Ultraman; Day 1 update

Friday, 26th November 2010

Started the swim with calm conditions and a light wind, perfect clear water – could see right to the bottom. No strong currents either and although a couple of people swam into jellyfish and blue bottles, I didn't see any sea life this time round.

Got into a good fast 'pack' of four of us at the start that gave me a solid first half of the swim. Second half, I swam near to Canadian Marty Raymond for most of the time and he pushed me to do a Personal Best time for me on the swim of 2 hrs 28 mins. I came out 4th with a lightening fast transition (under a minute), so learnt my lesson from Canada, care of Kevin Cutjar! I had past Marty and Hillary within 3 miles of transition and then sat about 10 minutes behind Jonas Colting for the rest for the rest of the ride.

Winds started earlier than expected, and there were these huge gusting crosswinds that made me feel wobbly and uncomfortable on the downhills especially. I was riding on 808's both front and back, and I felt the gusts significantly on the front wheel. At one point I was in the small chain ring and on the 25 at the back, out of the saddle and doing only 14 kphr into the headwind. Not much fun, but at least everyone had the same conditions.

Finished the day in 2nd approx 12 mins behind Colting and approx 10 minutes ahead of rookie ultraman Slater Fletcher who had a blinder on the bike with the fastest time of 5hr 05 ahead of my time of 5hr 10 mins. The surprise for day one was Ribeiro who battled an upset stomach on the bike and didn't feature like we anticipated.

For me, although it was a tough day, I have to say that I felt much stronger at the end by comparison to last year's day one finish, and I was really happy with my result on the swim. I managed to eat well throughout the bike and didn't have the upset stomach at the end of the swim that I experienced last year either, which will help with recovery tonight.

Kirst seemed to get the hang of tweeting after a few false starts and unfinished texts, so hopefully a few were able to follow me that way.

Thanks for your continued interest and I'll be back in the saddle again tomorrow – winds and heat expected early...

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