Sunday, July 26, 2009


I signed up for the painathon this past week .It was a spur of the moment decision.
Whilst riding part of the course this morning ( and it was bitterly cold with just my cycling bib and jersey) I was asked was this part of my active recovery plan after IM Austria.

My only reaction was it was penitence for the disastrous IM race . But only jokingly as it was a spur of the moment decision.

My week has flown past pretty quicky and after wednesday evening run I did nothingelse till friday.I did a swim run brick .I ran for 40 minutes easy and then swam 2km in the pool .had a good long chat with Rossco . All i recall of the conversation was now atleast you are an athelete worth training and you have to lose all that weight round your middle. But I do like my food and Iam constantly hungry . His advice just each fruit and vegetables. I wish it was that simple but Iam not a rabbit.

The workout was good and felt I hadn't lost too much fitness in the last 2 weeks.
I decided to do the familiarization of the painathon course on Saturday.
The painathon is in its thrid year started by Jono Hague ...the blurb from the painathon website :

About Painathlon

Painathlon was conceived by Jonathan Hague in early 2007 during his medical studies at Notre Dame. Jonathan is known in Perth fitness circles as 'that nutter who ran Jacobs Ladder for 24 hours'. This was a world record stair-climbing attempt in 2006, also for Variety WA (ultimately unsuccessful at 262 laps and over 10 vertical km's). He brings this knowledge of pain to the Painathlon.
His idea was to compile all the toughest fitness runs he had come to know round Perth during cross-training and combine them into one massive impossible event.

With the help of Kinga Paszkudzka and many helpers and sponsors the Inaugaural Painathlon was held on Sat August 4th 2007. The event was a great success and participants raised over $8500 for Variety WA childrens Charity.

Local Ironman Brad Hosking demolished the field and the course in just over 7.5 hours.

K and J

On a cold Saturday morning about 11 people rocked up for the familiarization .leading the way was Marek a veteran Painathlete. First time on my bike since Austria .We were going to run and ride the first 5 challenges .I thought it was just a show and cycle thru... how very wrong .A quick change of my cycling shoes and off we were running the first challenge 3 laps on the beach in front of the city of perth surf club. That got me warm. In the group was Norm Black and Kerrie Smith , both North Coasters .We then went thru the various runs .The toughest for me was the run up mount street x 3 .
that was challenge 4 and then it was on to the causeway for the run round the bridges approx 10km .Norm Black and I ran it in approximately 52 mins.By then my legs were feeling sore and I had a few problems with my bike as the chain kept slipping everytime I changed gears to athe largest cog . It happend as we were climbing Mount street and I had to push my bike up .I just could not climb the hill after fixing the chain . I managed the run round the bridges in 52 mins which wasn't too bad >Kerry Smiths group ran it in 48 mins .

By the end of the ride back to city beach I was sore and cramping . I had taken 2 salt tablets , one before the start and one after the bridges run but it was probably too late .

I was really stiff in the arvo . Too much too quickly.

The next day I joined Norm again for a ride out from Malaga Fire station with Bryce Mitchell .We were going to ride to Challenge 6 ...The Truth .It was cold and it was the first time I rode behind a motorbike.Once out at Campesic Road the pace quicken to 38kph and it was easy behind the bike but once we hit any incline I struggled to keep up behind the bike.

From there we left bryce and the boys he was training and rode to Challenge 7 via Farral road although the alternative thru talbot road sounds better..My chain came off again .We then rode back .i did a pproximately 70km and Norm would have done 90km.

Legs didn't feel too bad but we hadn't done any of the challenges.
That would spoil the surprise on 7 August 2009.

ENCORE: Ford Ironman World Championship (2008)

Emmy award winning coverage of the 2008 Ford Ironman World Championship on NBC! Airs Saturday, July 25, 2009

Can't tire of watching this clip .Would like to be able to watch the Ford Ironman World Championship again.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

starting the engine

22 July 2009

It has been hard getting back into training for 2 reasons :
a ) the weather has been bad with strong winds and lots and lots of rain but we do need it in Perth as we are still down on the monthly rainfall avearge .With 8 days to go before the end of the month we should pass the average.

b) it has been hard without any clear goal to train for.

