Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie Race Report, by Ash Hunter
I was a little unsure about how the body would be feeling going into this race, considering I was half way through my final build leading into my first Ironman (Ironman Cairns).
Due to it being low-tide we weren’t able do a quick warm up swim. I decided to go for a 5-10 minute run in my wet-suit (bare foot) including an upper body dynamic warm up halfway. In hindsight, it wasn’t the best idea to go for a run without shoes because my feet went numb and I wore the material between my thighs on my wetsuit… oops! I felt warm and ready to go after this so I’m glad I did it. While lining up in zone 1 ready for the rolling start to get to me, Pete Murray was doing an awesome job at pumping the crowd up, for some reason, it made me reflect on the journey over the past 6 months on my comeback from surgery with a fractured collarbone. The competitor next to me said something like, “This is the worst part of the day, I just can’t wait to start.” I could barely reply as I was all choked up with emotion thinking about the journey to get to the start line.
OK it was GO time, the line was moving quite quickly and I only had a dozen people in front of me. All of a sudden, I was emotionless and only focusing on the task at hand. Thinking about my swim plan with the words of my coach running through my head from our phone call the previous night. I managed to follow my plan throughout the swim focusing on a couple of aspects of my technique which I tend to forget when I’m under pressure. I was able to find some feet after the first turn-around and settle into a nice rhythm. I was almost a little startled at the northern turn-around point when I could hear cheering… on a swim course! Shout out to the people who were out on their yachts giving support. With about 300m left I could hear the voice of Ironman as well as the wonderful Pete Murray’s voice getting louder. As I was running up the ramp I could see Korupt Vision laying on the ground in his wet-suit doing what he does best, I managed a quick “Hi Glen!” while running past placing my goggles on top of my forehead.
The BEST part of the day! I looked down at my watch and realised I came out of the swim with a PB! This gave me a boost of confidence as I knew that I wouldn’t have lost too much time to the girls up ahead. I was able to keep within the present moment by consistently thinking about my present power, rpm, position on the bike and getting nutrition/hydration in. I find focusing on these few things helped me stay within the moment.
My nutrition on the bike included two bottles each with 2 x CLIF Shot Gels + 1 x Nuun tablet. One bottle with Razz Raspberry CLIF Shot Gel and the other with Lemon Lime CLIF Shot Gel.
I had 1 x CrampFix sachet at the 65km mark for prevention purposes and sodium intake.
Even though I found this ride extremely bumpy and hard to stay super aero all the time, I seriously couldn’t stop smiling the entire ride and was just SO happy to be out there. I came into T2 with my power plan on point. I also learned that I was 5th female overall and first in my age group posting the second fastest female bike split of the day. I scoffed down 3 x strawberry Clif Bloks and got out of T2 as fast as I could with a huge smile on my face.
I seriously had zero expectations for my run considering the block of training we were in. My goal was to run a faster time for the first lap than my second lap. A male age grouper “Deano” and I left T2 together, he seemed to be running at a very consistent pace so I asked kindly if he didn’t mind if I sat behind him, offering him any Clif Bloks or CrampFix if he needed it. At the 8km mark he let me know he was going to start to slow down now and wished me all the best with the rest of the run. Thanks for the company Deano!
I was able to keep a consistent pace throughout the first lap and then dropped the pace back roughly 10 sec per km for the second lap. I didn’t have any issues on the run until I got to the 17km mark where I could hear my stomach slugging up and down due to drinking too much water which gave me a stitch in my stomach. It took me about 1km to breathe it out, finally I could pick up the pace again for the final few kilometers.
My nutrition over the run course included 4 x strawberry Clif Bloks, a few cups of alternating cola and electrolytes and 3 x CrampFix Sachets.
I had the CrampFix sachet’s at the 8km, 12km and 16km mark.
I rinsed them down with water but in hindsight I think using only cola to wash it down would have worked better than drinking both water and cola.
A massive shout out to another male age grouper “Dave Walsh” who pushed me along for the final 1km (which turned out to be 1.5km… we got more than we bargained for searching for that finish line feeling). I love that there is a comradery like spirit out on race day, even though this is an individual sport.
I was over the moon to be able to place 1st in the female 25-29 AG and third female amateur overall.
My splits for the day: Swim – 00:30:19 Bike – 02:36:350 Run – 1:38:430 Overall time – 4:49:29.
A massive thank you to the following for all your support leading into this race: CrampFix, T:zero Multisport and my amazing coach Richard Thompson, my swim coach – Lisa Spink, Team Clif Bar Australia, Unique Health Products , 17 Hours Tri Clothing and Di’s Fitness & Massage.
Back to work for me for the final build leading into my first Ironman! See you all at Cairns.