Thursday, May 7, 2009

Luke Mckenzie updates us on his win at the Western Australia Half Ironman

photo by Sarah Hall

"I have just arrived back home after a successful weekend at the Western Australia Half Ironman in Busselton. I won the race in a new course record time of 3.47.01.

We arrived in Busselton on the Friday morning prior to the race to unexpected chilly weather. Our morning swim in Geograph Bay was freezing after training in the warmer waters of Noosa and some uninvited guests (1 million Jellyfish) decided to take up residence on the swim course. The afternoon prior to the race was busy with media commitments for the local and state television and newspapers and an appearance at the kids tri and signing hundreds of autographs for the young ones. We crashed into bed after a long day ready to race the following morning.

Race morning dawned and ideal race conditions came to the party. Blue skies, not a breath of wind and ideal temperature ment it was going to be a fast day. Warming up for the race I learned that TIm Berkel who had won the Ironman event in December and recent third place finisher at Ironman Australia was out of the race due to illness which was a little disappointing as I was looking forward to a rematch against him and Pete Jacobs.

Warming up for the swim I dove in and took 3 strokes only to find the Jellyfish had seemed to increase in numbers overnight and I got stung across my face straight away. I ditched the idea of a swim and decided it would be best to do a dry land warm up with some arm swings and stretches. Luckily my BlueSeventy Helix wetsuit kept me from getting stung on my body once the race started but my face hit a few more stingers throughout the 1.9kms. I swam comfortably on Pete Jacobs feet and we exited the water with a good lead over the chasing group.

Exiting transition and onto the bike I put my head down and went for it, managing to drop Pete through the technical town section before we hit the fast open roads. My Scott Plasma 2 was humming along the open stretches and the front Zipp 1080/ rear Disc combo was roaring, the bike almost felt like it was motorized! I continued to pull away at every turn-a-around and by the end of the 90km bike leg I had established a six minute lead over Pete, Courtney Ogden and Sean O'Neill. I was really surprised with my ride as I felt like I had been struggling in past weeks in my bike training but I just had one of those days where it all clicks and I was stoked to ride to a new bike course record of 2.05.42.

Onto the run and I felt comfortable and in control. I was initially worried that maybe my effort on the bike might have tired my legs but as I found my rhythm I knew I was going to back up the bike with a solid run. My K-Swiss K-ona's bounced along the course and I ran well within myself to maintain my winning break and crossed the finish line in 3.47.01, a new Western Australia Half Ironman course record time. It was awesome to come down the finish chute to see all of Amanda's family cheering me on and celebrating the win with me. Thanks for coming to support guys!

After an overnight red eye flight to Brisbane we are now back in Noosa and back into training. Only 10 days left in Australia before we head to Hawaii for the Ironman 70.3 and our training base for Ironman Japan in June."

Congrats Luke! Triple threat....

No comments: