Monday, 16 December 2013

Glad Tidings

It is with great pleasure that I bring you this blog with news of a maiden 70.3 win in Canberra! I had done a fair bit of racing over the past couple of months with Port Mac, Nepean and Mandurah all falling within 5 weeks and I knew that the fitness and confidence I gained from these races would put me in good stead to challenge for the title.

Rarely is there a 70.3 race held in Australia where there isnt at least a handful of athletes with impressive resumes, but I knew I had form on my side. I knew I could win the race if I put together a performance  I am capable of, but its human nature to have some doubts. My lead up to the race wasn’t fantastic. I had been been up in Ballina for my university placement for the 2 weeks leading into the race and I wasn’t able to train as much as I had desired. On top of this, 7 days out I felt as though I was getting run down and starting to get sick, despite a reduced training volume. I stopped training on the Wednesday before the race and just focused on getting as fresh as possible and removing all negative thoughts. 

Race day rolled around and I knew that there was an opportunity for a few of us to split the pack early in the swim and really put the pressure on the chasers onto the bike. I started hard and had James Hodge sitting on my hip for the first 700m or so. Thankfully he came past me and assumed the lead, allowing me to sit on and recoup from my earlier effort. I was suited up in a fresh BlueSeventy Helix wettie which provided unparalleled bouyancy bliss and we exited the murky water of Lake Burley  Griffin in 23:17 (fortunately sans blue-green algae) with Michael Fox in tow and a decent gap to the chasers.

The three of us were really motivated to stamp our authorty on the race and put everyone else out the game. We all worked really well together trying to do exactly that, but the lumpy course didn’t provide much of an advantage to us working as a group. The 3 lap, looped course also provided no opportunity to see the gap to the chasers and with the traffic of age groupers realling thickening on the 2nd and 3rd laps, it was impossible to judge our lead. To add a little more flavour I suffered a nose bleed during the ride and it took about 20 minutes my platelets finally came to the party stemming the bloodflow. Resembling an extra from the Walking Dead, I pushing aside any thoughts of reduced red bloods cells and haemoglobin count I got on with the job at hand. I tried to push the last 20km on the bike as I knew some big gains can be made here and I especially wanted to clear out from guys like John Polson who has it over everyone with natural running ability.

The three of us hit T2 and after my usual sluggish transition I decided I was feeling antisocial and wanted go off the front. To my dismay I noticed we hadn’t put as much time into the chasers as I would have liked and Matt Pellow was charging through the field about a minute back. I kept on the gas and extended my lead to about 2minutes by halfway and  I just kept telling myself to keep relaxed and stay focused. I felt really controlled throughout the run and was stoked to post a 1:14 run split to take the win. Matt Pellow ran into 2nd with James Hodge rounding out the podium. True to form Johnny Polson out split me by 8 seconds to cross in 4th.

Thanks to everyone for the messages of support. A big thanks also has to go to Tim Reed who has prepared me both physically and mentally over the past few months. He has been a huge influence on me and a facilitated my growth as an athlete to gain that extra couple of percent to challenge for the top step over the past few months and it feels great to get there. Thanks to all my supporters as well: Shotz, Scody, Echelon Sports, Blue Seventy, Hawkesbury Physio, 3D Bike Fit, Mum, Dad and Kat.

Hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Year.

Thanks for reading. 

Check out a write up on the Ironman website here 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Australian 70.3 Championships – Mandurah 2013-11-12

Coming off a recent string of good form I was pretty excited to race in Mandurah against a quality field. The word ‘stacked’ seems to be thrown around quite a bit in Australian races these days. I think that the sport is evolving and each year we are seeing more and more people assert themselves as worthy contenders over the 70.3 distance which is very exciting. With USD 50,000 and an Australian title on the line, many people were hungry to snatch some of that pie, myself included.

