Ray Monahan's Ironman WA race report

A lot of people from BTC have been asking me to ‘let them know’ what I thought of the Busso Ironman so that they could decide if they wanted to do the event in the future.  So here goes!!

Firstly I must declare -  I‘m more than a little biased, having grown up in the west, I was overdue a trip to catch up on what has been happening there and see my friends from primary school again, so I was in love with it before the credit card was cold. Secondly, it’s a great holiday location for athletes, families and post-race party people!! (Two additional motivating factors.)

But you want to know about the race – AWESOME!! All the Ironman pizazz you could hope for with the athlete’s dinner on Friday night including a Welcome to Country by the local Wardandi people and interviews with the top ranked male and female athletes, some race day facts and figures and a genuinely encouraging evening to welcome athletes from near and far.

My experience of race day wasn’t exactly the fast and flat course that I had conjured up in my mind.  It was windy – very windy – all day!!! I haven’t ever done a mass start with men in the same wave before! I do love the swim, but I don’t love crowds and personally had a hard job getting some space to myself, I felt like a very tiny jelly fish when we rounded the pier and found that the waves were bigger on that side! I was pretty badly deflated when I saw my swim time at the exit arch. Fortunately that didn’t last too long as when I got to the bike racks and had to run past many bikes still on the racks, I formed the impression that a lot of other people were probably having the same jelly fish feeling in the water.

Weather can change throughout a long distance event and on Sunday it felt as though the wind got progressively stronger. I had listened to the advice of my coach and the beautiful Balmoral friends who had done the event before and my plan was to get out of there as soon as possible! It was a tail wind going out and a head wind coming home, but it is pancake flat, so peddle – really, really hard. I remember seeing at least 12 people stopped with what was presumably flat tyres. Poor things, they were very unlucky as the roads are sensational in WA and very well cared for around the town of Busso!!! The wind was bad, but was not a scary, buffeting wind like Auckland, nor the dreaded Barry Way wind tunnel in Jindabyne, so don’t let it put you off.

The run was great!! Just as flat as predicted, a bit of wind, bit of rain, bit of sun – so many supporters and volunteers you didn’t have much time to think about the sore muscles. The course was on the footpath or road way, so quite hard on the legs but everything disappears from your mind after you get the fourth little wrist band and if you are lucky enough to waddle across the line while it is still daylight! Wooo Hooooo! 

Thank you to all the supporters before, during and after the race – such an honour to be part of BTC. Oh, and YES – I would highly recommend BUSSO as a future extraordinary experience!!