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What The Pros Had To Say …
Romain Guillaume - On Training
It is very different here than France. Everything is easy for training. The pool here opens at 5.45. In France nothing opens before 8 or 9 – we are kind of lazy. The weather is perfect – currently in France it is winter so it was a good i8dea to have four or five weeks training here.
My girlfriend decided to race in Mandurah a month ago – so I decided to come with her and train for Busselton.
I had three weeks after Hawaii quite easy and mostly volume and some intensity.
I started the season in January and my coach was worried that I am training too much especially here as he is not with me.
I had a good 35 hour week mostly volume. I am feeling great – my body I hope, my mind I am sure that I am able to fight and give my very best on Sunday.
Liz Lyles on defending her title
There are a few more eyes on me. I don’t necessarily like that but I am glad I am not alone here this year, with my mum is back which makes a big difference.
On the course
I have worked on my right-hand turns because in the SU we don't do that. Last year I lost quite a bit of time with the 180s turning right – I thought whoa I need to work on those technical skills so I have been working on that.
The quality of the field
It is surprising and shocking … how many girls there are who are fantastic.
Liz Blatchford on racing in her home state
It's great to race in the West where I can see my family and friends and do a race that as I grew up as a teenager seeing some of my training partners and what-not training and preparing for this race so it's good to be a part of it.
On her preparation after Hawaii
"I think I recovered okay and trained hard enough to get myself into another hole. Hopefully I am out of that hole and ready to go.
On the course
I did the 70.3 here and it is a bit surprising because the winds can get up and make this super-flat bike course not so easy.
The run with all the laps can be a bit of a mind game. Four laps on the run – you do one big 10km lap and you still have three to go. I think it is definitely a mental game and we have a surprisingly strong field in both men and women. So it is not going to be an easy day out there – it is going to be a battle for sure.
Joe Gambles on expectations
I have always wanted to do it. It is a flat and fast course and I've followed it over the years and seen some fast time. It's great to have Jason here – and his 8:03 is so quick. So do we have to let him win as it's his last one?
(You do said Jason)
On Recovery From Hawaii
I didn’t have a great day in Kona. I think it was a good training day. My legs hurt out of the swim – I don’t know what happened. I felt great going in and there was just nothing there. I got married the week after Kona – so I had a lot of friends and family there to support me. I came off the bike in 30th and told myself I had to finish.
I had a plan – I knew my finance would be at mile three – I will stop and give her a kiss and that would get me to start the run at least. I kept going and ran a 3:05 and it actually turned out quite well. I was second in the bike prime and the guy that led pulled out so I got the bike prime so that was the best thing to come out of Kona.
And my marriage of course.
Yvonne van Vlerken on support in Australia
I have always wanted to come to visit a lot of my family who are here in Australia. They have been asking me every year to come to Busselton. Also my uncle who is Bill Kirby who got a gold medal in the Olympics in Sydney – he said 'Yvonne your swimming is so crap you have to come over to learn how to swim.'
He had a look at me and gave me some help and I am hoping to improve my swim next year. This year it is still a little tough – I had a broken collarbone and still have a metal plate and screw in my shoulder. I am hoping that I come off a very, very strong bike and good run to chase the girls sitting on the left of me.
On the course
The course suits me well as I am from the Netherlands which is also windy and flat. I hope to have a very good race.
I just came off Ironman Florida that I won for a third time in a row – my fastest bike time there was a 4:35 – I don’t think it would be possible on this course but I will definitely give it a go.
Jason Shortis - why retirement now?
It is a personal reason. Sunday would have been my mum and dad's wedding anniversary – mum and dad always came to this race and it was always a big family race for me.
Mum is no longer here – dad will be and it will be a bit of a tough day for him.
I have family along too. My 16 year old daughter is here – that is quite special. The first time I ever had a podium in an IRONMAN race – there was a photo of her lying on my chest in the recovery tent and she was not even one at the time. That was a cool photograph – and she is here watching my last race which was pretty cool.
On his race record 8:03 at Busselton
I never race with a watch – I have absolutely no idea of how fast I am going. I am old school – if you are not going flat out you are not going fast enough which works out sometimes and ends in tears on other times.
I had no idea how fast we were going and the marshalls were not allowed to tell us. We were 4-5 kms from the finish. The marshall rolled back to me and said there's a chance you could go under eight hours.
As you go past there's 3kms to go and you run past the finish line – it's a tough gig. I heard the announcer saying there was 10 minutes to go to break eight yours. I thought – that's 3kms in 3:15 a km then I will get there. I did it for the first km, and then I blew and I barely made it to the finish line.
You can only race yourself and you can only race yourself – and I had a really good day on this course.
On the course
It is a fantastic race – the racing is all about the people and it is what makes this race special is the people who come out to support you. There is nowhere to hide out there on the run course – so if you are not having a good day you are very much under the microscope. It is that crowd support an inspires and lifts you – and makes it a very emotional race. Ironman is a very emotional sport any way – but to have that crowd support and that amazing finish line makes it even more emotional and special.
Good Morning - a superb morning here is Busselton for the SunSmart Ironman Australia. It is forecast for a superb day and now 20 minutes away from the pro men's start with the pro women three minutes later and the age group mass start at 5.45am local time.