After a 2nd place at Port Mac 70.3 a month earlier, and then following it up with another 2nd at the Nepean Triathlon seven days later, my confidence had gone through the roof. These results, along with new coaching direction from with Tim Reed (building a program that is focused on quality sessions and sufficient recovery which seems to a good recipe), I was confident that in was in good form, but still had huge respect for the guys that I was toeing the line with.

With an absence of super fish swimmers I knew I would be one of the guys setting the pace in the swim. I got in clear water early to try and set a solid tempo but the seemingly straight forward canal swim was a lot harder to navigate than I anticipated. The weaving course coupled with my Ray Charles sighting skills provided an interesting challenge for me. We were given a lead paddler but he was paddling way too far ahead for him to take effect and it seemed like I was trying to follow a speck on the horizon. I took a wrong turn round one of the buoys (chopper) and found myself swimming into the guys trailing me. After copping a few swift backhands to face I righted myself and swam back up towards the front and came out in 3rd.

My pre race theory was that the race was going to be a pack swim due to the current assisted canals and then a group would form on the flat fast bike. This came to fruition as a group of 8 guys formed the lead pack with all the heavy hitters involved. The wind hit us straight away and out on the open highway there was nowhere to hide. Some big turns were put in by Terenzo Bozzone (NZL), Tim Berkel (AUS) and Jeremy Jurkiewicz (FRA). Newly employed coach Tim Reed unfortunately suffered a mechanical early into the ride forcing him out of the race. Both the wind speed and temperature were rapidly rising through the second lap of the bike and the pace was starting to take its toll on everyone in group. My garmin was clocking speeds at 50km/h + on the return into town and the work put in on the bike rewarded us with a 2:03 bike split. The group was reduced to 5 by the time we entered T2 to start the run.

Terenzo showed some authority straight out of transition and l none of us could go with the early pace. I was feeling pretty rattled after the ride and was a little unsure about the run. I faded back through to 5th by the time I hit the 6km mark with Bennett, Jurkiewicz and Berkel pulling ahead of me. I found some rhythm and Bennett, who was looking very dangerous at the beginning, was starting to suffer. I moved into 4th and kept the other two guys in sight. I was feeling better as the run progressed and moved through to 3rd place, relegating the Frenchman into 4th by about 13km. I could see Berkel ahead but the gap between was not closing, so I made a big effort to bridge up to him, digging deeper into my reserves than I had originally planned. We duked it out together for a while until about 2kms to go where he put in a surge to break these weary legs. Terenzo crossed the line first, just under 2 minutes ahead of me but his Kiwi heritage meant the Aussie title passed to Berkel who showed some true grit to defend it from last year.

For me, I am thrilled with another podium spot. It’s been a great month for me and I hope to continue this form onto Canberra 70.3 in December and then the Asia Pacific Champs in Auckland in January.
Despite getting almost mowed down by angry Mandurah locals on post race festivities I had a great time in WA and I want to thank my amazing team in Shotz, Scody, Hawkesbury Physio, 3D bike fit and Tim Reed. Also big thanks to my mum, dad and Kat for ongoing support.


PS. Be sure to check out the interviews and race footage in the videos below (excuse bogan accent).

This is a highlights package of the race made by Ironman Asia Pacific:

Photos courtesy of and Ironman Asia Pacific
Interviews with and

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Port 70.3

The result in Port Macquarie has come as somewhat of a relief for me. For those who follow my progress will be aware, I have amassed a number of top 5 finishes, but was still missing the podium. Following Sunshine Coast 70.3 a month prior, I felt as though my performance has somewhat plateaued. I had gotten myself to a level to be competitive but I felt as though I was missing that extra few percent to further improve my performance. After the race I felt as though I needed change in my training structure and more direction, so I contacted Tim Reed to see if he would consider helping me out. Tim’s knowledge and coaching technique is something that I’ve thought would chime with my training structure, and being one of the most successful 70.3 athletes in Australia himself over the past few years, having him in my corner as a coach and mentor is something I am very excited about.

