Corinne Abraham was first at the Santa Cruz Half this Sunday. athletes were on show across the globe this weekend as they build towards their main goals.

Firstly, I am very pleased to congratulate Dan McIntosh on his first ever podium at an ITU points race. Dan has a long, hard road ahead of him to show his Federation that he too can be looked at for national ITU selection for his country. He has started in the right direction. His racing road trip has so far produced a 5th and a 3rd and he has two more races in the next two weeks.  We wish Dan all the best for his final two races.

Corinne Abraham opened her season with a strong win in Tenerife at the Santa Cruz Triathlon Festival. Over the past months we have seen gains in the swim and a lift in power on the bike. It is early days, but if we can build the power into the endurance end of her sport and make the swim improvement stretch to 3.8km there will (and should be) some extremely nervous female pros around. The monster-in-training is building very nicely at present.

Finally, Todd Skipworth had his training day at Ironman New Zealand and was there not to win but to learn some hard truths. It’s very difficult when you have been a superstar and fully fledged champion in another sport – Todd is a duel Olympian and former World Champion rower – to transfer across and build yourself up from scratch. Sitting in a boat rowing backwards for 11 years has no correlation to riding a bike off the front of an Ironman with all the contenders having you set the tempo for them.

One of Todd’s big advantages is a big negative for him at present as is he is a terrific swimmer and so is getting out of the water with the swim specialists or by himself – leaving him completely unprotected. At present he has bike legs to go 60km. Tough races like this will help him build to 90km at champion level and we hope to 180km in the next phase of his development. Skippy is soon going to be a nightmare to race as without a wetsuit he will swim 47 minutes at Kona. He just needs to take his lessons and plough on to make his bike bulletproof. Do that and he will become a triathlon champion to match and perhaps surpass his rowing exploits.

Skippy Ironman NZSkippy in action at Ironman New Zealand.

Here is Todd’s race report:

“I was lucky enough to race Ironman New Zealand this Saturday. I’d heard a lot of good things about this race from a lot of people and the venue, Lake Taupo, the event itself and the organisation certainly didn’t disappoint. You could tell as soon as you arrived in Taupo that this is one of those races that takes over the whole town and the whole town embraces the athletes and the race and everyone involved helps create an awesome atmosphere.

We had mixed weather in the lead up to race day and the forecast wasn’t great for the day itself. It rained the whole Friday afternoon during check in but eased in the evening and by dawn I think everyone was a little more hopeful for a better day. After a pretty cool traditional Maori Haka down at the swim start we were given the green light to enter lake Taupo itself for a warm up before the start at 6:45. The cannon sounded bang on time and with a generally clean start I found myself with two others Dylan McNeice and Graham O’Grady we came out of the water with a bit of a gap to the next couple of blokes and after a long run and stair climb to transition it was out on to the bike. A thick layer of cloud made it a fair bit colder than I’d expected for the start of the bike and although I felt ok on the bike I struggled to hold the pace that would ultimately be required on the day. I found a bit better rhythm toward the very end of the bike and managed to come off the bike in 6th before running out of transition with Mike and Dylan both right there. I was running ok but not great hoping that I would build in to some better form throughout the marathon but it never eventuated and after a pretty long day in the office I crossed the line for 8th.

It was a tough day and every competitor who finished earned a pat on the back for a big effort, a special mention has to go to Cameron Brown who was just a class above and Terrenzo for taking it to him. The course was tough which makes for a good fair race and the weather threw everything at us from cold and drizzling to 50kph winds and then later in the afternoon some heavy rain. On the whole though I can see why New Zealand is one of the iconic races to do. Every aspect of the race was run silky smooth and the organising committee and all the volunteers who make the whole race such a positive one are to be congratulated.

Looking forward to my next race in Melbourne.”

Well done to all.

Share This

Share this post with your friends!