Thursday, November 5, 2015

70.3 Taiwan "Finally"

Job done!!

For me winning a 70.3 was a dream come true. It’s been a long road from working in the triathlon industry to pro triathlete. It’s taken 5 years to get the win I’ve sort after!!

Simply put, I am STOKED to have this title under my belt!!

I’ve had a string of good races in Taiwan including a 2nd in 2013 and a 4th in 2014. With the best field assembled here I was really hoping for another top 5 result!! To come away with the win was beyond my expectations. I say mine because Kate and Jeff (Coach) weren’t as surprised having watched my progress over the  the last 5 months.

The day:

Race day rolled round EARLY.. 3am I woke up and lay in bed watching Kate organise her gear and get herself ready for the day… Then in classic “Me Fashion” I got out of bed late, ran round the room eating, putting my body numbers on and packing up my gear all at warp speed ” It’s a routine Kate deals with every day” She’s a lucky girl!

We actually made it to the bus by 4:15 and joined Jarrad (athlete and friend we coach under the GK Endurance banner) for the 20min bus journey to the swim start! When we arrived the wind was blowing HARD and they decided to shorten the bike to 77KM. The right choice given the strength of the wind and the exposed areas of the bike course!

While getting our gear ready it started raining and some of the other pro’s started wearing plastic bags to warm themselves. It was very strange to have such crazy weather in what is typically a hot and humid race!! Paul Ambrose kept things light breaking out some classic one liners that had me laughing. Sorry they are R rated so can’t be typed into a race report!!

The transition area was roughly 800 meters in length. So we started walking down to the swim start at 5:35am to get a pre race warm up in. Once on the beach there was a cool little swell coming in so I warmed up by body surfing in and out about 6 or 7 times!!We were then called out of the water and waited 10min before the start!! Always the most nerve racking moments before a race. I gave Kate a kiss as we do before every race and it was time to get my head in the game.

Soon enough we got a 10sec count down and we were off. The joys of being 6”3 means my lanky frame can wade well into the water. So once we were through the small breakers I had the lead with Harry Wiltshire about 25m to my right coming very quickly. I wasn’t alone, I felt a few taps on the feet and figured most of the contenders were in the group behind. About 300M in Christian Kramer pulled along side me and then past with Frenchman Jonathan on his feet. Thankfully I got onto his feet. At this point Harry had about a 15m gap on us and it remained roughly the same size for the duration of the swim. During the last 100m of the swim I stopped and body surfed into shore on a small breaker, passing Jonathan and Christian in the process. Apparently luck was on my side early. Then it was the long run from swim to bike. By the time we were out onto the bike course we were a group of 4 with the chasers about 1min back!!

As soon as we started riding I knew I had good legs. I was riding with Jonathan and Harry early on and felt really good. Around 8km in Christian came round the 3 of us at a much faster pace and once he got out to about 100m lead I knew I had to bridge up to him if I was going to stay in contention. It took about 3min’s and one very big match to get across the gap, but I managed it. Once across I turned around to see if the other guys had come but they hadn’t and I rode past Christian shortly after and let him know we had a gap. For the remainder of the first lap I stayed at the front pushing pretty much as hard as I could. Once through the first lap, Christian took the front again and for the rest of the ride all I could do was follow his lead. I knew it was hard, and my stomach couldn’t handle it  when I proceeded to throw it up it's content. I wasn’t feeling sick at all, it’s just a result of going really hard and staying in the aero position. I kept topping up the calories, taking in salt tablets and focusing on smooth pedaling. Christian lead off the bike (Also riding a Ceepo Viper) with me a few seconds behind. By this point the weather was getting hot and the wind had dropped off. A completely different day to what we woke too!

I put my socks and shoes on, grabbed a gel and some salt tablets and started the long T2 run. I ran T2  slowly taking in a few calories and trying to cool myself off with my water bottle. Once over the timing mat I settled into what I thought was an uncomfortable but sustainable pace. Christian and I were running shoulder to shoulder and as the other guys, Freddie, Paul, Harry, Cameron came off the bike I glanced at my watch to get rough splits!! To my surprise we had about a 5min gap.

At this point I changed my focus to smooth running and hydration. I thought Christian or myself would crack in the first few KM’s but he seemed comfortable and very in control so 5km came and went with us running side by side, then 7km, then 10km, then 12km, 14km . I started thinking, “are we seriously going to have to sprint the last 500m??”

