Words cannot possibly describe the event that was Ironman Melbourne. Whether you raced, supported, volunteered or cheered. I’m sure you will agree this race will be remembered in many ways. You couldn’t but be moved by the amazing efforts from our Ironman athletes – leading from the front Coach Ollie in his massive achievement – 4th age grouper overall and earning himself a spot to Kona. Brett Archbold in pulling out a massive 30min PB and getting a sub 9.30hour. Mark, Dax and Jono on breaking the magical 10hour barrier, Marina getting on the podium for the 2nd time in as many Ironmans, Dan, Steve, Jay, Kev, Brett P, and Gordo clocking up another IM and Pommie Olly, Irish Paul, Anna, Morris and Dean all first time Ironmen. Keep reading to hear about their expriences….

Ollie Allan – Swim 57:11, Bike 4:43.54, Run 3:07.35 Total 8:54.22, Place 2
“The most sureal moment of my life. The race was a blur with the sounds of support from the Tri Alliance athletes and friends. The swim was fast found myself with Dan out of 1600 athletes, go figure! I was even looking at him, touching his feet and trying to get his attention. Cramps in the last km of the swim, I thought I was going to be in trouble but found myself flying out of the water and wanting to do a sprint T1, rookie mistake and lost my bike in transition and forgot my second gel bottle but once out on the bike and the massive roar of the Tri Alliance crowed it carried me to a massive first 90km with a 2:17. Tougher second lap but felt like I could keep pushing past the competitors. Gain 120 spots on the bike.  T2 was quickest with a 1.30, just left my stuff lying there for the volunteers to pick up.  They were fantastic!
Got off on the run worrying about my calf that had earlier cramped up in the swim but immediately settled in to low 4’s. I saw Jussie, Dave and 3 other screaming to them. Where am I??  The reply was 10th in my age group. I admit this deflated me knowing how hard I had gone 5:45 off the bike. Got my head back together started taking back a bunch of athletes and only one athletes past me within the first 15k. Little did I know it was the guy the beat me. At the 15k mark I finally got an update from The fantastic Dave Nealon telling me I wasn’t in 10th I was in 4th and almost at that time I saw 3rd spot and the chance off my first podium. I patted him on the back and wished him well as I pushed on.

Incredibly now I was catching the lead women including Bek Keat Just before mentone and finally reached the first amazing Tri Alliance drink station with 40 of them reving me up. It only spurred me on to find the next bunch of 3 in my sights with 2nd place a realisium. My spirits increased as I new they were hurting. Ran past and had one come with me at the same time Miranda Carfrae came past. I knew it was the run for the line then. My next stop was JC’s Ghost Bike,  I must admit a tear appeared. The run for the next drink station was most important and knowing the hype and cheer.
The feeling coming across an Ironman finish line is like no other – and to do it knowing I had qualified was surreal. I’ve been on a high ever since. I am also a super proud coach – to watch each one of my Ironmen cross the finsih line and share in that moment is what this game is all about. Congratulations to each one of you. You did yourselves proud!”

Brett Archbold – Swim 1:00:58, Bike 4:54.31, Run 3:25.44 Total 9:27.14, Place 14
“Reflecting now a couple of days later, I have to say IM Melb was awesome! I had an ordinary swim, fairly good ride and a great run! Did the whole race ‘nude’ after losing my Garmin in the swim, and super pumped to come in at 9.27.14! A bit devo at missing a Kona spot, but am already excited to see how much improvement I can get out of myself in the next 12 months! I only realised today that sunday’s was the first full marathon I have run, and ran a 3.25, so am super pumped to see how much time I can knock off that!”

