Race Report – IM Port Macquarie 2019.
After the months of training for Port Mac IM the weeks leading in to the race were chaotic with many changes and uncertain events occurring in my life. Needless to say that I really didn’t have time to think much about the race until arriving in Port Mac on Thursday.
This was to be my 9th Australian IM and 15th overall, so going to Port Mac is an annual event and an opportunity to catch up with friends, old and new. It was a great vibe in town and my days leading in to the race were enjoyable and relaxed.
After having the usual sleepless night and nerves prior to the day I was up at 4.30am on race morning for breakfast and to prepare for the event. After quickly filling my drinks and pumping my tyres I was out of transition in time to see the IM 70.3 start their race in almost perfect conditions. An hour or so later I had my wetsuit on, had said good-bye t friends and good luck to other competitors and was on the start line ready to go.
The rolling start is so relaxed and before long I found myself with clear water and easily able to navigate from the athletes ahead of me. The swim was smooth with no incidents throughout. At the weir I saw Royce and other friends and throughout the race thought of all of the benefits of my recent swim training with Phil at Dapto Pool. Upon exiting the swim I realized that I had one of my best IM swims ever with a 1.03.
Moving quickly through transition and onto the bike I was greeted by the many spectators in town before heading out over the rolling hills towards the Golf Club. At this stage I realized that the wind predicted for later in the day was already a factor in the race. As I reached the end of the hills I got in to an aero position and attempted to maintain this all the way to Laurieton. The ride back in to town was obviously much faster with the wind assisting. I am always glad to get to the half way point on the bike and to be back amongst spectators and to feel to atmosphere of the race. Lap 2 of the bike really wasn’t pretty- I found that I was alone for most of the lap and the wind had picked up at the same time my energy levels ha dropped, so from 90-130km was a real struggle. At Laurieton I was pleased to turn around for the final 45km of the bike, which I quite enjoyed and felt ready to run as I entered T2.
After a quick changed I entered the run course and for the first 5km had to work to slow my run pace down to my planned speed of 5.20/km- thinking at this stage how easy that pace seemed! The first 10km went by quickly and at the 18km mark I passed another competitor in my age group and Royce said that he thought I was in 2nd place. Leaving nothing to chance I decided that for the last 24km of the marathon I really needed to run as fast as I could to ensure I did my best race possible – 24km in the hurt locker is no fun! Despite how I felt I really enjoyed that crowd support all over the course from friends, training partners and total strangers.
Lap 2 and 3 ticked by and my pace had dropped to 5.25/km so my gal now was to run as consistently as possible for the final lap. My legs began to cramp and I had a sore lower back and hips but kept telling myself that I would be crossing the finish line in less than an hour. At the 38km mark, Nathan rode alongside me as I went to Settlement Point for the last time (in very dark conditions). I knew that I had the race in the bag and with no idea of what my overall time might be kept running as well as could be expected in the final stages of the race.
As I entered the finish line, with a sigh of relief I thought of all of the planning, training and hard work that had gone in to this race and of all of the people who had supported me to be able to race and to hear the words You Are An Ironman!
I was extremely please with my races results
Overall Time 11.07
Overall Place 2nd in 50-54 Age Group
Special thanks must go to my ever consistent Project M training partners and in particular Clarinda Sheeley, Will Beedles and Brad Robinson, the Nathan who often belive in me more than I believe in myself and allows me to do more than I thought possible, to all of my friends and family who have been part of my journey but most of all to Royce who makes many sacrifices to allow me to train and race this crazy sport and who is part of my team and my best spectator.
Leading in to the race I had thoughts that this may be my last Ironman, however from the moment that the start gun sounded I realised that this is my passion and is what I love doing! Writing this race report will signify the end of this triathlon season, however I already have plans for next season, including competing in Port Mac IM for the 10th time, with the aim of achieving legend status!