After a long break since my last triathlon (Busselton 70.3 in May) due to some family issues, I was looking forward to going over and racing in the Philippines. I have heard good things about the Cebu race and they were not wrong. The team of Sunrise Events put on an excellent race and the atmosphere that is created around the race is nothing I have experienced before. The whole city gets behind the event which results in crowds covering the whole bike and run course, truly an amazing experience.
The men’s field was stacked with many quality athletes and add the high heat/humidity expected on race day, I knew it was going to be a tough day out there racing. The swim was a non wetsuit swim with a deep water start and I was keen to keep in contact with the front of the race. My first 400m was were I wanted to be and it felt quite comfortable as well but after rounding a few bouys I got caught up around one of them and a small gap opened up to the back off the pack. I tried to close this straight away but just didn’t have an extra gear and started to feel real sluggish in the water. I ended up just swimming by myself losing time gradually the front pack for the rest of the swim, exiting the water in 14th place around 40 secs – 1min back to were I needed to be.
I went through T1 as quick as possible to try make some time up from the swim and jumped on the bike to push hard to try close down the front group before they got to far away. Throughout the first 15mins I didn’t feel to bad and was pushing some good watts and had already passed some athletes from the front pack of the swim. Then I started to struggle a bit, the heat/humidity started to affect me (i think) and my watts were quite down on what i wanted to ride. Around the 30km mark was the first turn around and got the first time check to group at the front who were flying and were putting minutes into Hadely and myself who were riding together. For the rest of the ride my legs didn’t feel good at all and my body felt like it was cooking itself but I just tried to keep pushing as best I could knowing come the run in these conditions anything can happen. With about 20km to go we caught up to Kahlefeldt and Ciavattella, then was joined by Brown a couple of km’s before we entered T2.
As we left to T2 my body felt rubbish but I went about trying to establish a comfortable rhythm. The first 1km felt like I was running in slow motion and going no where and then i started to feel somewhat comfortable and went about to see how many guys I could run down. Up to about 9km everything was going to plan and I was moving along at a decent pace feeling in control with a plan to start pushing the 2nd lap and then all hell broke loose. In a space of 1km i developed massive stomach pains (maybe cramps) and was forced to walk/run the next 3/4km. It was a bit demoralising going from moving up to almost into 6th to watching guys come pass me but was nothing I could do. The pain did start to subside a bit towards the last 6km of the run and i was able to run at a somewhat decent pace in between each aid station before walking the stations to get as much fluid in as I could. I came across the line in 9th place totally cooked, not overly happy how I executed the race in terms of numbers i wanted to hit but happy to fight through what felt like one of the hardest races I have competed mentally/physically.
Congratulations to Reed, Crowie and Betten who dominated all day to take the podium spots. Next race up is my first Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Mooloolaba on September 4th and really looking forward to testing myself against the world best. Hopefully this hit out well shake the cobwebs out of the legs and have me primed for a good race on the Sunshine Coast. As always I can’t thank my sponsors enough who provide me with the best gear possible, without it none of this would be possible.