitted the winning entry will be awarded a Fly6 rear LED light with built in HD camera, RRP $199, and $200 cash (total value $399). The affiliated club that the winner belongs to will also be awarded a prize of $300 cash.  The total value of the prize pool is $699.
  7. The Show Us Your Kit competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Instagram.

Announcing the new Club Champion award

We are pleased to announce that we will be presenting a club champion trophy this year (amongst other awards) and we’d like to let you know how it will work.

Firstly you need to be a full racing/training member of Perth Hills Tri Club.  Each MULTISPORT official race during the financial year will have points up for grabs! These points will be based on the position that you finish and the number of starters in your category. We will be promoting the races run by other tri clubs to help keep these viable and these races will also contribute to Perth Hills Tri club points in the TWA Club Challenge so you will receive bonus points for any of the club run races listed below.  If you send us a photo from the race wearing club kit you will also receive bonus points.

The point system will be calculated as follows:

Points = Category size – Position + 1

Club race bonus = + 10

Club kit = + 2

e.g. come 5th in a club run race with 40 in your category but not wearing club kit = (40-5)+1+10+0 = 46 points

 

We should be able to keep track of the main races in the calendar but we may need some help to make sure we get it all right.  We have an excel document that does all the calculations for us but it isn’t going to be able to do it’s magic if it doesn’t know that you raced and as volunteers we won’t be able to check every results list.  You will need to notify us of a race and send us a link to the results if possible within a month of the race to get those points added to the tally.  Of course, much of the time we will already be aware of those results but best you check and then we know we have it right!  At the end of the season there will be no adjustments made if you have missed points because we weren’t notified.

Send your results to clubchamp@perthhills.tri.org.au

Happy Racing and good luck!!

 

Club run races eligible for bonus points are:

ClubRaces2016