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IronMan Taupo – 2011

Ken Young - IronManA few members of the local cycling community participated in IM NZ 2011 on 5th March . After a great week leading up to the event the morning started with steady rain and ideal swim conditions.

The people who suffered most were the spectators despite being clad for the rain. At least the athletes were meant to get that wet. The water was calm and warm so great start.


Getting up to transition and not being last out of the swim was proof that you can get through without kicking much. I was pretty happy with my time being quicker than last time.

The start of the bike was a hint of what was to come with heavy rain and a small dilemma as to what clothing to wear rain jacket or not . Did not seem worthwhile since it was not cold. I went for the MMCC cycle kit as the only one on the ride, it was easily identified .

Wet, but looking goodThe ride was good with a modest headwind out to Reparoa but the heavy rain did make it difficult to see at times. Fascinating train spotting and looking what the standard of TT bikes was. Lot of Cervelos and a huge amount of carbon wheels. . Again the support stations were fantastic and going round the turn at Reparoa did require a degree of care. Was good to see the Pirie clan out at the turn. Your turn next year Tom.

Surprisingly I was about the same time as 2009 for the cycle ride and Vaughan’s photos show the rain pretty clearly. Getting into transition was interesting since the water was about 2 inches deep in the tent. Any attempt to keep feet dry lasted until leaving the tent when again there was a big paddling pool..
At the Bike Run TransitionOut on the run course was more of the same. It became a slow jog out to 5 mile bay, good to see Chris Sanson running strongly and Soren not looking quite so happy on his 2nd lap back in. Having not got much training done I was aware of how unpleasant the marathon was going to be and it did not disappoint.

As darkness came we got our glow sticks and aimed back to town for the final time and I did feel sorry for those still with a full lap to go . The support station crew at Taupo are fantastic with their enthusiasm despite such a bad day.

Starting the second half marathonWas great to finish even if I did not get under 14 hours. Should not stop to talk to so many people. However their support was greatly appreciated.

Was good to see several Manawatu cyclists up supporting , great effort on a terrible day. Sorry if I ignored you but could not see much with no glasses on during the run (a very loose term).

Starting the second half marathon

Taupo does deserve high praise for such a good event . Will be back in the medical tent next year.

Congratulations to Chris for his Kona spot and Sue McMaster who won her age group. Also to Soren for a great time and not destroying himself this time.