Gory Days

That's Stephen Bayliss's bike. Although you can't see it in the picture his seat looked like a warhead about to launch. The aggressive seat angle was to save his quads for the run. He managed an 8.40 on the day and 5th position.

And that is my man Rynard Tissink. He didn't have the fastest swim, bike nor run on the day and still won the race in a time of 8.23. This is him pre-race day at the bike racking. It was great to see him win IMSA for the 2nd time. He won the inaugural race in 2005.
As for me, here's a quick recap of what went down:
I had an awesome day. 58 swim, 5.41 bike, and then a *crap* run 4.06. But I did everything I wanted to do on the day. I was in a position for a 10.15 which was my primary aim. Swim had lots of waves but I love that stuff. I feel like a Vaalie on spring break. Bike had too much wind for my liking but I worked the big chain gear without smashing the legs. Lots of winter work to be done there, but I was happy with the HR and speed.

The run was awesome. I was holding back to 147 HR (feels like a gentle run), and the speed was at 4.45 to 4.50 per k. Moved into top 10 women and was loving it. I took two water sachets in the uni section where it got really hot last year. Almost immediately the guts started to play up. No cramps or anything, just “OH MY LORDY IF I DON’T FIND A TREE OR BUSH, I MAY LOSE IT ALL ON THE COURSE!” Pace still stayed at 5mins per k despite spending 90 seconds looking like I was giving birth at the 12k mark. At the 20k mark, my stomach went again and all my nutrition purged. I didn’t try anything new on race day. Pace dramatically slowed to 5.10- 5.20 pace. Extra sponges proved to be an excellent replacement for toilet paper. My stomach is bulletproof so this was all new to me. Guys after the race reckoned I should never drink from sachet water as bad batches do surface now and again. I am confident with all the training Keeto through at me and the numbers were exactly as I had expected on the day. At the 28 k mark, the fuel tank said empty and cramps started to crawl through the glutes. I walked for 5 k’s knuiping and trying to get fuel in. At the 10k to go mark, I heard the announcer reckon that the sub 10 hour guys were coming home, so I knew I had an hour to bring in a sub 11. Threw a boiled potato and 2 marmite sandwiches down the hatch (I hate marmite!), and started running. I had zero fuel for the last hour of the run to avoid the $hits. Pace was still there as I managed last 10k’s in 55 minutes.

Lots of drafting packs on the day. One guy road up to me at 100k’s in a pack and said he was hanging in with the pack cos he didn’t want to get left behind. He managed a 9.58 with a 3.29 run. In my mind, drafting would have skewed the reality of my result so I’m happy I let the pack go. I’m not sure I would be happy gunning for a Kona slot sitting in a pack – I need to get my mind (and conscience) around that. For informational purposes, my heart rate lowered from 145 to 135 when the pack went by me, and my speed was increasing. I then kept my distance off the pack and although I could feel the benefits of the pack (10m rule), my HR was up to 155 (10 beats over my self imposed limit), so I decided to slow down and lower the HR.

All in all I feel like a climber who glimpsed the summit so I am stoked with a great race.

I have one week’s rest before COMRADES training starts.
I like long winded informational reports for my sanity and reasons of posterity. I'll get that out in the next few weeks once I have my killer pics sorted.
G(l)ory days,


  1. Rob
    Awesome result man. You did great.

    Saw those big drafting packs and it made my blood boil.

    I know that my time at IM is my time, no one helped me and I rather come in 12min later than that guy and know I did it on my own.

    Rest well before training starts again and enjoy Comrades

  2. Thanks Johan. I'm sure it was you who overtook me at the 55k bike mark? You were on the P4 and looking really good. Smooth and powerful. One day I will be able to ride like you ;o) You were on your own and going at about the same speed as the draft pack which overtook me at the 65k mark! I think it's very tough for you because you have a legitimate Kona opportunity and could have easily made it easier, joined the packs and smashed out a fast run.

    But you are right. The race is our own time and it is important to race (and live) with honour.

    See you at the next one. :o)