On Saturday 7th November Nga Milner-Olsen competed in the IronMāori Quarter which includes a 1km swim, 45km bike and a 10.5km run. These distances seem appealing when triathletes are used to training for 3-4 hour bike rides and running for 2-2.5 hours. But it is definitely not an event to underestimate, and Nga tells us that with the shorter distance races you have to increase your speed therefore your energy output is a lot higher so you’re in your uncomfortable zone for the entire time.
On race morning I always wake about 3 hours before race start, go through my morning formalities, ensure I have my gear and head down to Transition.
When I arrived in Transition everyone one was buzzing lots of talk, wishing each other all the best also a few nerves as some were competing for the very first time, I remember talking to a couple of ladies and my advice was just go out and enjoy every moment you’re not racing anyone but yourself, soak up the amazing atmosphere and when things get tough smile.
Waiting for race to start, we finally make our way down to the pond, the putararu/ trumpet goes off to start the race, my plan was to find my rhythm quickly and try to stay with the front bunch of swimmers, first lap was fine clear water, once we were on our second lap all the other competitors had started their race which was magic seeing thousands of caps in front of you, I kept swimming and planned to navigate my way around which worked well not too much congestion I just had to keep swimming, on the way back into shore I pushed a little harder to finish strong. Completed the 1k swim in 16.25sec – this is my best race time for 1km so I’m really pleased with the result.
I headed out on my bike, found a nice rhythm I had a plan to stick to which I was happy with. The team cyclists were out and I called out encouraging words, this is a tough task for many and I know myself it helps when a few words of encouragement are said to you and how a few words can stay with you for your entire race and give you a good boost of energy. Another male competitor and I were playing a bit of cat and mouse trying drop one another but none of us were budging it was tough but good to keep us honest in our effort. I definitely pushed my boundaries and happy with the effort. My bike time was 1.20.09sec – my Personal Best over this distance.
Leading out onto the run was tough as I couldn’t feel my toes and it took a good 2km before I got any feeling back, but was able to stick to my run plan, I loved the run as I got to see many of my clients who were competing, lots of high fives, thumbs up and strong affirmations being exchanged. I finished my run strong and was happy with how I ran. My run time was 45.01sec.
Overall happy with how I executed my race plan, this is a stepping stone towards my main goal Ironman Taupo next year so it was a good gauge to see where I’m at in terms of race condition for this time of my preparation. Our weather conditions were perfect and the atmosphere was amazing as always and I got to race alongside my husband, sister completing her first triathlon and many of my clients who always truly inspire me with their commitment and determination.
There are things I would like to work on leading into my event next month:
- Sustaining this intensity for double the distance
- Maintaining control in all three disciplines continue racing my race and staying in the moment
- Total focus on the process and my race
- Continue to leave everything out on the course on the day – I get pure satisfaction from that no matter the outcome.
IronMāori is definitely an event you can do as a whanau/family, teams or as individuals, there is never any pressure and as Heather Skipworth (founder of IronMāori) would say “your race at your pace”. That is what IronMāori is about, a supportive Triathlon network. It can also give you an insight to what can be possible as it did for me, that is why we go back every year to be a part of this amazing unique event, there is no other event in the world like this.
Overall Time 2.21.35sec Overall Female Winner