Ultraman Australia winner Carl Read reports
Kiwi Carl Read reports on his win at Ultraman Australia, a three-day, 515km annual endurance race held around Noosa's coastal and hinterland areas.
Competitors from around the world completed the gruelling course in four stages over three days:
DAY ONE: 10km swim, 140km bike ride
DAY TWO: 281.1km bike ride
DAY THREE: 84.3km run
Carl Read reports:
Ultraman Australia 2019 was my main focus for the last 6 months. I raced a lot of the NZ summer with mixed results but that was all a lead in for the big race in May. I had a great build up over the last 8 weeks before UMOZ being some of the best I have put together in my triathlon career.
After winning the title in 2018 and not officially getting the world record due to the swim being short my main goal was to see if I had the goods to break the world record in 2019
The week before the race I was in Noosa. A very chilled out week, nice and relaxed.
Day 1 - 10km Swim + 145km bike.
The swim this year was quite tough. I had a good first 5km then seemed to struggle a bit and found when the tide turned I was fighting the currents a bit more than I was expecting.
I had a solid enough swim and was not far off the lead guys apart from Damon Faint who smashed the swim course record. 2hrs 25min.
I was out of the water in 2hrs 40min.
After a quick transition I was straight into my work on the bike. I felt pretty good and knowing I was down by 15min I was on a mission to erase that deficit as quickly as I could.
I caught Emily Kempson who was in second at the 15km mark. She had a great swim! I looked back and I had gapped her straight away. I then caught Damon around 40km mark which I was pretty happy about. He couldn't go with me so it was then a solo TT out to the turn then full gas back to Noosa. I got a good idea how far the other athletes were behind me on the way back and I was putting time into them all.
It’s not an easy 145km ride with some good steep climbs to test the legs. I had a great ride. Was about 7mins quicker than last year, a time of 4.16 including T1.
Day 2 - 281km Bike.
Day 2 was a tough day. At the start line I wasn't feeling to great. Thought I was coming down with a cold and had a scratchy throat. My mind was already telling me this was not a good idea! The first 6kms is a neutral zone as we headed out of Noosa.
This was good as it gives the legs plenty of time to warm up. We hit the roundabout at Tewantin and we are off on day 2.
My plan was to give it some gas and see who was keen to go with me. I looked back and I had already gapped everyone. Bugger! Not what I was wanting as this was going to make for a very very long solo bike day. I sucked it up and rode pretty strong for the first 60km. I then went through a rough 50km patch and was up and down with my pace and power. I was struggling a bit. I had no one to chase down nor no one to get away from.
I got out onto the Old Bruce highway which was an out and back section. This was a good chance to see other athletes and it gave me an idea of how far ahead I was.
Got my mojo back and picked things up again.
The rest of the ride was a mixed bag of strong headwinds. Rough chip roads and a nice tail wind up the sunny coast back to Noosa.
My goal was a sub 8hr ride and I just missed that stopping the clock at 8.01.
I was a bit disappointed as I knew what I had to be around if I was going to have any chance at the WR on the day 3 run.
After the bike I felt ok. Legs were nicely toasted but ready for day 3.
I had a good sleep and woke on day 3 knowing what I had to do. Run a 6.23 Double Marathon.
Day 3 - 84.3km run.
I was pretty focused and set for a hard run.
We all started together and in the first km I was in 4th. A few guys ahead clocked a 4.30 first km and I just thought good luck it’s a long day! Sure enough after 1.5kms I crept into the lead and slowly got away from the lead group. I knew what pace I had to run and after 10km I was right on target.
My run pacers then joined me and we got right into my work and it was game on. Jaryd, Kirra, Josh + Josh were outstanding! They all paced me so well and I wouldn't have got through it without them and also my amazing wife driving the car all day following.
I went through the 21km mark bang on 1.36 and felt pretty good. Of course I had moments where it was not pretty but I just sucked it up. it was always going to hurt. I hit the marathon and turn around in 3.12 a tad off where I needed to be. I was hoping for a 3.10 ...But still had a chance.
Seeing the other athletes on the way back heading to the turnaround was great and lifted me as I could see I wasn't the only one suffering out there!
At around the 60km mark I was hurting a lot. The pace wasn't slowing down I just couldn't pick it up as the last 20km isn't flat.
The hills were killing my quads and a few times I had to shuffle down the coastal paths. I knew the world record was just out of my reach with 10km to go. I was ok with that as I gave it a really good shot.
I did however break my run record by over 5mins. Clocking a 6.29.55 double marathon. I was so happy with that!
To go back to back was epic and I was pretty happy to get the win even if the WR eluded me.
A solo 3 days racing against the clock was very hard but I thrived on the challenge and gave it everything I had.
Without my friends, family, loyal sponsors and my epic crew for the 3 days of the race it wouldn't have been possible.
I'm wrecked now but it was so worth it.