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5th December 2009

Hi everyone from a beautiful Busselton down in Western Australia. Sore
muscles but both big smiles as we have a couple of days to enjoy it

The ironman started with a swim around the jetty here. Sea was a
picture perfect venue and pretty flat. Kaz and I started together and
both swam on the outside of the pack. We lost each other but amazingly
passed the last buoy I looked up and there was Kaz right next to me.
We swam the last 200 m together and climbed out the water together .

The bike was made up of 3 scenic routes around the bay and into the
local forest area of Busselton. The first loop was super fast as the
wind had not picked up. Coming into the second loop the wind had
picked up and it felt like we were always pushing into the wind. We
also both noticed that the road was a little rougher in sections than
our first loop as we had slowed down. Third loop the temperature was
picking up which would bite everyone on the run.

Getting off the bike and sitting in transition we both knew this was
going to be a tough run. I decided to take the first 20k easy and pick
up the 2nd 20 km as I felt it was a perfect setup to bonk.
Temperatures reached 37 degees and most of the field was walking.
Funny how the heat is so devasting to athletes on an ironman run. Drop
the temps into the 20's and it is a different story. We both survived
the run and Kaz came in in 12hr 15min with tummy troubles for the
first bit of the run. She did an amazing job of pushing through the
tummy troubles and putting it together. She had a great swim of 1 hr 7
min. An amazing Bike of 6hr 10 min which was a very tough course with
the wind and temperature even though everyone knows it is flat. She
cracked a 4hr 55min run which was amazing in that kind of heat.
I managed a 1hr 7 min swim. A 5hr 20 min bike and a 3hr 52 run with a
total time of 10hr 29 min.

I know everyone always makes the comment that their ironman was the
toughest one condition wise however I must admit having done a couple
in extreme conditions this one was right up there as a tough course.

An overall view is this is a great race to come and do with the
volunteers being the best and friendliest I've seen on an ironman
course. It is one you have to do for Hong Konger's and is definitely
the premium event to do around Asia. Organization was awesome and we
are both looking forward to the race after party tonight and having a
couple of Drinks.

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes.

Merry Xmas and cheers to a great 2010.

Cheers for now

Kaz & Bruce
Phuket Triathlon
6 December 2009

Okay I've said I'd hammer together some sort of race reports so here goes:-  

The race starts early and it was actually quite cool, and most people who went into the water for a quick warm-up had real trouble warming up again.  My teeth were chattering for a good five minutes, which is rather a novelty while being in Phuket! Of course no one was going to be cold for long.  

The swim was uneventful.  I found that it never really spread out terribly much and it was quite crowded all the way round.  It made it very hard to overtake anyone but it wasn't too uncomfortable and most of the people around me were swimming at a similar pace.  I decided to stay put and go with the flow rather than fight through bodies.  The course has 1180 metres in the sea and then the competitors run across the sand and swim 620 m in the lagoon.  The sea was fine apart from the jelly bugs, some people in the last few days have been badly stung by jellyfish and I saw a few but they were quite far down.  The next issue I ran into was getting out of the sea.  I didn't put my feet down until it was very shallow and I started running out and then instantly fell into a deep dip in the sand under the water and tripped and grazed both knees quite badly.  Just at that point I heard the woman who was standing on the beach yelling "watch out for the hole!" - mmm helpful!  The swim across the lagoon was okay except it feels like you're getting into a cup of tea.  It's hot, murky and not particularly pleasant, but that section is short and over pretty quickly.  

I was a little anxious about the bike.  On the practice ride I had taken a wrong turning, had a puncture and I had received a nasty bite from some sort of small Phuket beastie. The bike is 55 kms and it runs along highway, back roads and serious back roads.  The quality of the road varies a lot.  The organisers had had most of the speed bumps chiselled out which I thought was seriously accommodating.  At about 5 kms the hills start.  There are three fairly steep but not terribly long climbs.  The only issue I had was with idiots who insisted on overtaking on the inside even though I was pretty close to the edge of the road.  Actually getting to the top of one of the steeper parts two blokes overtook me, one on each side, which was rather unnerving as I was feeling decidedly wobbly.  Was very restrained and only called the guy who overtook me on the wrong side an idiot.  The bike course was for the most part quite enjoyable.  There are parts that wind through the plantations which is very cool and the highway is a lovely straight fast ride.   Conditions were good except for some headwinds which made it a bit tough in places. 

The run is 12 km through the Laguna Hotel resort.  Some of it is on the golf course, which sounds lovely, but I didn't love those parts.  The ground on the golf course is generally sloped, the ground quite soft and it's completely unshaded.  At least not all of it is out there.  The course is two loops with a lot of water stations providing sponges, water, coke and gatorade.  Drink stations were really well stocked and the volunteers were terrific.  

The whole race for the most part is very well organised and pretty scenic.  Definitely worth doing if any Buffalos were thinking about next year.  Next year will also be interesting as they will have the Phuket tri one weekend and then a 70.3 the following weekend.  Anyone up for both?! 

So to the results:-

Name                    Sex Age Cat Div Pos    Swim   Bike        Run    Total
Olivier Baillet          M   35-39     7           26.25    1.37.48   51.00    2.57.59
Rebecca Thorburn     F   35-39     2           31.03    1.43.07    55.34   3.13.35 
Etienne Faure           M 35-39      36          38.07   1.45.24     51.51   3.19.13
Claus Schuermann     M 40-44     42           37.57   1.41.57   1.00.21  3.24.30
Greg Farleigh            M 40-44     53           39.28   1.40.48   1.04.41  3.29.13
Lisa Jones                F  35-39     6            39.57    1.53.01     59.06   3.36.01
Georgia Bamber        F  35-39     7            32.54    1.59.51     59.02   3.36.33
Andrew Dale            M  30-34     53          35.57    1.54.03    1.15.25  3.48.51 
Andrew Macpherson   M 40-44    106          38.10    1.55.37    1.14.22  3.53.11
Imee Macpherson      F  35-39     31           46.44     2.29.01   1.25.55  4.47.10
Martin Allen             M  40-44    157          44.19     2.24.10   1.38.14  4.52.42

Good job everyone!