I have just spent the weekend on the NSW coastal town of Port Macquarie racing in the Ironman Asia Pacific 70.3 champs (1.9km swim/90km cycle/21km run). I have fond memories of racing there, finishing 2nd place in 2011, and have been wanting to return ever since.
Thankfully all the stars aligned this year and I managed to get on the start line fit, healthy and ready to race. I have had a consistent block of training since Challenge Gold Coast which was in August, and was looking forward to seeing where I was at.
Arriving on Friday evening I was welcomed by my awesome home-stay hosts, , Sonia and Darrell Nash. They went above and beyond to make sure I was settled in and had everything I needed for the weekend. I honestly can't thank them enough!
The race kicked off for the pro women at 6.46m Sunday morning. I felt great during the swim, super relaxed and in control. I exited the water with the main pack of girls, with a few girls up the road. After putting in a solid winter of swim training & seeing improvements in the pool I was stoked to see my form transfer to the race course.
The 2 lap, 90km bike course had a bit of everything…rolling hills, short sharp climbs, flat sections and a bit of wind. It was a super solid ride and the hills sure sapped some of my energy. However, I managed to get in all of my nutrition and my Avanti Chrono TT rode like a dream, so all was good!
I had a quick transition and exited T2 in 4th place, ready to tackle the 21km run. I felt pretty average for the first 8km or so and dropped back to 6th place at one stage. I had a brief thought that maybe today just wasn't my day. However I quickly got rid of any negative talk and worked through the rough patch. I started to feel better on the 2nd lap of the run and managed to work my way up to 2nd place. The main goal now was to stay strong and make sure I held on to that 2nd place, which thankfully I did. I was so happy to make the podium after narrowly missing out at Gold Coast a few months back. I even got to do my first podium Champagne shower!!
Thanks also to Brooks, Avanti and Gav & the crew at Salisbury for the ongoing support…you guys definitely take care of me!
Well done to all the athletes who raced, the organisers, volunteers, supporters and the town of Port Macquarie for putting on such a fantastic event…I will definitely be back!