My favorite Pic

At 15km I felt Christian having a bad patch, as I had earlier on and so I put in a small surge. It was enough to get a small gap on him. At this point I was pretty much running at max and while the mind was good the body started to reject the effort and at 16.5km I got really dizzy and thought “you’ve blown it Crawford” I backed off and ran really slowly for about 45sec allowing my body to recover just a little.
Then I was into the add station at 17km where I must have looked like death. I walked it which was a risk being I only had a 30sec lead or so. I drank two full cups of coke and was desperately asking for a gel (Nope, none at this aid station) argghhh. Then we went through this tough little out and back section of the course. Running up one of the hills you cross back over the course and at that point I saw Christian run across in front of me and knew I had about 45sec…."45sec 3.5KM to run… Ok ok.. you can do it"…I walked the next aid station another two cups of coke. Then I started feeling good again. Maybe it was the adrenaline of potentially winning my first 70.3 or maybe the coke, probably both.
As I was running back to the finish Freddie, Cam, Paul and Harry all said well done or something similar which is a true testament to there professionalism and who they are as people “good dudes”.

Once I passed the 20km marker I allowed myself to look back, I couldn’t see anyone and knew I had it in the bag!!! However I didn’t allow any early celebrations until just before the finish shoot!! Once I heard Pete Murray calling out, "here is your knew Taiwan Ironman 70.3 Champion Guy Crawford from New Zealand" I knew I could throw a few fist pumps!! I think the finish line photo's show it all.

I’m Over the moon to get the win, Stoked to finally tick that box. A dream came true for me!

The Thanks:

A lot of people have backed and supported me over the years. Most of all Kate. She’s always believed in me,(even when I don’t) she always kicks me out of bed in the morning and most mornings I don’t want to get up!! She even helps with the coaching aspect!!
Jeff Shilt: The Coach. Puts up with all my crap!! A lot of PB’s this year and no injuries. Couldn’t be done without you buddy!! Sorry about giving you all those headaches.
Family: The Bevilaqua’s and the Crawford’s. They feed me, House me, love me and I couldn’t ask for more. Thank-you

The AWESOME Sponsors:
blueseventy: It’s been 12 years of awesome. Employer, Sponsor, Friends. Plus they make the fastest most comfortable swim gear in the world.
Ceepo: Always a privilege to ride my Japanese born Ceepo Viper. Great team who are VERY supportive and encouraging.
Rolf Prima: Eugene based and USA made!! Fast wheels with a low spoke count and built to last. Brian, Brooke and the team have been too good to me!!
Profile: Versatile bars and hydration system that has saved me on numerous occasions. Not to mention the Great team behind the products. Thanks Ian & Rich
Wattie INK: Rad people, who make the highest quality triathlon apparel you’ll ever wear!Thanks Wattie
Infinit Australia: It fuels me in every race and something I encourage our athletes to use. It’s the real deal and will change your life if you’ve had nutrition issues. Cheers Jase
Vision: My cranks are second to none. I also rock there Mountain bike gear, brakes included. Mike and the team have provided fantastic support over the years!!
Mizuno Australia: I feel like a fleet footed ninja every time I put my mizuno's on. Thanks Ashley
Therapeutic associates: keeping the body moving and healthy in the city of tree’s. Boise!! Cheers Matt.
Challenge Tires: Rolling resistant what? Great tyre’s. Currently rolling around on Challenge record clinchers. Very fast, very versatile. Many thanks Chris.
Computrainer: Can’t hide on my computrainer. Big thanks for helping increase my FTP Chuck.
ISM: I refuse to ever ride another seat!! They are THE BEST!! Thanks Greg
Ryders Eyewear: Very light, very clear, very awesome! They also have some GREAT casual sunnies that you’ll find me rocking in most races!!Cheers Nev
Churchill Cycles: Tolerant of me hanging round the shop for hours on end. ha. Great guys, best service in town, genuine good dudes. Cheers Rick & Matt
Tri-Town Boise: He lets me sit on his bench and distract him. Gets both myself and Kate’s bikes race ready. He’s like Mcgyver with a set of allen keys and he also trains with me day in and day out. Thanks for being my training side kick Antonio. Your nose bleeds got me here!! 
Swim Smooth: Without Swimsmooth I wouldn't have learn't the skills necessary to swim at or near the front. Thanks Paul

Next up is Ironman Malaysia in just 10days time! The race will be super challenging as we face very hot and humid conditions. However I'm excited to race again in a new beautiful location and hopefully a good result will follow.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Crazy August & Racing The Off-Road Way

Hey Team,

Well August has been a Crazy month.

