Thursday, March 1, 2012

Updates On Unusual Activities at IMNZ 2012

Could this be a reprise of 2006, at Lake Taupo, Ironman New Zealand?
According to this evening's race-briefing after the Carbo-Party, the technical officials announced to much concern among the 1,500 race participants for this Saturday's 226K triathlon. Especially more so for the 500 'virgins' to this long-distance triathlon. It was deja vu for me since I experienced my first disappointment at not having to do the full distance and all three disciplines, in the oldest Ironman race outside of the USA (mainly Hawaii, birthplace of Ironman).
In 2006, they cancelled the swim leg due to one-metre high waves and white water. The Ironman became a duathlon of a 90K ride and half-marathon. Based on meteorology reports and tonight race briefing, it may head towards a repeat scenario if all goes sour with the intensity of winds picking up. Lake Taupo is a fresh-water lake the size of Singapore, with its own wind system. As of yesterday, the temperature of the water was 17 degrees Celcius; so was today's ambient temperature. It is expected to be a very cold day!
Last year, it rained throughout the entire race. It reminded me of my first Berlin Marathon in 2010, where it rained throughout the 42.195K run, where I ran in soaking shoes and missed my BQ by 7 minutes.
Whatever happens on Saturday, my team will race. A goal is a dream with a dateline. Our date with fate happens to be our date for personal athletic excellence. You cannot keep a good person down. Resilience will be measured in different ways for all participants who choose to complete on 3 March. I trust the well-intentioned judgement of the technical committee. Some statistics: Singapore fields 25 athletes, 33 couples will race together, and 44 countries will take part comprising the 1,620-strong field.
I will keep you updated. Meanwhile, do whatever you can to influence the weather with your positive thoughts. Thank you for your Facebook and Twitter well wishes!  
On a better note, it was great to have Mike Riley as emcee again. I bumped into the 2008 Ironman 70.3 world champion, Kiwi Terenzo Bozzone. He will pit his experience with the highly experienced 10-time winner of the race, Cameron Brown. At 40, the latter is a legend for being the only professional triathlete to win the same Ironman race ten times. He did not win in 2006, since he was flagged off as the first athlete in the forced-duathlon. Joanna Lawn returns to win another title; she has won it more than half-a-dozen times. We also 'met' at the Carbo-Party the original 15year-old finisher of Ironman 28 years ago, who returns to do another one after a long hiatus. Another IMNZ gave his swan-song speech, after completing 27 consecutive IMNZ races. Saturday will be his last race. We wish him all the best!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi mate,

Enjoy the day out no matter what the conditions are. You are a Champion and inspiration to many others. Be proud of how far you have come...!