Dax Stanley – Swim 1:04.04, Bike 4:54.20, Run 3:38.57 Total 9:44.44, Place 38
Jono Tucker
– Swim 1:06.59, Bike 5:16.27, Run 3:18.08.35 Total 9:51.13, Place 12

Mark Hyoms – Swim 1:11.00, Bike 5:18.57, Run 3:14.03 Total 9:53.51, Place 44
“The swim was the swim, it’ll never be over quick enough.The bike was supposed to be fast, but not for me – perhaps two bike sessions per week wasn’t enough.  Struggled with stomach on way out first time and motivation second time – for me it was a boring five plus hours.  The tunnel descent on the aero bars at full speed was the (short) highlight. The point to point run was excellent, support superb the whole way and for me great to run past a lot of the field.  Certainly a feel good way to finish the race.
Glad I did it?  Yes. Would I do Melbourne again (retirement aside)? Nope”

Dan Brueckner – Swim 56:43, Bike 5:03.15, Run 3:56.04 Total 10:07.39, Place 66
“IM Melbourne was my 2nd IM after Busselton in December – while finishing in Busselton was a great achievement, the second half of the run was very difficult for me due to the hot conditions and not being able to run strongly to the end which while being happy to finish admittedly did leave a bit of a slightly disappointed feeling.

Luckily I had convinced myself and Elle that I should be part of the first ever IM held in Melbourne – being able to finish 2km from home in front of a home crowd of family and friends was just too good not to be part of – and in hindsight the race on Sunday exceeded my expectations after what felt like a sprint of a training campaign – if you can call an IM training campaign a sprint that is… Compared to the Busso training it was only 10 weeks from the Falls Creek altitude camp at the start of January until 2 weeks taper before the race. Busselton training went from late May after the Busso 70.3 until mid-November.

Swim time 56:43 – improved by a bit over a minute compared to Busso, got into a nice rhythm in a big group who navigated through the dark for me so that was one less thing to worry about J

Bike time 5:03:15 – 4min improvement from Busso even though my race could have been over 500m into the bike when I came off going through a roundabout – that’s where I got the scratches from for those who followed the posts from TA yesterday – but other than scratches and a bent aero bar everything on the bike worked like a treat – very lucky break right there. Eastlink is bloody awesome to ride on – the bike just hums along.

Run time 3:56:04 – sub 4h and over 28min improvement from Busso, took a while to get into but felt good and strong towards the end managing to pass people through the hills between Mentone and Brighton. Loved the point to point run, aid stations every 2k and the support along the route was just awesome, especially at kms 22 and 38 from the TA crew – certainly gave an extra boost!

As a summary and recommendation from me, if you’re planning to do an Ironman, this is a bloody good one to do – fast course, great support, awesome finish line. Admittedly we had perfect conditions on the day, cool and a southerly breeze, I guess it made up for those training days in pouring rain and searing heat. Now returning to a more normal life with less training, it’s been a big 1 1/2 years, time to focus on other things for a while – apparently kids take a while to grow up – back to sprint and OD racing for me. Thanks to everyone who supported me along the way, firstly of course Elle, I know it was hard at times, all the training partners – great work team on Sunday – and coaches at TA, especially Ollie, what an amazing race you had, so good to see you reach your goal and best of luck in Las Vegas and Kona later this year.”

Marina Jurjevic – Swim 1:13.00, Bike 5:13.20, Run 3:35.13 Total 10:08.02, Place 5
“My lead up wasn’t great, but racing on home turf (as well as trying to stay in front of as many TA boys as possible) definitely gave me the boost I needed. 11 minute PB and 5th place in my age group. Fantastic event to be part of. Ironman number 2 done…Kona here I come!! 🙂 “

Steve Akin – Swim 1:05.29, Bike 5:11.57, Run 3:57.24 Total 10:24.27, Place 54

Anna Greaves – Swim 1:11.34, Bike 5:54.09, Run 3:42.22 Total 10:58.03, Place 8
“I loved it the pain and all! Cruisy swim even with a few kicks to the head, transitions are awesome with all the helpers although I still took a casual 6 minutes, hehe, the bike leg was long and definitely your mind starts to play tricks on you, mixed thoughts and emotions, but with the constant movement of passing and being passed a couple of toilet stops then before you know it your putting the runners on. The run what can I say it’s crazy but awesome with so many people cheering you on your legs just keep ticking over, the pain definitely kicked in hard at the 36km mark with a torn calf but knowing the end is so close it’s all you can focus on! Best day Ever!”

