With the week being short and I had to work on the Monday being a public holiday in Melbourne I took my day in Lieu on Friday and headed down to Portarlington in afternoon. Tri Alliance had arranged housing for both the Friday and Saturday nights with some 50 old TA people and families all down from Melbourne for the weekend. The house I was had 8 blokes and one token woman. The house was newish but the beds were average to be honest the floor would have been softer. Most of us who showed up Friday went the pub for dinner. All I will say The Grand is not that Grand. Saturday morning saw us all meet at the Portarlington Pier for a light training session. This was a light ride, run, swim oh and wait mount practice. When you exit transition there is a hill as you take off on the bike and return back in from the ride. Greg had us practicing mounts and dismounts up the hill. It took me 4 goes before I got my head around it. Injury was my big toe which scored the tar on one of the practice mount.
Before we went for a swim we helped Supersprint setup the transition area from the photo you can see that it does not take very long for the TA Army to get anything done. The swim was fantastic clear warm water, quick swim out to the end of the pier and back in.
Race Day – I was the 2nd up quick breakfast and shower before whole house went nuts, I took the time to pack my stuff up, it’s amazing how much crap you take away for a weekend. 2 Tyres, 4 tubes, warm clothing, training clothing, race clothing, the list goes on and on. When I got to the transition area my bike had some bit noise coming from the chain. I went over to the CBD Cycles Tent and guys gave it a quick tune up and ready for the race.
After training it was back to the house for some R&R while watching the F1 on the TV. Most of us headed back to The Grand for dinner, and the service was not the greatest.
|TA Army @ Work in Portarlington|
Time to put the bike into transition and get my gear ready, then back to the tent. I spent 5mins talking with Dana from PCSC about the plan for the day and how I felt about the race. What the goal was, etc. Before too long it was time to get ready for the race. On with the wet suit and head down to the pier for a warm up swim then get ready for the race.
A few of the TA crew were in swimming waiting for our wave starts we wished each other good luck and away we went. The Swim was great, only two issues 1. Sun was in my eyes once we turned past the pier and 2. we merged into the long course guys doing their swim. I got back to transition feeling good found my bike looked around and noticed heaps of bikes which meant I had a great swim. Out of transition with my bike jumped on and up the hill. Thank god for those practices that Greg made us do. The bike was uneventful ride small hill or two to test the rider when I came back into town it was time to get my head around the dismount – down the hill stopping and not coming off in a big way. Guess what I did it perfectly without coming off. Cheers from the other TA people bike into the transition dropped the bike off on with the shoes and off for a little 8km run. First the stairs and then 2 minor hills and out to the turn around. I found the run the hardest, it was a trail not a concrete path my left side was killing me from the hard bed. Time to suck it up and push through it. Lots of TA people out on the course both watch and competing. On the way back when was about 2 kms from the finish I started to push came down the hill turning towards the finish line and done.
|Race Day Morning|
Sub 2 hours! I just completed the longest tri ever and I did it in under 2 hours. Official time 1hr 56m 53s
Happy as! Post race I spent some time with guys from Lakeside for post race massage. Need too loose up the left side. After this i spent time with the rest of TA crew cheering everyone home.
|Just before the start|
|Out from the Swim|
|Coming down the hill - ride over|
|Heading towards the finish line|
Ironman Melbourne 2012
Was on total high from this weekend. The following weekend was Ironman Aid station duties. Not sure what to make of it, but my friend Ellie and I offered to crew one of the TA aid stations at the Mentone Life Saving Club. Ellie and I went to the expo on Saturday and checked it out, the expo was not great but ok. We bumped into Jay & Marina two TA guys who were completing Ironman Melbourne the following day, we wished them luck.
On the Sunday we were asked to arrive a little earlier to setup as the course was rated as fast. We had to lug all the items supplied from truck some 500m to the Aid station location. We setup all the tables, opened the water bottles, coke & gatorade , gels, and backup table. Once we had a table setup we it was time to take a break have some food, go to the bathroom, etc as the Pros were due approx 1:30pm. We could see the chopper off in the distance and the officials came through saying the leaders will be here soon. The pros came through they didn’t look out of breath they came straight through and kept going. We had a spotter approx 100m ahead of the Aid station and he would yell out when a TA person came through. First through was Ollie he had told me that the 22km mark was his mental block. Well we cheered Ollie and every TA member through and they loved every minute of it. The age groups kept one coming and we handed out what we had and they kept going, lots of thanks some stopped and chatted a little, it was unreal. After we finished our shift Ellie and I headed up to Elwood to say hi to the other TA tent/Aid station, one the way through we saw a few TA people close to 2nd TA Aid station. Once we arrived at Martin St and made to the Aid station we gave the TA guys the heaps up and again we cheered them through.
|Mentone Aid Station|
From Facebook entries we saw a lot of TA crew were meeting at the Great Provider approx 1km away from the finish line. Ellie and I went there and joined the crew and we cheered everyone who passed on the way to finish line. We heard that the Great Provider were fined for noise pollution which is not surprising with the noise we made from whistles and cow bells and general cheering. Ollie came along with basically hug and thanked everyone TA person for their support, it made me so very proud that he could complete the race and also finish 3rd age grouper and secured his spot at Kona. Ellie and I wanted to go up the finish line we had been running past it for the last few weeks to see what this show is about. It was unreal noise, lights, music and people who had poured their heart and soul in completing their very own Ironman. Ellie has run marathons so she knows what it takes, but to also add a 3.8km swim and 180km bike to mix that is a lot of work.
|Elwood Aid Station|
|Ollie finishing Ironman Melbourne 2012|
|Almost at the finish line|
|The Finish Line|
|1km from the Finish @ The Great Provider|
Next weekend is my 7 Sprint Tri it’s been a long season and I’m looking forward for a bit of break before heading into Run and Duathlon season.
|Ollie @ the Great Provider|
Look out for the Race Report and my end of Tri Season Report Card
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