I just finished my first race of the season. Ironman 70.3 Florida in Haines City. The race venue used to be at Orlando Disney World but has moved down here the past couple years and while I would have been exciting to race with Mickey Mouse the venue down here was pretty awesome.
Training the past 5 weeks has gone well. My fitness and strength has come up nicely and I was looking forward to seeing how my body would step up in my first race. The course was not your typical Florida pancake flat race. The bike was undulating throughout and the rolling hills were good little power climbs. Dirk Bockel was an absolute axe on the bike today and did most of the pushing out front. With the hot pace the 6 guys that had formed the front bunch slowly started dropping off and by the time we got to the last 20miles it was Dirk, Kevin Collington (who is a new name on the scene but is performing really well in his past couple races) and myself. Dirk and I managed to get a little 1minute buffer on Collington going into Transition.
Again, the run was the furthest thing from what you would expect for a race in Florida. A 3 lap course with a couple good climbs that you really felt on the 2nd and 3rd lap. Dirk and I started at a pretty relaxed pace and when we got to mile 4 and saw Collington closing in I had to pick up the pace. Soon I was running solo up front counting down the miles to the finish.
I ended up crossing the finish line over 1minute up and am really please with how the day unfolded and where my fitness is at. I feel that I have strong base to grow on through the season and am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year has in store.
Next stop for me is going to be the ITU long course World Championships that are in Belfort France, up near the Swiss boarder. This is a new distance for me but I thought that the 4km swim, 120km bike and 30km run will be a good stepping-stone between the Half and Full Ironman distances. Mark Allen used to kill it over this distance before he started winning Kona so hopefully I can learn a bit more about my body over the longer distances.
If you are interested here is the link to coverage from Nutri-Grain Ironman NZ -
and below is a little interview about what has been going on and what’s next.