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Port of Tauranga Half Ironman - Triathlon

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New Zealand
Total Time = 7h 02m 19s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

This was my first triathlon in 1,421 days. The first triathlon since adding children to our family and definitely my first triathlon with a not quite 6 week old in the house. So things were going to be different.

Travelling with me were Mrs Bullfrog, Mr 3, Miss 6 weeks, and my parents, to support and also help out in the child wrangling. We all drove down to Mt Manganui the day before race day, and checked into 2 apartments, about 10 min walk from the race site.

Friday night was check in at registration. super fast, no queues to speak of, rack the bike then back to the apartment for an early night.

Up at 5am on race morning, 2 slices of PB on toast for breakfast. Delivered Mr 3 to his Grandparents who would be joining us later in the morning and off to the race site about 5:30.

I felt very, very nervous ahead of this one. No actual vomiting, but the butterflies in my stomach had been upgraded to genuine nausea. Worried about almost 4 years since a triathlon, and jumping back into a 70.3 without trying some smaller ones first. Worried about a total lack of swimming since little mss arrived (2 swims in the previous 8 weeks). Worried that I was the heaviest I have ever been when doing a tri... lots going on in my head.
Event warmup:

No warm up to speak of. Just into the water, line up and go.
  • 36m 59s
  • 2000 meters
  • 01m 51s / 100 meters

I started at the back of the pack to let the fishes take off ahead of me. The nerves didn't disappear immediately, and it did take a few hundred meters to get into a rhythm. But by the time I was round the first buoy I was feeling pretty comfortable, if a little concerned how long i would last before my arms gave out.

I was in a pack, for the first 2/3 of the swim, which I must have helped give me a draft. There was also some current assistance in the first half of the swim. which helped lower the times.

On penultimate buoy rounding I ended up being pushed a bit wide, and found myself on my own for the rest of the swim. As usual in Tauranga, the swim got a bit shallow towards the end, and the last 100m or so was walked into the beach.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Absolutely stoked with the time. Yes it was current assisted, but all 4 500m splits were faster than 2min/100m according t the Garmin. So no question I did better than I had hoped.
Transition 1
  • 04m 33s

pretty slow. walked didn't run through transition. Struggled a bit with the boa system on my bike shoes, it was the first time I'd put them on without using a chair.

Also, starting the bike a rider in front of me ejected 2 water bottles, 1 of which I ran over. Fortunately didn't cause a crash or flat... lucky.
What would you do differently?:

practice with the boa system more.
  • 3h 08m 29s
  • 90 kms
  • 28.65 km/hr

20 minute improvement on 2017.
9 minute PB over the 70.3 distance. (previous PB was 60lbs lighter...)
So happy with my ride.

I have been working hard on my bike riding the last 18 months. Lots of indoor interval sessions. So I had high expectations.

I took the first 5 minutes to take it a bit easy, recover from the swim and get into the swing of things. Then it was down into aero bars, and push some watts. With Tauranga being a predominantly flat, straight course my plan was to stay in aero, and every 5km when the garmin beeps sit up, stretch my back and eat/drink something. (nutrition was snake lollies, hydration water, 1 BTA with straw for aero drinks, and 1 bottle on the frame for refills)

The first section of the ride I kept things easy, averaging around 28km/hr. Once I hit the flat, smooth highway section I upped the effort a lifted my average to 30-31km/hr. After the turn around that dropped a little as we were facing a head wind.

For the 2nd lap of the highway I knew the return would be hard due to the rising headwinds, so pushed on the outwards leg, averaging 31-32km/hr. On the return I tried to hold my power but my pace started at around 28km/kr and dropped to 25km/hr by the end of the highway.

A short downwind section allowed me to cruise along in the high 20's while out of aero, stretching my back out, before the last 15km back to transition, speeds ranging from 25-29km/hr.
What would you do differently?:

Judging from the run that followed I likely over biked. I think a more consistent effort, especially on the highway section would have helped. Otherwise I'm happy. I was in aero most of the way around, ate and drank well, and matched my expectations for speeds.
Transition 2
  • 03m 44s

Again, walked not ran through transition. Nothing much to report. Put run visor/race belt on before shoes, should have done shoes, and put those on once running.
What would you do differently?:

Apply more sunscreen!
  • 3h 08m 36s
  • 21.1 kms
  • 08m 56s  min/km

Well the run kinda sucked.