I wouldn’t say the pro field was stacked, but this race was by no means thin with some young talent like myself mixed in with men more seasoned than a Colonel Sanders family feed. The swim was always going to be fast with two of the quickest swimmers on the circuit, and I emerged from the water 30 seconds down on these two, but sitting pretty with a group of 3 other guys.

 The bike course is 2 laps on an out and back section to make the 90km. After about 1 kilometre of riding you’re greeted with a about a 15 minute section of undulating hills before settling onto the flat. The hills really stung my legs, and to be honest I felt pretty average through this section of the bike. I lost touch with my group and was stuck in no man’s land by myself. I was initially pretty disappointed at this stage. 4 guys were riding away from me and I couldn’t see anyone behind to help me limit the damage. I knuckled down and rode solid, catching glimpses of the guys in front at each turn around. After half way I noticed roommate Josh Amberger had a sizable gap to the chasing three guys. Feeling pretty deflated by now I then noticed Tim Berkel, Paul Ambrose and Dave Mainwarring had almost bridged up to me. I was pretty happy about this as I knew these guys were strong riders and we could limit our losses to Josh and the chasers. They made the pass at with 30km to go and I was starting to feel a little more motivated, but legs still didn’t seem to want to play ball.

We came into transition 8 minutes down on Josh and 3 minutes down on the other 3. I didn’t feel great at the start of the run, but I thought I might be able to salvage another top 5. There were only 2 chances during the run to see the other athletes, one at about 2.5km, and then again at about 13km. After the first lap of two laps I was running 5th, but I wasn’t sure where I was positioned in regards to the guys in front because there were lots of age groupers on the course by now. I passed Josh going the other direction and he yelled out to me that I was only 30 seconds behind Tom in 2nd. I caught a glimpse of the guys in front and was pretty shocked to see I had run myself into a chance at a podium. I got a little over zealous and brought out the party wheels to go from 5th into second within about 5minutes. The pins were suffering but I knew if I held it together for the last 5km I could get my first podium. I’m pretty sure I negatively split the shit out the run and I couldn’t have been happier to run onto that red carpet into the finish in 2nd, 3 minutes down on Josh who put on a superb solo clinic to take the title, and 90 seconds clear of Joey Lampe in 3rd.

I ran a race best of 1:15:02 which gives me confidence leading into the next couple months which will see me racing the Australian 70.3 Championships in Mandurah in November and then onto Canberra 70.3 in December. But first things first, I’m racing the local Nepean triathlon this Sunday to give these fast twitch fibres a workout. Huge thanks goes to my sponsors and everyone for the kind messages, i really appreciate reading all of them.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, 16 September 2013

Sam Appleton post Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast 70.3 - 4th

Another 70.3 and another 4th place to add to a growing collection of minor placings. My race didn't go exactly to plan and I'm left still chasing the elusive podium, nevertheless I'm happy to post another consistent result.


Swim: Held in mooloolaba beach, it was a straightforward loop of 1.9km. Beach start and some swell added an extra bit of spice.

Bike: Out of transition there is some sharp hills out onto a flat highway. First lap 50km, 2nd lap 40km. For those that have raced the Continental Cup the course is essentially the same, just two laps and the turn around slightly further down the Sunshine Coast Highway.

Run: 2x10.5km laps which included the negotiation of ascending the Alexandra Headland hill twice per lap.

The race:

An early start of 6am meant a 4am wake up. I usually like about 2 hours pre race to focus and give my body a chance to digest some food. In this case it was left over risotto that Kat made for me the night before.

The field had some good swimmers and I knew if I let guys like Pete Jacobs and Clayton Fettel get away from me I wouldn't see them again. Thankfully I felt comfortable in the swim and a group of 4 of us formed which included Pete, Clayton, Myself and Casey Munro and we exited the swim with an advantage over the rest of the field.

The start of the bike was tough through the hills and I had to work hard to stay in touch  but once we got onto the the flat highway I settled in. It wasn't long before some serious wattage was being laid down by Clayto and Pete. Pete was particularly strong and I was tapping well into my reserves to stay with the group. Post race chatting with Clayton revealed he averaged 345 watts for his bike split, a massive number to sustain for that period of time.

