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2010 Busselton Ironman - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Busselton, Western Australia
24C / 75F
Total Time = 10h 43m 24s
Overall Rank = 322/1294
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 68/224
Pre-race routine:

3 crumpets with honey, 1 x gatorade, 1 x banana, 1 Gel before entering the water and 300ml Gatorade
Event warmup:

none unfortunately1
  • 1h 10m 55s
  • 3800 meters
  • 01m 52s / 100 meters

Once the pro's took off I kissed the wife and my son and made my way to the beach start, started feeling a little emotional at this point but I quickly sucked down a Gel and got in a mix of suited up triathletes and walked on the soft sand. The start line was about 30m from the shore in waist deep water. I positioned myself about 5 or 6 back and in the middle of the line to the end of the jetty. The buzz was electrifying but funny enough all my nerves settled once they played the National Anthem and all went silent. The announcer said we had a minute to go and wished us all luck. Then "Bang" we were off. The first 200-300m were tight and i kept clashing with people. I didnt panic because I knew that I would find some space soon. Before I knew it I was swimming clear water and I was being drafted by someone!! For the first 1900m I had someone on my toes the entire way. The first buoy was very tight and everyone bunched up again. Once again I didnt panic and it cleared by about 200m. The swim home was great and I started to pass quite a few groups. I planned to swim easy for the first half and pick up my pace on the second. I found that when I was 400m from shore I had plenty in the tank to sprint home so I started kicking harder and pulling stronger. I think I passed 50 people in the last 400! Getting out of the water and not feeling out of breath or dizzy was a big difference to my previous races. I had was able to jog fast to transition.
What would you do differently?:

I probably should have swum and a harder pace but I knew it was going to be a long day so I didn't want to burn all my energy on the swim. I don't know if this was the right strategy as it was my first ironman but maybe I could try it in the Half. With no swimming background I am quite pleased were I finished up in this swim.
Transition 1
  • 03m 57s

As I ran into transition I yelled my number and i was given my Bike Bag. As I entered the transition tent I struggled to see an empty chair but I managed to spot one and sat down and started getting my gear off. Before I knew it a helper was ripping my suit off my feet and packing my swim gear back into my bag. I was amazed and grateful and I couldnt stop thanking him. I then had someone slap some more cream on me and before I knew it I was on my feet and heading out to find my bike on the racks.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing....I love the organisation and volunteers. Brilliant!!
  • 5h 17m 52s
  • 180 kms
  • 33.98 km/hr

As I got on my bike I had a strategy to take the first 1 hour really easy. I got passed by everyone and I mean everyone. People were flying by me and I would normally have taken off with them but I really controlled myself this time. My plan was to feel like I was taking an easy ride with my friends. After 30 minutes went by I started taking in some food. I took a salt capsule, I x Gel and I also ate a powerbar. I drank half a bidon also. I kept my eye on my HR and stayed in a High Zone 1/Low Zone 2. The second hour I lifted to Zone 2 riding. I found that I was passing people and I was really comfortable. I ate a power bar each hour for the first three hours because I didn't want to take any solids during the second half. I also had a Gel and a Salt capsule each hour throughout the ride. I worked out the course was a headwind out and a side wind back, some tailwinds but not much. The third hour went past pretty uneventful but I did pass a lot of people. During the fourth hour I knew that I did something right... all those fast guys that flew by me in the first hour were all struggling, they were sitting up out of there aeros and you could see in the face that they were tired. I started picking them all off one by one. I felt strong at this point and I started to push in Zone 3 for the final hour. I knew I felt good but I also knew I had a marathon to run so I made an extra effort to not push into Zone 4 and I was really happy because I passed more and more people in my steady pace. It was great seeing my family each time I rode into town. Having them there was like a prize each time I finished a lap. I pretty much stayed aero for 98% of the ride, only getting out of my position on corners and when changing drnks. I took two Voltarens 30 minutes before the finish to help with my groin pain. During the final 500m I stretched my back and did a few quick 10 second spinups to get my legs ready for the run.
What would you do differently?:

