5 Dec 2016


“After 8 years of blood, sweat and tears this weekend I took a massive step forward in winning my first full distance Ironman race over at Ironman Western Australia.

After winning the Ironman 70.3 world champs in 2008 I felt that the next logical step was to move to the full distance Ironman race. Starting my Ironman career down in Taupo at Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman in 2009 was very exciting for me. There were glimpses of a breakthrough race along the way but at times it felt like 1 step forward resulted in 2 steps back, I was unsure if the massive brick wall in front of me would ever get knocked down.

Finally this weekend I feel I have executed an Ironman race to my ability and man does it feel good. I felt pretty relaxed coming into the final few days before the race and was fortunate to have my physio and friend, Tawhai travelling with me to keep the nerves at bay and the muscles feel good. After endless conversations over the years with my coach Jon Ackland I knew what I needed to do out there to execute and I believed in myself.”

“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.