ULTRAMAN 2021 – 8, 9, 10 MAY
Triathlon is a sport and lifestyle with endless opportunities and for me ive always strived for a new challenge, having competed competitively over the last 7 years I’ve been continually building volume and distance into my training and racing, from club races, Olympic, half iron, and full ironman distances.
It only made sense after recommendations from coach, Jason Shields “thrive endurance” a previous competitor of Ultraman to also nominate myself and compete in the 3 day multi-sport event. Held in Noosa covering 10km swimming, 421km cycling and 84.3km running.
Having followed previous year’s UM events, I had a fair idea what I was getting into, so in may 2019 I applied for the event and in July that year I accepted a spot, including athletes from all over the world, and also a number of professionals. To my disappointment the 2020 event was cancelled and finally after two years of high volume training I made it to the start line in may 2021, we had lost all internationals due to covid restrictions, but the race still went on.
The race requires a crew and vehicle to assist with nutrition, first aid and encouragement as the entire event is self navigated by athletes. With only assistance from crew. My crew was my mum, dad and wife Leanne, along with local nipper, and local paddler, 14 year old Donald from Noosa SLSC.
So at the crack of dawn sat morning we all set off, 34 paddlers and 34 athletes all keen to take on this mammoth multiday event. After finding my comfortable pace and position my paddler directed me around the 10km swim course and after taking nutrition at 4 and 7km I was more than happy to exit water in 7th place and take on a Vegemite sandwich before heading out on bike for 140km. Holding a steady pace on bike I maintained my position to finish day one in 7th place, in 7hrs 52min.
Day 2 commenced on bike, having to ride the hills of Noosa region with 280km, and a long day in the saddle. With a police escort out of Noosa in order of day one placings, I was able to get a solid start and by 100km mark had found a comfortable spot in 4th place, all of a sudden some electrical issues with gearing occured on bike causing me to drop back to 10th and make some changes to gearing for the last 150km, I was able to fight back and again finish the day in 7th place, 8hrs 27min.
Day 3 double marathon 84km run and the final of the event, the one i was looking forward too, starting in 7th place I had a goal to pick up two spots and end in top five. I had a solid run plan, body was in fairly good condition and I was aiming to run around 7hrs which would be an average of around 5min/km. My run started faster than planned and before I knew it I was at turnaround point in second place in 3hrs 22mins, I had faith in my body and kept to plan in an aim to catch the lead runner and by 50km I had done just that, once in the lead i had my crew keep me feed and hydrated and updated me on the lead. With 21km to go i had extended the lead to 10mins from the second runner and was happy to keep the pace, no need to over do things, by the end I was happy to take win by 12mins and finish the day in 6hrs 57mins, with a total for race being 23hrs 17min 26sec, 3rd overall. I couldn’t be happier.
My ultra ultimate race was complete, I couldn’t be happier, have to thank my super crew, coach Jason, old army mates Troy, Aaron & Phil who supported, UM support staff and all the other amazing athletes who completed the event of a lifetime, as for returning to do again,
let’s leave it as a maybe.