Not a lot I could have done differently. Once again I maybe could have pushed harder but being my first I had no idea what that would have done to my run.
Transition 2
  • 03m 10s

As you get off your bike and head to the transition tent a helper grabs your bike and takes off to rack it for you. I didnt know this happen and I left my Garmin watch on my bike. Once I got ready to run I had to make a quick dash to the bike transition area to grab my watch before I took off for the run.
What would you do differently?:

Take of my Garmin earlier so it was on my wrist before I dismount.
  • 4h 07m 30s
  • 42.2 kms
  • 05m 52s  min/km

Once I started running I felt really confident because I felt really good. I was surprised at just how good I felt. My plan was to run the first 10km at a 5:58km pace and then the remainder at 5:38/km. I really struggled to run at 5:58 and constantly had to slow myself down. Once again I was being passed by what felt like everyone! The first 10km went by, the supporters were fantastic, they yell your name and cheer you on because you have your name on your race number, the people at the drink stations are so friendly you almost want to stay and chat but my plan was to take 30 steps in each aid station. I was still feeling great. I was given my first wristband (you got a black wristband for each lap you complete, once you had three they gave you a red one so you could run down the final chute) and I was happy to see my family in the crowd. The second lap went by very much like the first and I was still feeling good but I knew something will happen soon, everyone says you hit a wall at some point. It was around the 30km mark that all that feeling good was now gone and I started to feel sore in my quads and feet. My pace was exactly where I wanted it and I kept saying to myself to just hang on to this pace and it will all be over in a hour or so. I started feeling cramps at about the 32 km mark and I was worried it would be the end of me. I didnt want to make my stride and longer or kick my legs any higher because I could feel a cramp each time I moved out of stride. I saw my wife and son and I told her I am hurting...she said keep going you only have one more lap to go! I pushed on but my pace was now slower than my goal pace and even my slow first lap pace. I hung on hoping for an aid station to appear because I could get 30 steps to relax. I started eating everything at the aidtstations, Watermelon, Jelly Beans, Oranges, Pretzels and Cookies. They never tasted so good all together in my mouth he he.! I also planned to start drinking cola on the last lap. Cola ended up being my drug of choice for the last lap as it gave my a kick until the next aid station. Everyone around me with three wristbands was walking at this point and I was still running, slowly but I was still running. I think I passed close to 100 people on the last lap as I lost count. When I got that red wrist band I knew I was only 400m to the finish line and I started getting overwhelmed. I saw all my training flash past me and I knew my family would be waiting for me. I pushed on and as I went past the gate to the finish chute this time they let me in because I had a red wristband on. It's absolutely amazing to run down that chute with people cheering for you and then hearing your name called "Jeff Grbelja, You Are An Ironman!!. I looked up and saw that I went sub 11 and I was really please with myself. I crossed the line and I was immediately grabbed by some volunteers who helped me down some steps to head to the massage tent. I then heard my wife and son call my name and I went over to them to give them a massive hug and kiss before I walked to have a photo and a massage.And food!!!!!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing...I think given everything I ran a good marathon. I ran the entire way (except for the 30 steps in the aid stations) and I felt I could not have given any more. I knew I would slow down toward the end but my race plan was to delay the slowing down as long as I could. this was my first marathon so I had no other experiences to base my run from.
Post race
Warm down:

Massage and food. I wanted to get out of the competitor area and see my family so I grabbed some food and walked out. I was in such a rush to see them I didnt pick up a t-shirt so I had to go back and grab one :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

More training but I do feel that I went as fast I could given my fitness level.

