Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Taiwan 70.3

Taiwan 70.3

Well it didn’t start off to plan

Our flight leaving Perth was delayed which meant when we landed in HongKong we were in a mad rush to board our next flight. (Perfect way to start the day after an over night flight)
The good news we made it, the bad news the weather was to bad to land in Kaohsiung which meant we had to land In Taipei re-fuel before returning to Kaohsiung. Bad times because that meant we missed our train connection to Taitung. (Still I’d rather miss a train than plow into the air field in a ball of flames, So i shouldn’t complain. )

Once we landed in Kaohsiung we made our way to the train station (massive thanks to the Ironman Taiwan team for helping sort our connections and tickets) we grabbed the train that saw us arrive in Taitung at 7pm that night. While unloading our bikes from the train which made traveling through airports with a bike case a dream I lost my iPhone. Which almost put me over the edge. As you know losing a phone these days is MEGA PAINFUL especially when social media is part of your work. Still I held back the tears and carried on with only huge amount of complaining… ha…. 

What topped it off was the next day we were drying our clothes on a rack and I looked at a bag underneath these dripping wet clothes and through “ha that looks like the bag that carries my passport” BECAUSE IT WAS.. I pulled out my dripping wet passport and proceeded to have a small melt down… Kate and Ruth took control of the situation and dried it out. We think I’ll be alright to fly to Malaysia tomorrow… (Time will tell)

But the Positive:
I LOVE coming back to Taiwan. I’ve had some of my best races here, the Ironman team of Renny, Shiang, Queena ,Joe and the rest of the team treat us extremely well and we’ve always enjoyed racing, training and being a tourist while in Taiwan.

This time round I was wearing race number #1 which was a privilege. I was really pumped, it’s not often you get the number ONE bib so when you do it’s pretty awesome!


I knew i was fit even though I’d raced IMNZ Three weeks earlier. I felt the body had bounced back quickly and I was ready to give it my all on race day. 

We participated in the swim leg of the 5150 the day before the 70.3 which was a lot of fun, packed our gear and went to bed early. I slept for nearly 8 hours which is crazy and most likely because the overnight flight and stress was catching up with me. 


I woke feeling refreshed, which was great because the previous day I felt like 14 buses had simultaneously run over me, then all of them had reversed.
race day saw cooler than usual conditions for Taiwan, which I wasn’t disappointed about. 

The swim was smooth, I felt a little flat but wasn’t to worried, exiting the water I heard I was 2min down to Peter Kerr, but in 2nd place. 

Freddie Cronenberg was with me out of the water and we pushed hard on the bike to try and make a dent into Peter’s lead. To my surprised at 65km a group of 3 caught us, I thought I was holding good power, but obviously not high enough. We rode out the last 25km together and then the real fun started. By fun I mean running near max holding as high a heart rate as possible and trying not to blow up. YAY GOOD TIMES!

5 of us started the run close together with Peter 90 seconds or so ahead.
Freddie and I started running together in 5th and 6th place. If you know Freddie you know he’s a quality runner and I thought if I pace off him I’ll make it close to the podium. We ran shoulder to shoulder or single file for the entire run. We both thought we’d bring back a few runners in the late stages of the run, but it wasn’t to be our day with 2nd- 6th all finishing within about 2min of each other. Freddie knew we were fighting for 5th and was surging me relentlessly in the last 5KM of the race. In hind sight his ability to change pace so often is impressive although at the time the word Impressive wasn’t what i was thinking.:). He was putting me in the hurt locker again and again, but on that day I felt like we were tethered together and in the final 200 metre’s I launched the best attack I could muster. This resulted in my adductors cramping and Freddie closing the gap back up just as we hit the finish shoot, I gave another surge and got a VERY SMALL gap on Freddie and finish is 5th place. The worse part was Freddie finishing in 6th, he’s a great guy and we’ve had many battles over the years. Usually it ended with Freddie running me down or running away from me, It seems we are both becoming more even over the 3 disciplines. 
This will go down as one of my most memorable triathlon battles. The other being last year in Taiwan with Christian Kramer. (Taiwan seems to be the home of epic battles for me)

Freddie and myself post race

Me post race. Probably could have chosen a better back ground.
Renny and the guys chilling post race

In the end I’m happy with the performance, sure I would have liked to be a few places further up the field but I gave it all I had on the day and I'm happy with the result. 

In other result news, Kate finished in a very close 4th and had a good all round day. Our friend, travel companion and GK Endurance Athlete Ruth Chang finished in 2nd in her age group (just 46sec off the win) putting together her fastest ever time and grabbing a spot to 70.3 Worlds in Australia this year. I think Kate was more excited than her!!

The last 48 hours we’ve spent at awards, riding, site-seeing, eating, talking, socialising and of course packing our bikes up. Good news Ruth lent me her spare iPhone so until I lose that i’ll be back on social media which I might have an addiction to!!

We are racing Malaysia 70.3 on the way home to as we thought it was a good choice to hit two races with one set of flights. (Although when I look at the weather app and it says, 38 degree’s but feels like 46 degree’s I think we may have made a bad choice!) I’ll keep you posted on that one. If you don’t hear from me I’ve probably melted or forgotten who I am due to heat stroke.