BIB First name Surname Country
1 David Dellow AUS
2 Romain Guillaume FRA
3 Joe Gambles AUS
4 Patrik Nilsson SWE
6 Nick Baldwin SYC
8 Christian Kemp AUS
9 Matty White AUS
10 Markus Thomschke DEU
11 Simon Billeau FRA
12 Johan Borg AUS
13 Per Bittner DEU
15 Simon Cochrane NZL
16 Denis Chevrot FRA
17 Guy Crawford NZL
18 Clayton Fettell AUS
19 Jarmo Hast FIN
20 Todd Israel AUS
21 Darren Jenkins AUS
23 Gergo Molnár HUN
24 Andreas Niedrig DEU
25 Daniel Niederreiter AUT
27 Shanon Stallard NZL
28 Mike Schifferle CHE
29 Josh Rix AUS
30 Jan van Berkel CHE
83 Jason Shortis AUS
BIB First name Surname Country
41 Elizabeth Lyles USA
42 Liz Blatchford AUS
43 Yvonne Van Vlerken NLD
44 Bree Wee USA
45 Åsa Lundström SWE
46 Diana Riesler DEU
47 Melanie Burke NZL
49 Lisa Marangon AUS
50 Dimity-Lee Duke AUS
51 Kate Bevilaqua AUS
52 Svetlana Blazevic SUR
53 Jeanne Collonge FRA
54 Kym Coogan AUS
55 Katy Duffield AUS
56 Michelle Duffield AUS
57 Tracy Douglas AUS
58 Erin Furness NZL
59 Beth Gerdes USA
60 Dede Griesbauer USA
62 Mareen Hufe DEU
63 Kristy Hallett AUS
64 Britta Martin NZL
66 Sarah Piampiano USA
67 Nina Pekerman ISR
68 Keiko Tanaka JPN
We are underway with the men's professionals underway - a magnificent sight here at Busselton.
The women's pros have started the swim - 3 mins after the men with another 12 mins to the age groupers.
Age Grouper competitors, nearly 2000 of them, are underway at the SunSmart IRONMAN Western Australia.
Clayton Fettell and Dave Dellow are in a three-strong break that has 24 seconds lead at the 1km mark in the men, with 14 swimmers in that second group. Our spotter Toby Coote reports they have the advantage of a tail wind but will turn at the top of the jetty into a fresh 10 knot wind that is building.
The leading three men have turned at the end of the jetty at the 1.9km mark with Fettell and Dellow in that group. There are five swimmers in the chase 20 seconds back.
The lead women have turned at the top of the jetty with four in the group including Dede Griesbauer and Liz Blatchford with four in the chase group now also gone.
The winds are up and it is choppy in the swim as the pros face tougher conditions as they round the second turning buoy and make their way back to transition.
Pro men about to come out of the water
@lachevrotine and @claytonfettell first out of the swim at IMWA with six chasers 40 secs back.
Denis Chevrot (FRA) and Clayton Fettell (AUS) on the bike followed at 5 seconds by Patrik Nilsson, Guy Crawford, Romain Guillaume, Joe Gambles, Dave Dellow, Christian Kemp and then back to Per Bittner, Jan van Berkel, Jarmo Hast and Gergo Molnar.
The leading pro women are 100m from shore.
@Liz_Blatchford and Svetlana Blazevic lead @dedegriesbauer out of the swim at IMWA.
Leading Male Pros Out of the Water
1 Denis CHEVROT (#16) 0:46:22
2 Clayton FETTELL (#18) 0:46:28 +00:06
3 Christian KEMP (#8) 0:46:55 +00:33
4 Guy CRAWFORD (#17) 0:46:58 +00:36
5 Patrik NILSSON (#4) 0:47:03 +00:41
6 Joe GAMBLES (#3) 0:47:04 +00:42
7 Romain GUILLAUME (#2) 0:47:06 +00:44
8 David DELLOW (#1) 0:47:20 +00:58
9 Per BITTNER (#13) 0:48:35 +02:13
10 Jan VAN BERKEL (#30) 0:48:42 +02:20
Leading Female Pros Out of the Water
1 Lisa DELAURENTIS (#498) 0:49:52
2 Lauren PARKER (#274) 0:52:07 +02:15
3 Liz BLATCHFORD (#42) 0:52:12 +02:20
4 Svetlana BLAZEVIC (#52) 0:52:13 +02:21
5 Dede GRIESBAUER (#60) 0:52:20 +02:27
6 Bree WEE (#44) 0:53:33 +03:40
7 Lisa MARANGON (#49) 0:54:44 +04:52
8 Kate BEVILAQUA (#51) 0:55:13 +05:21
9 Keiko TANAKA (#68) 0:56:30 +06:38
10 Katy DUFFIELD (#55) 0:56:34 +06:42
At 28kms @claytonfettell leads by 1:12 over pack Chevrot, Gambles, Crawford, Guillaume, Nilsson, Dellow, Kemp.
Our spotter Toby Coote says the winds are freshening and will be a factor. While Clayton Fettell puts down the pressure on the front through 30kms on the bike, he believes Christian Kemp looked strongest of the chasers.