RaceRACE REPORT: Ironmaori 1/4 Ironman Saturday 2 November 2013 at Pandora, Napier. 1k Swim/45k bike/10.5k run.

By Daymon Nin

We arrived in Napier about 6 p.m. Friday evening and immediately went to pick up registration pack and rack the bike. The transition area was already pretty full, but just before heading back to the van, I noticed a second transition area behind the finishing chute which did not have many bikes on it at all. After asking at registration about it, I discovered I had racked my bike in the female transition zone. Oops. That explains some of the funny looks I was getting … Got my bike in the _right_ area and headed to the motel. Not long afterwards the heavens opened, and it absolutely bucketed down. I was feeling sorry for my poor bike, and wondering the if the new glow-in-the-dark lube I had just put on had all washed off – but also glad that I had thought to bring some wet weather gear just in case.

In any event, Saturday morning dawned and it was a beautiful, clear day. I had actually woken at 3am, and couldn’t really get back to sleep. We headed down at 6am and I jumped in the water to warm up for the swim. Not too cold, and very calm, so it was looking good. Hopped out and then proceeded to freeze while I waited for my wave to start. The swim actually went way better than I had hoped, and I finished in 27 mins, which is a personal best, bearing in mind that before March of this year I had never swum before since a few laps in P.E. class 30 years ago (nb: even then it wasn’t that successful, as I managed to hit the end of the pool face first and chipped my tooth). Anyway, thanks to some help from Hayden Woolley, I’m starting to feel more comfortable in the water.

On to my favourite leg: the bike. The transition exit was way too narrow, so we had to go out single file, and basically queue to get going. Just as I hopped on, I realised I was missing my gloves. Oh well, at least it was only a 45k, and I wasn’t planning to come off. The course was fast, flat with a handful of mild hills. Thanks to the Parakai-Warkworth ride, I was thinking “hills, what hills?” as I rode past several bunched up groups and the occasional walker. I was feeling pretty good, settled in to a rhythm and got it done in 1 hr 28m. I know, not really that fast, but a personal best for me on that distance. I managed to keep my cadence up throughout the ride, and finished feeling in pretty good shape for the run. Claim to fame: No one passed me on the bike the whole time (also known as starting towards the back) – I’ll take it. Note to self: When using clip-on aero bars, don’t try to change gears while on the bars. Close call on that one.
The run was 2 laps of a 5km circuit, and I maintained a time right in line with my training runs of 1hr 10mins. Total time (unofficial): 3hrs 19mins. My goal was to finish under 3.5hours so I was stoked!

Thanks to my lovely family who came down and provided support, waited patiently, and took embarrassing photos the whole way through. Love you all.

And thanks to everyone at the DoC- your support and encouragement has been vital.

Next: Olympic distance Trimaori at Karapiro, then back to Napier Dec 7 for the Ironmaori 1/2 Ironman: Do it all again but doubled.

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