Thanks again to the Ironman Taiwan team for the support and of course all my awesome sponsors . Until the next time, which happens to be in 5 days. )

The swim course

Kate, Ruth and myself soon after Ruth stomped home a PB 

Kate right after her 4th place finish

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ironman NZ


Taupo NZ. No Filter, which seems hard to believe doesn't it? Probably the best sunset of my life or at least my memory!
The IMNZ GK Crew from left to right, Anthony, Justine, Kate, Mick and Guy

Race day doesn't get much better in NZ, Light breeze, 13-26 Degree weather. You couldn't have scripted a better day for an Ironman race. (IMNZ has had it all too)

My Prep has been absolutely awesome. I've been riding and running faster and further than ever before.

The GK Endurance crew Plus Kate and Jeff have really helped me get into shape and I know the season ahead will be my best yet, this is in no small part thanks to them.

Our accommodation in Taupo was "Sweet as, Choice and Mint" all rolled into one awesome word which currently doesn't exist.
Kate on the balcony, The run course and swim course are right out the front. The start just 1.7KM to the right.

The Rocket ship ready for battle.


I woke up to a still morning and thought I was in the twilight zone. "Taupo, no wind? WHAT"

The usual pre race check went to plan, I chatted with Callum Millward before the start and he kept me entertained with his witty one liners until it was time to get in the water.


The Swim start was fast and for the first 2KM I felt like we were moving really well. (My perceived effort my high) then on the return journey the pace dropped and I was swimming comfortably behind Paul Matthew's.(I know this due to his kick pattern under the water, yes it's strange.. Sorry Barny) I soon figured out why the pace had dropped when I saw Clayton Fettel slowing moving backwards through our group (Kinda shark like). I figured he had enough of towing us round and was letting some-one else do the work, Unfortunately none of us come from the same swim pedigree as Clayton, so the pace stayed comfortable for the return trip. At one point I felt Clayton Grab my leg and I thought" Is he going to drag me under or use me as a propulsion device"? But to my surprised he pushed me forward and basically shot me ontop of Paul. It cracked me up and I had a chuckle in the water to myself. I never got to ask him why that happened but I figured he was making room for himself as we were swimming single file .

With a 46min swim under our belt we exited the water and ran hard to T1. I was trying to limit the amount of lactic acid I produced during this 500m Barefoot run. ( I didn't succeed.)

Onto the bike and we quickly settled into a hard sustainable effort. Terenzo, Paul and Dylan were just up the rode and I was in a group of 4 riding strong until about 45KM when Cameron and a group of 5 other riders caught us. Then things got a little crazy!!  It wasn't until we caught the front of the race at about 60km did the pace settle back down again.  I paid close attention after that, So I way always close to the front. At about 130KM our group which was 12 Plus guys (after lap one) had dwindled to 6 riders.  I looked at my watts and thought "hmmmm, this is pretty hard"so I covered my screen with a gel wrapper. That's normal right?

heading back into town from Reporoa turn around 150KM (I think) Is that aero?

Callum Millward and I sharing a moment about 100km into the ride.  He looked over to find me staring at him, then looked away and back again to find me still staring at him, then we both started laughing. 

Coming into T2, I felt good, I had a spring in my step and was happy with how the day was unfolding. I went out onto the run holding 4min/k or just over and thought this isn't to bad. Until I saw the spilt at 14km and realised that holding just over 4's mean't I was 5min down to the front. WTF? Still I kept my cool and held my pace, This race was about me getting the best from myself. By the time I hit 21KM in 1:29 I knew things were getting ugly still I braved it out and said "it will get better" hahaha... I flat out lied to myself. The next 21km was an emotional roller coaster, I kept hurting myself and pushing myself but the legs weren't moving as I had hoped they would. I lost 20min over the next 21KM running a 3:19 marathon. I made my choices on the day and I  still think they were the right ones. I feel like we are so close to that "Great Ironman" and I'll keep battling on till we get it. I got to the finish line  and hugged my family. Mum, Grandma, Brother, Sister, Kids, and extending family who had come to watch us race, this was for them as much as it was for me.

1st lap 10KM, Running and pretty happy

Second lap 23-25km sort of running and pretty un-happy
The Finish line, giving my nephew Ben a high 5. Back to being happy again!
I finished in 11th in a time of 8:43:28

My horizons have changed since winning 70.3 Taiwan last year, I know what it take's to get back on the podium and I plan on making it there! Ironman NZ was a stepping stone for the rest of the year and I know I'll gain the benefit's of a hard early season IM soon.

Big thanks to my training partners for getting me ready to rumble. In particular Brad Kaye for getting me bike fit again, Kate and the GK Crew for the constant motivation and dailey support.

My family the Crawford / Bevilqaua's and my family of sponsors, You are all amazing and the relentless support you give is second to NONE!! Thank-you!!

Next up is 70.3 Taiwan in just a few weeks. Stayed tuned and thanks for being the legends that you are!

Below are a few pic's for our travel's in NZ.

Kate is afraid of the cold water! Me and the go pro aren't.

Chateau Ruapehu 

heading up the Ski-lifts. falling out would be VERY unforgiving this time of year!

Karen and Kate at the highest cafe in NZ. 2030m 


Getting my selfie on. Our Accommodation. 
Another selfie blueseventy style, water and sun!!

Taupo water make's for some great underwater pic's. Kona eat your heart out!

Clouds below us on Ruapehu