South Island Half Ironman, Lake Hood 2010

Time: 4:10:37 1st TEAM
Swim: 23:18 (me)
T1: 0:26
Bike: 2:16:38 (James Gibson)
T2: 0:26
Run: 1:29:49 (Jo Carritt)

Since I only did the swim this may be a little swim focussed (you have been warned). Lake Hood is a little south of Christchurch so the day before the race Jo and I did a great ride down there having secured a lift for our bags and the race organiser had sorted accommodation for us with Moira (who we’d met on the Five Passes) who lives right on the Lake. We could see the swim start from our bed ! Perfect set up for the race.

A very well organised and friendly race. It helped we knew most of people organising it. You were able to register at various locations and times which made it pretty relaxed at the race venue the night before as Jo and I helped out a little. I got to ride the measure the run course which was fun.

Race morning, I was relaxed and looking forward to blasting the swim. As I put my wetsuit on I rip a massive tear in the left leg.

Daniel thought he had something to tape it up with but couldn’t find it so I had to swim with this hole. Once in the water it was clear it wasn’t going to make any difference.

Had a great spot for the start and hammer from the gun trying for clear water. I was clear within half a dozen strokes but had someone on my feet. This last till the first turn buoy then I was on my own. At the end of the first lap someone bridged to me. I wasn’t bothered about someone on my feet as I just wanted the fastest time I could do so when they came alongside me but not to the front I thought it a little odd. They’d come on my inside so if we stayed side by side I would get blocked out at the next buoy. There was no way I was allowing this so as I neared the buoy I aggressively held my line  going tight to the buoy forcing them to ease and go behind me. As I went round I got caught in the ropes which I guess they did as well as I could see they’d dropped off as I swam away.

Kept pushing and approaching the finish could see this person kicking hard and sprinting to the finish. I had my usual hobble and loss of balance as I came out and running to the timing mat this person came sprinting up and I reckon they got a toe ahead across the mat though it was close enough we were given the same time. They tried to push by in transition but I held my line making them go by so we were first to exist T1. At this point I realised it was a lady… not sure it would have made me less aggressive if I’d known. Bevan had great fun with this later on the PA as he interviewed me and talked about how I’d got ‘chicked’ … me and the rest of the field !

I relaxed now whilst James headed out to hammer out the fastest bike split of the day and set a new bike course record in the process. He came in completely wasted, he could hardly run his bike to Jo to tag and spent the next 10 minutes almost doubled up. He’d given is all. Good to see how hard you need to go in a bike TT. He said his HR average was 175 … thats my max on the bike.

Jo had 9 minutes on the next team and 10 minutes on the lead men including our house mate Andy. My hope was we’d manage to hold on to win outright but with 10 minutes it was going to be a race. After a lap Jo was still looking super quick and in control and had only lost 2.5 minutes to the lead men. The second team was now nowhere near. And of the second lap (of 3) Jo still looked strong but had lost 5 minutes to the lead men. Andy was now running on the shoulder of the leader looking super relaxed and clearly this was making them shift along. It was pretty unlikely Jo would hold on.

It turned out they caught her with about a mile to go. Andy broke away from the leader to win by about 30s, Jo came in 3rd a further minute behind to take the team win.

My first experience of being part of a relay and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A nice combination of being part of the event and having time to chill out, support and enjoy the atmosphere. A lovely race which I would do again.

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