“The pace in the swim was quick and I felt comfortable sitting in the group with some of the fastest swimmers out there including Andy Potts, Nick Kastelein and Clayton Fettel to name a few. We swam around the iconic Busselton Jetty and when we hit the half way point and started heading back in the chop really picked up and didn’t let off. After 5 minutes of this I started feeling a little sea sick but just told myself this would subside any minute when we hit the calmer waters closer to shore.
I had my trademark transition and the group of 7 out of the water was down to 2, Nick who I have spent a lot of time training with this year and I were up the road and putting some serious time on the group which included Potts who would go on to finish the day in 2nd with a gutsy performance. My legs felt strong and I felt in control, I was hopeful it would be just another training day with Nick and I slogging it out to keep up with world champion Jan Frodeno but unfortunately Nick made a smart call to back off the pace a little and ride his own race, a decision that would allow him to finish 3rd in his first Ironman branded race. At 60km into the 180km I was solo but well locked into my pedals. It wasn’t until 150km in that things started to get hairy and my power dropped off, I just keep my head down and tried to get the most out of myself with every pedal stroke.
Off the bike with almost 10minutes on Potts and Nick and I was one happy boy when my running legs were still there. Sometimes when you push the pace on the bike you destroy any chances of a strong run but when you find that sweet spot you are in a good place.
Through 10km things were great, at 16km I remembered this was Ironman and I still had another 26km to go and I was deteriorating a little faster than I would have liked. Managing my effort levels, my technique and making sure enough Clif Shots were coming in were essential at this point. When I got to the last 10km and I still had 7 minutes on Potts I quickly did the Maths in my head and figured I would need to blow up big time to loose my lead. While that last 10km was tough and every stride hurt I was smiling big time on the inside and when I got to 3kms to go and was well within striking distance of breaking the record I got a second wind that carried me home… that and the fantastic spectators, the incredible support I have received from all my sponsors over the years, and my incredible family who give me strength every day to be the best person I can be.”
7hours 51minutes 26seconds, the 9th fastest Ironman race ever.