Having said that I have decided on a few interim pursuits:

The painathon on 8 August 2009
and the city to surf Marathon on the 30th of August.

I had an hour run last evening from my office in the city to UWA along the foreshore.It drizzled lightly but otherwise was a good dust of the cobwebs run.

It got dark and gloomy pretty quick and there were lots of cyclist racing around but only a few runners .I managed to take it easy and did a negative split by 2.5 mins because as I was running back ,2 runners rushed passed me and I just had to chase .unfortunately , they stopped running and turned around at the swan brewery and I still had to run back to the office.

I was planning on swimming today but got delayed at a meeting so there was no swim today.

Now that Iam back I have started up my contribution to the North Coast Newsletter and there is lots about Tris in the WWW.

heres the contribution just for the record .

Chrissie wins again and a new world record

The Chrissie Wellington interview

On a personal note I met Nick Kensington ,a triathelete living in London ,on the train from Klagenfurt to Munich ...he was on his way to Roth for his second Ironman race in 7 days.
A great athelete and spent the train journey talking to me about his training and all the races he had done .He will do 5 ironman races this year having qualified for Kona in China and finishing the year at Corumel , Mexico.
And he is a Kiwi.
Nick Kensington does the Double - 12 July 2009
Huge congratulations to Nick Kensington, one of Ful-on Tri's leading Ironman athletes, who this weekend managed the seemingly impossible - not content with an awesome 9:20 at Ironman Austria last weekend, Nick took a small detour on the way home via Germany to smash out an incredible 9:05 at Quelle Challenge Roth. Performances like that are pretty special on their own, but on consecutive weekends - what can you say?

Blistering Day in Germany for McCormack

Joe Friel's Blog

Justin Daerr Elite Triathlete

How aero is aero?

Eric Wynne: triathlon photos/ california 70.3

This triathlete must win the prize for the most unique tri outfit at an iron distance race.

What no M-Dot Tattoo?

Gambles wins Vineman

Victory in the Vineyards for PipTaylor ( one of my favourite triathletes)

Sub-9 iron ladies: a history

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Just Vegetating

16 July 2009

I arrived back in Perth on Sunday afternoon safe and well but more importantly my bike
made the trip without any damage.

I have set it up and will ride it this Saturday.

I have started the slow process of digesting the trip and deciding my next few goals leading up to IMWA 2009.

I have read a few articles about nutrition and Joel Friel's blog on 1 July 2009 on sports drinks was spot on .

Joel's blog:

" Question on Sports Drinks

I just received a great question from a coach about what he should tell the athletes he coaches about sodium and protein in sports drinks during long events such as Ironman. Here is my reply...


I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the literature and talking with informed people regarding, especially, sodium. I’m coming to the conclusion that sodium is not necessary during exercise for all of the reasons we have previously been told were so critical - cramping, coping with heat, and maintaining pace/power. I can find no good evidence to support any of these. Just a lot of opinions and sports drink marketing stuff (which most athletes have come to accept as factual)...."

That said, sodium is beneficial in the transport of water across the intestinal mucosa in the upper intestine where it is absorbed.

The second lesson was from the blog of Justin Daerr ,elite triathlete on a piece he wrote for the xtri magazine:

Joe Friel recently posted a statement on his twitter page: “The only difference between a good race and a bad race is that you learn something from a bad race.” I cannot say the tweet was written directly to me, but I do think our conversation from the day before was likely what reminded him of that statement. We had recently sat down so that I could vent about one of my own ‘bad races’ and he recited that statement to me.

Many athletes have come to me to confide in their disappointment from a poor race and it certainly is unfortunate to see anyone fall short of their goals when their commitment and work ethic are in tact. I often tell these folks the same thing: No one can take away the fitness and experience that you have gained from all the days leading to this one. The difference from this race to your next is that your next race is going to be the day that you show the world what you are capable of.

Get back in the saddle!

How very true ...

I had a chat with Ross on Tuesday and I felt uplifted despite the bad race experience and iI had discussed with him my next goal for IMWA .Call it delusional but after every IM race I come away feeling I can do better.

