Port of Tauranga Half Ironman - Triathlon

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New Zealand
SMC Events
Total Time = 7h 13m 4s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Honestly this was a strange build up for an event as big as a HIM. I suppose its because of the elephant in the room, being IMNZ in March looming, this is the first time an event like this isn't an A goal for the year.

Anyway, Friday morning I cleaned and lubed the bike, packed everything up and drove down to Tauranga, arriving around 4pm. We checked into the hotel, and made our way to the registration to check in. Then off to transition to rack the bike, and give myself a bit of a walk through, so I wouldn't take a wrong turn on the big day. Got body marked after racking the bike, so all that was left was finding a restaurant for dinner, and early to bed.

Woke up at 4:30am, had 2 pieces of PB toast for breakfast, walked the 10 minutes to transition where I set up all my stuff... and discovered that for the 3rd HIM in a row, I would be racing on a windy day. Guess I'm just lucky.

There was about half an hour till my start after I finished prepping my transition, so I got into the wetsuit, ate a muesli bar and finished my bottle of water. And then it was show time.
Event warmup:

No warm up to speak of. Was a little latter than I would have liked, so had a short jog to get through the pre start timing mat and off to the swim start on time.
  • 32m 29s
  • 2000 meters
  • 01m 37s / 100 meters

I didn't take enough care to position myself in clear water at the start, So I ended up spending the first 3-400m of the swim in the melee. Unable to swim over those in front, at times I had to stop swimming to try and find some clear water.

However, once around the 2nd buoy, the field spread out and I was able to get in clear water and do my thing comfortably. I made a slight navigation error here tho, turning to sharply and swimming towards the 4th buoy, not the 3rd. However, i did notice my mistake soon enough to avoid too much extra being swum.

Around the 3rd buoy the leaders of the wave behind me caught up, and I spent the rest of the swim in traffic. The final leg of the swim was odd, I found myself over a sand bank, which shallowed out as I got closer to the finish. Once I started touching the bottom with my hands, I stood and walked the last 100m of the 'swim' (as did most of those around me)

I'm not sure what the current was doing. As the swim was a box course at least half of it should have been up stream. But, I was over 5 minutes faster than expected. Somehow we must have had some great current assistance.
What would you do differently?:

Start on the outside of the pack, not the middle.
Transition 1
  • 04m 55s


It's a long day, and to be honest I wasn't too worried about a couple of minutes. I walked through transition, and put on gloves/socks etc before moving the bike.
What would you do differently?:

The socks were a pain to get on. I need to do some bike training without them so I can go that way in a race.
  • 3h 27m 47s
  • 90 kms
  • 25.99 km/hr

I know I'm not a great cyclist, so had no big expectations here. Based on my training I was expecting a 3:30 - 4 hour ride. So I'm quite happy with the 3:27 I posted.

My plan was to take the bike nice and easy, to do my own thing and not try to stick with stronger cyclists who I knew would be overtaking me all day. And over all I think I stuck to my plan pretty well.

I started the ride very easy, taking maybe 10 minutes to build up to race pace. I then maintained a pretty constant speed out until the first turn around, 20km into the ride. The next 25km back to transition was going to be into the wind, so I downshifted 1 cog and again tried to maintain a consistent effort.

After the half way turn around the 2nd lap was the same plan as the first, maintain a good constant effort, without blowing up my legs. Which I did, up until the return leg of the 2nd lap. This part of the day was tough, into the strongest wind (which had been increasing all morning) and across the roughest tarmac of the ride, I started to struggle. I had to remind myself the plan, "take it easy, there's a long run after this" So I stopped trying to hit the same speeds I had been, downshifted and spinned my way through the slowest part of the ride, until back onto smoother surfaces when I was able to pick up the pace again.

Druing the ride I drank every 10 minutes, water on lap 1, and alternating between water and electrolytes on lap 2. I swapped bottles before any were empty, but probably drank 2-2.5 bottles during the ride.

I ate 1 gu, 1/2 banana, 1/2 muesli bar per lap, and also had about half a bottle of powerade during the middle 1/3 of the ride.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. For my current fitness I'm happy with my effort.
Transition 2
  • 04m 57s

Another slow one. Took it easy to give myself a breather.
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 02m 58s
  • 21.1 kms
  • 08m 40s  min/km

The run is what this race was all about for me. My whole goal for the event was 'don't blow up on the run' as I have done in my previous 2 HIM's. I knew that the run was not going to be pretty, so I went into the race with a conservative run/walk plan of 60 sec run: 30 sec walk, when on tarmac, and walk the uphills, run the downhills on the off road mount track section of the run. Also, to walk the aid stations and make sure I got fluids. In the back of my head was if it was to easy, to increase the run intervals on the 2nd lap.

Success was defined as being able to maintain the consistent run/walk strategy throughout the whole run. Something I haven't been able to do before.

I didn't want to start the run to quick, so many times in the past I've shot out of transition at 5min/km only to fade, and fade fast. So I made the decision towards the end of the bike, to flip my 60:30 run walk for the first few km of the run, and only run for half a minute at a time.

After 2km I was starting to feel in the rhythm of things and switched back to my planned 60:30 ratio. And for the first 6.5km of the run that plan worked perfectly. My speed per km ranged from 7:27-7:53/km, exactly where I had expected it to be. But, 6.5km in we hit the Mt Manganui base track, a gravel path around the mountain. As I said above, my plan was to walk the uphills and run the downhills, but man it was brutal, and I confess that I walked more than I would like in this point.

Once back on the road I got myself back into the same run/walk rhythm as before as quickly as I could. And this is the part of the race I'm happiest about. It was slower than the first lap (8:18-8:45/km) But consistent. The wheels had not fallen off.

At least until the 2nd lap of the Mount track. And to be honest, most of that was a walk, The hilly offroad nature of the track was just too much. But, I didn't stop walking and again, when I rejoined the road for the last kilometer to the finish got back up to an 8:23/km run/walk.
What would you do differently?:

I finished with a run time of 3:02:xx I'm sure I could have found 3 minutes during my 2 laps of the mt track. If I had pushed harder there a sub 3 hour run was possible.
Post race
Warm down:

Straight into the recovery tent. where they had ice cold chocolate milk, and iceyr colder beer.

Best. Recovery. Tent. Ever!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

An excess of weight, and a lack of fitness

Event comments:

A great race. Mostly flat fast course, other than that damn mt track.
Had a great time, and will be back.
Just maybe not next year.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2017-01-10 12:00 AM
00:32:29 | 2000 meters | 01m 37s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: Blue70
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:55
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:27:47 | 90 kms | 25.99 km/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:57
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:02:58 | 21.1 kms | 08m 40s  min/km
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4