Monday, August 17, 2009

Luke Mckenzie Wins again

Luke Mckenzie seems to be un-beatable this year, He's a traveling nomad and while that doesn't work for most , he and his partner Amanda have found what makes them tick .

Below Luke Reports on his most recent win.


What an awesome race! Yesterday I raced the Hulaman Half Iron triathlon in Forest Grove west of Portland. Coming off a big few weeks of Ironman Hawaii training I didn't know how my body was going to feel and I was nervous doing a race with no easing up leading into it. To top it off a very solid pro field assembled for the race including recent Ironman Lake Placid Champion Maiki Twelsiek and Ironman Canada Champion Kieran Doe just to name a few.

We camped out at the swim start and literally woke up 10 meters from transition. At 6am the temperature was still under 10 degrees C and I was not looking forward to a cold race. Luckily as the sun rose over the mountains it warmed up a little. I had a bad swim for me, mostly due to the fact that after about 200 meters I felt like I was over-heating in my wetsuit . I lost Kierans feet and struggled for 100-150 meters to swim properly. I have never had that feeling before and I hated it! I am sure it's nothing we can't fix with my awesome wetsuit sponsor blueseventy.

I got out of the water 1 minute down on Kieran and set off onto the bike after him. The first 20 miles of the race was around Hagg Lake and it was very tough with lots of power climbs but still pretty cold. I felt like I couldn't warm up and get into a good rhythm. Every time check I heard to Kieran for those 20 miles was 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes ... I was thinking "Oh no he is going to be 10 minutes ahead off the bike."

Maik Twelsiek caught me at about 25 km into the ride and I worked hard to keep him in sight. We descended down from the Lake and into the rolling farmland and I finally found my riding legs. Maiki pushed hard and he strung me out to 100-200 meters at times but I fought to keep him in sight if I wanted any chance of winning. We arrived at T2 having made up about 1 minuted in the final 20km on Kieran but still 2 minutes back.

Onto the run I got a small gap on Maiki out of transition but he soon joined me and we ran shoulder to shoulder till 3 miles where we caught Kieran. I was able to get a 10 meter gap on Maiki just as we passed Kieran and I thought I might have "broken" him. Maiki ran within 100 meters of me till mile 10 at which point I realized I need to put in a big effort to "shake" him and not give him the chance to sprint for the finish. I ran a really good half marathon (mostly due to Maiki pushing me) and was happy with a new personal best of 1.14.19. My over all time was 3.45.02 which set a new course record and was one of my fastest ever Half Ironman times. I was really happy to put together a solid race off the back of some really hard Ironman training.

I have to thank Gary and Chris for having us at the Hulaman race. What an awesome event! For those that haven't been, think Wildflower crossed with Vineman! Great course, challenging but most of all really great people! Thanks!

Hulaman - Individual 1/2 Iron - Pro
Bib Name City, State Age Gen Finish AG FO
14 Luke McKenzie Noosa 28 M 03:45:02.9 1 1
18 Maik Twelsiek Lemgo, Nrw 29 M 03:46:39.8 2 2
16 Brandon Marsh Austin, TX 35 M 03:53:50.5 3 3
7 Kieran Doe Auckland 28 M 03:57:08.4 4 4

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