After the first lap we had to head back through town and over the hilly section again. Pete was aggressive and lifted the pace and Casey and myself were dropped like a bad habit. As soon as I got separated I knew I was starting to lose some big time to the leaders but I settled into a sustainable tempo for the remaining 40km with Casey. Pre race I had a nutrition plan from Darryl, the guru behind Shotz nutrition and made sure I stuck to it. It was getting hot and any depletion in calories or electrolytes would be diabolical on the run.

On my way back out of town for lap 2 on the bike i saw the chase pack and estimated we had a significant buffer of around 7mins. I rode 2:06 for the 90km which is quicker than I have gone before but it was no match for Clayton and Pete's 2:01, meaning we lost 5minutes on the second lap. I'm looking forward to watching these guys race the Ironman World Champs in Kona in 4 weeks if this race is anything to go by.  

Onto the run I had Casey on my shoulder and I set off at a pace I thought I could build on. I didn't feel great, but I didn't feel bad either. After about 6km I decided I would be more comfortable running alone in 3rd so I put in some 3-4 min surges to try and drop Casey. I tried this for the next 10km but couldn't get rid of him. In all honesty I think all I did was tire myself out. I noticed his form and composure and knew he was running strongly. Up the last hill with about 3km to go I tried to apply more pressure but he was all over me like a rash and exploded the final section to crack me. I couldn't respond and fell across the line in 4th.


As much as I wanted the podium, I'm happy with another 4th place, but I was somewhat humbled by Pete's performance as he crushed the field to win by 7minutes.

I kind of felt like I was stuck in 4th gear for the run and couldn't shift into my top end speed that I usually have. Being the first race I have done for some months I don't think I had that race fitness just yet. I'm going to dial in now and prepare for Port Mac 70.3 in 5 weeks. It's kind of a local race for me now that mum has moved up there.

Thanks for all the messages and support from Scody, Shotz, Hawkesbury physio, 3D Bike Fit, Blackman Bikes and Bobby Brace for the wheels! Also a big thanks to Kat for doing everything for me and not letting me lift a finger before my race.


*All photos and interview courtesy of

Monday, 10 June 2013

Cairns 70.3 - 5th

Photo cred: Lucas Wroe Photography

Last year, Cairns was my first 70.3 race, and Pete Jacobs made me feel like a schoolboy after crushing the field by an almost embarrassing margin. This year I returned after making some serious training changes, and although last year I believe I was a faster runner, this time round I felt that I was a much faster triathlete.

It's no secret that the level of competition in 70.3 racing has increased significantly over the past 12 months with a flurry of ITU athletes trying their hand at 70.3 racing. There is no longer a chance to cherry pick races, especially in Australia, and Cairns was no different, with two duel olympians in Brad Kahlefeldt and Courtney Atkinson , Ironman World Champion Pete Jacobs, and multiple 70.3 winners toeing the line. However, I relish the opportunity to compete against these guys and I enjoy being in the thick of the action, mixing it up with some of the biggest names in Australian triathlon.

Add caption

Race morning rolled around with a 6:40am start in the murky waters off the Cairns pier, which was croc heaven according to our hotel receptionist who must have taken us as backpackers rather than elite triathletes. I felt good in the swim, despite our wave not being allowed a warm up, bar the 30m swim to the startline. The swim was uneventful and I was comfortable sitting in the top few guys following feet and exited in 5th place.

Sticksy forgetting where he put his bike in transition ;) - Photo Cred: Trizone

Onto the bike we headed out on the Captain Cook Highway and there was about 10 athletes within about 20 seconds of each other. Courtney Atkinson and Graham O'Grady had a slight advantage and Casey Munro made a move and bridged up to them dragging another athlete up with him. I was a little complacent here and stayed with Pete Jacobs and a few other guys, but I knew it was going to be a long day in the heat and spending your tickets early could be disastrous later on.

