Ironman Australia champion Luke Bell checks in after recently completing a double-header of racing that included Ironman 70.3 Vineman and Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens.
It has been a nice week of recovery back here in San Diego after a double-header of racing at Ironman Vineman 70.3 (July 14) and Lake Stevens 70.3 (July 21). It has been a busy month hitting these two races back-to-back after happily completing a solid block of training for Ironman Mont-Tremblant (Aug 18) just prior. I was excited to get out there and mix it with the lads and get that feeling of going fast at these two 70.3 events. With the fields assembled, especially at Vineman, there was no shortage of fast feet!
Ironman 70.3 Vineman
Vineman is an amazing race and one well worth doing. Talk to anyone and they’ll tell you it is one of the most professionally organised events that really look after the athletes. Being in wine country also adds to the positives over the negatives!
The race itself was a cracker with the names of Docherty, Bozzone, Gambles, Don, Rapp, Reed, Mathews, Jensen and the list keeps on going.
The race was on from the cannon. The swim was a solid swift pace which broke things up. Docherty took the race on [during the bike] and got to T2 with a solid margin and the guys following headed out a 5min/mile pace. To keep it brief, it was a fast day! Docherty grabbed the win deservingly with a strongman-effort and the top-seven places went sub-3:50. Fast. Off the back of the Ironman block I was very pleased to see where things were at and the the legs still had some G-O in them.
Below is a little clip of the event and why you should get online and register for Ironman Vineman 70.3 in 2014.
Ironman 70.3 – Lake Stevens
With only a week to recover between 70.3 events, it was nice to relax and spend time with Kate Major (who is about to pop! Baby is due in August) in San Francisco. After a week of more sightseeing than training to ensure there was no over-training, it was off to Seattle for Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens. I have fond memories of this event, with three wins and a third place in four starts. This year was going to be no easy feat to keep the podium runs going, with last year’s winner Chris Legh, Paul ‘Barny’ Mathews (also doing the double), Matt Lieto and three-time Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander on the start line.
‘Barney’ Mathews took things out fast again in the swim and we were able to slip away into the fog and exit the water with a one-minute buffer over the main chase group. On the challenging bike course (very honest, relentless hills) I kept things in control, but was very aware of who was behind, so it was a controlled hard effort!
Alexander and the Canadian athlete Elliot Holtham bridged the one-minute gap right on one-hour and ‘Crowie’ continued to keep the pressure on until T2. Onto the run it was a three-man battle shoulder-to-shoulder for the first five miles then Alexander and myself pulled away to put a small gap into Holtham at the end of lap one. By mile eight Alexander and myself were still shoulder to shoulder; however, at mile nine he opened up small gap on a slight up-hill section and from then on I was chasing his butt to catch back up. In the end, Alexander crossed the line in first (1:12 run) and 36 seconds later l crossed in second (run 1:13). It was a great battle that I am sure everyone enjoyed myself included. It was also amazing to feel better racing at Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens on the back of another 70.3. Good signs ahead of Ironman Mont Tremblant.
See the little clip below of Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens – It is now nice to have five starts, five podiums – three wins, one second and a third in Washington State.