I knew that I was in good form when I arrived in Cairns on Wednesday as Aimee and I have spent the last 7 weeks in Lennox Head training with the Aeromax team. The last few days before the race I was just doing some light training just keeping everything going.

The weather was not the best with rain most of the days leading up to the race, but with air temperature over 20 degrees it was not cold at all.

I only had the chance to do one open water swim before the race, because of the the marine life up here it’s was not safe to swim outside the official practice. The water has sharkes, Sting-rays and crocodiles, and they definitely are there with a few sharkes spotted just off shore some the days before!

Race day was more like typical Cairns weather with sunshine, 28 degrees and high humidity, so I knew nutrition was going to be a big factor.

The swimming course was 2 laps. With over 800m to first buoy there was no big fight, and I was able to settle into the second pack. I knew Bryan Rhodes, Luke Bell and David Dellow would be way to fast for my swim pace so I was happy to sit in the second group. On the second lap I moved up to the front of the pack to keep the speed up and go a little bit more straight between the buoys.

Copyright: Scott Hollow

I came out of the water with Cameron Brown, Matty White, Aaron Farlow, Leon Griffin hot on my heels. My new TRI11 wetsuit did the job well, and I came out on the bike with Chris McCormack (Macca) who only swim 10sec faster, so I was very happy with my position.

Early on the bike Matty, Leon and Cameron put on a high pace trying to catch the leaders but my heart rate was a bit too high, so at 45km mark I decided to settle in with Aaron Farlow thinking that those in front would have to settle down the pace later or would pay the price.

I started to feel the group was getting too far away, so while still on my way to Port Douglas, I tried to go after them on my own but I ended up in no mans land.

The bike course was two small laps out and back from Port Douglas with a 2km climb and a 7km climb the other way, but they weren’t so big but rolling climbs.

Aaron caught me again after 110km and on the way back to Cairns, Mitch Anderson past us and Petr Vabrousek did join us for the last bit. At the last aid station (160km) I only got water and no energy so when I hit T2 I was a little bit in struggle town! Sitting in 6th place and 11 minutes down on the front group.

With the temperature now over 30 degrees I spent some more time than normal at the first four aid stations to get my energy back on track. The first 21km was a run back into Cairns where we would then do 2 laps in downtown Cairns.

Running into Cairns I was struggling a bit, because we were running on the Captain Cook highway the surface wasn’t so flat or even and I ended up putting a bit too much pressure on my calf muscle. I had to drop my speed down to 4:20mins per km but when I got back on the flat surface of downtown Cairns I was able to pick up the speed again.

Rebekah Keat who was leading the woman’s race got injured on the run and had to drop out which is so disappointing for any athlete.

Out of T2 I was 11mins down on 3rd place so I definitely had my work cut out for me. And when I started my laps in Cairns I had reduced the deficet by half but was still 5-6mins down. Being on two smaller laps it made it easy to see how much time I was gaining.

Out of T2

I passed Leon Griffin mid way through the first lap, and was now in 4th place, but Matty White was still a few minutes ahead up the road in 3rd place. With only 9km left I knew I was running out of km’s, so I put the hammer down and was able to run about 10sec faster pr km. Some of the other pro competitors were yelling support at me and giving me splits which was a great boost. And by the last turn around point I was only about 30secs down. I dug deep and increased my speed a little bit more so I was down and running 3:50mins pr km, and came up to Matty with only 2½km to go and passed him. Lucky for me he was not able to match my speed which I kept up until the final 200m just to be sure that I was not going to be out sprinted!

David Dellow did take a comfortable win with Cameron Brown in 2nd and I was around 14mins after David and about 7mins behind Cameron in 3rd place.

Thanks to USM for another great event and a very professional service all the way through, and with the Cairns city behind you, it will only get bigger the next few years.

Big thanks to all my sponsors without you guys I would not be able to race at this level.

And also a big thanks to the Aeromax crew in Lennox Head, you have helped me find my way back to the enjoying of training again.

And the last person to thank is of course Aimee, she looks after everything for me so I only have to think about training. She does all the cooking, shopping, washing and all the other things so I have nothing to worry about, all this even when she have been sick the last week.

The last few days we have enjoyed our last days summer as we are now going back to Melbourne where it is winter, so cold, raining and very low temperature! But it is only for 3weeks before we head back to Europe and summer weather :-)

Ironman Cairns result