Feelings after winning 2011 Sunsmart Ironman Western Australia
“Heading into IMWA I was completely relaxed and excited. I had a great block of training under my belt, and felt confident of doing a sub 10hr race. When I led the bike into T2 that had already made my ironman day! I knew it was still a huge day ahead with a marathon about to begin! At this point I never expected to win, I just went out there got into a comfortable rhythm and enjoyed myself and soaked up the hype of the crowd. After 30kms on the run when the anticipated sound of footsteps behind me never came, I began to think wow, maybe, just maybe I can do this! I could see a fast moving Michelle Mitchell moving through the field and knew I still had my work cut out for me. At that point my quads were so tight and sore that each foot strike sent waves of shock roaring up my legs.
It turned purely to a mental game, my legs so badly wanted to stop, but I had been in the lead from 30kms on the bike, and lead the marathon right up until this point, every person on the side of the road was cheering for me, even the other competitors were yelling support, I had the lead bike in front of me, the motorbike and camera crew kept on rocking up and filming me, I couldn’t give in now! I made it to the final turn point and with 4kms to go, saw Michelle M (running strong!) had caught Carrie in second place and they were together 5mins down. I knew with how sore I felt and how good she looked it was possible for her to catch me! I thought to myself, you can do this, don’t give in, just keep the legs moving, I couldn’t bear the thought of being overtaken in the last few kms. So somehow the legs kept moving against their will!
The crowd support was incredible, I think I just got lost in the moment and the hype of the crowd, and tried to block out the pain in my legs, and it worked. The last km I checked over my shoulder a few times as I really did think that Michelle was going to be right there, but she wasn’t! So rounding the final corner to the finishing shoot, I then relaxed and soaked up the moment, of not only finishing an ironman, but winning one! The feeling of grabbing the banner was out of the world!”
State: NSW (Originally New Zealand)
Sport: Triathlon- ironman/half ironman
Sporting Accomplishment: NZ AG long course winner x 2, 2nd AG Long Course World Champs 2009, 1st Ironman Western Australia 2011; 6th Ironman US Champs (NYC) 2012, 2nd Challenge Forster 2013; 4th IMWA 2013, 5th NZ national long course champs 2014, 4th Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Champs 2014
How did you get into your sport: I watched a friends Mum race in Kona in 2007, and that inspired me to try a triathlon the following year, from that point I was hooked!
Hardest thing about your sport: I have had to deal with a couple of injuries over the last year, and this has meant time away from training and racing, which is frustrating. I know everyone at some point goes through this, but for me it is the hardest thing!
What does your regular training week consists of: Early morning swimming 4-5x week. Cycling 4-5x week: shorter rides during the week and long rides over the weekend. Running 5x week- a mixture if short/intense runs, long aerobic runs and brick runs (off the bike).
How do you keep motivated: I have a great group of training buddies I do regular training with. When the going gets tough I think to moments where I have raced well and remember the feeling it brings! I also think to those people who have helped me along the way- husband, family, coaches, sponsors, etc.
Goals (Future Plans and Career expectations): To qualify for and race at Kona! Win another Ironman race! Enjoy my time in the sport!
Best piece of advice you have been given: Make the hard sessions count, the easy sessions easy and take your recovery days!