Event comments:

I love this race!! I would do it again without thinking but I need to convince my wife :) I've got 10 days to do that.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-03-05 12:00 AM
01:10:55 | 3800 meters | 01m 52s / 100meters
Age Group: 146/224
Overall: 691/1294
Performance: Good
Suit: Yes
Course: Around the Busselton Jetty and back
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 21C / 70F Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:57
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
05:17:52 | 180 kms | 33.98 km/hr
Age Group: 71/224
Overall: 319/1294
Performance: Good
33km - 32.31km/hr 60km - 35.66km/hr 93km - 33.55km/hr 120km - 35.87km/hr 153km - 34.45km/hr 180km - 33.05/km/hr
Wind: Strong
Course: 60km 3 lap course - some hot mix but mostly gravel roads
Road: Rough Wet Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:10
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
04:07:30 | 42.2 kms | 05m 52s  min/km
Age Group: 72/224
Overall: 322/1294
Performance: Good
Course: 4 laps of just over 10km each.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2010-12-06 8:12 AM

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Subject: 2010 Busselton Ironman

2010-12-07 2:04 AM
in reply to: #3237913

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Perth, Australia
Subject: RE: 2010 Busselton Ironman

Fan-bloody-tastic. Awesome, awesome, awesome. You absolutely nailed this race. Not only did you finish an Ironman, but you did an unbelievably brilliant time. So many people have to walk large parts of the marathon, not you. Now when you tell people you ran a marathon, you can tell them that you swam 3.8k and rode 180k before you ran!!!

It must be cool to have all those helpers on hand in transition, and to get a massage afterwards!

Wow, what an inspiration. Yep this is definitely on my bucket list.

Enjoy your rest week, you deserve it! I hope Mrs agrees to let you go again ;-)

2010-12-07 3:54 AM
in reply to: #3237913

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Subject: RE: 2010 Busselton Ironman
What Magda says......!
Awesome mate, stunningly awesome.  To think you wanted a sub 12 and smashed a sub 11!
And a great RR to match it.  I could feel your emotion and to go through that must be an amazing experience, one I now have to do!  Just got to decide when
Hope to catch up with you at Busso and shake the hand of an IRONMAN!!!
2010-12-07 7:04 AM
in reply to: #3237913

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Perth, Australia
Subject: RE: 2010 Busselton Ironman
what a great RR, I really felt like I'd been there, the emotion in it was fantastic and so inspiring.  I'm not surprised you blitzed your target time; your preparation has been disciplined, dedicated and meticulous and you got the result you deserved.  I know your family must be so incredibly proud of you, as are we. You're an IRONMAN, wow.  Sorry, I have to type IRONMAN again because it's just so incredibly cool.
2010-12-07 2:39 PM
in reply to: #3237913

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Perth, WA
Subject: RE: 2010 Busselton Ironman
See told you that you would nearly be single digits! Awesome effort! Great race strategy. Too often people go way too hard out on the bike and run just to crash and burn later. I have done this myself. Always stick to your plan and rely on your fitness and determination to get you through. Well done.
2010-12-08 6:39 PM
in reply to: #3237913

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: 2010 Busselton Ironman

So freakin awesome! Congratulations IRONMAN Jeff!

I love that you stuck to your race guns, not getting caught up in the moment and it so totally paid off.

2010-12-10 5:27 AM
in reply to: #3237913

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Subject: RE: 2010 Busselton Ironman
Congrats Ironman!

Great job on pacing on the bike and run to be able to execute well and finish both strong. Patience when others are passing you is hard, but clearly you got the reward of passing so many at end of bike and end of the run.

Great race report..thanks for sharing your day with us~
2010-12-10 8:28 AM
in reply to: #3239234

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Subject: RE: 2010 Busselton Ironman
Thank you everyone !!! I'm now suffering post ironman blues  

Just want to get out there and start training again but I know that recovery is just as important and I will bounce back stronger. It's like quitting smoking all over again...I'm a nervous wreck!!

Hurry up Busso 70.3 !! 

Edited by grbelja 2010-12-10 8:30 AM
2010-12-18 6:48 PM
in reply to: #3237913

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Subject: RE: 2010 Busselton Ironman
Jeff, what an incredible race! I got choked up just reading about it.   And what a smokin' time!
Those post-race blues get me every time.....only one cure......take a nice rest and start getting
excited about the next one. :-)
Well done - and thanks for keeping so many of us inspired.
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