I plan to get back i the saddle on Saturday....if the weather is good.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Video record of the trip

Ironman Austria 2009 personal experience

Ironman Austria 2009 Klagenfurt

Friday, July 10, 2009

walking tour 8 July 2009


The new munich walking tours website:


Soon after the Nazis took power, the Reichsführer SS (Heinrich Himmler) ordered the construction of Dachau to serve as a special prison for political (and later social and ethnic) enemies of Nazi Germany. By the time American soldiers liberated the camp in 1945, more than 32,000 people had lost their lives to the camp's deadly conditions and the guards' brutality.

We are proud that our guides are authorized to provide this tour within the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial - something that very few guides in the business receive permission to do. Many companies offer a simple 'pick-up' service to take you to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial but our native-English speaking guides are the same historical tour experts who will tour you through the history of the Memorial over the three hours we spend there.

Our tour to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial covers:

Jourhaus - Where prisoners first entered the camp and passed through the gate cast with the now infamous words "Arbeit macht frei" (work will set you free). Walking through this gate meant giving up three things: their possessions, their rights as a human being, and their diginity.
Shuntroom - Where the prisoners were registered and given a number as their new identity. Our tour uses the exhibition on display to explore what new prisoners experienced when they arrived at the concentration camp.
Barracks - The camp barracks were built to hold approximately 6,000 prisoners. When the camp was liberated in 1945, over 30,000 prisoners were being held at the concentration camp. Here we will explore the effects of overcrowding on camp life.
Roll Call Square - Where the fates of the prisoners was decided two times per day.

Crematorium / Gas Chambers - The crematorium grounds were strictly off-limits for prisoners and were separated from the prisoner camp. This area was also used to carry out executions. On our tour, this is where we discuss the difficult subject of death in the camp.
...and much more!

The tour runs in all weather. No reservations necessary. Just show up.

Where and When?

Meet our guide in front of the Starbucks in Hauptbahnhof by platform 11.
TUESDAY-SUNDAY at 10:00am and 12:30pm.

Munich - Dachau

9th July 2009

Two thoughts seem to dominate my thinking today whilst Iam relaxing in Munich.
First I have spent a great deal of time analyzing these past few months and IM Austria .Where I can improve and avoid the same results. But most importantly how the race can and is a metaphor for life in many ways.I read Enrico's blog for that very reason .Many lessons to be learnt in Triathlons as corny as it sounds.

I realised that in the failure to realise my primary and secondary goals for the race I learnt an even more valuabe lesson. I take full ownership for what I do in the race , for all the decisions both good and bad ones and most importantly I learnt from them and how lucky I have been to enjoy the many opportunities I have had , the results I have had and all the more sweeter the future results will be.Taking responsibility and not dwelling on the result is critical.Move on with the lessons learnt but remember the mistakes. My mistake was not testing my nutrition in race conditions and adapting them to the weather.

The second thought that has dominated the day for me is the facts and history I learnt visiting Munich a big and historic city with a 850 year history.Despite that 850 year history the city and the country will forever have a 12 year past dominate its historic landscape ,the period of the reign of the third Reich and Hitler. The city is filled with small memorials to the fallen , the people who did try and stand up and fight for what was right and historic events in that period.The German people unlike others have learnt to take full responsibility for the past but have moved on.According to our guide ,luke most German children have a significant knowledge of the holocaust and the war.

Most moving was the visit to Dachau a concentration camp just outside Munich which was also the first Camp set up in 1933 and the training camp of all SS Guards and Commandants for all the concentration and extermination camps .Put into perspective the suffering of so many occurred because a small minority ie. the Nazis could by propaganda and fear influence a whole population .Humankind has a sense of repeating history.Dachau as a memorial was and is there to educate and the many victims convinced the US liberators to not tear down the gas chambers and crematorium was much later that the camp itself became a memorial.The lesson was Never Again should humankind perpetrate such violence on anyone . The lesson is still valuable as we face the same conditions that caused the kind of rise of Hitler.In 1928 Hitlers national Workers socialist party had approximately 2-3%of the vote and in 1932 it was over 30%.