Jay Mueller – Swim 1:11.48, Bike 5:29.32, Run 4:06.19 Total 11:00.27, Place 150
You can share Jays experience here…. 😉

Kevin Fountain – Swim 1:23.15, Bike 6:02.12, Run 3:39.15 Total 11:17.58, Place 135
“Awesome event! It’s so great to race on home turf and have everyone turn out and support. TA is certainly an athlete’s dream with the amount of support at the aid stations and at other points of the course. It helps to get you through those dark moments. That and a 35 week old pregnant woman who popped up everywhere (thanks Lynne!!). My race didn’t go exactly to plan but every race is different and you learn from each one. However, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world and I have a new found love of the magic of black gold (aka coke) to give you that extra push. The size of the medal alone is worth the entry fee! Well done to everyone who took part as there were some awesome performances out there by seasoned and new Ironmen. It was great to join you on the journey we all took.”

Richard Oliver – Swim 1:15.35, Bike 5:48.15, Run 3:59.33 Total 11:18.06, Place 171

Chris Smith – Swim 1:21.27, Bike 5:38.21, Run 4:12.08 Total 11:24.02, Place 141
Was really happy to finish the race even if it was a bit slower than I had hoped.  My swim was about where I thought it would be, my bike leg was good (and a PB) but in the end my legs just didn’t have it (I wish I had have had those couple of Panadeine Forte earlier in the run cos they were MAGNIFICENT).  Brilliant atmosphere at the end..it was a great finish.

Paul ODowd – Swim 1:25.54, Bike 5:42.45, Run 4:28.47 Total 11:50.37, Place 50
“Well, where to begin.. Ironvirgin to Ironman in 11.50 hrs, albeit down on my goal time but the event, training and post-race celebrations make the that irrelevant especially when it’s your first one. What made this day so good was when a few of my mates stated “I thought the Ironman was an individual sport”. Says a lot about the support on course, and that I say thank you very much. Without that support the day would have been so much harder. I laughed a lot at the start of the run, a supporter just before Seaford shouted at me “nearly there”. Was he for real does he know long it takes to run 35 km at my pace.. I appreciated his words but c’mon mate I’m still  fu#$ing hrs away I said in my head, and that was the first of the negative thoughts that was lodged in the head, the only time the boy box (place where I put things that are too difficult to deal with)  didn’t work. Laughed about it post-race though. I would like to thank the TA support crew, what a great job, my Training mates and especially coaches. Thanks again for guiding me and giving me the tools to become an Ironman. Just so you guys know, they didn’t call me an Ironman when I crossed the line, so need to do another one so that they do, I think that is only fair? Love yas all..have a wonderfull off season..see you guys around the town for some tile tapping..love your one and only Irishman.”

Brett Parker – Swim 1:10.56, Bike 6:02.23, Run 5:28.20 Total 12:56.57, Place 249

Gordon Spargo – Swim 1:24.45, Bike 6:29.22, Run 5:02.25 Total 13:15.46, Place 10
“It dosen’t matter where you complete an ironman, the start is always nerve wracking & Frankston in the dark, was no different – you could feel the nervous energy as we entered the water and waited to get underway. Some sooner than others? The swim was clean and cool, and quickly over – well perhaps not that quickly!! The bike course meet expectations, apart from the smell and sound of guns firing around the Thompsons Road area – the most pleasing part, the pros didn’t catch me & I didn’t get a speeding ticket at Wellington Rd. Finally onto the run, the worst part – the never ending stretch of road between Frankston & Mordialloc, and the best part – the amazing support of the Tri-Alliance Aid Station teams. You guys rock.  Finally, always fantastic to run down the finish shoot with support of family & friends. Well that was Ironman number 5, & even at my age, I reckon I have another one in me!!!!!”