It all started in early August when we were in Penticton Canada for Kate to compete in her first Ultra-man event. "Ultra520k Canada" DAY1: 10KM Swim & 155KM Bike, DAY2: 275KM Bike, DAY3: 84.4KM Run (Double Marathon)
She did extremely well and created history by being the first woman to win an Ultra-man event out-right, She beat all the men!!
You can read all about it here: There are also a number of interviews and article's oh her facebook page!! It was awesome to crew for her and be part of those three days and history. I guess I can't complain about long run days anymore!!

It was then back to Boise for a few local races!!
First off we had Emmett Triathlon on the 8th, it also acts as the Idaho Olympic distance champs!! My body wasn't co-operating during the race, but I managed to hold on for the win against some quality local athletes. (I felt like I had raced the Ultra-man the week before, but in reality I had just sat in the car for 3 days)

Still It was a good /fun way to blow out the cobwebs and get back into some hard training!!

Next up was  XTERRA Wild Ride McCAll this past weekend!!(23rd August) The last XTERRA I raced wasn't great I ran out of talent on a descent and knocked myself out. This time though my skill level was up and I was ready to rumble.

Swimming in McCall is always tough being it's at 5000 feet. But I managed ok and came out of the water with a small lead.  My legs came to party on the bike and my CEEPO Mamushi rolled through the twisty single track with ease!!
It wasn't till the second lap that Micheal Tobin caught me. (Micheal has won Xterra World champs before and is a legend in off-road racing) Lucky for me he was racing in a team with Kate and didn't get to far ahead!!
Getting off the bike I found I had great run legs. (The running has definitely come a long way this year, thanks to coach Jeff Shilt) I finished the race in first place with a new course record. A record stolen from Chris Ganter, which I'm sure he'll want back!! (sorry Chris)

From here we're off to Challenge Penticton this weekend to race the Half and to finish off the crazy month of August!!

See picture's below from XTERRA McCALL

We'll be back In Boise next week to begin our next training block before heading off to Silverman 70.3 in Las Vegas!

Thanks again for everything team.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Rolf Prima Tri at the Grove

Rolf Prima Tri at the Grove

Kate and I headed off  to Eugene a few ago weeks for the Rolf Prima Tri At The Grove.

We love going to visit the team at Rolf Prima, Good people and always very welcoming. Thanks  for having us team.

The race itself was great for me. Unfortunately Jesse Thomas didn't start because he raced the weekend before and poor Chris Bagg has a spill on his bike!! (hope you've healed) So It ended up being Guy against the clock. I really wanted to have a crack at the course record! Result = I got it.  I'm sure Jesse or Chris will go better next year, (being the great athlete's that they are) But the good news for me is I have it for another 11.5 months. YAY.

Not only was the race super fun, but the coverage of the event was great. The race was featured in the paper and we were super Impressed by how much attention Triathlon got within the community!

Here are a few shot's and the article featured in the paper.

My Time 1:51:36, One of my better 10K runs off the bike. So things are heading in the right direction.
Thanks again for the support team.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Living with some-one training for Ultra-Man

For nearly 5 years Kate has been telling me she would like to do an Ultraman. "Yeah, great babe!" Never really thinking it would actually happen. Until the bomb was dropped....she signed up for Ultra520k Canada!
Lets just say I am glad it was only a short 7 week build for her. I don't know if I could have survived not being number one in the relationship any longer!

I've been musing over the past few weeks and decided to put these thoughts into a few sentences so you can learn where I did not....

How to live with someone training for an Ultraman! ... Don't..... move to hotel or pitch a tent in the yard and live there!! Move in with that crazy cat lady, or the man down the street who always talks to himself at a shout. Any of these options are better options. (In-fact they are good options)

I've put together a list of important rules to follow when living with some-one training for Ultra-man. They are your Ultra-man survival kit so to speak!!

1) Sleep:Don't wake them up: Even if it's an accident, it's your fault, if you need the bathroom in the night, best you take your pillow and sleep in the bath-tub
2) The Silence: What was once a comfortable silence now means "you've done something wrong" You need to run at this point.
3)Eye contact means: Your in trouble "Again you run"
4) Food: If you eat something  from the fridge that was specifically bought for training or that emergency can of coke, the hidden chocalate bar at the back of the cupboard. Even if you didn't know what it was for. Well, Lets just say don't do that... DON'T DO IT.....Move to another state or go into the wittness protection program.
5)You will be forced to train with them at some point: But you won't talk. we spent 7 hours riding together. 7 hours single file riding in the rain. (Fun?.... NOOOOOO) I don't even have an ass she can look at!
6)You will be wrong when your right,
7)You breathe to loud
8)You chew to loud
9)you walk to loud
10)you blink to loud
11)your voice is like listening to some-one scratching a chalk board. 
12)The Commando Crawl is the best way to get around (very quiet too, do this at all hours and do it slowly to avoid detection)
I have found that light cotton clothing is a great choice as it makes very little noise!!! (below you can see a picture of me practicing)

