The Sea Was Angry that Day!
I arrived in Busselton on the Thursday after getting up early at 4am and leaving Adelaide on the “Redeye” at 6am to Perth, incidentally I actually woke up with a “Redeye” as well which is quite ironic as I had a burst blood vessel in my right eye, so I was thinking this was going to be “one of those weekends!” Once arrived in Perth I made my way down the Highway toward Busso stopping off at Bunbury Primary along the way for a school talk with Ollie Whistler. This was going well until Ollie asked the assembly of grade 4’s why the young girl at the back was wearing a different coloured uniform! I cringed at this point thinking maybe she was a special ed student or had some sort of issue, but lucky for me she was in the school skipping team, so we were obligated to watch a skipping show from the skipping team. So a big thanks for bunbury primary for making us feel welcome.
I arrived in Busso at 4pm after a long day on the road and was eager to build the new Specialized Shiv TT bike back up and go for a quick spin to loosen the legs up. I just signed with Specialized a few weeks before the race and had only been on the bike twice before the race. I was lucky enough to get a BG fit from Craig at the concept store and this was a massive gamechanger for me as I had never been fitted on a bike before and suffice to say I felt amazing the day before I left with a whole new setup which included different size cranks, seat length, change ring, bar width etc. I am lucky enough to be part of the Shimano Global team which have awesome componentry and a lot of the gear is fully adjustable such as the Missile aero bars which we changed dramatically.
I had a great night sleep Thursday night as it was my first night away from my new born baby girl so I took full advantage and got a solid 12 hours! Suffice to say I felt great and Saturday was quite cruisy with the press conference in the morning and the kids triathlon in the afternoon which a lot of the pro athletes attended and we had a blast handing out the medals to 200 kids.
Race day was an early one which is always good in Perth as being on eastern time its easy to wake up early! The weather for Saturday was quite pleasant with a slight chance of rain, but the biggest factor and main talking point was the ocean, non withstanding the “wildlife” but most of all the chop which had come up on shore. This would favour the stronger swimmers for which there were numerous with names like Mcniece, Hodge, O’Grady, Bell, Mckenzie, Crawford, Bailey etc. On paper I knew this would be a factor as when you throw in a few short course ITU athletes it can make the pace a lot quicker, which I wasn’t ready for and quickly ended up in a group with Whistler, Millward, Mackay and a few others. We went the wrong way a few times in the chop and this caused us to slow down and eventually we came out in a slow 28 minutes which was disappointing as my swimming has been going great. I decided to put this behind me and put my head down in chase of the leaders up the road.
I felt really great as soon as I jumped on the Shiv and managed to find a good rythm straight away. I looked behind a few times and noticed I had Millward and Mackay with me as Whistler had a crash on the first corner coming down hard but with no major damage luckily. At the first turn I noticed that Hodge had a good lead on a group containing Mckenzie, Bell and O Grady. By the end of the first lap I had reeled in Crawford and Bailey and was feeling good as I put the hammer down on the main straight at the start of the first lap. There was a slight tail wind along this section and I remember hitting 53km/h at some points, this enabled me to get away and try and hook up with the leaders which I did at about 70 km.
Once I caught the group I sat back a bit and decided to save my legs for the run as I came in to T2 with Mckenzie who had a great transition and left me chasing in 3rd with Hodge 1min 30 up the road. James Hodge was having a great day and I was told about him by Joe Gambles in Melbourne at the ironman as a man to watch, he is only 20 and won the U23 race in Devenport ITU and he was super strong across all 3 disciplines so I was not surprised with his performance. On the run I caught Luke at the first turn and started to feel really good as I got to within 45 seconds of Hodge but the hard chase on the bike started to take its toll on the last lap. A big shout out must go to Justin Grainger who helped me out on the 2nd lap of the run by allowing me to sit behind him into the head wind section, so thanks Jus.
Overall I hung tough for another 2nd in Busso (thats three 2nd placings in four races) with Callum Millward in 3rd about a minute back on me. Times on the run were a lot slower than last year with the wind where last year I ran 1.14 and overall times were slower as I came across in 3.56 a minute behind Hodge. Some great positives came out of this race for me with a super strong bike time of 2.06 and a solid run.
A big thanks to all my sponsors which include Nev from Ryders who is a local WA resident and is always fun to catch up with out west, Shimano, Specialized, Saucony, SIS, Back in Motion, Scody, Wattbike, ATS Altitude, Xterra.
For me now its back home to my girls and time to get the kms in for Cairns Ironman next month, I finished 2nd there last year and hope to go one better so fingers crossed!
Thanks for all the support.