So I have raced at Cairns twice before, but both times in the full ironman distance. This weekend I am switching things up and doing the 70.3 ironman instead. When I set about planning my season this wasnt in the plan. But with two Starfish athletes doing their first ironman & 70.3 distance race, I decided that it was worth the effort to join them in Cairns as a supporter. As the season ticked by I decided if I was travelling to Cairns I should race! With only 4/5 weeks after Ironman Australia, I elected for the 70.3 distance, previous recovery from an iron distance race hasn’t been one of my strong points and I didn’t want to overload myself.
So that’s a brief summary of how I found myself racing the 70.3 distance in Cairns. I’m supper pumped to be supporting both Chris Gilmore completing his first full iron distance race and Matthew Lovell doing his first half iron distance (70.3) race! These guys have worked extreamly hard this year to ensure thier success at this race and I am very certain that come race day they will acheive their respective goals. You can read about my previous escapades at Cairns Ironman 2015 (my very first iron distance race) and Cairns Ironman 2017 (my fastest iron distance race to date) by clicking the links!
So lets talk about what lays ahead for me doing the 70.3 (half iron distance) race this weekend. First check I am in the start list!
Athlete number 2522, reporting for my race! Stoked to be representing my club Startfish Tri Athletic and have the AWA Gold status beside my name! I always say its about celebrating the small wins along this journey!
Now never having done the 70.3 here in Cairns, I did take the time to read the athlete information guide (AIG) to uncover the finer points of setting up 2 transitions and using the blue & red gear bags (which is a little different for a 70.3 over the Ironman. What you put in your bags is very similar, outline in the following link:
As i discovered on Saturday the AIG isn’t an accurate reflection of how the 70.3 transition and gear bags are setup. In reality we only needed to rack our bikes in Palm Cove and our run bag in Cairns at T2, setting up the bike and helmet can all be done on the Sunday morning, bonus!
Lucky for me the course is almost identical to the Ironman course just obviously shorter for the 70.3, another bonus! The features are the
1. Swimming in croc infested waters of Palm Cove
2. The small hill early on the bike over Rex’s lookout
3. An epically flat 2 lap run!
So now a little review of my training and race goals. If you follow me on social media my struggles with sleep and tiredness are well documented, however none of that has stopped or limited my training ability! I have had a reduced volume for a few months now, but that was deliberate and a ploy to help recovery after Ironman Australia.
Backing up to races 4 weeks apart is always a challenge, especially long course races like Ironman and 70.3! So my sessions haven’t been particularly hard or intense, but I’ve been building slowly and gently between these races.
My goals are simple sub 5 hours (secretly hoping for 4:45), a 30min Swim, then a 2:30-40 Bike with solid steady wattage, followed by a sub 1:50 Run (again secretly hoping for low 1:40s)!
It’s now Saturday afternoon I’ve racked my bike and set up the T2 bag, all that is left to do is relax and get ready to race! Chilling with Matt and talking race strategy and more importantly post race celebration goals (gotta have something to look forward to during the dark moment of a race)!
A special shout out to every athlete racing this weekend, from my fellow club mate Matt & Chris, to all the Instagram family I follow, you’ve done the hard work, the journey is done, now enjoy this moment of crowning glory. Also to my amazing family who support me in these crazy endeavors, unwavering, you are my rock for whom I am forever grateful!
If you ever have any questions please reach out, I’m only a message away.
If you’re not active at the moment & need some inspiration, follow me on Strava, Instagram and like my facebook page and let’s get back out there swim, bike or running. Make sure you subscribe so you never miss a blog post from me! The biggest regret we can have in life is to not TRI!
Till next time build consistency, keep smiling and live to Tri!