137 Sean Mcmahon, AUS
Position in AG M40-44 : 22 // Finish Time: 05:48:06
Swim: 0:37:04 // T1: 0:00:46 // Bike: 2:30:01 // T2: 0:02:36 // Run: 2:37:48
Coach’s remarks: Great report and you really have earned your nominee for Athlete of the month for February in a huge month of talent to choose from with our team results in Feb.
I know where this all started and for the members who don’t know, Sean has come from 120kg when we met and cut down to 105kg for a shot at doing the Ironman. This was the first stepping stone for such a goal and out of the past 10 weeks, 70% of his time was smack in a war zone with next to no Tri training. He is an elite super trooper and someone who I admire as without these guys, our country would not be wheret it is today. He is the real deal team… Anyway, great read Speedo and thanks for sharing your first report, just got to get tougher now 🙂
The Race Report: Jas as promised here is my first ever race. Apologies for the delay its been a hectic week with since getting back from SL so I have had to resort to putting this together over a nice glass of red wine on the A380 business class flight back to Aust!!
Where do I start.
Some of the highlights for the weekend included; the comical hotel dress codes, Celebratory dinner for Princess janey’s B’day, Riot chaparon’ing for Simon, tuk tuk haggling and rooming with Dance manic Higgsy!!!, Sri Lanka was a blast. JT’s time and effort was greatly appreciated a new career path beckons
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Simon Marshall who was a font of great resource and guidance during the trip on how to tackle my first Half IM, much of which I attribute my good results to. Obviously I could only pay him in kind with a good dose of tear gas – which i suspected helped me somewhat. I cant forget Higgsy, who was a constant source of entertainment and I would happily write favourable reference for him to others for future rooming’ prospects – if you don’t mind rooming with a someone with mild Karoke-turets!!! and a caffine obsession.
Race Prep & Countdown
Ok down to the nuts & bolts – It was not ideal. My back flared up the day before the race but thankfully Bruce Smart was on hand to give up his time and work his magic many many thanks Bruce. Its been no secret that my volume and preparation over the last few months has been less than ideal other than lifting ‘pig’ in the gym and tread milling in the outer regions of Kurdistan!!!
It may come as a bit of a surprise to some that i can on occasion be a little competitative. From discussions with Coach my race plan was pretty simple – I just wanted rocket as fast as could in the Swim/Bike then try and triage the heamoraging of time on the run leg!!! I also wanted to try and attempt to adhere to a basic form of a nutritional stratergy (of sorts) – It was better than nothing.
To be brutally honest last couple of pool sprints sessions at the hotel with Roy, Janey, Higgsy and Simon prior to the race really did help with getting some of the etherital ‘feel’ back for me and definately helped on race day.
Got up as planned at 4:00 am to Higgsy (in his tighty whiteys) brewing up my first coffee and caffine hit in 7days – thought Id give Chrissy Weelington’s tip and give up coffee 7days prior to the race. I hooked into the JT arranged race breaky pack; a couple of small muffins yogurt and apple. Got all the bags re-checked, a quick dump and then Tuk Tuk’d it down to the transition area. Surprise Surprise there was heaps of space so I was able to lay my stuff out with relative impunity!!! then spent half then next hour checking, re-checking and comparing my layout to Simon and others. Note to self – to bring an ipod for next race. Before I hit the water I smashed a triple caffine shot gel just to be sure
Into the water – Got myself lined up exactly where I needed to be – right at the front next to the pro’s and surrounded by a few T2A team mates!!! Finally after what seemed like an eternity, BANG and we were off – with me nicely tucked in behind the Pros for first 100m maybe more – happy days. Despite the inordinate dicking around and delays – the swim start was a lot easier than I expected. I guess its hard for people to swim over a ‘tug-boat’ like phsyique. I was swimming comfortably and tucked in behind a group of five others which I quickly and successfully nudged, bashed and bullyed (as Bruce Smart can attest to) into arrow-head formation around me by the second corner- the optimal drafting. Sea conditions not to different from an average spring saturday morning down JBR
Out of the sea up the beach head in 37.04mins. I could hear loads of crazy cheering from T2A support crew and ran into T1 trying to spy other T2A teammates and their bikes to gauge my performance so far – To my surprise I could see Marshie’s bike – WTF and Higgsy Bike too – started to think WOW must of swam alright and amused myself by wondering what the hell T2A chat room crew must be thinking!!! Quick transition of 46secs (for me at least) and felt great running out of transition. Unfortunately, I unknowingly dropped my sunglasses – a rookie error which I would rue for the rest of the day. Nonetheless I was fresh and ready to smash the bike and immerse myself into the video game ‘Frogger’.
