1st - 4:11:20
swim - 26:23
bike - 2:21:43
run - 1:20:34
Standing on the start line next to Canadian athlete, Tenille Hoogland, who is staying with my husband and I for two months, I look across to see the mass of men also on the start line. In the US, men and women start separate. Here, no such luck. This isn’t good for me. I’m up against Olympic bronze medalist Emma Moffatt and super fish Anna Cleaver. Also up there in the swim will be Tenille. An alarm goes and we all bolt down into the water, I’m in a great position, right with the men so far. But then… we are called back. False start.
Bang! This time we are off for real. I run down, dive in then start madly turning my arms over. I look up… where is everyone. I don’t panic, I’ve been in this position before, only almost EVERY race. It’s all good. I see splashes up ahead and I work on chasing. I turn the first bouy and pass a lone swimmer. I then work on the pack up ahead. About ¾ the way through the swim I catch the pack. It’s a big pack and I try to pass - left, right, through the middle. I find myself wasting energy trying to get around them to I sit in for a bit. As the shore line is getting closer I pick it up and run out of the water at the front of the pack.
Back to Geelong - Out on the bike I move into third after not too long and work on chasing down Emma and Anna. I can see I’m gaining on them with some out and back sections but I’m not gaining fast enough. 1 of 2 laps down and I think to myself “I’m not gonna catch them” but then I tell myself “I HAVE too… DO SOMETHING MEL!”. It was like I flicked a switch… before I knew it, I was approaching a long hill and I could see both girls climbing up it. I passed Anna mid way up and came up on Emma towards the top. I didn’t want to just roll past incase they tried to latch on so I put on a surge and made a clear break. I had about 30km to go… now I have to
get that 1min buffer.
The run is two laps of the gardens with a few out and backs so I can see my competitors and then a 3km loop out along the water then back to the finish at the end. I hit 4km and Emma is closing in. By 6km she is very close and I’m getting worried. But I’m clocking every km and I’m sticking to my plan. The conversation starts running through my head, “I’m running 3:45's, she’s gotta be running 3:35-3:40… she CAN’T hold that...can she?...she is.” I try convince myself that 3:35's is too quick. I so wanted to increase my pace just a little but I held back and for good reason. One. I could flare up my butt and not finish or Two. I might blow up. By 10km Emma is 9 seconds behind me. Ok, be prepared for the attack Mel. Instead of thinking about increasing my pace, I was now preparing myself to jump on when she passes. From here I’m not sure if I slightly picked up the pace or Emma started to fade but one thing I knew… my lead was slowly extending again. With 3km to go there is no more sighting your competitors so I put on a surge for home at that point. I took off and didn’t look back. I crossed the line for the win in 4:11:20, 1min 16ssec ahead. This was Emma Moffatt's (Olympic bronze medalist) first time racing over this distance. She is an amazing athlete and one to watch out for if she decides to step up to the 70.3 distance for good.
their little new bub Baxter. They put both Tenille and I up, ran us around, cooked us delicious meals and were at the finish line to cheer us on. My whole trip went as smooth as possible thanks to them. Also at Geelong were some of my sponsors, Scody, Specialized, Blue Seventy and Compressport. Thanks for the cheers and thanks to the whole Specialized crew who made sure my Shiv was in tip top shape. Also a big Thank You to USM and Ironman for putting on a fantastic race and in such a beautiful location. The race officials, sponsors and volunteers pulled off yet again another great event. And finally, a big thank you to my husband and physio Jared and my massage therapist Bruno for getting me to the start line after seriously hurting myself a few weeks prior.