The Euro elections have seen a rise in the right wing movement again for in fear and uncertainty we always blame someone and that someone is usually the bloke you don't know and who doesn't speak well or is a different colour.

That brought me to a conversation I had with a Canadian In Austria...David a motivational speaker .I asked a really dumb question...are all the triathletes he has met wonderful people? For me most of the people I have come across in the tri world have just been great but he said like in any company or organization or country , you will come across all kinds good and bad . He recounted an experience of a friend of his who was punched so badly in the swim by another athlete he had a swollen face .That is equally true for the tri family.There are the stuck up and aggressive triathletes and the many others who are giving of their experience.The trick is to weed the bad employees out or turn them around.

But what is important is to stand up for what you believe .If we stay silent we are liable to suffer.

There is a famous saying by a catholic priest in Germany during the war:

First they came for the Communist and I did not say anything.
Then they came for the Jews and I did not say anything.
Then they came for me and there was noone left to say anything.

Learn to not categorise and simplify the world .There are good and bad everywhere.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

video IM Austria

Clifford Lee's vidoe clip of IM Austria pre race withpics of me at the pasta night and swimming in the lake on friday morning

The Day after....

6 July 2009

I am sore as hell but managed to get my bike down two floors ....great choice staying on the 2nd floor of the hotel .I did an hour easy ride and went down to the expo again.

Still reeling from the bad day yesterday but enjoying the atmosphere and the many athletes who did exceptionally well.Löve the war stories.

As Bella Bayliss said at the award night ..for those who did not finish or achieve their goals ,just shake off the disappointment and get on with the next challenge.

The awards night was a little tame .One of the girls from our travel group got a Kona spot doing a 10.49 in the 40-44 age gp.

Lydia Miller won her age group 60 plus but did not take her spot.

A guy from Spore Dex did back to back Im races ...France and Austria with a 11.27 IM Austria result and a 3.45 marathon run.

The evening went by following the awards just chatting with everyone in the travel group ...the next day everyone left .I took a train to Munichand on the trip met Nick Kensington .he did a PB sub 9.30 at IM Austria ,his 13 IM Race .Nick is a Kiwi living in London and by all accounts an exeptional athelete.He did China earlier this year and got his kona spot ...well done.He is heading to Roth and then Kona in October and finishing the year in Mexico doing Corumel .That is 5 IM races in a year.Enjoyed my conversations with him on the train ride and has inspired me to keep at it ..not that I was going to quit.Thanks Nick for the advice and Its nice to know everyone has bad races .

Will be watching Roth and Kona .

For now its just relaxing in Munich before I fly back on friday.Friends have gone their separate ways but the memories remain.As I was leaving for the station karon one of the tour leaders asked if I would return to do IM Austria again...probably not soon but one day i would like to return to have another crack at this course.For atmosphere and beauty it is clearly one of the great IM races.

This time it would be nice to have the family as well.

Monday, July 6, 2009

IM Austria Race Report ( How to survive)

Its the day after the race and the only good point is I finished IM Austria .
The time was 13.43.

In a nutshell I should have had a good race but from the start of the bike leg I was having lots of difficulties with cramping and despite the electrolytes I was taking I could not stop the cramps which just continued thru the run.

The swim started on a beautiful day but with 2500 plus atheletes it was crowded .It took 500 metres before I found any clear water there was lots of breast stroking whilst everyone just spread out abit.Otherwise despite the slow time I thought I did pretty well in the swim .The course was a 1400m swim out then a left turn for 400 meters and then back to shore and the last 900 meters in a canal.the canal section was amazing with the crowd at the side and over the swimmers on bridges .It wasn't deep at all and just got pretty congested with a bottleneck at the exit.I finished the swim in 1.32 but I was happy with the swim and got out feeling good.I think most people would have had a slow swim time . Transition was quick but there was a long run to the exit because of the enormous transition area.

