On September 4th I raced the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Mooloolaba, Australia. We had a gorgeous day to race – temperatures in the mid to high 70’s, clear skies and a light breeze. I had a race to be proud of as I placed 85th out of 177 men in the 50-54 age group and 1,375th overall out of 2,577 finishers.
The 1.2 mile swim was an in water start in the Coral Sea. The water was calm and warm, but we were allowed to wear wet suits. I had a great 30:03 swim split putting me in 53rd place.
The 56 mile bike course went from the coast to the hinterlands and back. It was relatively flat and easy for the first 30 miles. That changed in a big way at mile 33. At that point I faced the steepest section of road I have ever ridden on a bike. It was short, probably only ¼ mile, but brutal. I saw 2 people walking their bikes up that climb. It was that steep! And this was a world class field. Everyone in the race had earned a qualifying slot. The final 20 miles had some rolling hills and mild head winds. I really struggled after mile 50 as that steep climb knocked the stuffing out of me. The bike course had just over 2,200 feet of elevation gain. My split was 2:55:33 (19.1 mph), the 134th best bike split. Not so good, but I did the best I could. It dropped me down to 124th place.
The 13.1 mile (21K) run was comprised of 2 loops of 10K. Right out of the gate I saw a spectator holding a sign that seemed meant for me – “Humpty Dumpty also had wall issues”. I ran the first 10K pretty hard, but thankfully only faded a little bit in the final 10K. The 20th K was up a hill and into the wind. I was really on fumes at that point. My wife, Laurie, was spectating on that hill. I wanted to stop and walk so badly at that point, but there was no way I was going to walk with her watching and me so close to the finish line. I managed to get up that hill and then it was downhill the final K to the finish line. I had the 33rd best run on the day and my run split was 1:34:52 (7:13/mile) for a finish time of 5:12:26.
Click on this link to see my race pictures and finish video:
We had such a great trip to Australia in every regard. Our travels were all smooth and stress free and we saw so many great sights. We started at Kangaroo Island. From there we flew to Adelaide where we toured the Adelaide Oval (cricket, rugby, soccer stadium), the Migration Museum, the South Australian Museum and took in an Alfred Hitchcock play – The 39 Steps. Then onto Brisbane for an evening. Brisbane was beautiful along the river and we had dinner with 3 of Laurie’s former Carlsbad roommates from 15+ years ago – Darren and wife Jenny and friend Nina. And finally onto Mooloolaba for the race. We shared a condo overlooking the transition area, swim start and race finish with our Carlsbad friends, Diana and Brian. The 4 of us spent a wonderful afternoon at the Australia Zoo, made famous by the late, great Steve Irwin.
Living the life…