Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Ironman NZ - 3rd

This weekend was the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain New Zealand Ironman down in Taupo. It was a very tough day but I am pleased with my 3rd place finish behind Marko Albert and Cam Brown. It was also a great way to mark the end of my Pre Season base training and put to rest some monsters that have been hiding in my Ironman closet.

Taupo put on a superb week with great weather leading into and on race day. I was happy with where my fitness was across all 3 disciplines and I was looking forward to testing the waters and seeing how far I had come since my last Ironman finish in 2011. 

Marko set a fast start to the 3.8km swim and soon a small group of us had a break. We quickly navigated through the waters to come out with a 2 minute lead over the chase pack which included Cam Brown.  Last years winner, Bevan Docherty along with several strong bikers made up the front group and I was sure we would work well together to slowly build our lead over the 180km, 2 lap bike course. Unfortunately by the 80km point Brownie had bridged the gap across and the whole dynamic changed.

Marko put in a small surge through the special needs section at the half way point and we soon noticed he was moving away from us. His lead would grow through the remainder of the bike to over 6 minutes. This was really impressive, as we were not wasting anytime riding home.

I love starting the marathon in the middle of Taupo, the crowds are so amazing and your spirits and adrenaline levels are lifted immediately. Soon it was Brownie, Docherty and myself on the hunt for the Estonian up the road. We were moving along very well but for some reason we were not taking any time out of our 6minute deficit. Lap 1 done and I was feeling okay, heading out onto lap 2 and things started to happen. Docherty dropped off at 16km, at 20km my legs decided they were not happy with the pounding I was giving them and I spent the next 4km yo-yoing off the back of Brownie trying my best to hold it together as long as possible. In the last 4km of lap 2 I lost over 1 minute. Things were turning to custard and fast! The final lap was the true test, would I be able to hold it together and stay positive? It was tough but I managed to hang in there and soon the battle would be to see if I could hold off 4th place Tim Van Berkel who was slowly closing the gap.  The finish line could not come soon enough and I was elated to cross in 3rd place behind Marko who had an absolutely amazing race and Cam Brown.

In the woman’s Meredith Kessler defended her title and Gina Crawford and Candice Hammond rounded out the podium.

Kelly and I are in a mad rush now to unpack, wash and repack before heading off on our 14 month overdue honeymoon to Hong Kong and Vietnam. We are both looking forward to some well-earned time off.
  
Photos thanks to Darryl Carey – darrylcarey@me.com 

Ironman 70.3 Auckland - bronze



So this weekend was the Ironman 70.3 Auckland Asia Pacific Championships, the first big race of the 2014 season and to kick things off everyone did a great job.  I was blown away with how stacked the professional field was. You wont see another pro field with this many big names in it until the World Championships later in the year. The race was put on to an unbelievable standard thanks to the organization, the volunteers and Auckland city and not to mention the great crowds of spectators out there making the hard racing so much sweeter, and last but not least the weather Gods were good to us giving Auckland an absolutely amazing day to showcase the sport and the great city I call home.

With not being able to stand on the start line last year after being taken out by a car door 2 days before the race which resulted in a slow start to my 2013 season due to a concussion I was very grateful to be a part of the action this time around.

I took the bronze which I will be happy with as it is still early in the season for me and I am just getting back into some good training. I am really pleased with how my body responded so to finish on the podium in one of the most stacked fields outside of world champs is very satisfying. I had a great time racing in front of my home crowd on an absolutely stellar day here in Auckland. Right from the start of the race I was excited and loved every minute of the action. The pro field did a great job putting on an amazing show for those watching and whilst I tried unsuccessfully several times to split the group I loved this challenging Auckland course which took in some pretty cool sights. It is not every day that you are allowed to ride over the harbor bridge and the North section of the course went around the roads I used to train on as a beginner. Put all this with the huge crowds, the multi lap course and an unbelievable back drop and I was in my element.

Olympic gold medalist Jan Frodeno took line honors with seasoned pro Richie Cunningham showing he has stepped up his game to a whole new level of racing to take the silver. The other names that were in the top 8 included 2 x Olympic medalist Bevan Docherty, home favorite Cam Brown, 5 x world champion Craig Alexander and super runner Tim Reed. The girls podium was Cat Morrison, Annabel Luxford and Jo Lawn.

