SiS Half Ironman Port Macquarie 2010 – Race Report
By Tim Reed
There are some races that you simply want to win. I was having a little ponder as to why Port Mac Half Ironman is so important to me. Like nearly every race in Australia, the prize money is embarrassingly small but there was a much deeper motivation driving me that had me being unusually focused in my preperation to this event. After training with Tim Berkel, Matty White and other experienced professionals in Boulder I saw what sacrifices they would make to ensure that they got to a peak for big events. So I set about sticking to the plan my coach Grant Giles and I had established for me. I raced Maitland tri unrested taking a fair knock to the ego as Mitch smoked me in his ever largening pipe of success, maximised my recovery between sessions, turned down casual work and turned down â€˜catch up dinner’ invitations from my non-triathlon friends to minimise the risk of an innocent feed turning into a viscious all nighter. Small steps for man, a giant leap for Tim Reed.
The drive that had me itching to win this event is my personal history with Port Macquarie, the main competitors of this race and the event itself. I was dabbling with the occasional triathlon to keep fit through university and it wasn’t unti my great friend Ollie Whistler started the sport, was training very seriously and improving on a weekly basis that I got really motivated to give triathlon a lot more attention. Funnily enough it was only two years ago that Mitch, Ollie and myself battled it out for the 18-24 age group category at Port Macquarie Half Ironman 2008.
People often ask why I didn’t start racing in the professional category earlier and to me I wasn’t killing people in my age group so I didn’t really see it as the logical next step. Ollie Whistler, Mitch Robins, Adam Holborrow and I were always really close. Looking back, when I compare what the 18-24 age group is doing now (no offence guys. Actually take offence- you’re soft) we were a good 30-40 minutes ahead and all four of us were rarely out of the top ten overall in 70.3 and Half Ironmans. Having that competition in my age group played a huge role in my striving to improve and I am so grateful that I was able to train and race with a group of friends who really pushed each other. Consequently I’m proud to say we have all progressed to the next level of racing professionally and continue to force each other to improve.
Port Macquarie continued its recent form of unpredictable race starts with the horn going while I was still about 20 metres behind the line of front swimmers. No â€˜one minute to go’, no â€˜get in a straight line’, nothing. Frankly I was pissed off. If you miss the front bunch of guys in an Australian Half Ironman swim you are going to have a very tough time getting back the time on the bike as the 7 metre bike to bike gap still allows for significant energy saving through legal drafting. Additionally, Mitch and I have both been putting a lot of time into our swimming hammering each other with 100m sprints and I was hoping to get up the front with him and really try and push each other in the hope of getting out of the water with some space so that we could attack on the bike. Thankfully my adrenaline allowed me to make up some time and swim over some people to have a very speedy transition and second out onto the bike course.
I straddled Kestrel Kev and set about making back the small gap between myself and Mitch. Tim Berkel caming flying through and set about revving myself and Mitch up to legally work together to gap the rest of the field. So we pushed hard. I was blown away with the surges Berkel was putting in on the bike. For someone who can nearly always run one of the quicker times he was taking no chances in letting the second group get near us and once again increased my respect for him. Ollie Whistler was also in tow pushing his usual cadence of 25 rpm with his elephantitis suffering quadriceps but his usual bike dominance wasn’t showing through so I had a feeling that it was not going to be one of his better days. I took a little bit to get going but the longer the ride went the stronger I felt which is a strong contrast to how I felt in races in the States so I was very happy that more consistent bike milage was paying off despite the very windy conditions and stinging hills heading in and out of town.
As I predicted Mitch attacked with a few kilometres to go to give him some extra time into transition. I opted for keeping him within sight but not going all out to try and close the gap as I didn’t like the idea of getting into transition with lactate spilling out my eyeballs. I also knew that Berkel and Mitch had to put socks on while my Zoot shoes allow a faster transition through a sockless run.
About 40 seconds down on Mitch, Berkel and I exited transition side by side. Memories of Bussleton Half Ironman earlier this year where we ran side by side for 21kms were haunting me as that sort of racing can be quite mentally draining so I decided to give him a little wack with the hurt stick to see if he would come with me. The gastro he had suffered through the week and the pace he had pushed on the bike meant that his run was not it’s usual self and he lost ground quickly. I never think I’ve got Berkel out of the way however as in many races I’ve put minutes into him in the first 10kms only for Berkel to float by me later on leaving me covered in his dust. I also knew that the harmless trash talk I’de put out about him being undertrained was a big driving force in him wanting to teach me a lesson
I started to claw Mitch back and got the gap back to about 40 metres at best. I could tell he wasn’t going as smoothly as usual and was probably not feeling the best after that bike pace however I was unsure whether to close the gap completely as I didn’t want to spend too much of my energy too early and knew that if I pulled up alongside him he would see that I was hurting too and could push the pace up another notch. It can be very unnerving to have someone behind you where you can’t see how they are feeling or judge from their running form their level of fatigue so I decided it was to my advantage that I stayed where I was. I figured I could save my energy till I saw him slowing and then make a strong pass rather that would break him mentally rather than encouraging him by slowly pulling up alongside him breathing like I was giving birth .
