I'M RUNNING FASTER NOW, THAN I WAS 19 YEARS AGO WHEN I FIRST WON IRONMAN NZ
My 23rd New Zealand Ironman ended in a 6th place. Ten years ago I wouldn't have be happy at finishing in 6th place, but when your just two months shy of your 48th birthday and with only 6 weeks of running in my legs, due to a torn calf muscle where I couldn't run for 7 weeks, I can hold my head pretty high after this performance.
Race conditions were ideal with a flat Lake Taupo. 1400 athletes toed the line in the 36th running of the second oldest Ironman race in the world. For some reason my goggles decided to fog up just before the start and I couldn't see anything as the gun went off at 7:45am. I was forced to follow feet of others and stopped a few times to try and see if the goggles would clear, but they didn't, so I just tried to sit behind an athlete and tap his feet so at least I knew i was following something! After 1500m my goggles finally cleared a little so I tried to then take the lead to make up for the lost time at the start.
As I finally touched dry land I found my self 4mins down from the leaders but was in good company with super bikers Joe Skipper and Phillip Koutny (both top 10 in last years Hawaii Ironman World Championships)
I knew I would need to stay with them for as long as I could to try and make up time to the leaders, we had taken a small chunk of time out but it still sat at 3mins after 90km and that was the point I dropped off from the flying duo.
I managed to catch a few more athletes over the last 70km and finished the bike in 7th place. I was 12mins down on Skipper and Koutny, but was hopeful I could have a good run to peg back some time. My initial 20km were pretty good, but the lack of running preparation was starting to tell as my legs began to slowly tire, I was now into 5th place with 7km to go but absolutely blew in the last 3km to be passed by Dougal Allan and I finished a respectable 6th.
As I continue to keep pushing my body every year it's amazing how fast the sport continues to develop, When I first won Ironman New Zealand in 2001 I finished in a time of 8:24:25hr 19yrs later I finish 6th in 8:14:36 as a 47yr old! At least I'm going faster and faster!
I know I can go so much better after such a limited build up in my running preparation so I'm looking forward to when we can race again, and full of motivation to race to my potential and keep pushing the boundaries as a nearly 48yr old!!
Kind Regards Cameron Brown