My body bounced back reasonably well from Ironman 70.3 Boulder. I was on a high, but I wasn’t the only one. The weather Gods were also on the up, with race day temperatures expected to top 40c/104f. An Ironman is hard enough trying to complete the distance in regular temperatures, let a lone when you’re melting.
Andy Potts was the red hot favourite for this race. The man hasn’t lost an Iron distance race outside of Kona. There were also a host of local and foreign talent, including Leon Griffin, Matt Lieto, Paul Matthews, Trevor Wurtele, Pedro Gomes, Pat Evo and Matt Russell.
I was really happy with my race considering its only my second Ironman. My plan was to execute a smart race, and run the back half of the marathon well. I ran a 2:54 in Melbourne back in March, and did a lot of soul searching during that final 20km. I quit the sport several times and had Coldplay songs playing in my head. However, in Coeur d’Alene I had a solid day all around so my Craiglist account has been deactivated.
I went into territory perhaps only Granddad Millward had experienced, and that was on the receiving end of several German watt bombs from Maik Twelsiek. Maik caught me 20kms into the ride. I had anticipated this, and had my money ready for a oneway ticket onboard the Twelsiek Express bound for Pottsville. We had a gap of 4-5 minutes to close down. I rode at my 70.3 power and chewed stem for around 2hrs, offering very little in assistance in this legal ‘team’ effort. Eventually we pulled back Barrett Brandon at 60km, but Potts and Matthews continued to take cover and avoid our futile attack.Matthews ultimately marinated himself and I made the catch around 170km. I began the run in third: 6minutes down on Maik, and at least one area code down on Potts who had extended his lead to 14minutes. The effort in riding with Maik had helped provide a good buffer to a big chase group coming from behind, which included Kilshaw, Wurtele, Griffin, Lieto, Brandon and Gomes. Matthews was also right behind me and is a proven mid 2:40 runner at this distance so couldn’t be ruled out.I was pulling back Maik reasonably comfortably, but there were bogies on my six. Trevor Wurtele and unknown quantity Stephen Kilshaw, both Canadians, both looking for an early Canada Day celebration were docking in steep. The two Canucks had made up the two minute gap and ran past me at around 13km. I had still been running well, so I figured they would have burnt a few matches and hopefully a bon fire in doing so. Eventually we dropped Kilshaw, but Wurtele was harder than Travis Tygart to shake. It took me around 10km to get a comfortable gap on him. Meanwhile Andy Potts was packing his bike down and getting ready clear TSA at Spokane International airport. I continued to run well and hold onto second, as the pass on Maik was made around the 15km mark of the run. I achieved my goal over the past two weeks. I collected my KPR points and am currently sitting 23rd in the rankings. The top 40 are announced in July, and the remaining 10 spots over the following month. I didnt want to be sitting by my phone in August, waiting for Andrew Messick to call, so its a relief to be well inside the first cut off. Thanks to everyone who has supported me in anyway, but mostly my family back home.
Pic: Sue Hutter