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Race report - Ironman Austria 2009
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Rob G




Joined: 11 Mar 2008
Posts: 322
Location: Melbourne

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:32 pm    Post subject: Race report - Ironman Austria 2009 Reply with quote

So after stumbling into triathlon whilst living in Melbourne a couple of years back, July 5th 2009 saw me embark on my first Ironman.

We drove down to Austria in the week before the race and I felt as ready as I could be, had ridden the main climb on the bike course, driven the remainder of the loop and had a guided swim tour of the canal entrance at the TT swim meet (thanks Rob Q). I had a huge support crew with family taking the opportunity to have a holiday and 2 friends from Australia managing to fit Klagenfurt into their European trips so was keen to get the race under way.

I put myself towards the back of the 'fast' swim side, hoping that I would avoid breast-strokers and maybe get a nice draft around to a good time. The first part of the swim was very congested as expected thanks to the piers and then the line of boats keeping competitors on course. I took it easy to the first buoy and took a widish line around it checking my watch as I went which told me 27.xx, not fast but ok (turn was 1,400m). The next part of the swim was going ok and I rounded the next buoy and thanks to the canal recce was confident in my navigation even though most seemed to be heading a little further right. I was actually pleased with this as I was going straight at the canal and also had some clear water so I was quite happy getting into a nice stroke. I then for the fright of my life as I swam straight into a fierce breastroke kick from a bloke floating on his back! This knocked my goggles clean off and bruised my face up a bit. Given that I was in the middle of the lake there was not to much to do other than crack on so after a brief moment to sort out the goggles I continued for the canal.

The canal was great for the first half, everyone seemed to be going at the same pace, second half was a bit more biff like but I was nearly there and pleased to get out of the water with 1.11.45 on the clock, pretty much on target.

T1 was chaos and I was careful to get plenty of sun cream on. The first loop of the bike was ok, I was sticking to me planned HR, the only issue was my stomach that was hurting quite a bit. This was pretty disappointing given how much time I had spent getting comfortable with my nutrition plan at target race effort. It was nothing unbearable but something that I could have done without. I loved the climbs on the first lap, crowds were great and legs felt ok spinning up them.

Trying to stay aero on the fast sections

The run down from the top of Rupertiberg to transition was great, averaged over 40km/h for that 27km section. Lap 1 done in 2.49.

At the bike turn at the end of lap 1

Lap 2 started ok although the impending marathon debut kept my efforts in check and led to me taking a few breaks on the downhill sections. By the time I got to the Rupertiberg for the second time I found it pretty tough going.

Just over the Rupertiberg climb on lap 2, starting to feel it in the legs but a great view!

The run back to transition seemed to have more uphill sections second time and I could feel the heat really starting to get up, back into transition for a bike split of 5.51.

T2 was smooth, although required a toilet stop to try and resolve the stomach issues!!

Heading out onto the run I was confident, in training I have done 7 hour rides at Ironman pace and been able to run pretty well for an hour so I was at least expecting to get through the first 10km in decent shape. This didn't happen though, the first km was ok but it went downhill from there! It was seriously hot on the first out and back loop and I was walking through aid stations to make sure I got the nutrition and fluids in but was pretty good at starting to run again.



I also found this section pretty tough mentally and in hindsight wonder how much that led to me slowing down, having been running for about an hour and feeling pretty crap, the prospect of adding on the longest run I have ever done was pretty daunting.

The loop into town and back was a bit more shaded and by the time I got to the town square at about 17km I was into some sort of rhythm (a slow one!!).

I'd pretty much given up worrying about my time and the focus was on finishing as I was looking at over 2.20 for the first half marathon. Finally I got on to the second and last lap, that gave me a bit of a mental boost and the cloud and rain was making conditions much nicer than the 30 degree roasting sunshine so back out to the far end of the course was better. At about the 27km mark the fatigue was really starting to set in and it was a battle to keep running when everything in your body tells you it would be much nicer to stop and walk.

Through transition for the last time I needed another loo stop and then after that with the final 10km to go I thought I'd work out what my finish time was looking like. At my current pace I estimated that I was going to come in at about 12.05 if I managed to keep running at my current pace. I stuck to that pace on the way into town but had a bit of a talk to myself. I figured that I could probably carry on and get 12.05 but to be so close to sub 12 might have been a bit disappointing, so I figured that I would have a stab at upping the pace and running through the aid stations on the way back, if that went wrong then I would be able to walk home for 12.30odd and in my head that was pretty much the same as 12.05. So I hit the turn and tried to step it up.

