Official Race Result: 25th W40-44
Swim: 1:12 - 25th
Bike: 6:57 - 24th
Run: 5:14 - 25th
Was very happy with the swim because hadn't been able to swim a 1:12 since 2003 and worked hard in the pool this year. But having said that, the swim itself was extremely rough and aggressive. Unfortunately got caught up against one of the buoys coming around the first lap that was fixed on top of a concrete pillar of some kind. Tried to claw my way out but in the process got very cut up on my hands and feet due to what I assume were barnacles of some kind on the surface. I now have a large scar down the back of my right leg (which I have been showing to everyone) and now like to think of it as my official Ironman tattoo! Thankfully I was eventually lifted up and pushed forward by a very large and strong looking Australian woman to whom I am very grateful. (I have since posted a note to the race officials suggesting an inflatable ring around the concrete for next year).
Bike started out okay and after the first lap I was on pace for six hours. The ocean scenery and landscape were just breathtaking - it is a beautiful course. Unfortunately my 30 km per hour pace became 23 km per hour as the winds, heat and humidity increased and by the last lap I was begging for mercy, slogging it out at 14 km per hour into the head wind. I found the bike course to be extremely hard and very hilly. The good thing was that at least it was hard for everyone (except evidently for our team-mate Greg who had a great day out there!) By the time the run came around I was basically just in survival mode and sort of did a run walk until it cooled down enough to be able to actually run. The run course was also very challenging with a large hill that you had to run up and down three times. There was quite alot of hoopla on the course as Tony Abbott, (leader of the opposition in Australia) was doing the race. This was a very big deal in Australia and there were alot of media on the course following his day (he was about 30 minutes behind me and generated a huge crowd).
I have to admit that the support and enthusiasm from the town rivaled Penticton and the crowd support on the day was amazing. They made everyone feel like rock stars and you could always hear the crowd - even on the out-and-back section. The race has now been sold to the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) and next year it will be held in May so it will not be as hot or humid and apparently they are changing the course as well. However, they are also going to have a 70.3 race on the same day so I'm not sure how that will all pan out. To date this was the hardest Ironman that I have completed so far and hopefully good training for "Silverman" in November.
Oh ya, forgot to mention that Chad and I got to meet Greg and Laura Bennet at the airport on our way home from Sydney which was pretty cool!