Roy ‘Hammer’ Nasr, LEB
Position in World Championship AG: 3 // Finish Time: 1:10:36
Swim: 12:28 // T1: 2:01 // Bike: 35:36 // T2: 1:18 // Run: 19:14
Coach’s remarks: A splendid report Hammer and as usual, another solid and sound performance. But this is nothing new is it? We have been together over 8 years Roy, you have come from being a triathlon competitor @ 86kg, to a refined athlete along with becoming a serious contender in the Elite age group circuit. You wont be Top 10 in China, more like top 6 and you have that private email and text I gave you 10 months ago. Throw in those two other chicks also and I will be pissed if we don’t have 3 TeamT2a in the Top 6 in the World in their respective age group. Along with Stuey Top 20…Let’s roll the dice here, let’s all work off each other, let’s simply throw all our dice on the table and dare yourself to perform.
Not only that, you make sure we keep triathlon alive and your support from Abela is so appreciated mate, you know that I just want the team to know what you do outside not only being a great racer and mate. We have a few girls and boys now that are genuine contenders at the Elite World Age group scene, from China to Kona to Vegas to Phuket and Roth, what a buzz to be a part of this catchy additive roll we are all on. let’s perform team, let’s roll the dice and I am not just talking the yuppies of the team, I am talking the newbie doing their first race next month, let’s roll this dice….
Thanks for sharing this Roy
As promised , below is my brief China race report. But before I talk about the race itself, allow me to write few lines about my journey to the World Championship podium and the people who made it possible.
Since I was a kid (still am at heart), I always liked sports and had played all kinds of sports: volleyball,basketball,football,handball,tennis,squash,judo,swimming, etc..so when I did my first sprint triathlon in 1995, I was in reasonable good shape and finished 8th overall. I remember coming out of the water top 3, cycling hard on my first road bike and then losing ground on the run; I ran the 5kms in 25 minutes..Since that race I carried on doing triathlon races but was not totally dedicated to our sport as I also enjoyed practicing other sports. My training schedule consisted of around 6 hours/week which made me a competitive triathlete but not a podium finisher!
It wasn’t until the summer of 2003 when I decided to do an Ironman to celebrate my 40th birthday. At that time I knew of a certain Australian guy, an Ironman Champion himself, who trains a Sheikh from the ruling family in Abu Dhabi. His name is Jason Metters and he is supposed to be very good. Sure enough, I contacted him and said I want to do Ironman New Zealand in March 2004, can you help me? And here we are today, 8 years later, thousands of hours of training , thousands of gallons of sweat, over a 100 races done of all distances and many podium finishes….and the icing on the cake is my bronze medal at the World Championship in China. This would not have been possible without the awesome coaching I have received and continue to receive, the unconditional support of my family, especially Tina, my ultimate training partner, Janey, and the amazing T2A family.
The overall trip was fantastic. I had the privilege to be in the company of the Westleys, Didge and Kevin, Stuart and Vic. We travelled in class, stayed at nice hotels and ate good food. In brief it was good fun. Thank you guys for looking after me.
Leading to the race, the weather was beautiful, a crisp 25 degrees with blue sky and light wind. But typical bad luck, it was a different story on race day. A bloody cold day with 14 degrees and unstoppable rain….which might explain why janey turned blue on the bike and had a bad day in the office…
Our age group was the largest (49 competitors) and our wave (97 competitors) was huge in comparison to the other waves ( average 30 competitors) as they merged 2 age groups together, 40-44 and 45-49. But I did not mind it as I thought of it as a Golden Tulip race and was happy to chase some fast feet. I was extremely cold before the start as it was a non-wetsuit swim and we had to wait a good 30 minutes before we entered the water. From the gun, I attacked the swim and felt strong. I had clear water most of the way and managed to get on some feet before the end. I exited the water in second position in my age group and 5th in my wave.
The transition from swim to bike was quite long, but again it was easier than climbing the horrible steps of Golden Tulip. So ran as fast as I could and was happy with my transition time. Again I had the second fastest transition of the day.
The bike course consisted of 2 laps of 10.8kms each. It was wet, windy and undulating (with one short but steep hill), but I loved it. Prior to the race, I researched my competition and wrote their race numbers on my hand. Half way through the bike, David from GB who won the London race and beat me by 5 minutes and was a serious contender to win in China, came past me on the bike, so I knew that I am having a good race….or he is having a very bad race!!either way I was happy. I stayed behind him for a short while and waited for my average speed to go up. But surprisingly he was not going faster than I am, so I have decided to overtake him and cycle as hard as I could and preferred to lead the way and see the course, rather than having to deal with the mud coming out off his wheel.
I entered the transition ahead of David and had no one from my age group overtaking me on the bike, so I knew that I was in good position but was not sure of my overall standing. Anyhow, again I had a quick T2 and clocked the second fastest time of the day. As a matter of fact, it was my T1 and T2 that separated me from the guy who finished behind me as I discovered later(BTW, this same guy finished 5th in Budapest and I finished 14th ). I swam faster than him, matched him on the bike but he was a running machine and he would have beaten me if not because of my fast transitions. But I guess this is racing…
Leading to the race and following the training plan of August, I knew that my running is improving but could not really measure the improvements. As every time, I ran outside I felt sick. So the great majority of my running was on the treadmill. And in London, I managed to run 20:30 with a stitch, so I knew that on a good day in China, I should be able to run sub 20 minutes. Last year in Budapest, I ran 20:20. So you could imagine how chuffed I am with my run time. As soon as I started running off the bike, I felt good and my legs felt light and fast. David came past flying by me, but I did not mind because I knew that he was a better runner. He clocked the fastest run of the day at 17:36, so you could say he is a 45 years old version of Ben WaltenJ. My objective was to stay as close as possible to him and hope that I would not blow up. It worked…although I threw up few times after I crossed the line. But that was a good sign, a sign that I gave it everything. And as they say “Pain is temporary, glory is forever”
To conclude, China was an emotional and unique experience. Before the race I was content with finishing top 10 in the world and never in my wildest dream I thought I could make it to the podium and make my country, coach and team mates proud.
An emotional Hammer