To be brutal with myself I didn't push hard enough, especially on the 2nd lap and allowed myself to walk too much.

Out of transition, I did my usual trick and ran too fast. First km in 7:20 (inlcuding a walk through an aid station) 2nd in 7:24. When I was aiming for around 8min/km that was way too fast. Kilometers 3-6 I got into a bit of rhythm, paces ranged from 8:00-8:34/km depending on when the aid station walks happened. But I was struggling. Despite running approximately the paces I expected to I felt so slow.

Around the mount track (gravel, hilly etc.) the plan was always to walk the climbs and jog the down hills. That's what happened on lap 1. Looking back at Strava after the race, I acutally went faster round the mount track this time, than either of my laps in 2017... so with hindsight things were going ok.

After the mount track, back into my slow shuffle/run, 8:19/km. But then at the first aid station on the 2nd lap, I gave myself permission to walk. I 'power walked' the next km in 9:37... "that's only 1min/km slower than my run" I told myself "may as well walk it home"

6km of walking later, paces ranging from 9:30-9:12/km, I was back to the mount track. the first half of the track was a walk, but the 2nd half I started doing maths in my head and started to run teh down hills again, to try and finish in lass than 7 hours. But it was too late, I'd lost too much and couldn't catch up.
What would you do differently?:

Run more.

Even with my sedate pace, those 6km walking cost 5-6 minutes. I should easily have been under 7 hours total. I allowed myself to walk, instead of pushing through... that was a mistake.

Maybe if I had tried to run I would have totally blown up, and ended up walking 12 minute kilometers... but I doubt it.
Post race
Warm down:

No warm down, just into the recovery tent for an icy clod beverage... must finish faster next time as they only had Heineken 0% alcohol left by the time I got there.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My poor run.
Partly mental, partly fitness, partly weight.
And of course weight is a limiter everywhere.

Event comments:

Love this race. Flat, Fast and Fun.
Next time tho, I want to put a better performance on the board.
They have a prize for most improved time.... hmmm.... 2022 here we come (maybe)

Last updated: 2021-01-25 12:00 AM
00:36:59 | 2000 meters | 01m 51s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:33
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
03:08:29 | 90 kms | 28.65 km/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:44
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike Bad
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
03:08:36 | 21.1 kms | 08m 56s  min/km
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2021-01-25 5:54 PM

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Auckland, North Island
Subject: Port of Tauranga Half Ironman

2021-01-25 7:17 PM
in reply to: #5274605

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Middle River, Maryland
Silver member
Subject: RE: Port of Tauranga Half Ironman

Well, a pandemic new-again father throws down a PR on the bike after a great swim (after not really swimming for two months) and meanders a little on run.  That'll do - we'll take it. 

Congratulations, Andrew!




2021-01-26 1:32 AM
in reply to: jmhpsu93

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, Kronobergs lan
Subject: RE: Port of Tauranga Half Ironman
Originally posted by jmhpsu93

Well, a pandemic new-again father throws down a PR on the bike after a great swim (after not really swimming for two months) and meanders a little on run.  That'll do - we'll take it. 

Congratulations, Andrew!




Well said!

And well done Andrew! I would be disappointed by the run too if I was you, because if we were happy all the time, we’d never get better but from where I’m standing from, great race!

And next time you know you have to finish earlier to get a proper beer!
2021-01-27 9:40 AM
in reply to: #5274605

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Atlanta, Georgia
Silver member
Subject: RE: Port of Tauranga Half Ironman
Congrats on your day! Your RR is a great reminder of what it's like to be actually, you know, racing...!
2021-01-28 10:47 PM
in reply to: #5274605

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Waller County, TX
Subject: RE: Port of Tauranga Half Ironman
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