The bike course is really scenic out towards the turn around as your ride along a deceptively hilly coast road with great views of the ocean. Alas, I was not in any state to enjoy the aesthetically pleasing coastline as I was too busy chewing my stem trying to stay with Pete as we rode into a solid headwind for the remaining 30k. The lead group of 4 was joined by Tim Reed (who's biking prowess was on show) as the now 5 man lead group established about 2:30min advantage over Pete and myself onto the run.

I started the run quite conservatively and Brad Kahlefeldt came past me like I was standing still, but I just tried to keep Pete in view. The run in Cairns is pretty mind numbing. You run through cane fields and then out onto a highway for a point to point run back into town. The weather gods where serving up their finest selection of wind and heat, adding additional flavour to an already brutal platter of pain and suffering. I got in some early nutrition and set into a pace I knew I could build upon. I started in 8th and  worked my way through to 6th by about the 15km mark. I went through patches of feeling good and bad, but was happy with how I was progressing. I saw Graham O'Grady a few hundred meters ahead with about 3km to go and my mind went back to Busselton a month prior were I was caught in a sprint finish. I really didn't want to be in that situation again. My legs were cooked, but thankfully not as well done as Graham's and I passed him and soon after crossed the finish in 5th, happy to be at the finish line, and happy to be able to post another top 5 in a solid field. My time this year was 10 minutes faster than last year and although I still have a way to go to reach that top podium step, I am happy with the progress and will just keep chipping away.

Good Mug - Photo Cred: Trizone

Thanks to the support from everyone and my especially to my sponsors. I am always very grateful of the overwhelming support I receive and its great to have companies such as Shotz Nutrition, Scody, Hawkesbury Physio, 3D bike fit and Volosport behind me.

I'm going to have an easy week or two now to get on top of some niggles and give the body a rest, both mentally and physically. Next race is probably going to be Yeppoon 70.3 and then onto Sunshine Coast. I have decided to stay in Australia this winter as I can continue racing pretty much year round and I also want to continue with my tertiary education rather than deferring at this point.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Busselton Race Recap

As mentioned in my previous post, I was to make the sojourn to the west side of Australia for Busselton 70.3, which I had heard is a fantastic event from numerous people in my club who have raced there before. I can confirm that Busselton is one of the most professionally organised races and perhaps my favourite 70.3 event I have raced (albeit I haven't raced all that many). I want to thank the organisers for putting on such a fantastic weekend and generously looking after the professional athletes.

Busselton had been copping rubbish weather for the past week when I arrived and the heavy rain and windy conditions continued for the majority of the time leading up to race day. The morning of the race rolled round and we woke up to still conditions and clear skies. After setting up my transition I made my way to the chilly waters of the Indian, which was far more inviting on this morning than the previous days murk and chop.

We assembled in the water, and after trying to remove all shark fears we were on our way to the tiny speckle on the horizon, that was the swim buoy, 800m off shore. James Hodge started to my right and I tend to favour breathing to my left, which resulted in him getting away from me at the beginning of the swim without me noticing. I was a little annoyed with myself but emerged second out of the water, about 30 seconds down.

Brad Kahlefedt and Michael Fox joined me at the beginning of the ride, and soon after Tim Reed made the junction across, thankfully without towing anyone else up. I was super pumped about this as I knew we needed to do some damage control because Hodgey was up the road lighting it up like it was Christmas eve. Tim was really strong on the bike and I tried my best to share the work with him in order to cage the beast that was running rampart a couple of minutes ahead of us.

Into T2 and the official time gap was 2:52. Brad and Tim took off pretty quick and the pace was a little too hot for me so I settled into my own pace which I thought I could sustain for the half marathon. I felt stronger as the run progressed but I was wary of Dave Mainwaring who was making some serious inroads into our advantage off the bike. With about 4km to go I made a push for the line to hold him off, and at the final u-turn with 3.5km to go I noticed that James, in 3rd place was only about 40 seconds in front of me. I gave it everything I had for the last section into the headwind to bridge up but as we came into the finish chute, he just had enough gas in the tank to keep me in 4th by 5 seconds. My lacklustre sprint lived up to its name and my footing was less stable than a toddlers first steps. Not pretty. Stay tuned for some photographic evidence.

