Sunday, 6 March 2011

Ironan New Zealand 2011: HAWAII QUALIFICATION

Ironman New Zealand 2011

First time I’ve managed to get online properly for the weekend and even now I’m on a dongle in the car, so just a quick update.

Hopefully the tweets kept everyone posted on how yesterday went, but here’s a quick overview from my point of view.  

After the run collapse demons of last year I needed to go out and have a clean, level race and that’s exactly how it went.  The swim was good, a solid 56mins with no drama.  Quickest T1 of my AG and out onto the bike.  I felt fantastic on the bike and was able to ride within myself and still cruise through the field.  I got into a pace line of about 8 guys and we rolled through the first lap, picking up a few as we went.  When I checked the watch after the first lap I was on 2:25 for 90k.  Terrified I’d gone to hard (I rode 5:18 last year, so 4:50 seemed a bit eager!) I dropped off and rode almost the whole second lap on my own.  I eased my HR down under 140 and rolled through the rain.  I couldn’t stop smiling, it was just like I’d run through so many times in my head.  I kept thinking how the rain was upsetting everyone else and I was loving it -21 degrees and a bit of rain is a great days riding in the UK!!

I’d hope to hit T2 in 6hrs but wasn’t disappointed to have slipped back to just 6:04 but I needed the confidence that easy lap on the bike gave me.  Another quick transition and out onto run.  Now I was danger zone with no idea if I’d collapse. I kept reminding myself the race doesn’t start until 10miles into the run so I took it super easy.  I let half a dozen guys (and Jo Lawn) run through me and I settled into 4:30 pace for a 3:10 ish marathon.  I hit the 10.5k turnaround and started to feel really good.  Running back into town with a bit of headwind I was in an incredible state, it just felt easy.  I was holding myself back at 20k – what a difference a year makes.  

Out onto the last 21k lap I took a body check and everything seemed ok.  The legs were tired but didn’t yet feel really damaged, I was still getting the fuel down me and I just needed to keep moving.  I think I negative split the 2nd and 3rd 10.5k’s.  I’d told myself I just had to get to the 31.5k turnaround and then it was so close to over it didn’t matter.  In the end it pretty much worked, k’s 30-35 were tough but I treated myself to loo stop at 32k just before the largest hill, a drag up to the airport, and new I”d feel great after that.  I lost 70secs but it made all the difference as I had a spring in my step as I hit the hill.  From there it was just holding on until 36k when I let myself go and gave everything I had left.  The last couple of k’s I got down to about 4:30 and I was killing it. That’s what 226k does to your legs I guess.

At no point did I have any idea where I was in my Age Group.  I was counting people at the turnarounds and I knew I was in about 50th place after 10k of the run, but I wasn’t able to spot who I was overtaking as everyones body marking had washed off in the rain.  I had it in my mind that 9:29 was good enough for a slot last year so I was pushing for sub 9:20 and just doing everything I could. Turns out I caught 6 guys on the run and just missed the 7th who finished 5th 8 seconds ahead – perhals I shouldn’t have been showboating on the finish line.

It was an anxious night last night as we didn’t know for sure how many Hawaii slots would be allocated in my age group.  In the end the pro-rata distribution ended up giving 6 slots to 30-34 age group and when we went to check the results this morning my name was in highlights! 

After nearly 4 years chasing this slot it was a pretty emotional moment and it’s still not really sunk in.  But I’ve paid my money, and got my certificate.  Funny, suddenly it seems so easy…

I’ll write again soon and will try to get some decent pictures online.

All that remains now is to work out how the hell I pay for this and how hard I want to train this NZ winter.

Thank you all so much for your on-going support I would not have achieved this without the friendship  and love of so many people. 

Thank you Laurence x


Anonymous said...

I am so Happy for you mate, well deserved!!! and great race, well planned and paced! ;o) really really stocked for you...! Awesome!!
Tony B

smorgasbord-design said...

Was checking your live results through the bike phase. Astonishing speed throughout and what a cherry to have made Kona. Delighted for you. Better hope for some more British Summertime conditions in Hawaii :)

Laurence Pidcock Triathlete said...

Thanks guys. I am over the moon. Tony I'll be after you for Kona advice and some winter training rides?!

MattyB said...

I still wasn't sure if you had made it Laurence - should have known to check the BLOG. Love it mate, glad to have been part of some of the preparations for such a perfect race. And yes I remember the first time I met a friendly and enthusiastic pom on one of Dave Creamers training rides last summer who talked about dreams of Kona - well congrats you have made it.