Morris Celeca – Swim 1:21.53, Bike 6:04.53, Run 5:49.38 Total 13:33.00, Place 216

Dean Hawkins – Swim 1:29.13, Bike 6:55.26, Run 5:07.36 Total 13:53.55, Place 279
My Ironman Journey… “Overall it was simply an amazing day. The weather conditions were perfect – no wind, no rain, not too much sun (In fact none at the start.) The swim seemed a little disorganised at the start but for a back-of-packer like myself a minute here or there wasn’t a concern. But after getting underway I found some open water and just swam. Before too long it was over. Easily my best swim ever!!

Transition was hilarious. After grabbing my bike bag I was ushered into an area full of men of all ages in various stages of undress, volunteers were removing wetsuits, it was full of laughter, and from the sounds coming from the other side of the tent the girls were having just as much fun.

On to the bike and off to Eastlink. The first lap was great. Enjoyed the scenery, loved watching the elites and top age-groupers fly past me going the other way. They are simply like machines. The second lap wasn’t as much fun. The wind has picked up slightly, the legs were getting a little tired and my bum was starting to hurt. But on I continued until reaching Frankston again. Off the bike and into transition I went. Not quite as packed and funny this time but still an experience. Loved chatting to the volunteers who obviously thought we were all crazy.

Out of transition and onto my favorite leg – The Marathon!!. Not being a stranger to the Frankston to Melbourne marathon course I felt confident of finishing and really just wanted to enjoy the run. And wow, did I ever. Friends and family had made there way down to see me at various stages of the run. Some stopping at several spots along the way to cheer me on. Combining them with the general public that had come out to watch and all the voluteers, there wouldn’t have been more than a couple of hundred metres  run without someone cheering you on the little bit more. The first Tri Alliance aid station as at 22km. Great to see some familiar faces and the noise could be heard from very far away. The run got a little harder between 30 & 35k but as I got closer the crowds started building at popular locations and I knew I wasn’t far from the Tri-Alliance 38k aid station. Rowdy found me on her bike at around 36k and gave me a bit of an escort, wernt therough the aid station with huge cheers and applause and even a hug from Bernadette. Then it was just the run to the finish. Had a friend join me at Elwood who had a Go Deano sign so for the last 3k everyone knew who I was. And the finish? Wow, what can I say? The noise, the music, the lights, the sea of hands reaching out over the barriers – everything was so surreal and amazing. Finished in just under 14 hours. Very, very happy with the result and would recommend anyone thinking of doing it to do it. It will be an experience you’ll never ever forget. Congrats to all TA athletes who did amazing jobs, especially Ollie but we wll know that now. I’m looking forward to repaying everyones efforts next year!! Thanks so much!”

Team Brett & Jools – Swim (Brett) 1:03.28, Bike (Brett) 4:53.26, Run (Jools) 4:09.17 Total 10:06.12
“Team Brett and Jools – After an average swim (by me) the ride was very fast and felt very strong. The goal was sub 5 and conditions were great but to go 4.53 (including both transition times) was a bit of a shock! Jools then set a cracking pace for 30km in the marathon until calf soreness saw her ease off the pace for a solid 4hr marathon split. The TA support out on course was amazing thanks so much!! It was truly a brilliant event.”

CLICK HERE to read full athlete results and splits from Ironman Melbourne.

Quotable Quotes from the race
“I have blisters from the cow bells!” From one of our volunteers at an aid station
“I feel like I’ve done an Ironman!” An eager supported who clearly supported hard!
“Ironman is for fat slow people, that’s why it suits me” Will remain annonymous! 🙂
“I’m never doing one of these again!”
…. next day…. “maybe I could do another one..”
“Tri Alliance Rocks!”
Dave Orlinski running through our aid station

CLICK HERE to view a selection of photo’s from Ironman Melbourne

Now bring on Ironman Melbourne 2013!!

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