“Woohoo, what a way to finish off 2016!!!
After a very tough day at the office I am elated to take out the Ironman 70.3 Bahrain Middle Eastern Championships, especially considering todays race was only 6 days after my first full distance Ironman victory in Busselton, Western Australia. I always wanted to stand on the start line to try and get enough points to cement my position for the Ironman 70.3 and Ironman World Championships. I knew my fitness and my head were in a great place but I was a little unsure if I had recovered enough from last weekends effort.
I had a good swim and was out the water with a very solid group of guys. My Heart rate was a little high and breathing labored but I knew I wanted to try and get away and try and build a good lead through the windy bike to give me a little buffer starting the run. I was pushing on the pedals pretty hard and finally broke away from the likes of Michael Realert, Steffen Justus, Sam Appleton and 4 other strong guys. Most of the first half was with a strong tailwind and I got through 50km in around 1hour but the real damage was done when the head wind kicked up. I managed to slowly build my lead to 4minute30seconds over Bahrain Endurance 13 team mate Sam Appleton and 5 minute on the rest of the chasers.
This was just what I wanted, I was sure with this lead I would be able to hold on for the title, the legs didn’t feel bad and I was turning over well. His Highness Sheik Nasser who has put the team together unfortunately had a bike crash on the early stages of the bike course due to the wind and was unable to finish the race, but he was out there on the run offering me encouragement and support which was very motivational.
I started getting splits at 7km and ex ITU athlete Steffen Justus was eating into my lead and in a serious way. I knew this was the last race of his career and that he would be putting it all on the line. I couldn’t slow down otherwise he would catch me in the last 1km. I was giving it my all and trying to generate as much speed as I could every step of the way. At 12km my legs started to crack, I was feeling the fatigue from last weekends Ironman, was I going to be able to hang on? I had no idea!!!
6km I had a 2minute lead, 4km I had 1minute 20seconds, 3km to go and I was down to 1 minute. This was it and I knew it. I had to start sprinting and just hope that I didn’t blow. This finish line couldn’t come quick enough and when I got within reach of the line and he wasn’t in sight it was a pretty sweet feeling. Working that hard and getting the victory just makes it mean that much more.
Team-mate, Appleton crossed the line in 3rd place.
It’s been a great week here in Bahrain hanging out with the 12 other great athletes from around the world, promoting healthy living and triathlon amongst the community.
I can’t wait to see my family in a couple days and put the feet up for a couple weeks before getting ready for the 2017 season. Hopefully I can kick off where 2016 ended… ”