All of these tactics went out the window at about the 10km mark as I got a quad cramp and needed to slow to absorb some of my High 5 nutrition. My plan switched to damage control as I took my mind to a neutral place and focused on doing what I could to do to get through the run. Mitch continued to extend his lead although I thought he was much further ahead then the finish times ended up. The Port Mac residents were so supportive that when Mitch was 30 seconds ahead they were letting me know he was 30 seconds ahead and when he was a minute ahead they were still yelling that he was 30 seconds ahead to try and encourage me so I really wasn’t sure where I was but appreciated their generous support all the same.
Mitch went on to delight his home crowd finishing in 3:59:09 and I was hugely satisfied to come in second in 4:00:29. Berkel then proceeded to show his class rounding out the podium a few minutes later despite a tough day for him. To finish on the podium with two great friends was extremely cool and I was so happy for Mitch. I had spent Friday night arguing with his Mum that she needs to get Mitch doing online university and racing overseas where he could make a really good living. Hopefully now she is starting to see my point!
To my coach Grant Giles, you are the man. I feel that I have an unfair advantage against those that have not utilised your genius.
To the small number of personal training clients, friends etc that I coached up to this event it was amazing to see you guys progressed and achieved your goals so well done and thank you for reminding me how cool this sport is and that anything is possible.
Commonwealth Games Duo Matt Hauser and Luke Willian Up the Pace at the Gold Coast Triathlon
Australian Commonwealth Games team members Luke Willian and Matt Hauser put on a display of speed and power running and riding, thrilling the crowd and letting everyone know they are on track for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.
The pair didn’t have it all their own way with Brisbane athlete (and Willian’s training partner) Luke Burns keeping them honest and announcing himself as a talent to watch in 2018.
The Luke Harrop Memorial has always been a favourite race for Willian and his passion for racing on the Gold Coast hasn’t diminished, stamping his authority from the gun.
“I am really happy and it is nice to get the win for sure, especially in such a hot field. They pushed me all day but I was happy to get over the top in the end and get the win. When I found out it was a duathlon nothing really changed. The processes are exactly the same and we train for all these occasions. I knew I could do it and I ran well here last year so I was confident. It didn’t really change much about the race. The best guys were still at the front.”
“I probably went out a little too hard but I wanted to test the waters and see if anyone wanted to come with me. Sometimes in a duathlon it all just stays together on the first run, so I just wanted to string them out and put a bit more pressure on, so it didn’t just come down to a big bunch on the bike. I wanted to make it a bit more like a triathlon, where the swim strings things out.”
“There was a group of about 10-12 on the bike rolling around in good pace and we kept the chase pack away. Onto the run I was second out of transition. Matt had a go at the first turn around and made it three guys and I had a crack at the half way turn around and it was pretty much just me from then on,” he said.
Willian said he has pulled up really well after what was the first run, in a race situation, this season.
“There was pressure in the run and the pressure of a National Championship but I am feeling great. It was good to be starting to feel fast and it is a nice confidence booster moving into the next block of training, where we will really wind it up. I was delighted how many people came out and watched, the crowd was deep and come Games time it’s going to be massive and it is really exciting to see and have the spotlight on our sport,” he said.
Matt Hauser didn’t let the change of format phase him and the World Junior champion turned in another impressive performance justifying his Commonwealth Games selection.
“We found out the night before it was going to be a duathlon and my roommate and I looked at each other and it was ‘Oh well, stuff happens, move on and get on with it’. That is what we did. Had an early wake up at about 3.30am, headed down to race site. I was feeling confident in my run and I ended up having a good race.”
“The pace was on from the get-go. Luke Willian sprinted from the start and everyone was chasing him for a while and then a group of about 10 of us solidified at the front. I tried to get out of T1 quickly and had a gap for a while but got pulled back. That was just me trying to test the legs out. Even if it was a triathlon I still would have tried to get out early and see what everyone had.”
