Chris K is now in New Zealand and has just raced his first 70.3 race, having only taken up Triathlon in August with a Sprint distance race, (swimming breastroke for the majority of it)! However, 5 months down the line, he completed the 70.3 in 5hours 06 finishing 12th in his age group. The overall splits were 34.32mins for the swim,(then a bit of a pfaff in transition,)his bike was 2.47.28 finishing with a very respectable negative split run of 1.38.15. Great preparation for Ironman New Zealand in 6 weeks! Here is Chris’ very own race report.
So here we go…
Felt very confident in the morning. Just followed my to do list and knew that I’d thought about it all beforehand.
Swim: made sure I watched one of the waves before me start so that I knew how things would work. Got myself a spot on the right of the pack as I’m more comfortable breathing to the right if there were issues with other people making it hard to breath on the left.
The main thing that held me back on the swim was my ability to swim on a straight line. This was the case throughout the swim and I got better as the swim went on with sighting to correct this. Having said that the first km went pretty well despite swimming quite a different route to the other swimmers.
The next 400m was a bit of a nightmare. I couldn’t sight the buoy at all as the sun was just coming up over a building behind it and it was completely silhouetted out. To add to that my swim hat came off and I wasn’t sure if it was a violation to swim without one so wasted a lot of time trying to put it back on (lesson 1: put goggle straps over swim hat!). So I reckon I easily lost a couple of minutes in this leg just due to that. Final 500m was fine.
All in all very pleased with the swim time. Especially with the knowledge that things didn’t go completely to plan. At no point was my swimming fitness limiting my speed so with a bit more open water practice I think there are big gains to be made. I also had no dramas swimming next to/around other people.
T1: got in a bit of a flap putting my top on and this made me a bit flustered leading to a ludicrously slow t1 time.
Bike: the course was very easy and feel like I tackled it pretty well. In the ‘tough’ first half I was creaming everyone up any kind of positive incline. Had many grumbles to myself when I’d pass someone up a hill and then they’d roll pass me on the other side just cause they can afford a better bike than I can. Had to keep telling myself to ignore other people and race my own race. Second half was dead flat. Again my converted entry level road bike let me down a bit relative to everyone else. But still managed to maintain a good pace around the mid to low 30s and just span at about 100rpm so as to not rinse my legs.
Main lesson from the bike is not to take the wrappers off my power bars!! The just all merged into one mega bar which was impossible to get out of my top tube bag.
All in all pretty pleased with the bike – definitely faster than I’d hoped for.
T2: went well although I nearly forgot to take my bib shorts off.
Run: the markers were in km’s and my watch can’t do laps so gave up on the idea of hitting a particular pace pretty much straight away. I just tried to relax and run easy and just go at whatever pace that was. Quickly worked out that it was somewhere just under the 5min/km mark and think I held this fairly consistently barring a little push over the final km’s.
Gel every 25mins worked out ok but had to supplement with a bit of the electrolyte drink every now and again. Aid stations where I wasn’t due to fuel I made sure I emptied a cup of water over my head. The sun was very strong and was definitely wary of over heating.
Felt pretty good the whole run to be honest barring a couple of incidents where I felt a bit woozy for 5 seconds but was able to run through.
Overall very pleased. 386th out of about 1200. But not so fussed about that. Thought if everything went well I’d be around the 5h15 mark so chuffed to have beaten it. Definitely feel like it’s put me in good stead for the full IM in 6 weeks.
Think that’s everything! Time for a shower!