Monday, November 10, 2008

Victory at Port Macquarie

You may notice the speed to which good news goes to press as opposed to bad news!

Today I won the Port Macquarie Half Ironman, in 4.36. I was very happy and relieved to get the win. I was really nervous before the race as it was my first one as a defending champion and target on my head. I was pre race favourite and predicted by commentator Pete Murray to win by a country mile- even more pressure!

I’m feeling really good post Kona. I took 2 weeks completely off, and then put in a solid 2 weeks of training, more quality than volume. And it’s worked. I feel like I am somewhat back in race shape, in a very short space of time.
Thanks to husband and coach Kristian of

I had strict instructions to hammer the swim and bike. I did well in the swim, a 26.41, and not too far off the leading females.

I was really looking forward to the bike and riding my brand, spanking new Kestrel Airfoil SE, woo hoo! She is beautiful. However, it was only her second time on the road, the first being only 40 mins. I was sooo keen to ride her. I know you shouldn’t change things just before a race let alone a whole bike…

So anyway I had a couple of “mechanicals” that I am glad to say didn’t affect the outcome.

Throughout the ride I could hear scraping and scuffing. It was my front aero drink bottle hitting my front tire. A 47cm frame is too little for it. I thought about ejecting it. But with the way I organise my nutrition I really needed to have it.

Suddenly at about 25ks my position on the bike seemed to have changed. I was thinking, “What’s happened?” “Is it my imagination or am I now feeling in a bit of a weird position?”
My seat had taken a nosedive to a 45-degree angle! I was sliding forward off the front. I gave the seat a tug to see if it was going to come off. No, it seemed to be solid. So there was no way I was going to stop, I didn’t have time. There were far too many girls too close behind me. So I spent the remaining 70kms uncomfortable, continually shifting backwards, and wondering what toll this was going to have on my legs.
I did recall Bek Keat’s seat incident in IM Australia where she actually went on to win the race, so I thought I could cope for 65kms.
So after a challenging ride in pretty windy conditions, I eventually caught the leading female in the last 10ks, actually an age grouper. I really wanted to be first off the bike, and put in as big a time gap as possible between the trailing runners and myself. I have never been first off the bike before, it was a great feeling.

It was such a shame I didn’t get to fully enjoy the new bike. But it’s the first mechanical I’ve had in any race in my whole time in triathlon! I’ve never even had a flat. No, I’m not jinxing myself.
So anyway let my silliness be a lesson to you all! You don’t make changes that you haven’t had the chance to test just before a race!

I was really pleased with my run. I decided to go off quick, and really had to maintain it if I wanted the win. I was averaging just under 4 minute ks until I hit the hills. Tara Prowse was about 400 metres behind me, and I didn’t think she could go faster than that to be able to gain on me. It’s a time when you have to have confidence in your own ability and confidence that you know others. It’s a gamble. Lucky for me it paid off. I think she worked hard on that first lap to try and catch me, and faded on the second. I felt strong, and got myself into a rhythm, tapping along. I ran a 1.26. It’s a PB for me on this course.

I’m very happy post race that I don’t have much muscle soreness at all. It’s very surprising considering the undulating course. I put it down to my higher run cadence.- Best thing I ever did. Another thank you to Coach Kristian. (just trying to make up for forgetting him in my speech☺)

So I’m really confident that I’m well on track for IM Western Australia that is now only 4 weeks away. The style of training that I’m now doing under Ironguides means that I’m able to recover and back up, mentally and physically, in a shorter space of time. Which means more racing, which is what it’s all about.

Thank you to Bernard and Scody, who not only are the major sponsor of this event, but one of my major sponsors. I spent Saturday doing a photo shoot with team Scody; Tim Berkel, Adam Holborow, Bek Keat and Kristian, and had a lot of fun.

Another one of my sponsors, who also sponsored the event was High5. Again I had an excellent stomach and energy levels. Thank you.

Thanks to Craig and Nicole of Blue Seventy who were on hand race morning to make the final adjustments to my wetsuit, and to queues of Blue Seventy athletes.

Thanks to the local organising committee who are so passionate about their race. That’s why it’s one of the best. To the local bike shop, Gordon St Cycles, who helped me pre-race- and didn’t have anything to do with the seat!

Thanks to all my other sponsors; Kestrel, BioCeuticals, Nike, Zipp, Timex, Tri Travel, 3T, Oakley, Hypo2, Alkalife, Cep, TP Therapy and Compex and Daryl Philips my ART guru at Performance Health Newport.



Balance Point Racing said...

Great race report Char! I can't believe you had to ride on that loose seat! I did that once on the first day of a three day race, and I was cooked for day two. Amazing that you were able to pull off that run. Congratulations.

Christophe said...

Well done Charlotte!
There is nothing like a win to get back into it :-)

Intrigued by the new training approach...will need to call Koach to find out about this new 'secret' method!