“We worked together on the bike and I got off the bike and was running with a few boys that I train with and the Brisbane boys Luke Willian and Luke Burns. Out of the top turn, I accelerated but the two Lukes were both with me but eventually, Luke Willian split us both up.”
“The way my training volume has been with the niggles that I have had, I am okay to come second in a quality field like that. I am really happy and it is a good step forward for me. The legs are sorer than if I had done a triathlon, but it was a very positive race for me. I think I executed the processes well, ran well and certainly felt strong on the bike. So they are all good signs heading into April and my next few races.”
“It is only onwards and upwards from here and I will start to increase the volume and intensity. ITU Mooloolaba will be a great hit out and the field that is assembling is world class and will be similar to the Comm Games field. I won’t leave Queensland until the Games now, so I will be right at home and ready to go. It was an amazing atmosphere out here and it will only be tenfold come April,” Hauser said.
In the women’s race Emma Jeffcoat scored a welcome National title despite losing her favourite swim leg with the change to the duathlon format. Backing up from her win at the Oceania Cup, the Sydney based former surf lifesaver didn’t have it all her own way. Pushed to the limit from the gun, Emma hung tough and scored a welcome victory setting her up for good training block in preparation for her tilt at ITU Mooloolaba in March.
“It was good to go back to back. I wanted to show that I could back up and even without the swim, my favourite part. That is racing. It could happen at any level, the same rules apply, you’ve got to be adaptable and get on with it.”
“Some really strong competition, in the U23’s, which is really exciting. Great to have those girls push me along. But there is no rest for the wicked, straight back into training. I will have next weekend off racing and then get ready for Mooloolaba World Cup,” she said.
Dylan Rock Lost a Bet but Gained So Much More
There are a million and one reasons for starting your triathlon career and every one of them is totally valid and makes perfect sense (at the time). But former cyclist Dylan Rock has one of the most interesting reasons for turning to the world of swim/ride and run.
Fourteen years ago, he lost a bet.
“It all happened because many years ago I lost a bet to a friend of mine Lisa Flint that I could beat her over a 1km time trial. I was an elite cyclist and she was an open/pro triathlete and a runner but little did I know that eventually, Lisa would go on to represent Australia in the marathon in the New Delhi Commonwealth Games.”
Lisa’s sub-three minute kilometre was just too quick for Dylan so, she won and he had to enter his first ever triathlon.
“Ironically my first race was the Luke Harrop Memorial triathlon and being a cyclist I thought it would be easy, just turn up and do it. I didn’t even think to take goggles. Lucky for me triathletes are amazing people. A man on the start line took pity on me and had his wife run to the car and get his spare pair for me, just to make sure my day went well.”
“I was fourth last in my age group out of the water and first off the bike and I ran home in fifth place. I immediately I knew that these where my people and that kind stranger and his family are still good friends now.”
“From there I was hooked and I changed sports but still love the bike leg the most,” he reflected.
Since that fateful day on the Gold Coast, Dylan has gotten a touch more serious in his approach to his triathlon and over the years has competed in every distance, including six IRONMAN, and 29 IRONMAN 70.3 plus countless standard distance races and sprints.
Dylan’s involvement in triathlon got even more serious eight years ago after he took up coaching and established a triathlon and cycling speciality shop on the Gold Coast called Vital Cycles with a full indoor training centre for cycling and running.
Dylan is looking forward to getting back into racing after a tough few years away from the sport and the Luke Harrop Memorial is a nice warm-up for his plans to do IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie in May.
“In 2015-2016 I lost five friends to suicide and it was a very hard time for friends and family. I fell into depression and stopped training for a while but with the help of my wife, my close friends, family and my physiologist I regained my drive for life.”
“Having gone through that period I felt like had to try and do something to help raise awareness for this very important but prickly subject. So with help from some friends, we started a charity ride called Chapter 10. We rode from Southport on the Gold Coast to Coolum on the Sunshine Coast in a day, 240kms to help raise money and awareness for Beyond Blue.”
“This year on 4 August, ‘Chapter 10’ will be riding again for the local charity Head Space that deals with youth mental health issues and TYPO (Take Your Pineapples Out) a suicide awareness charity that main goal is to get people talking about suicide and reaching out to each other for help.”
“We will be riding from Vital Cycles in Labrador to Mooloolaba which is about 200kms in a day and we are opening up spots for riders to join us again. All the info will be available on the ‘Chapter 10 the ride home’ Facebook page or people can just come in store to find out more.”
Dylan said the ‘Chapter 10’ rides and the amazing people he keeps meeting in the sport of triathlon have given him back the motivation to train again.
