Those people that did the Half Ironman seminar a few months ago will have met Annie – and those that know her know that she is the ultimate “go getter”. No challenge is too big for her!! Annie loves triathlon and as she has often said, if you can’t go fast, go long. With a few WA Long Courses and a marathon under her belt, Annie chose the New Zealand Ironman as her venue to go long!! Her race report follows.

Well to fill you in on the course of the day…. I must say though it did not feel like I was out there for 14 hours – it went quite quickly. I will give you my results first and then an idea how the day went. And of course, knowing me I couldn’t have just a normal race could I!! Had to have a drama or two – just to let me know that all was not to be plain sailing.

I had a 1.18 swim split which I was absolutely rapt about. I was thinking 1.20 – 1.25 Placed 22/34 for my age group in that leg. My cycle was 7.42 – a little longer than anticipated but will explain that later…. placed 32/34 My run was 4.36 and placed 11/32 (2 did not finish) – as you can see the run is definitely my best leg. Including transitions (T2 was a long one – will explain that too…) my finish time was 13.56.32 – under what I thought I would do it in. I was anticipating anywhere between 14-15 hours. So overall I was pretty stoked.

Well we had been having some pretty average weather in the few days leading up to the race. Lake Taupo is absolutely huge (something like 40 km by 30 km!!) I knew it was big but holy crap. So it was possible to have pretty choppy conditions – something I was praying not to have as an average swimmer. But on the morning of the race it was clear skies and and calm waters! Yahoo! I had a brilliant swim. My main objective was to stay calm and go steady just to make it. I felt fine on exit – perhaps should have pushed my self – nah!! It was a GREAT swim. Could not have been better. No critters, amazing visibility – although bloody cold – but who cares when you have a wetsuit on.

Transitioned into the bike well – took quite a bit of time but did the complete outfit change and dunny stop. The temp was quite warm too – found that my arm warmers ended up around my wrists before too long, and stopped to remove them and apply sunscreen at the second support station! Funny incident there. A guy came up my bum and then fell off his bike. He then got upset with ME for stopping!! Don’t know about you guys but I would be anticipating people slowing down or stopping at an aid station. Plonker! But did that waiver my karma for later?? Hmmmm…. But I did end up beating the bloke by about 2 hours… Ha!

I was having as good a cycle as I could possibly be having (not my strong leg). I was on target for a 7.15 – okay – for me!! I was approaching the final couple of km’s of the first 90km leg, going down a long hill into town. It was packed with spectators and my speed would have been 40-45 kms/hr (A guess because my bike computer died at the 17 km mark!!).

THEN a kid of about 10 or 12 carrying a skate board walked straight out in front of me. I screamed at him, hit the brakes and then hit the deck. I think I also hit him (care factor here was zero I am afraid!!) I was pretty dazed and disorientated. Bleeding from my jaw, neck, forearm, elbow and knee. I managed to get back on my bike and get going again. I had a bit of a girly sob for a couple of kms and settled into the remainder of the ride (after downing a couple of Nurofen, and straightening my tri bars) I had to stop about 30 kms later and get the wounds dressed which took some valuable time. With only about 20 kms to go my right knee really started to hurt and I started to have serious doubts about being able to run. It was a little swollen and painful along the edge of my knee cap. The last couple of kms I was REALLY thinking I was going to have to pull out. I was trying to formulate the wording in my head how I was to tell everyone I wasn’t able to finish. What would the subject heading be for the e-mail??? Bla Bla Bla.

By the time I got to transition was a blubbering sobbing, snotty nosed mess. As you can tell, my run is my best leg and some little shit had ruined my race, aka my life for the last 6 months!!! The women in the transition tent were fantastic – they just let me blubber – I changed anyway – put on my shoes, took some more nurofen, applied more fixomull, blew my nose and did a jig and thought that I would give it go – if I had to pull out after a while then so be it.

I had a great run. Only 7 minutes slower than my Sydney marathon time. Passed a load of people (love it when I pass guys….). I did walk a bit more than I anticipated but I was power walking when I did, and when I was running it was at a pretty good pace. Overall happy with it. Got some blood in the socks from rubbing bits but negligible compared to the other injuries. It started quite hot and we ended up having some torrential rain to sort the men out from the boys. The earlier finishers and those in town didn’t get it. But it was as bad a downpour as I had ever experienced. Ankle deep in puddles. But it sure did cool us down. So in a nut shell I don’t think I have done any structural damage to my knee! I had my last little walk until the 41 km mark, and ran the final 1.2 non stop and a great pace.

It was a pretty cool atmosphere coming down the finish shute. I was really glad to be there! The crowds were amazing. After I was 5 kms into the race I knew I was going to make it. But alas I did have my hiccup. The medal is heavy and the finishers shirt is nice!!

In the aftermath I spent a bit of time in the medical tent icing my knee, getting a rub down and some food. (I am still eating too by the way!!) My injuries aren’t flash. But I think they look worse than they are. They are bothering me more that the muscle fatigue. That side of things is probably better than after the marathon. A bit stiff and sore but not extreme. I have bruising along my jaw line and some very superficial grazing, my neck is covered with fixomull, as is my elbow and knee. I am pretty sure I will also lose both my big toe nails. All will heal I am sure. I am pretty lucky. It could have been far worse. The main thing is that I was able to finish. I finished in a better time than I expected (in spite of wasting about 30 minutes getting picked up off the road and patched up).

For those that know him – yep I beat Dennis by about 30 minutes but he pulled up okay and had headed off on the rest of his holiday pretty pleased with himself.

There were quite a few West Aussies here. Most of those that wanted to qualify for Hawaii did so. All in all an amazing day. My official photos are excellent too. One 66 year old Japanese lady did not make the 17 hour cut off time but we all hung around the extra 6 minutes and cheered her in anyway.

Thanks again for all your good wishes!! I know this is long winded but hell – it was a big day!!