Friday, May 17, 2013

Doubling UP at 70.3 Busselton


The double, doing a full distance 3.8K Swim, 180K Bike and a 42.2K run and then backing up a week later and doing a 70.3 ..OUCH and OUCH...

The pain side of things didn't disappoint .

We arrived home from Challenge Taiwan Late on the monday night and drove down to Busselton home of the 70.3 on Thursday the 9th before racing on the 11th.
It was an exciting week with "School Visits, Chat with the pro's, A charity breakfast for this madman Mark Simpkins running 400K from Albany to Perth. But all for a great cause in "Cerebral Palsy".

The week produced some quite wild conditions, the ocean looked like a shaken up iced coffee and the wind was lashing at the trees.

Race day once again dawned and I dragged my weary body out of bed had my morning coffee and brightened up.
Kate and I didnt have too much stress leading into the race as it was going to be the "unknown" for both of us, so with that my pre race nerves weren't as high as usual.
Into transition we set up our bikes, put our wetsuits on and walked down to the start and YES the ocean was flat and the wind was at a whisper.

We got into the water did our typical warm up and then it seemed we were in the "starters hand"
As soon as the gun went off I found nice clean water and after a few hundred metres drifted onto the back of the lead group of 5 PERFECT... I was waiting for my body to reject the pace, but I settled in nicely and found a good rhythm.
I looked over my shoulder about half way out to the turn around and noticed we had a decent gap, but due to a school boy error I got droped as we turned one of the buoys when my arm got tangled in the rope. I tried to bridge back up, but didnt have the gas to do so... I wasn't too concerned I thought if I had good legs on the bike I could bridge back the 30secs they might gain.
Out of the water in 5th and I heard loads of people cheering for me. (My second home and an awesome local crowd)
I transitioned quickly and got onto my bike, I could see the group just ahead and I went to put the hammer down, but it seemd the hammer had transformed into a teaspoon. OHHH NO!!

I tried to put the watts out but the legs refused. At about 10K the main pack caught me, I sloted into the pack and was sitting at 12metres thinking this is way easier than riding solo. Even at the greater drafting distance of 12 metres you get a benefit.

So there I stayed till the end of the bike. We jostled around a fair bit, but Courtney Ogden and Matty White did nearly all the work while the others (including myself) stayed in the train. Although I beleive most of us were policed quite well.

We came into T2 in a massive pack, I'm not even sure how many of us there were, maybe 10. I had a quick transition and started to run out laughing to myself because trying to run fast felt so very bad!!! I was very comfortable running just over 4min K's but that doesnt cut it when your racing these boys.
Still I wasn't going to let that spoil my day, I ran as fast as my body would let me, but also enjoyed cheering people on, talking to the commentators and pretending I was Ok. (but inside I was in the hurt locker, I was just going slowly)

I saw Kate out there a few times and thought, 1) How the hell is she doing this , 2)I think she's running quicker than me, 3) I'm sure she's running quicker than me, 4)I Owe her a bottle of wine if she pulls this off without blowing into a million pieces... I know she is a bit of a hard ass so I was pretty sure I'd be buying her a bottle of wine.

Down the finish shoot and I celebrated, because WHY NOT? I wasn't first, I wasn't even 10th today. But I tried to fight even though my body didnt want to play. The race itself is amazing and I never want to miss it. The athletes and supporters are awesome, a race I would recommend to all.

I finished in 4:03:29 in 15th

Kate finished in 2nd in a time of 4:22:30. Totally awesome result being she just raced an IM 6 days earlier. Made me feel a bit soft for an average performance. Haha

We celebrated, drove back to Perth, packed our gear and the next day flew to New-Zealand, then Los Angeles, then Oakland CA, and finally onto Boise (Where I sit writing this) "OUCH"!! Not sure what was more painful the double or the flights.
We have an exciting year planned with some 70.3's and Ironman's on the horizon so stay tuned. I might also dabble into a few Xterra's.(On the MTB hunt as we speak)

Thanks again for all your support. It's been an awesome year to date.
My body is the best it's ever been and I'm excited to get back into racing here in the USA.

I look forward to seeing all my state side friends and sponsors soon.

To all my sponsors and supporters, Thank-you and Thank-you. See you soon.!!
blueseventy, Wattie INK, K-Swiss, Ceepo, Infinit Nutrition, Vision, Rolf Prima, 110% Play Harder, ISM, Recovery Pump, Churchill Cycles, Super Ruth Physio, Rocktape, nuun, Challenge Tyres, CompuTrainer, Ryders Eyewear, TriTown, Jeff Shilt, Swimsmooth and Pete Mckenzie at Race Pace Coaching.

