Rotorua Half Ironman 2012

It was gonna be a twosome at the Rotorua Half IM this year – Myles and I registered early and I had it in my sights all Winter long. Stuff always happens along the way, and I was unsettled from my fantastic winter of trail running with the annoying return of a calf injury; while Myles was busied with work and saw his intended training diminish into overtime. Come race week, Myles was sadly unable to even attend. So the fellowship of the tri was very solo. That is, until Heather jumped in as a super-supporter, and I had company again.

Race day was a calm and clear. The lake was flat and clear and I got off to a good start. My first 1k clicked off in 15min something, I held the rhythm and was very pleased with my exit at 32:xx. I took my time in transition to get my socks and gloves on – a bit nanna-like but its not a sprint race and I figure comfort means you can work harder for longer.

I took off up the road and was not delighted to note that my cycle computer had gone caput. Bad batteries. So most of the bike was done sans-technology. This was annoying, mainly from a pacing perspective. The new course is great. Lots of lake views and plenty of variation. I clocked over 1000m of climb too, which adds up. I had a good plan of eating plenty for this race. The only problem was that I went a bit hard and got a GI upset about 70k in. The best way through this would be some water to dilute my gut contents but I only had strong electrolyte juice in my bottles, which was sending my guts into more of a tiz (Lesson for next time). So I made the decision to stop drinking or eating to help my guts settle before they were bounced around the blue lake. My pace dropped in this last section, and I had already been passed by 20+ people on the ride. More long rides would certainly have helped, as I found my strength failing near the end.

Still, I got onto the run tranisition and was buoyed to hear Heather yelling in support. On went the racing flats and my tummy was feeling good so I headed out quickly. I made a point of getting stuck into my work, and the guys up ahead started coming back to me. My pace felt better than previous years and I was loving the course – 100% offroad, non technical trail. The sun baked down, especially the long leg out to the end of the Green lake. I whizzed past about 20 fellas and although I slowed a bit near the end (probably consumed 1 gel to little), I was very pleased with my split of 1:32:12. I finished in 39th place, 5:04:46.

Heaps of fun, and longer than I remember. Interesting to read my note from back in 2009. Still very applicable, and have I learnt anything??

“I was aiming to break 5hrs after coming tantalisingly close last year. I raced strong and smart, eating very well and not getting my heart rate too high in the ride but ultimately didn’t have it in me on Saturday. I finished in 5:08:35 and was still satisfied with a good race. More fast rides and more long runs is my prescription for next time. Perhaps less calf injuries too.”

Merry Christmas y’all

Mike

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