Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Samoa Half Iron

I can not describe how beautiful my adventure Samoa was. We arrived in the early hours of the Thursday  before the race and we welcomed with some local musicians. I was then greeted by two local triathletes and was transported to a nearby hotel. I was brave and agreed to get up in 2 and 1/2 hours to go for a ride over the course...literally we rode about 70km. I prepared my bike and fell asleep waking to the phone ringing as the pick up was waiting out front.

The ride was great and really worth while. We headed out along the coast road passing though the villages that were preparing for the weekends race. There was a competition for the cleanest village that could also tie up its pigs, dogs and chickens. Each village was given a country to support which added a lot of excitement and vibrancy on race day. The verdict on the conditions was hot (bloody hot) and a little bumpy on the roads but generally good and very well organised, scenery spot on.




I spent the rest of the day relaxing before registration, race briefing and dinner. 

The next day was a blast. After a long breakfast we headed to sliding rocks for a wade in some cool water.

At midday we had a parade of nations led by Apia police band. I have never felt so welcome. Samoans had never seen a triathlon and they really got behind it. We were welcomed at the end of the parade by the president and were left to do a open water swim and make our final preparations.

Race day

I woke up ready to go on race day. It was a pretty relaxed vibe. No wetsuits water temp was around 27. It was a brilliant morning and the sun left a fantastic hugh over the water. I exited the swim about 2m down (not bad for me). In transition I wasted a further minute putting on socks and cycle knicks. I was happy I did this as the bike course was a little bumpy. Out on the bike and I settled into a rytham. I was not aiming to tear the bike up as I was heavily focused on completing the run.

The cycle was incredible, there were sweeping landscapes of a tropical paradise. We passed through staggered villages along the way. All the villages had been given a country to support and were to be rewarded if they could demonstrate they were the cleanest, showed the most decoration and spirit and tied all their animals up. We the athletes were to vote. I was very impressed with the vibe it gave the course. There were supporters the whole way along. Special thanks to the lady in the village supporting the USA for the large bucket of cold water you threw on me!!

What to do about nutrition in extreme heat...
Returning to the transition, I was becoming cautious of the heat. By now it was approaching 10am and the sun was starting to bite. I left transition well hydrated (I used 3 bottles on the bike 2 with Endura, 1 with water to utilise my gels). For me the nutrition plan was working. I had the theory on the run to use every station, there were 3 on the course, each of which you could access twice per lap. The first was just 1km after transition. I took water and ice. I then commenced taking water at EVERY station. I rubbed the ice on my neck and back and it seemed to be melting in my hand faster than it was cooling me... so hot. After 8km I took my first Endura gel. I then started drinking sports drink and water at each station there after. It was by no means my fastest ever run but I did not seem to fade on the run. I also found that the next day I was not as sore as I had expected. I was very pleased with third and feel I can take a number of things away from the race for the US.

I head to America next week to race Des Moins and Vegas. Thanks to all the support from Endura, Avanti Plus the Valley, CompresSport, Orca, RedDog, Brooks and AllSports Toowong.


Thanks to Scottie T photography for snapping these images of me in action. Visit Scottie's site at http://www.ScottieT.com/. If you are  a keen photographer Scottie offers regular tips on his newsletter so get on it!








The presentation ceremony was outstanding. We were treated to a traditional dance, a fire dance (shown below) and a traditional meal (with plates made of palm leaves)!





video


Yes the place is just as beautiful as the photos they were taken on my IPhone so no special effects here! If you are keen on going next year check out the race website http://www.samoahalfironman.com/ 



For all those interested in Strava links are below: 



Monday, August 19, 2013

Run June




After returning from cairns running was my priority. I set the goal of doing a fun run each weekend in June culminating in the Gold Coast half in early July. Races included the new city2south, the run away bay series, the Sunshine Coast run series and the Gold Coast half.

The inaugural city2south was great and I recommend the race next year. It was hilly and challenging but rewarding also. Emma Jackson took the race out in a fantastic performance running through ten in 34 minutes. I ended up with just on 4m Kim's which was pleasing at the stage of rehab.

I improved the run by 1m per 10km run for each of the runs and ran the Gold Coast half in sub 4m Kms. It was a swift curve driven by a bucket load of running.




Ready for the next phase... Putting it together in July/August before Vegas.