“The Luke Harrop Memorial is one race really looking forward to and I am hoping to get the kick I need to get back to IRONMAN racing. I know the amazing atmosphere at the Gold Coast Triathlon and other competitors will help me remember why I love racing and training,” he said.
Commonwealth Games Pair return for Luke Harrop Memorial
Queensland Commonwealth Games representatives Matt Hauser and Luke Willian and inform Sydney nursing graduate Emma Jeffcoat will headline Sunday’s Gold Coast Triathlon/Luke Harrop Memorial and Australian Sprint Championships at Southport.
The biggest domestic race on the Gold Coast is dedicated to the life and times of one of the Coast’s most talented and popular athletes, Luke Harrop, who, at just 23 on January 12, 2002, lost his life as the result of a traffic incident while on a warm-up ride in preparation for the second race of the 2002 Accenture Triathlon Series.
It will be a fitting return to racing for both Hauser and Willian, who along with Jake Birtwhistle (Tasmania) will make up an exciting, new-look Games men’s team for the Games April 5 opening event.
Sydney’s Jeffcoat, the former champion surf lifesaver, showed she is ready to tackle all comers after her impressive win to conquer last week’s Oceania Championships in Devonport, beating noted pair Natalie Van Coevorden (NSW) and Games girl Charlotte McShane (Victoria.)
Jeffcoat will be up against a host of emerging talent, including WA pair Jessica Claxton and Gold Coast-based Kira Hedgeland, 2014 Youth Olympic champion Brittany Dutton (QLD) and the talented Sophie Malowiecki (QLD).
The cream of Australia’s paratriathletes will also be in action, led by Paralympic gold medallist Katie Kelly (NSW) and fellow Rio team mates Bill Chaffey (NSW), Nic Beveridge (QLD) and Brant Garvey (WA), who all contested last week’s inaugural Paratriathlon World Cup in Devonport.
Sunday will also see the official announcement of the Australian paratriathlon team for the Commonwealth Games – all in the PTWC (Wheelchair) class.
Gold Coast-based Triathlon Australia High Performance and Paratriathlon coach Dan Atkins is excited about Sunday’s racing, that will also see the cream of Australia’s Age Groupers, chasing double points setting their sights on qualifying for the 2018 ITU World Championships, to be hosted on the Gold Coast in September.
Atkins said many of the athletes who competed in Devonport last weekend had recovered from the racing and travel and those who didn’t race can’t wait to join in the action.
“I know as far as Matt (Hauser) is concerned he is chomping at the bit to get into Sunday’s race,” said Atkins.
“He hasn’t raced since last September and with the countdown on for the Games, he is getting ready to rock.
“And I know from talking to coach Warwick Dalziel, that Luke (Willian) will be in the same boat.
“It will be a good benchmark with both the boys in the Luke Harrop as well as a host of the other boy’s keen to push it.
“Matt loves getting out and training with his mates every day and that’s what keeps him going and as for me I have to protect that youth and enthusiasm; that excitement of a boy who is still only 19.
“We have a great group and they are all doing it together and for each other.”
Hauser, originally from Hervey Bay, had a stellar year in 2017, winning the ITU World Junior Championship in Rotterdam and combining with Birtwhistle, McShane and Gold Coaster Ashleigh Gentle to win Australia’s first ever Mixed Teams Relay World Championship in Hamburg.
Willian, the Under 23 ITU World Championship bronze medallist in Rotterdam, had a hit out at the recent Burleigh-Swim-Run, winning the event for the second time on Australia Day and coach Dalziel couldn’t be happier with his progress.
“Luke has been working well on a lot of specific stuff and we’re looking forward to getting into race mode again,” said Dalziel.
“He had a good hit out at Burleigh and it was just at the right time but now it’s time to focus on putting his first race together.”
The 750m swim; 20-kilometre bike and five-kilometre run is the same Sprint Distance as the Games – for both the Elites and Paratriathletes.
This weekend will also feature the 2018 Australian National Cross Triathlon and Aquathlon Championships at Lake Crackenback on Saturday.
Australia’s number one Cross Triathlete Ben Allen and his wife Jacqui Allen (Great Britain) are the headline acts in the Elite fields.
Apply to Join the Amateur Specialized Zwift Academy Triathlon Team
Zwift, the virtual turbo trainer cycling tool that doubles as a massively multiplayer online game, has partnered with Specialized to create a new elite amateur triathlon team. The recruiting focus is on amateur age-group triathletes, and they plan to make the new team “the best supported amateur team in the sport.” Four finalists will compete in Kona during the 2018 Ironman World Championship. Applications to join the Specialized Zwift Academy Tri Team are due by 18th March.
