Sunday 4 December 2011

Ironman Western Australia is a flat fast course – perfect for first timers or PB’s, but it can also be brutally hot. So there were daily checks of the weather forecast leading into this years Ironman Western Australia (Busselton) and every time we checked there was a different forecast. 36 and sunshine, 26 and early morning thunderstorms, 32 and late thunderstorms. So it wasn’t going to be until race day until we found out what exactly we were going to get – and even then it wasn’t guaranteed.

The welcome dinner on Friday night is always great for first time Ironman athletes. Inspirational stories, video’s and last years race day montage always gets the excitment going and nerves starting to kick in. Quote of the night from Pete Jacobs Montage ‘EAT THE PAIN!!’ hilariously funny but at the same time realisation that there was going to be many athletes on Sunday remembering this moment. And when it’s written in chalk all over the footpaths you can’t escape it. So nothing else to do other than eat it!

Sunday and athletes are up before Sunrise. 3am to be exact as race day rituals kicked in, baked beans on toast, rice-cream, crumpets, weetbix and porridge all on the menu. Not a bad mix to get you going for the day! Heading down to the transition area and you could feel the nervous tension in the air as 1500 athletes went through their last minute preparations before heading down to the swim start for the 5.45am age group start.

The 3.8km swim is one of the most scenic swims (for the spectators anyway!) as athletes swim around the famous Busselton Jetty – which for the first time in years is open to the public so spectators can follow athletes during the whole swim leg. Athletes swim the 3.8km anywhere between 45min and 2hours, with our athletes sitting anywhere between just under 1 hour and an 1hr 16min.

Heading out on the bike course for a 3 lap 60km loops and the wind (and heat!) started to pick up during laps 2 and 3. So the going started to get tough and everyone knew it was going to be a hot run leg! Although as athletes started to head into T2 and onto the run, cloud cover came over and rain started to fall. We thought this was going to be the relief that was needed. But it didn’t last long and all it brought was hot and humid conditions! Not what the doctor ordered as you head out for a marathon run after swimming 3.8km and riding 180km!

The run leg was tough. It was hot, high thirties as athletes struggled to stay cool walking each aid station 2km apart and making it to the next to refuel and rehydrate. Races can be made or broken on the run. And Sunday was no different. But thanks to our cheersquad including Sarah, Margs, Jen, Elle and Jay the guys all got through and made it to the finish line to be called an IRONMAN!

Ironman racing is not for everyone. But if you haven’t watched an Ironman – you have to put it on your bucket list. Even if you never do one, the inspiration and motivation you gain from watching such amazing efforts from so many individuals is so inspiring for your own race goals. We look forward to the next Ironman races in new Zealand and Melbourne in 2012 – which are going to be HUGE!

Tri Alliance Athlete Results:

  • Mark Hyoms
    With a goal of sub 10hours leading into the race, we new it was going to be close. Mark new what he had to do and with a great leadin apart from a small calf niggle 2 weeks prior to the race, he was set to reach his goal – if only the course wasn’t 300 long! 😉
    1:10.11 | 5:18.48 | 3:23.38 | Overall 10:00.45, 17th in age group
  • Marina Jurjevic
    A kona spot was on the cards for Marina, a survey of last years results, and which girls were racing this year and we knew a 10hr30min would get her a spot. And she not only got her spot she smashed her goal AND came away with first place in the 30-34 females. Truly inspiring!
    1:16.16  |  5:18.11  |  3:38.24  |  Overall 10:19.18, 1st 30-34 and KONA qualifier!
  • Ollie Allan
    Rolling around for his 3rd Ironman, leading his troops into this great race. The ellusive Kona spot still lies in wait as 3 flat tires on the the 2nd lap of the bike left him chasing for the rest of the day. IM Mebourne is next on the cards.
    1:03.23  |  5:20.42  |  3:50.49  |  Overall 10:22.34
  • Dan Brueckner
    For those who have been watching Dan training leading into this race, you could not fault his dedication and determination. If there was a 4km swim set, he would swim every metre, if there was a rest day, he would take it. He would nail every single session, recover when recovery was needed and his progression has been phenominal. Dan has been a model athlete and it has been OUR pleasure to train him to his first IM. Dan had a sub hour swim, superb bike ride, but the back end of the marathon was tough in the heat. Now for IM Melbourne!
    57:58  |  5:07.07  |  4:24.40  Overall 10:39.28
  • Brett Archbold
    Heading into the race with his longest run being at Shepparton Half IM just months before due to a back injury Brett new it was going to be a tough day and it was. But his unselfishness on the bike leg is what we will remember. Stopping to assist Ollie with his flat giving him his only spare tyre and pitstop in order for Ollie to continue in the race. Hats off to you Brett.
    1:05.06  |  5:24.05  |  5:07.30  |  Overall 11:45.41
  • Brett Parker
    Brett has been flying (literally) under the radar as he completes most of his training in his own time as he flies around the country for Virgin as a pilot. Busso was set for his first IM and the achivement of completing his first was amazing. Will he do another? Well he’s locked into Melbourne, so let’s say yes! But the answer may be more definate when we ask him in a few weeks when his legs start functioning again. 🙂
    1:06.20  |  5:56.20  |  4:37.39  |  Overall 11:54.00
  • Greg Nugent
    Greg was heading into his 3rd Ironman and his 4th only a few months later in Melbourne. Greg knows what’s required to finish an Ironman and he was going to do that again in IMWA. But one of his goals for this race was to officially be called an ‘IRONMAN’ as he crossed the finishing line. In his first two races his name wasn’t called out as he crossed the line so he was sure this race was going to be his. But alas – it was not to be. Looks like you’ll have to try again in Melbourne Greg!!!
    1:12.05  |  6:16.19  |  5:10.42  |  Overall 12:51.52

Final words from our Ironman Winner Marina Jurjevic:
“The week leading up to my first IM, I was nervous. Come race morning I felt relaxed and calm. As soon as the starter horn sounded I knew what I had to do. So I got through the swim, I rode like a woman possessed and ran that marathon with purpose. When Sarah told me I was first off the bike I was in shock and it was at this point I knew I could leave nothing out on that course. The support from Jay, Sarah, Margs, Elle, Jen and Erika the entire day was something else. Seeing the other guys racing out there also pushed me along. Rounding that final bend into the finishers chute was better than any race finish. It is something I will cherish forever. You only get one first Ironman and I couldn’t have asked for a better day. Thanks everyone for your support.”

Next years Ironman Western Australia has been set for Sunday 9 December, with entries opening THIS Friday 9 December 11am (Melb time). If you are thinking of entering, and you are doing an IM for the first time, make sure you speak to one of our coaches before Friday. For registration details CLICK HERE.

Congratulations and well done all,
Team Tri Alliance

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