This was agony but running through the aid stations quickly had me stealing back those 5 minutes. My mental arithmetic was rubbish but by 41km I was ahead of schedule although every step felt like it could bring on massive cramps in my calves. With about 1km to go it almost fell apart, I started getting tingling fingers and blurred vision. I'd had this before in a half Ironman and that had resulted in me walking but this time I at least knew what was happening and slowed down and focussed hard, I think I saw Rob Q outside his hotel who gave me a yell but I was in a bit too much of a daze trying to stay upright to respond!

Before too long I was taking the turn to the finishing shoot and with 11.58.xx on the clock I had done it so with much fist punching I crossed the line to be given my medal...an Ironman!!

Finish time was 11.58.25, I managed to negative split the marathon, running 2.22 for the first half and 2.18 for the second half.

Soaking up the finish line and the joy of sub 12!

At last, I can stop!!


It took me a few hours after finishing to stop feeling like I was going to faint!

A great sense of achievement though and a cracking course on which to do it. I had no great desire to go and sign up straight away for another one but am sure that some point in the future I will.

I feel like I have fast tracked myself to complete an Ironman and actually think that in order to get a better time, I need a few more years of running and cycling in my legs, so for the time being it will be back to the shorter stuff.
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Last edited by Rob G on Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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wonderboy




Joined: 29 May 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice one rob - tough day at the office!
think i almost ran you over at the hotel in a black mondeo estate!

sorry
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pip




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Rob and thanks for your cheers, they came at a time when i really needed them. It was tough out there.

I am impressed by your toughness. I had the chance to go for sub 13 but took the easy route and walked with some running. My toughness training didnt work, clearly.

So glad we did that swim recce Smile
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robertquantrell




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great to meet you Rob and great report - it was me who gave you a yell in the last 1km, you looked so focused i didnt know if you had heard me!!

Proper laser stare type stuff Very Happy
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RichO




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Top work Rob, welcome to the club!
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p00key




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent stuff - glad the bike was alright Smile
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IronChamp




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report! Well done Rob G on achieving sub-12 - especially upping the pace on the 2nd lap of the run!
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Rob G




Joined: 11 Mar 2008
Posts: 322
Location: Melbourne

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

robertquantrell wrote:
great to meet you Rob and great report - it was me who gave you a yell in the last 1km, you looked so focused i didnt know if you had heard me!!

Proper laser stare type stuff Very Happy


Ha ha, at that point I was seriously on the edge and focusing hard to stay upright, I knew I had pulled back to sub-12 but was worried about a Chris Leigh moment in the finishing shoot, thanks for your support though and congratulations on your time, amazing stuff.

Thanks also for the swim tour, the whole field seemed to be going wide right so it was nice to be confident with where the canal entrance was and get some clear water too (until the point where I got the nice kick in the face!!)

p00key wrote:
Excellent stuff - glad the bike was alright

Me too!! Luckily thanks to the email from Cervelo telling me not to worry it didn't play on my mind too much, which is lucky as some of those descents were pretty quick!
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Carlito




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Race report - Ironman Austria 2009 Reply with quote

Rob G wrote:
I figured that I could probably carry on and get 12.05 but to be so close to sub 12 might have been a bit disappointing, so I figured that I would have a stab at upping the pace and running through the aid stations on the way back, if that went wrong then I would be able to walk home for 12.30odd and in my head that was pretty much the same as 12.05. So I hit the turn and tried to step it up.



Excellent attitude.
Go for broke or blow up in style Very Happy

Well done on going sub 12 and for gritting it out.
Negative split as well ... get you Smile
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Slacko




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sub-12 on your first IM is a great achievement Rob, and to negative split an IM run ... Worship Worship
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Rob G




Joined: 11 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the praise re the negative split although I think in reality I should point out that it was largely due to such a slow first half!! I had hoped to run 4.15 off the bike so if I would happily trade the cool looking negative split on the run for a 2 hour first half marathon!
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jbwilliamz




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome effort dude!!

Negative split in an IM marathon.... Cool

Nice one!
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Fully Ferrous




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Rob. great work.
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Cleo




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report! Great effort! Well done!!!
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se71




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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Robert - those climbs on the second lap were steeper weren't they Smile

/Robert
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