After 16 hours & 35 minutes I finished Melbourne Ironman 2014 in one piece. I was hoping that we’d have a pleasant day with not to much wind, we ended up with 14c overcast & windy, but that’s Melbourne. The water was icy cold when I first hopped in but managed to keep breathing under control, it was a good swim for me with a PB of 1.27 for the 3.8k swim a good start to the race.
Heading out on the bike I was pretty excited,all decked out in our donate life kit & bike with the east link being a very smooth stretch of road. I average 27kph on the first 45k, then turned around into the wind where the next 45k was an average of 21.9kph. After 90k I felt confident of doing around 7:30 for the bike, however the last 45k back into the wind really knocked me about & was struggling to keep my breathing under control. My bike time for 180k ended up 7hours 51 minutes, not what I was expecting but still another PB.
When I started the run leg I felt pretty good, a little short of breath but legs were good & my first goal was to make the 19k checkpoint by 9pm. After walking the first 1k so my legs could realise they weren’t peddling anymore , I started jogging, the plan was to run 2k to each aid station & then walk the length of the aid station. At 8:25pm I reached the 19k checkpoint so was able to focus on what I needed to do to reach the finish line before the 17hour cutoff.
Meanwhile my wife Leanne was about 30 minutes behind me fighting to stay in the race after having to deal with a fellow competitor having a panic attack in the swim & dragging her underwater. Leanne made the 19k checkpoint with 5 minutes to spare, unfortunately her race didn’t pan out as planned. While running down a section of track she felt a twinge in her left knee, by the time she had reached the 26k mark her race was over with a suspected torn meniscus . By this time I’d reached the 33k mark & was feeling pretty confident of backing of the pace , while still making the finish line. Just as well I’d set the early goals as by the time I’d reached the 36k mark my legs had decided that running wasn’t an option anymore & I could actually walk faster than I could run. But with only 6k to go & 90 minutes till cutoff I could afford to walk.
You learn a lot about yourself & your body when completing in Ironman races, everyone has a different story about how there race panned out. Mine was. About what I thought, I knew at some stage breathing would become an issue & the legs would struggling. My inhaler intake for the day was very high as it is for theses races, but without it I’d never make the finish line.
I crossed the finish line, 15 minutes quicker than Ironman Port Macquarie & feeling very satisfied. Thanks to all the people who hung around to everyone finished, great atmosphere. For now a period of recovery before back into hard training for Ironman Cairns in 11 weeks .
Russell & Leanne