4th place is always a hard pill to swallow, especially when coming so close to my first podium in 70.3 racing. However, I am actually really pleased as I believe I assembled my best 70.3 race to date across all three disciplines. Congratulations to Brad, Tim and James for their respective podium finishes, and Dave for rounding out the top 5. I really enjoyed the race these guys provided up front.

Top 15 results:


Thanks to everyone who has sent me messages, I really enjoy reading them all, also thanks to the race organisers who have established one of the best races I have been to. I would also like to thank a few people:
  • Shotz Nutrition who provide me with the best products on the market and a flawless nutrition plan to follow. Race day nutrition can sometimes be a hard nut to crack but thankfully I have this area taken care of.
  • Scody who provide me with my race gear. Stay tuned for my new custom suit which will be making an appearance next race!
  • Hawkesbury Physiotherapy for ongoing treatment of this belting that this body cops week in and week out.
  • Glen from VoloSport for the ongoing support.
  • Rod and Andrea for helping me with transfers to and from the airport(Congrats to Andrea who finished 5th in the pro women as well)
  • Also thanks to major supporters Mum, Dad and Kat for their ongoing belief in my ability.

I had a great few days in Busso, with the post race highlight being room mate John Polson's calorie consumption skills!

Thanks for reading.

Until next time,


Thursday, 18 April 2013

Overdue Update and New Collaborations

I've been meaning to write an update for the past month but training, work and uni have left me extremely time poor, and my uni assignments have rendered me sick of typing on the computer screen. Don't get me wrong though, I do enjoy the mental stimulation that university offers and find this, along with working and socializing paramount to my enjoyment of triathlon. This holistic approach keeps my life in balance.

Since the beginning of the year i have worked on many weaknesses i targeted after my brief stint in long course racing last year. This has given me the opportunity to be more competitive at the top end of 70.3 racing, and provided me with some results that i can build on in the future. I have however, been plagued with a niggling achilles ailment since January that seems to be quite fond of hanging around. Up until now i have kept it managed, but the past 2 weeks has forced me to cease my run mileage and increase my time on my two wheeled friend. After abusing the John Polson physiotherapy hotline with numerous text messages and phone calls, along with some rehab work thanks to Hawkesbury Physiotherapy i can confirm that i have started to build my running again to prepare for Busselton 70.3 in 3 weeks. When you're highly motivated and having success in training and racing, it is very easy to just focus on the physical demands of triathlon and overlook the one percenters that are required to compete at the top echelon of triathlon. It is paramount to longevity in this sport to complete the whole package, training is only part of the commitment to this sport.

Late march i decided to blow out some cobwebs at the Elite Energy Batemans Bay Ultimate Triathlon. This brutal race boasts arguably the toughest cycle course in Australia. Over 120km, 60 of this was flat road, the other 60 involved 1700m of lactic inducing of climbs. I was fortunate enough to take the win for the second year in a row after receiving a huge improvement on my bike due to a Retul bike fit from 3D bike fit studio in Penrith. This is a must for anyone looking to get the most out of their racing and huge rewards are to be found from a fitter that knows his stuff like Ryan does. If you're around the area, be sure to check it out.

I have some exciting collaborations for the 2013 season:
 - Shotz Nutrition company will be keeping this engine well oiled from now on. I am super excited to be working with Darryl from Shotz. His wealth of knowledge is second to none and his understanding of the human body and the nutritional requirements during racing led Pete Jacobs to victory at Kona. I can not wait to tap into this information and reap the rewards myself.
- I am also thrilled to have Scody Apparel keeping me looking sharp in my training and racing. Super comfortable and super fast garments.
- Whilst injury prevention is far more ideal that injury management, this sport is so taxing on the body and unfortunately injuries are part of this game. I'll be working with Hawkesbury Physiotherapy to address areas of concern and keep me on top of the game.

