At the Australian Long Course Championship in Jervis Bay in 2009 Pete Jacobs proved too good for Craig Alexander. This year the 20km run was the decider, with Alexander triumphing over Jacobs by a minute.
With an 8th place at the 2009 Ford Hawaiian Ironman Championship under his belt Pete Jacobs is heading towards something great over the next few years. But the 2010 Australian Long Course Triathlon Championship was all about retaining his crown from 2009 and staying ahead of Alexander.
Speaking to Trizone after the race, Pete Jacobs, now racing for Team Abu Dhabi, was very relaxed and happy with his result considering the lead up week he’d had. Arriving from Abu Dhabi only a week before the race Jacobs hadn’t had the ideal preparation for an important event like the Australian Long Course Championships. A new bike that wasn’t ready to ride, time for only one swim and one run and finishing an old landscaping job were all part of a pretty average race preparation week.
The race itself started in some confusion. One group of the pro male swimmers decided to follow a canoeist who was marking the course, whilst others headed for a prominent fishing boat marking a course consistent with the previous year’s swim. Jacobs, with three other competitors managed to take the correct route. The general expectation was that Pete would exit the water in first place but Clayton Fettell had other ideas. With over half a minute lead out of the swim Fettell then proceeded to put in the fastest bike split, with Jacobs about one minute slower.
Pete only got his new Storck bike a week prior to the race and spent Friday setting it up and cutting the bars to ensure the best fit. He managed to sneak in just an hour’s ride to fine tune the new bike before race day. In spite of this Pete still managed to be over a minute faster over the bike course than the next competitor, Craig Alexander.
Jacobs said he also experimented during the race with a new drink combination â€“ a mix of Red Bull, Gatorade and extra caffeine. He said it seemed to work and did not cause any upset. He also realised during the race that his tyre pressure was probably too high, at 140psi, causing him to bounce around on the ride, more than was comfortable.
Coming off the bike Jacobs had a two minute advantage over Alexander and went into the run knowing he had to maintain a fast pace. He said that he felt smooth on the run but he knew he had two people to worry about – Craig Alexander and Chris Kemp – a new comer to triathlon but with a very good running pedigree. Alexander ran the 20kms over three minutes faster than Jacobs and managed to pass Pete with about 10 minutes to go. A fast finishing Kemp also put pressure on Pete but he managed to hold him off by 10 seconds to finish second, exactly one minute behind the eventual winner, Craig Alexander.
What next for Pete Jacobs?
Pete is now a fully contracted member of Team Abu Dhabi Triathlon which has meant that his days of landscaping to pay the bills are over. Team Abu Dhabi provides Jacobs with an income, bike (Storck), watch (Suunto), glasses (Oakley), shoes (ADIDAS), nutrition (Powerbar) and a team environment to train and race in.
Pete is heading back to Abu Dhabi for two more weeks of training before Ironman Australia and to race in the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon. This new event has a 3km swim followed by a 200km cycle and finishes with a 20km run. Jacobs feels that the 200km cycle leg may not suit him but after the Australian Long Course Triathlon Championship on Sunday his bike leg certainly looks good.
We wish him all the best and look forward to seeing him race in Ironman Australia 2010 at Port Macquarie on March 28.