New Zealand National Champs - Port of Tauranga Half Ironman
I'm stoked to have defended my title at New Zealand National Champs, a race that carries so much legacy and a pretty enthusiastic home crowd (huge thanks to you all for your humorous words of encouragement).
Also a special race as it marks my jump to my next Lilly pad. Finishing my season off representing some of my grassroot supporters for the last time was an honor, 2XU, Balance and Thanyapura, you've been an invaluable team that have provided me with an awe of support, thank you. And starting the calendar year with a win is equally exciting, as next race I'll be lining up in the BMC-Etixx Pro Triathlon Team colours along with the on going support from NZ Asics and Trainingtilt.
Race venue is a summer holiday hotspot at Mount Maunganui, a peninsula out from Port of Tauranaga 2.5hrs south east of my home town of Auckland.
We swim on the harbour side amongst the anchored boats and a fair bit of chop, despite the surf beach actually being on the other side. I was 2.30min / 4th out of the water behind some swift girls from the ITU circuit.
After a slow transition putting socks on and thinking about arm warmers and baby oil, I rode patiently to real in my deficit by the end of the first lap. Giving myself a reasonable but not quite comfortable lead off the bike.
The run is a personal favorite, 2x along the coast, past the cafes and around the base of the mount. I started the run with a 4.30min lead and managed to hold on to it till the finish.
Kudos to Julia Grant in 2nd for keeping me running hard till the line and Teresa in 3rd for always setting the bar high in the swim.
Brief training break for me combined with the BMC-Etixx training camp and a little bit more globe trotting.
Next race tbc, likely to be in Asia in March.