Guy Crawford

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Challenge Taiwan

This, my first Challenge experience really made me realize what I've been missing. What a great experience with the race organizer Micheal Dhulst and CEO Felix Walchshoefer putting on a great show.

We arrived into Taiwan, Taipei on the Monday night before the race, the following day we had media appointments, a lot of fun in a mellow atmosphere. Following that we had a swim in the awesome local facilities. (See the Pic of Dylan, Myself and Kate) Not sure why we look so shocked...

We were then treated to a trip up one of the tallest buildings in the world. 101 stories.

The Tuesday night we all flew to Taitung (the race venue). The plane had most of the pro's on it, and once we landed we headed straight out for dinner and ate some interesting local cuisine.

We arrived at our B & B which was a house where most of the pros stayed. Despite the different nationalities we all got along great. There were some interesting stories, many revolving around how Petr Vabrousek can race back to back iron distance races so often. Challenge Taiwan was his 125th full distance!!!!! errhh....I have done four.

Wednesday we explored around the local city a bit, this is a picture of Kate and I getting lost looking for a local super market.

During the week we met up with Joe Tanaka and the Ceepo crew for a signing.
Athlete Signings can sometimes be a quiet affair, but at every one Ceepo have put on it has been awesome. Stacked with people asking questions, taking signing cards etc. Big thanks to Ceepo, Megan and Joe for making it great fun.

(Kate and I with Joe Tanaka)

We also had an extra Media event with the Major of Taitung who's really into sports and triathlon.
Picture of all the pros with him promoting the race.

The RACE (Photo's Courtesy of Darryl Carry "the legend"

With a 6am start it was the typical early start.
We were collected at 4:30AM by officals and headed to the swim start.

The usual business of pumping tires and organising nutrition was done and it was off to the swim start for a warm up.

A dive start made for a change.

The swim was taken out super fast by Dylan Mcneice and I was left swimming solo from the start. I settled into a comfortable pace and was quite happy to truck along alone.

I exited the water in 4th place just behind Little George. I made my way out onto the bike and was relieved to find I had good riding legs. It's always a bit of a gamble.

Pic's of me rocking my Ceepo.

I was riding well and started to bring back a little time to the guys in 2nd and 3rd. Then suddenly my shifter decide to detach itself from my bike and bounce along the road. I would like to say I handled this like a champ, but I was blurting out a few words that shouldn't be repeated. I rode backwards on the course and got off my bike to hunt for my shifter, lucky for me I found it and even luckier the bolt was still in it.

I then proceeded back along the course to the next aid station some 20K away to get it reattached. Unfortunately I was in my 53/25 at the time, so I was losing time. I was stoked that I kept myself together enough to make the right decisions. At the end of the day I'm not sure how much time a lost, but it would have been a bit.
That's long course racing though, at some point something is going to go wrong, your bike, your nutrition, your head or other. Shrugg it off and keep on trucking.

I came off the bike with Jamie Whyte (Fellow Kiwi) in 4th and 5th nearly 12 minutes down on Dylan.

I headed out on to run just behind Jamie and settled into a easy pace, letting my legs find a comfortable rhythm.
I really wanted to take it easy as the marathon scares me. To my surprise after about 2K I started to feel good and dropped to my goal pace of a 3 hour marathon.

As time and miles clicked by I started to hurt more and more, by the 30K point I was deep inside the pain cave, I dropped off my goal pace but managed to hold on to finish in 6th place overal. My soul still in tack. YES!!

My Time 8:46:07

Afterwards I found myself a place to sit and chill with some German style beer and food. (classic recovery)

Challenge Taiwan was an awesome experience, and a race I will return to. The organisation and course were great. A must do race in Asia.

Next up is 70.3 Busselton this weekend, so it will be interesting to see how the body backs up. I'm excited to race this weekend and feel I very relaxed.

Once again to my family, sponsors and supporters. Thanks for being the legends that you are.

blueseventy, Wattie INK, K-Swiss, Ceepo, Infinit Nutrition, Vision, Rolf Prima, 110% Play Harder, ISM, Recovery Pump, Churchill Cycles, Super Ruth Physio, Rocktape, nuun, Challenge Tyres, CompuTrainer, Ryders Eyewear, Jeff Shilt, Swimsmooth and Pete Mckenzie at Race Pace Coaching.