Just on the horizon for myself is Busselton 70.3 in a few weeks, before heading up to the tropical north for Cairns 70.3. I'm pleased with how far i have come in the past 6 months, and looking forward to what lies ahead of me for the rest of the season. Thanks for reading.



Monday, 18 February 2013

Geelong and Husky Long Course

Three long course races in month was probably not something I had planned on doing for a long time. Still being relatively new to longer distance racing I am still finding post race recovery taking much longer than I am used too coming from an ITU background. Nevertheless, I entered these races with a ‘play it by ear’ thought process to see how the body was going to cope.

Auckland 70.3 really took it out of me, and for the three weeks I had between Auckland and Geelong I found training quite difficult. My motivation was at an all time high, but my legs had other thoughts. Geelong came round and I was still feeling flat but I tried to remove these thoughts pre race. The race had perhaps the best long course start list assembled in Australia despite having little money and even less world ranking points. I swam well, exiting the water in around 4th place and straddled my trusty steed to begin the 90km ride. It wasn’t long before cycling powerhouse and one of the nicest guys in Triathlon James Hodge started dropping bombs and I was left seeking shelter. I’m not a huge numbers guy but my amicable host for the weekend Jimmy Seear said he was averaging about 320 watts for the ride and even I know that is big number.  The guys at the front proceeded to put 3 minutes into our chase pack and coming into T2 we had a big job to do. The run was deceptively hilly but nothing I’m not used too training up in the Blue Mountains and we started reeling some of the guys from the front. After 16km I took a detour off the run course and ending up running an extra 2km. As if 21km wasn’t long enough! This happened due to a combination of factors. My unfamilarisation with the run course, the sheer congestion of athletes who were on their 1st lap, and some poor race organisation with little signage and inexperienced race marshals.  I was running in 6th when I decided to take this scenic route and finished up 12th overall. Initially really disappointed I made sure I focused on the positives of the race and decided to use it for fuel for the next race 7 days later at Huskisson.

Jimmy Seear, Myself and Leon Griffin
Fast forward 7 days, after doing some light training and consuming every multivitamin under the sun I arrived at Huskisson feeling reasonably good. Husky is a fantastic event and the guys from Elite Energy should be really proud of the event that they have created. This was my debut long course race last year and my local Panthers Tri Club always has a huge turnout so it was an important race for me. The pro field, which included the likes of Tim Reed and duel Olympian Brad Kahlefeldt assembled in the crystal clear waters. The swim and bike went mostly according to plan except that myself and some other athletes had tried to target Tim Reed’s swim leg and open up a gap on him so he would have to work harder on the bike than us. Alas, Tim was ready and the plan was not exactly top secret and it all came together. After breaking a spoke with 40km to go and catching Ben Allen who had stealthily opened up a gap straight out of the swim onto the bike which myself and numerous others had no clue about we donned our running paraphernalia and set out on the picturesque run course. My goal was to stick with Tim Reed for as long as I could but after 7km and numerous attempts to trick myself into thinking that I was feeling comfortable I succumbed and dropped off. I had however opened a decent gap between myself and 3rd place which allowed me some breathing room. No changes to the order saw Tim Reed take the win after racing superbly all day and myself finishing in 2nd, one minute adrift. All round nice guy Benny Allen rounding out the top 3.