The bike course was a 90km 2 lap course with a climb of 800 metres hence a total climb of 1600mts. There were two major climbs on the route with a gradient maxing out at 11 and 12 %.I had driven the course and it looked manageable. The course itself wound its way thru the Carinthia Canton of Austria and around the many lake systems in this region and has to be one of the most beautiful bike courses for an Ironman.It was onece a leg of the Giro D'Italia.(not sure how long ago but well before ironman Austria)

I started comfortably and felt I was making good time with the expectation of a 530 to 5.45 time .Unfortunately at around 60 km I started to cramp up badly and after that it was just a matter of survival. despite electrolytes I kept getting cramps and had to stop several times.The second lap was much slower and I finished the bike leg in 6.28 .There were a few crashes and saw someone being taken in the helicopter off one of the hills .Fortunately it was dry and going down the hills was great.
By the time I started the run I wasn't able to hold down much in the way of nutrition and my legs were just completely cooked. The weather during the day steadily got hotter and with the combination of my lack of being able to hold down much , the cramps and heat the run rapidly became one of jogging a few minutes and walking a few minutes.

There was some respite in the evening with a short shower . The crowds on both the bike and run course were amazing and there was horns and cowbells and cheering ,especially at every hill encouraging you on.It was truly everyone in the area pitching in and doing something be it on the aid stations or just sitting outside their home cheering .The run course wound its way to Krupendorf a village 7 km from the start and then back to klagenfurt town square where we run along the canal and then round the dragon in the square and thru the piazza. It was great to finish this race which was by far my toughest not for the course but just the level of cramps which I had not experienced to this extent .The finish area was amazing as always with a cheering crowd and strobe lights .I missed the fireworks in the end ...just too dead tired.

Many lessons to be learnt and I would recommend this race for the atmosphere .The bike course is challenging but not bad and one can post a good bike time . The heat took its toll and I ended up in the medical centre with 2 drips but otherwise Ok.There is always a first time .

It hasn't put me off Ironman races but I think I learnt alot from this race in so far despite all the preparation ,anything and everything does go wrong .Be prepared to deal with them as best as you can. There was no question of not finishing ...just what time I did.

In the end I was just too tired to laugh or cry.I do know that a year ago I would not have finished this course so I don't look at the training I did as wasted ,I am defintely better for all the training and the experience .Like life you can't always get everything you want .On the positive side of the trip as always I meet truly amazing people in the Triatlon family. It is universal and there is a sense of respect and commonality for the effort everyone who rocks up for a race had to put in .I wouldn't be here but for the support of the guys I train with , their cammaderie definitely makes all those lonely rides more tolerable , Ross Pedlow for the advise and balance , and most of all my family who tolerate the absolute obsession I have.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bike Check In

4th July 2009

The race briefing was this morning and nothing new accept that with 3 infringements you are disqualified . Otherwise it was pretty standard.

Race Briefing this morning in English

I have just checked in the bike and my bike and run bags....always a nervous time as Iam never sure if i have everything I need .
But I think I got it all .The bike area is massive and it will be a long run down to collect my bike which is fortunately near the start of the bike course.

Done everything and as the presenters at the race briefing stated " Don't Forget To Enjoy The Race"

The day before.....IM Austria 2009

Pasta Party IM Austria 2009

Iam at the Expo using the computer/internet access whilst the German briefing is going on so its nice and quiet.

It was a rest day on my programme so I didn't do much but did have a swim out on the lake with enrico and the guys.water was a very nice 22C and was great again.
went down to the expo and had a look around and then went into the city for a wander.
there was a slight drizzle but the weather was otherwise hot.

Started to put my gear together and went for the Pasta party .Again chatted with lots of Americans and Canadians who are over for the race.

Lydia Miller the oldest woman athlete is in the tour group and got called up on stage.
The Pasta party was really good .A danish school group marched in with the flags of atheletes participating in IM Austria ...49 countries.

They then did some acrobatics and dance.
There was the standard interview of the number one ranked triathlete ...Marino V
Sat with the Spore guys and food wasn't too bad .Lots of pasta and for desert fruit and an Austrian strudle type dish with a type of pancake I think.

Posted some shots on Facebook.

Today I got up early and did a short run and ride ...but no swim .Shoulder a little sore but not really going to affect the swim . Weather forecast is for rain in the arvo .I hope Iam off the bike course by then. Getting my nutrition plan together and hope it all goes well.

The rest of the day will just be resting up and bike check in this evening.

