The ‘fantastic’ idea to enter and compete in Mandurah 70.3 Half Ironman was brought about by a combination of factors… 1. Wanted to go somewhere sunny and warm for a holiday! 2. How do we tie in that holiday with seeing my parents who live in Perth? 3. Wanted to do something cool while on holiday… most people would choose a skydive or bungy… but nooo I had to choose something that I now realise takes quite a bit of planning, preparation, and dedication!!! The preparation/training for the race comes in the form of a 16 week training program courtesy of my sister Anna (a current pro ironman triathlete). It is generally made up of 6 days of training a week, 3 – 5 runs a week, 4 cycles a week, and 3 swims a week. On the heaviest weeks of training this equates to about 13 – 16 hours!!
So it is essentially a juggling act between working as a Physio, training, eating and sleeping, and trying not to get injured or sick! I trained in the pool during the week at Olympic pools and fitness centre, Newmarket. Cycling during the week was spent in an old community hall in Orakei at Paul Leech’s wind trainer sessions, and cycling on the weekends took me anywhere from the hills of the Waitaks to the green pastures and undulating terrain of Clevedon/ Maraetai.. with such hills as ‘Sandstone’ or ‘Twilight’ for those who know them! Running sessions are closer to home. Along the waterfront from St Heliers, and up into the hills around Glover Park and back through to Mission Bay; or even the odd trail run with my Sister.
Setting the scene: Mandurah, a seaside town about a 45 min drive south of Perth, probably quite similar to Mt Maunganui (see pic below) 10th November (race day), temperatures beginning to reach the late 20’s – early 30’s and a dry heat with a prevailing wind. It was like being blasted by a hot hair dryer. The race starts with a 2km swim though the canals of Mandurah home to multimillion-dollar apartments and a few bull sharks!! Then through to T1 (transition 1) and off on the bike for 90km up the coast on a relatively flat road/ highway, the prevailing wind being the main thing to contend with here!
After transitioning at T2… off the bike, into run shoes and visor and out for the 21km run (half Marathon). From the brief paragraph above it makes this race sound all to easy and very short… but not so! The whole race from start to finish will take just under 4 hours for the elite athletes, to 7 or 8 hours for the slower of the age group athletes. I completed this beast in 4 hours 50 minutes! The main expenses were flights to Perth, race entry (approx $400-500 NZ), and a forever increasing food bill as training started to increase!
Aero! Since Mandurah I have managed to ‘get the bug’ as they say, and have trained up for another 70.3 Half Ironman in Cairns, Australia. I completed there on June 8th this year. After giving myself a week off after Cairns I was straight back online to book my next race, which happens to be the first one on home soil, Auckland 70.3.