A week of recovery ahead before getting back into the serious miles in my build up for Nutri-Grain Ironman NZ on the 1st March.

Until then, keep safe

MERRY CHRISTMAS


Hi all,

Just a quick note to wish you and your families all a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of festive seasons!

I hope that we all finish off 2013 pleased with how things have gone and ready to keep moving forward after the haze settles in the new year. 

Timing of my off season was very unfortunate as I started back in heavy training last week, but thankfully my coach Jon Ackland has found it in his heart to give me a few easy days which I will be enjoying with my family between Waiheke Island and Auckland. 

Early in the New Year I will be racing the Auckland 70.3, this race also doubles as the Asia Pacific Pro Championships. Unfortunately due to the car door incident at the beginning of this year I was unable to be on the start line for the inaugural race but I am determined to make up for it. Then at the beginning of March I will be returning to Nutri-Grain Ironman New Zealand in Taupo. This will be the extent of my New Zealand racing for this season and I am looking forward to another exciting 70.3 campaign in the US and Europe over the summer.

Keep safe and have a great Holiday

Shepparton 70.3


I have just finished my last race of the 2013 season and managed to do so on a very high note at the Ironman 70.3 Shepparton race this weekend. I was coming into the race after a great victory last week in Mandurah at the Aussie Pro Champs and was hoping I could defend my title here in Shepparton. I knew it was not going to be easy with some strong competition, but I felt like my legs had recovered well through the week and I was determined to round out the year with a “W.”

Kelly and I had a fun few days in Perth early on in the week catching up with old friends and taking in the sights but it was a little tough to stay focused on the job at hand this close to the end of the season. We got up to Shepparton with a couple days to spare and stayed with the Griffin’s, a great family I stayed with last year.

This years race had 3 gun swim/ bikers in the field. Josh Amberger, Clayton Fettel and James Hodge. I was a little worried the boys would team up and work together to put some good time into me, but fortunately they split up very quickly and soon it was each man against the clock. No tactics, we were just fighting to time trial as fast as possible to the finish line.

I was just over 1 minute behind the 3 of them coming out of the water, by the end of lap 1 on the bike, I was in 2nd place but Amberger’s lead had grown to 90 seconds and I was starting to feel a little fatigued. I managed to hold it somewhat together on the 2nd lap of the bike and was hoping to limit my deficit to within the 2 minute mark. Running out of T2 to start the run, I was only 75 seconds down, which was a pleasant surprise.
 
Being the last race of my season, I wanted to make sure I gave it a good push. I passed Amberger at 4kms in but decided to keep the pressure on until about the 15km mark. It was a great feeling being able to run the last few km’s taking in all the cheering from other athletes and all the spectators and volunteers.

Another couple nights in Melbourne to finish our Australian adventure, now back to New Zealand to enjoy a few weeks of R & R, which will more than likely include some home renovation activities.

All in all 2013 was an extremely successful year for me. Since August 2012, I have been on the podium in all 17 races I have finished. Nine 1st place finishes, five 2nd place finishes, including 2nd at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships and the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships and three 3rd places, to round things off.

I am looking forward to a good off-season to recharge the batteries and hope to take another step up next year.

Thanks everyone for all the support and encouragement throughout the year.

ABOUT ME

Birthday: 1 March 1985.
Nickname: T.
Education: Two years Physiotherapy; 1 year Business Degree.
Occupation: Professional Triathlete
Coach: Performance Lab-Jon Ackland (since 1999)
Pilates: IQ Pilates-Raewin Hing
Language: English
Height: 179cm
Home Town: Auckland, New Zealand.
Favorite Food: Mums pizza. sushi, chocolate, Ice!
Interests: Snow Boarding; Tennis; Surfing; Movies.
Favorite Holiday: Banyan Tree Resort at Laguna Phuket, Thailand
Best Running Trail: Portland Oregon USA
Best overall Training: North Shore, Auckland, NZ / USA
Best surf Beach: Kumara Patch Taranaki.