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Rob Hill - IM Race Report
CBD Cycles - 10/04/2013
Antho, Davo, Ella-o, Nicko, Willo & team

Well, another interesting day to try and qualify for Hawaii.

A year ago I skipped the perfect conditions of the inaugural Ironman Melbourne as I decided to race Ironman NZ a couple of weeks earlier, an iconic race and one I’d been planning to do for years. Of course the weather didn’t cooperate, the IM became 70.3 NZ and I was lucky to scrape into 4th place and get the last Kona slot in the A/G.

This year, after IM NZ 2013 experienced perfect conditions leading to a new course record by the winner Bevan Docherty, I sort of guessed that my decision to race in my hometown IM in Melbourne for 2013 would come back to haunt me. Well we all know what happened on Sunday 24th March.

A lot has been said already about the decisions made on the day by the Race Director and the impact to the race dynamics that this caused and I’m not going to add to that noise (no, seriously Anth). All I will say is that the day had a couple of obstacles for me and I was really happy with how I dealt with them mentally. My legs felt good all day but it’s easy to let set backs completely derail what you could otherwise physically achieve in an Ironman triathlon. Sometimes you just have to allow your mind to let the body function as it has been trained to do on race day!

My day started off pretty bad, then got worse, but by the midpoint of the run I realised that I just had to hold my pace and continue to carve through the field to record a really solid result. As everyone who’s faced up to an Ironman marathon knows, that is easier said than done, but on this occasion the stars aligned and I maintained a steady 4:30s pace to the end.

I’ve raced many times over too many years with the finish line set up in Catani Gardens but this was admittedly a bit more special than your standard Gatorade sprint tri. It was cool to be called over the line as 2nd in my A/G and know that I’d be going back to Kona.

Thanks for your help guys in getting the Cervelo ready for the day and yet again I was able to race with confidence in my bike being fully prepped. Funny how in this race in Melbourne with so many athletes wearing the CBD Cycles colours, the people I saw on the Eastlink sidelines with mechanicals were wearing something else…