Happy 4th of July to the Americans and viva the tour which starts today.

Friday, July 3, 2009


swim on 3 July at the lake at the public entrance

Dinner 2 July with the singapore squad carbo loading at the hotel krupendorf

At the top of one of the climbs whilst driving the ride course.

2 July 2009
The night before I met up with the Singapore Group with Enrico and the guys doing IM Austria.We had dinner at their Hotel Rosenheim which was a 5 min walk from the Hotel Karnten.

The next Day I went down to the Expo and registration which was amazingly quick .Did not have to pay the 6 euro license fee as i had my Triathlon Australia and Triathlon Singapore membership . thanks Craig for the tip.

Then spent the whole morning wandering around the expo which was the largest I have been so far .
Lots of gear and bought a great IM Austria haversack and some cycling gear .If you can't be fast ,just look good. So I am now atleast uber good.

The weather has beeen fabulous and it is expected to be just as good on Sunday with a shower in the afternoon .

After the swim today I caught up with Milton an age grouper winner from Canada and had an enjoyable time talking about how he took several years to get to his peak despite thinking when he was younger he had done his best times.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My luggage with my modified bike box ala wheels somewhere in suburban Munich after I got off too early on my way to Munich Central Station from the airport 29 june 2009

Klagenfurt gets ready for Ironman austria 2009

In my room with my bike about to go for a ride.30 june 2009

On the train to Klagenfurt 29 June 2009

Ironman Austria 2009....the journey

1 July 2009

I have arrived at klagenfurt for ironman Austria 2009.
It took 3 days of travelling to get to klagenfurt but I made it.
It was wet and cold when I left Perth on 27 June and then I spent
a night in Singapore before catching the flight to munich via
Bangkok .I then had to get to the main Muncih train Station
from the airport lugging my bike box onto a train to central munich
station .i managed to find a storage locker for my bags and for the
bike case ...cost 10 euros .
The morning was spent walking around Munich and then I managed to find the lounge for the first class passengers travelling on German rail.I had got a ticket for 30 euros to klagenfurt travelling First Class.the lounge was great with free drinks and coffee and even ice cream.

There was a rush of passengers catching the train that was coming from Frankfurt and
going thru Salzburg but managed to get all my luggage on and it was no easy feat with a bike box and two bags.

Settled in to the 5 hour ride but the scenery was fantastic.I had lunch in the buffet wagon and just relaxed enjoying the view but some of the tops were still covered in snow.

the weather was overcast and wet by the time I arrived into Klagenfurt.

There to meet me was Christian from Endurance Tri travel .I was one of the few to arrive from a 100 strong group mainly Americans spread over 3 hotels in Kumpendorf a small town 7 km from klagenfurt on the lake .

Christian a 2 time IM Austria participant and a sub 3 hr marathon runner gave me a short rundown of the area and took me grocery shopping and showed me all the local restaurants .I got into the hotel by 7 pm on day 3 of my journey .

The hotel Karnten was a small family owned hotel run by 2 brothers who own the adjoining hotel and the area is dotted with hotels.

It is a 5 min walk to the LAKES EDGE:

MORNING OF 30 June .i set up my bike which wa still in one piece thankfully and went for a ride remembering to keep right on the road.I maanegd to ride round Lake Worthseein 1hr 30 mins and it was breathtaking with mountains surrounding the lake and beautiful castles dotting the area. the weather was great .
I went for my first swim and the water was actually not too cold and pretty clear .
You can't see the bottom but atleast 10 feet .

I spent the rest of the day in Klagenfurt enjoying the cafe sidewalk life in ther piazzas .

Wednesday 1 July
I go for a 40 min swim alone in the lake and it was beautiful, quite and very enjoyable.I looked strange walking down the road in my wetsuit but I think the locals are used to seeing these atheletes do strange things.

Met more Americans from California and our bike mechanic is a triathelete living in NYC but is from Chester , PA where Coach Troy spent some time as a young triathelete with ken Glah.

Got my bike checked out.Greg had done IM Brazil earlier this year but broke his leg on the bike course and is just recoveing from the break.

Will be going on a drive thru the bike course today .All is well and looking forward to racing.