I have just arrived back home from the Philippines after spending a couple of days in Manila visiting friends and spending some time with the race owner Fred Uytengsu who treats us pros to an amazing event. This is one of my favourite races and I was looking forward to racing and defending my title from last year.
I had a good training block in Maui to get my fitness going after my break from Ironman Brazil. The heat in Maui was good and I was going to need it again for this years event.
There was a top notch field here with a whole gang of Aussies in town including Ironman World Champs Craig Alexander and Pete Jacobs. There were all the other young fast Aussie 70.3 athletes itching to take the win and more Ironman veterans in the likes of Luke McKenzie and Cameron Brown.
I had a good swim and got to where I needed to be heading onto the bike. Tim Reed and Tim Berkel and I worked hard throughout the beginning of the bike to close the gap from the swim and then put the pressure on the group behind. We pushed hard at the 35k mark to split the group up and got a gap and never looked back. Luke McKenzie hung with us till 70k until we picked up the pace again and narrowed the group to the three of us.
Onto the run the Tim's and I headed out close together and and after the opening few k's Tim Reed opened a small gap as I tried to find my top gear. Berkel was close behind but as we came through the 6k mark he slid by as I hadn't been able to get up on my toes and find that fast rhythm I needed. I stayed consistent but it just wasn't the right speed and slowly lost time as I even split my laps showing I had good endurance and pacing but was stuck in third gear.
I ran smoothly to the line as the Tim's ended up having a sprint finish with Reed ultimately taking the win. I was happy with the race but wished I'd had the next gear to be in the thick of the race at the front.
Once back home I'll look at getting that speed work back up to where it needs to be as it's clear I still have the endurance from IM Brazil but not the speed I needed.