Tuesday, March 27, 2012

World Champ Camp

Part of the deal when you train under Sutto is if you win a world championship you get a training camp in your backyard as a reward for your success.
This year was Caroline's year after winning the ITU Long distance worlds back in 2010, so we've set up camp on the not so sunny, Sunshine Coast at Mooloolaba.( Carolines adopted home!)

I arrived 13 days ago in preparation for three long course races in the next few months starting with Koh Samui in mid April.
Possibly the worst time I could have arrived! The usual perfect sunshine coast was anything but! I almost never saw the sun for the first eight days it rained so much, ending last Thursday with one of the biggest falls I have witnessed. We had 400mm of rain in one day causing flash flooding throughout the town, I attached a clip below showing what the rain was like the whole day.

 Luckily it doesn't get to cold up here and the rain is almost insignificant. Training goes on as normal.
It seems like the results are speaking for themselves with some awsome racing over the past weekend both in Ironman Melbourne and the ITU World cup.I'll let the other athletes expand on their results over the week.

About half our team are here at the moment with some of the Swiss national kids. Our new additions for 2012 have been welcomed and finding their place in the team while we have been grinding out some solid training.
If all goes well most of us will be here until mid April when we start splitting off to our separate races all around the place. 
My mindset before I came up here was that Mooloolaba would be a really tough place to train but it has been great. We have heaps of riding options, if we head inland there are some awesome rides through the hills or along the coast for some flatter easy rides.
The pool we use is immaculate and hasn't been open for long, so basically brand new with very few people using it. Perfect for us.
Hopefully the weather stays like it has been the last couple of days and we see just how nice the Sunshine Coast is!

We are already looking ahead for who in the team might be the next world champion and where we might be heading next. I think it might be a little while before I get the team back out to the farm at Peak Hill but it would be funny!
There has been talk of South Africa next year.
Would be nice but unlikely. If Caroline can keep racing like she is I reckon we might be right back here again in another twelve months doing exactly what we are doing now!

Cheers, Aaron.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Race wrap- Ironman NZ

It might have been some of the worst weather imaginable over the weekend in Taupo but we managed to squeeze in a shortened format of the Ironman before we left early yesterday morning.
Originally the race was set to take place on Saturday, though on Friday afternoon the race organisers were left with no choice but to cancel the event as weather warnings rang out over most of New Zealand. And Taupo braced itself for some cyclonic conditions, with winds predicted to gust up to 140km/h!

I rode on Friday morning when the winds were around 60km/h and almost got blown off my bike, so I was a little worried things were going to turn bad at that stage.
Everyone was called into a briefing on Friday evening and updated about the situation. We were told to collect our bikes and if the weather was alright on Sunday the race would go ahead as a 70.3 (Half Ironman).

Luckily the weather cleared for a race start on Sunday morning and we were able to get into it.

It was a bit of a cold start with the air temp around 5 degrees and the water temp claimed to be 15. That didn't really worry me and I got off to a good start exiting the water with the lead pack. All the players were around me including Cam Brown, Merino Vohnacker, Terrenzo Bozzone and Tim Reed.
There was only one guy in front of us all and that was Marko Albert, a great swimmer that had opened a 90 second gap.
Once on the bike we headed through a few little hills in the town and onto a reasonably flat course for the next 80km. Being so flat it was hard for anyone in our group to break away from the pack, although a few attempts were made we rolled back into T2 as the same group that headed out with the inclusion of Marko who we had caught at the 50km mark. It was going to be a running race!
I hit the run quite stiff through my lower back and took a couple of km to get into a decent stride but by that time I had lost more than a minute to Tim Reed, another Australian who was absolutely tearing along in the lead then Terrenzo, Cam and Merino all had spaced themselves out on the road in front of me.
As the race went on it seemed like Cam and Merino got stronger. Tim led the race until about 17km before being caught by Merino, and Cam ran into third place. I was caught by Romain Guillume with about 4km to go and had to settle for 5th place.

My trip to New Zealand was certainly an experience. It wasn't an Ironman like I had planned but I am extremely grateful that the race was able to go ahead as a shortened version and we were all able to have a race.
Hukka Falls in Taupo

After this I am back home for a few days before heading up to our team camp on the Sunshine Coast later in the month preparing for whatever may be next.

Cheers, Aaron.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Taupo. Oh-ooooh

Got some wild weather heading our way for Ironman New Zealand this weekend and there is talk of possibly turning it into a bike run again.
This is the forecast I got a few minutes ago.


Thursday 1
Fine and cloudy periods. Cool southwesterlies, strong and gusty.
Issued: 4:43pm 1 Mar


Friday 2
Fine at first but becoming cloudy during the day and some rain developing by evening. Southwesterlies easing, and tending northerly at night.
Issued: 4:43pm 1 Mar


Saturday 3
Morning rain, briefly heavy, easing to a few showers.Strong northerlies turning strong gusty southwest, gale gusting 110 km/h in exposed places.
Issued: 2:09pm 1 Mar
Yes the race is on Saturday when they are predicting 110km/h winds... Could be interesting!