Tuesday, May 7, 2013
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" www.darrylcarey.com)
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.