Cairns 70.3

Cairns was set to be my first 70.3 distance race. My training was going really well prior to the race, and I knew I was in good form. With such a strong start list at Cairns, I was beyond nervous for this race! Lining up against the likes of Hawaiian Ironman Champion Pete Jacobs, 2x Olympians Brad Kahlefeldt and Courtney Atkinson, and multiple other 70.3 champions I felt like I wanted to go around and ask for autographs rather than race against these guys! 
The winds were strong on race morning. I got myself together and focused on the race ahead. I knew I had done the work in training and was as ready to race. Before long we were lined up in the murky waters of the Cairns marina. The gun went off and the start was rough. After racing a few ITU races earlier this year, a rough swim start wasn’t anything new to me. I positioned myself in the middle of the front pack and sat there. The pace wasn’t too quick but I was happy to sit in and conserve. I exited the water pretty comfortably in the front pack of about 8 guys. There was about a 1.30-2 minute gap to the next pack.
I made my way through transition and unlike anyone else, I decided to ride in socks. This made me spend a bit of extra time in transition, but after about 2 km of effort on the bike I was back to the pack of 8. The group split early in the ride with a group of 4 guys going up the road. I want to conserve on the bike and run strongly, so I stayed in the second group with 3 other athletes. In my group was Pete Jacobs, Brad Kahlefeldt and Sam Appleton. I was feeling good riding with these guys and was getting excited about the run. The bike was very fair with everyone holding the correct 12-meter gaps. I tried to make sure I was getting my gels in, however I obviously didn’t get this quite right, so I started to really hurt with 5km left on the bike. Apparently drinking 1.5 bottles on the bike isn’t enough over a 90km ride! I got off the bike at the back of my group of 4, sitting in 8th overall. I was hurting pretty badly, not so much in my legs, but just lack of energy.
                                                                 Photo Credit: Lucas Wroe
At least from this point, there was only half a marathon to go…! I really struggled the whole way, and tried to get as much fluid in as I could at the aid stations, but I couldn’t keep anything down. My run turned into a shuffle, and I was in survival mode. I was running slower than I thought was possible, and went very backwards in the field but I managed to get myself to the finish. A very disappointing result especially since I have been running well, but at the same time I was proud to have pushed through and finished.
Looking back at the race, I have learnt how vital it is to get nutrition sorted.  Only getting down 1.5 bottles on the bike and half the gels I had planned, really threw me around, especially in the heat and humidity of Cairns. It was very frustrating, but I am very keen to sort out my nutritional plan and give it another crack.

Thanks very much to Trent from Adidas, I ran in the Adidas Boston shoes for the extra support whilst still being light as anything, and they were awesome.
Also thanks to Shannon from Active Bodies Physiotherapy. I went into the clinic on the Tuesday before the race to loosen up my legs, and come race day the legs felt better than ever.

Lastly, a massive thank you to my coach Tim. I have only been working under Tim for about 6 months now but I have learnt so much from him, and have come a long way. I'm confident my future is looking good under his guidance.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, 19 June 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

One Response to “Cairns 70.3”

  1. Well done Kieran. Learn, persist and you will achieve.