Kate now whispers at 4000 Dessa-bells in my ear!! 
Always have coke and redwine available. ALWAYS!! If they don't need it, you will.
If you get asked to go for an easy run: check what she's wearing, if she's wearing a Camel Bak, "you say NO"...Learn from my experience. 3 hours into an easy run when you start licking concrete because it's cooler and wetter than your tongue you realize you've "made bad choices"
Don't get me wrong.....I love to swim....but when you walk into the local YMCA 25 yard pool and she has gels/museli bars and bottles of GU with prepared to grow old and wrinkly over the next few hours.
On a personal note: I'm also a born again virgin.
Ok on a serious note: It's not all bad, ........................Ok it's all bad.......... good-luck!!

See my before and after photo's.

Before Ultra-man training
After Ultra-man training

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Mental few weeks!

Yes the title of this blog sums it up nicely!
What a mental few weeks it’s been and in usual fashion I’ll keep this blog to the point and hopefully entertaining!!! Please forgive my pigeon English.

It starts as we leave for Ironman Lanzarote from Boise Idaho.

Flights consisting of: Boise-Seattle-Iceland-England-Madrid-Canary Islands.

We arrive to the beautiful Lanzarote, I love the white buildings, the water and the people!
What I don’t love : The Wind.
Race day shows up and so does the wind. YAY
The swim: I stayed in the front group and only took the lead once during the 3.8k. I knew the bike was going to be hard, so I was in energy saving mode early on.

Bike: HOLY NEW LEVEL OF PAIN!! I was riding within 30sec of the lead until about 90km, That’s when I climbed inside the hurt locker. “It was pretty dark in there” At one point I was riding 9kph uphill pushing over 400watts into a head wind. After shedding a few tears, I got back in the grove and kept pushing on. At 4:40mins I had my second really rough patch (this is when I'm usually getting off the bike and I still had 40min to ride) That 40min was an emotional roller coaster. (I think all IM’s are)

Below are some bike pic's from the race.

Anyways I came off the bike and started to run. I was surprised that I felt ok. After 30km I was pretty gone and was doing the classic "Ironman Shuffle" I ended up with a 3:30 marathon.

The positives: I now know I can blow up twice on the bike and still run a 3:30 marathon. Not suggesting that I’m content with a 3:30 marathon, but I have to find the positives in every race and that’s this one.

We spent a few days post race having a look around Lanzarote before heading to Venice for a few days. (I spent most of my time in the clear waters of Lanzarote hanging out with the stunning sea life) Flashback: During the race I saw the biggest Manta Ray ever,  wanted to stop, it was HUGE…. I’m 192cm tall and it was MUCH bigger than me!! Crazy.

Venice = see pictures. I’d never seen Venice before and it was on our bucket list of places to visit. it’s a crazy maze of alley ways and canals and I loved getting lost there!

Then it was off the the UK for a night before heading back to Perth to set our lives in order before returning back to the US.

The second set of flights (with a stay over here and there)
Lanzarote-Grand Canaria-Madrid-Venice-Madrid-Heathrow-Abu Dhabi-Perth.

From when we left Australia 3.5weeks earlier we had 20+ individual flights and have flown a full loop of the globe!! For some-one that doesn’t enjoy flying this was less than ideal, but pretty cool all the same!!

Upon getting home to Perth, I was struck down with man flu (much worse than a regular flu) and spent a week feeling sorry for myself.

It was great to have a little taste of a Perth winter before heading getting back on a plane and shipping out for the USA. This time we are Boise bound until late October/early November.

3rd set of flights: Perth-Auckland-Los Angeles-Portland-Boise.. arggghhhhhh

Kate made me do a 25KM trail race two weeks ago. It went straight up and straight down. My legs have never hurt so much. They were on par with my first ever Ironman. Lucky all my toe nails have fallen off or are already black.

Then Last weekend we went and watched Mick Hall race at Ironman Coeur d Alene. Sadly it didn't end the way he wanted. Unless of course he wanted a hospital visit?. (Pretty sure he didn't) Still it happens to us all. Ironman is a hard thing to get right every-time and we all know Mick was the fittest he's ever been. Next time Mick!!

Ok that should bring every one up to date!!