It really was a crazy leg – techinical in many regards, but mainly from the perspective f trying to stay alive!!! I got a settled into a quick rythmn and despite all the tuks tuks, potholes and buses I was holding an avergae of 37kph. I just wanted to build on my lead on the T2A running stars. Tried for the life of me to catch and pass every wheel which I suspect further harmed my run performance. As the laps progressed I kept surprising myself as to how much time I had on other team members in retrospect many were unlucky enough to suffer ‘technicals’. I just wanted hold off the stronger riders like Simon M first for as long as possible and Higgsy and Stevie Morgan till at least T2. I Suspected from Didge’s animated support every lap must be doing something right too.
half way along the second loop I had a slight disagreement with a mazda sedan who swerved me, thankfully I managed to stay upright but at the lose of a full water bottle however, he lost his wing mirror – I win.
Nutrition wise – one bottle an hour and three gels – had 10 salt sticks for the leg too – not sure they help much when it came to the run
Off the bike (2.30:01hrs) and Into T2 I felt not too bad despite Piers photos showing a slight ‘chicken dance’ coming down those bloody steps honestly thought another two strong laps was doable . I took my time here to get sunscreen on hydrate before hitting a run distance which I had yet to come close to completing in training so far. 2.35mins
A lot of support from the T2A support crew kept me going through the run ! Surprisingly my back felt really good through out the whole run to which I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Bruce Smart for his work on me the nigght before. Its no secret running and I have a mutual hate and that ‘I just run ugly’ – not the most appealing t-shirt slogan for Nike campaign I am sure.
The real embuggerance coming off the bike was from my VMO’s (front lower quads) which where shitty with me as soon as I dismounted the bike!!! However, the four 5k lap format was a mental advantage from a pyshcological perspective – as it meant more aid stations for my run/walk stratergy – sorry coach 10/2 went out the window and decided to shot for station to station approx 7/1s!!! I will save you from a blow by blow accounts – suffice to say no dark places just a whole lot of honest sufferance – All I could do is was to hold on and just watch my average pace go up every lap. splits 33/40/41/44mins. Didge and others were invaluble in there support through out the day especially on the run, many thanks
On a positive note, I did manage to keep the HR in the mid 140s for the most part – which in honest reflection cramp induced insomnia on the red-eye Etihad flight home) leads me to suspect I may have run within myself a little and could of potentially suffered more – I know the photos tell a different story. Also with nutrition I discovered I was able to tolerate gels, coke which is god to know
– celebrating Princess Janey’s B’day dinner with a poorly dress Simon M;
– being a chaparone for Simon Marshall’s first ever riot;
– The awesome support T2A support crew; Didge, Piers, Clare and others;
– Getting to meet the the Oman chapter of the club;
– not dying on Bike leg;
– learning so much from the more exprienced T2A team maters;
-The fantastic results achieved by the team;
– being the best dressed at the after race function; and
– the cheap prices of beer
– traffic mayhem on bike course; and
– witnessing Mitchell strolling around the hotel in his euro underpants/hot shorts!!
Obviously as other who travelled to SL will attest, as far as ‘first IM expirences’ it could not have been any worse – enough said. Despite setting a low very low ‘expirence’ bench mark for me I enjoyed the trip immensely. Performance -wise it is now the first flag/marker in the sand of many more to come for me to improve on. I guess one of the great attractions to this sport for many is the ever elusive goal of trying to improve perfect (subejctively) each discipline and getting things right consistently. My big take aways will be the bike and how comfortable and strong I felt – there are no excuses from here in. The other attraction is the comeraderie and mateship that comes with training with like minded individuals, especially the likes of my fellow musketeers; Higgsy, Venny, National, Morgs, Chombi and others. I know I can always count on these guys regardless of respective shitty weeks with work, not hitting training volumes and family commitments that the friday rides and Saturday swim/coffees sessions are what always makes it worth while.
lastly my wife Laura has the patience of saint with me, my commitments and endeavours. She lets me get away with so much, new bikes, expenses etc. at the sacrifice of family time which I never seem to balance right – it really is the fifth dicispline for many of the married members of the team.
So where to from here, Im in no rush to do a full IM, I want to seek more improvement and better results in a few more half IMs – whilst I will never be a podium finish I do want to be a ‘Competitior and not just a Finisher’ and I know this much is possible. I dont like pursuing endeavours if I am unable to learn and grow stronger from them – I have learnt a so much from my time with T2A, this race and my team mates and it can only auger well for the future.
One last note why in the hell did no one warn me to put sunscreen on the back of my bloody calfs!!! Im still suffering sunburn!!!
Tit bits Stats
BW before race: 106.8Kg
BW post race: 102.4Kg
BW post-post race party: 105.6Kg!!!