Top three males left to right: Me(2nd) Tim Reed(1st) Ben Allen(3rd)

It’s great to post a good result at Husky again especially after racing Geelong 7 days prior. Thanks to everyone who was out there supporting and everyone who has sent me their kind words. I do enjoy reading them all. Thanks to Glen Duggan from VoloSport,  Emo and everyone at Elite Energy, and Karl from Trizone who does a fantastic job covering these events. Lastly huge thanks to Mum who I am thrilled to have continuing to be my major sponsor of the 2013 season :-)

Having a few days rest now and then going to dial in for Busso 70.3 at the beginning of May. Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Auckland 70.3

This race wasn’t on my calendar a few months back, but after posting a pleasing result in Port Macquarie in October I immediately consulted the 70.3 calendar and eagerly planned some more races. After outlaying a small fortune on Triathlon Australia and WTC pro licenses I was armed and ready and set about entering upcoming races. My bubble of eagerness was somewhat burst when I was told I couldn’t race Shepparton and Canberra 70.3’s due to the races being at capacity. Canberra had 16 pro men on the start list, 3 of them I knew 100% did not intend to race. I was baffled and told by the race organiser that they would not be accepting replacements for withdrawn athletes. I had to look internationally for my next race, and Auckland Asia-Pacific Championships was offering delicious USD 75,000 and some major 70.3 and 5i50 points. I wanted to grab myself some of that pie.

I was pretty relaxed before the race. With a cracker start list toted as “the best startlist outside of Vegas”, I wasn’t too sure how I’d fare. When the cannon sounded, myself, along with several other athletes almost lost their fingers due to over enthusiastic surf patrol in rubber duckies getting up in our grill trying to push us back.

                                                              The Evidence 

This perhaps turned out to be an advantage for myself as they turned and sped away I was sucked out and suddenly had a body length on the field.  At the first turn 300m away I was joined by a contingent of good swimmers. I settled in for the rest of the swim and emerged in around 5th place.

Onto the bike I was content to let some of the more experienced athletes take control as I sat in. The New Zealand 7m drafting zone was not well received by many critics. Adding insult to injury, this zone was measured front wheel to front wheel, further reducing the distance between riders to approximately 5 meters. This made it harder for strong riders to establish significant advantages, and also provided added difficulty for those chasing. Our bunch resembled something out of a Tour de France team TT as our group swelled to about 12 riders which included the main players. However, this didn’t equate to an easy ride as speeds exceeding 50km/h were reached on the out and back section. Added cycling complexity could be found with light drizzle slicking the roads, along with a very technical section that had to be negotiated 3 times. The ride started to heat up with about 20km to go as Joe Gambles and Paul Ambrose were laying down some serious pace. Our pack started to splinter and the technical official started handing out penalties like they were hot off the press.

I came into T2 with the main pack but there was a couple of athletes a minute or two up the road. I was pretty rattled but I knew with a good run I could post a red hot result. My gut felt pretty ordinary during the first part of the run, and I didn’t have my usual running legs. I spewed up a mix of coke, Gatorade and gels (which I’m ashamed to admit actually tasted pretty good)at about 7km. Sam Betten and Fraser Cartmell caught me at this point and we were running in 6th, 7th and 8th. The last of the money spots.

I was weary of some fleet footed athletes coming from behind and I lifted the pace and dropped the other two guys after about 9km. I ran in 6th position up until about 2km to go and I was well and truly searching for the tape. Betten came back past me but I had nothing in the tank. I stumbled to the finish line in 7th, managing to just hold out the angry gnome Tim Reed who had a superb run despite some earlier misadventures.

                                        Not my best but all i could find on the interweb :(

I was happy to post this solid result against a stellar field and managed to snag myself some valuable points and a little bit of the prize purse to cover my trip and then some. Thanks to everyone who sent me messages, it means a lot and I really enjoy reading them. I’d like to thank Glen Duggan from VoloSport for his continued hard work and support of my progression as a pro athlete, Paul Dukes from Duke's Real Estate for giving me a helping hand with nutrition, Sterling Ashbee for letting me borrow his equipment, Scody Apparel for the last minute race kit and Rodney Forrest for his belief in my ability. Without these guys it would have been alot harder for me to get up there on the weekend.

Big ups to my mum who won here age group and has booked her ticket to the big island in Kona for the ironman world championships later this year.

Next up is Geelong long course in 2 weeks time. Thanks for reading.