Zwift, and Zwift Academy have recently been focusing more attention on triathlon. Zwift created the brand new Zwift Run with triathletes in mind, and Zwift Academy is now scouting to identify the next generation of world-class triathletes.
The two companies are offering some amazing perks to the four finalists who make the team.
Perks for Tri Team Members Include:
- Pro level outdoor and Zwift virtual training with the 2017 women’s Kona runner-up Lucy Charles and world record holder Tim Don
- Free smart trainer & treadmill
- Specialized bike, shoes and gear
- Wind tunnel optimization & Retul fitting sessions at the Specialized Headquarters in California
- $1,500 USD toward expenses for a 2018 Ironman qualifying event
- Flights, lodging and entry fees for the 2018 Ironman World Championship
To apply for the Tri Team, you must be in Zwift cycling level 10 or higher. Final selections will be announced on 5th April. The online application is available at http://www.zwift.com/academy.
Have you heard of the new Zwift Run yet? If not, read Trizone’s recent article, Zwift Set to Revolutionise Indoor Running.
USA Triathlon Announces 2018 Splash & Dash Youth Aquathlon Series Calendar
USA Triathlon today announced that its Splash & Dash Youth Aquathlon Series is set to return for the seventh consecutive year, with more than 55 swim-run events planned in cities across the United States this season.
The series, launched in 2012 with 30 events, is designed to introduce youth athletes between the ages of 7 and 15 to the multisport lifestyle through the fast-growing discipline of aquathlon. With a focus on participation and fun, rather than competition, many of the events are not timed.
At all Splash & Dash events, participants ages 7-10 will complete a 100-meter pool swim and a 1-kilometre run, while athletes ages 11-15 will complete a 200m pool swim and a 2k run. All participants receive a t-shirt, custom finisher’s medal and giveaways from the Boy Scouts of America and the USA Swimming Foundation, both partners of the series.
The 2018 season kicks off in mid-March and runs through October, with events hosted in each of USA Triathlon’s six Regions. USA Triathlon partnered with race directors, community centres, coaches, clubs, and parks and recreation departments to solidify the slate of more than 55 events, a record high for the series. USA Triathlon staff will also host the annual Colorado Springs, Colorado, event, which is presented by SafeSplash Swim School, on Aug. 19.
“With the seventh iteration of the USA Triathlon Splash & Dash Youth Aquathlon Series, we will introduce more kids than ever to multisport in a single season,” said Brian D’Amico, USA Triathlon Director of Events. “Increasing youth participation is a major focus not only for USA Triathlon but for the industry as a whole through the recently-launched Time to Tri initiative. We look forward to working with each of the hosts on this year’s Splash & Dash calendar to make the 2018 series the most successful yet.”
The Splash & Dash series saw record participation in 2017, with 2,250 youth athletes competing in 50 events nationwide.
Visit usatriathlon.org/splashanddash for the latest calendar and complete information on the series. The series calendar and locations are subject to change.
St. Anthony’s Triathlon Announced as 2018 USAT Regional Championship
USA Triathlon (USAT) has selected St. Anthony’s Triathlon as a 2018 Regional Championship Race. The 35th annual St. Anthony’s Triathlon will take place on April 29, 2018 with approximately 3,000 athlete participants competing over the race weekend.
As a USAT Regional Championship site, registered USAT athletes can qualify from the St. Anthony’s Triathlon for the 2018 Olympic-Distance National Championships in Cleveland, Ohio to be held on August 11, 2018. In order to qualify for the National Championships, competitors must finish in the top 33 percent or top five (whichever is greater) competitors per their respective age groups. In addition, this year’s St. Anthony’s Triathlon will also serve as the USAT Southeastern Regional Championship.
“We are proud to have been selected again as a USAT Regional Championship race,” said Susan Daniels, race director for St. Anthony’s Triathlon. “This event hosts some of the best athletes in the world, and we are honoured to offer triathletes the opportunity to qualify for the USAT National Championship on our St. Petersburg course.”
The St. Anthony’s Triathlon is also making some exciting changes to the event by extending the Sports and Fitness Expo from a two-day to three-day event and holding all Triathlon events in one park instead of two. The Sports and Fitness Expo will take place from April 27-29 St. Petersburg’s waterfront Vinoy Park. “Extending our sports and fitness expo gives our competitors more opportunities to check out the latest race gear and moving to one location, makes it more convenient for them,” said Daniels.
For kids and novice adults, the Meek & Mighty Triathlon occurs on April 28, and the main Triathlon, for both Olympic and Sprint distance races, runs on April 29.
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