CURRANZ ambassadors did us proud in attritional conditions in last weekend’s Ironman Western Australia.
As many as 20% of the competitors failed to finish, including many race favourites, while the wildlife presented organisers with uniquely ‘Australian’ challenges.
Sightings of five sharks on the swim course forced the cancellation of the swim, while the bike leg was affected by bush fires and even a kangaroo collision for one unfortunate triathlete.
Despite this, our athletes knuckled down to the challenge in searing conditions, with Dougal Allan podiuming in second place against a hot professional men’s field, while former Brit and long-time CurraNZ advocate Hal Cross finished in 12th out of 201 competitors in his age-group (45-49).
The Australasian Multi-Sport Champion Dougal (pictured, left) said: “I came off the bike in second behind a German cycling machine, who I knew I’d outrun. The main threats to the title were the guys a few minutes behind me. Again, it became a case of keeping focused and following my own plan. In the 36C heat I needed to keep my pace conservative early in the marathon, even though my legs felt great.
“Halfway through the run, notable Ironman athlete Tim van Berkel passed me for the lead but a few kilometres later I had caught him again and we ran shoulder to shoulder for 4-5km before I pulled away again.
“Not long after this however, a strong and controlled-looking Terenzo Bozzone passed me for the lead and never looked back. The final 10km became a case of managing my hydration, cooling myself and protecting my second placing.
“I am extremely proud of my race performance and to finish just behind one very impressive athlete and ahead of some big names of the sport such as 2016 Asia-Pacific Ironman Champion Tim Van Berkel in third and Cam Brown, 12x Ironman NZ Champion in fourth.”
Interestingly the athlete who won the race is also an advocate of NZ blackcurrants, and like Dougal, uses blackcurrants as part of his supplement routine.
Our other ambassador in the race, age-grouper Hal (pictured left), had to dig deep many times to it tough out.
He says: “I suffered badly on the bike with cramps that I’ve never experienced before and was also sick a few times! I thought at one point my body was going to shut down until I told myself to harden up and reminded myself that Ironman racing isn’t supposed to be easy. Once I won that mental battle and the cramps disappeared I managed to run a decent marathon and place 12th from 201 finishers in my age-group.
“Taking extra berries on the bike set me up for the run. I popped another two capsules before going to bed after the race and 24 hours later, I’m feeling pretty good. Not having any DOMS is a huge bonus.”