Tag Archive for tim berkel triathlete

Waterlogged at Ironman Cairns

I’ve always loved racing in the tropical north of Australia. Not from just being a beautiful warm part of Australia but allowing me to race close to home. There’s nothing better than having friends and family watching and cheering for you.

Leading into yesterday’s race I’d made sure that my preparation was as good as I could make it, where I headed over to the USA post my win in Busselton a few weeks ago. This 4 week training block was done at higher than normal (sea level) altitude in stunning Colorado. This allowed me to clear the head and stay focused on my training.

10452651_882201508462635_1051428401_oTo add to the mix of pressure before a big race, my bike nearly didn’t arrive back into the country. It was lost for a little but was eventually found in LA and was re-routed back to Australia. One less headache sorted out.

Given the very nature of tropical weather, it can be either super warm or raining and warm with a good mix of humidity. So yesterday’s race was just that – rain with more rain. Talk about waterlogged – I think I’ll be wet for the next few weeks.

The swim wasn’t going to be a whole lot of fun for anyone. The weather was crap coupled with sizeable waves which just added another layer to the already challenging conditions. Pardon the pun… but hey, we were all in the same boat, right? I was able to swim a good time of 52:11 which put me in 3rd coming out of the water. I could see I had Casey Munro and Peter Robertson ahead of me by around 2 minutes with Courtney Ogden right on my heals.

The wet roads were going to play a roll in the race and heading out onto the bike leg my main focus was to stay upright while crossing my fingers for no punctures. Leading out on the bike was Robbo, Casey and myself. Shortly after, Mat Burton and Cam Brown caught us. I felt gutted for Casey when I knew he punctured – it’s tough when you do as your day slips away.

Matt looked really strong and he and ended up doing a lot of the work out the front. All day long on the bike the rain was going to be there but then we had the wind to content with. The 5 of us came together into T2.

Heading out of T2 I found myself in the lead. I was quickly followed by Robbo and Cam. The 3 of kept pace for the first 12km and then Robbo dropped off. This is going to be a war a attrition.

Bpl7h2XCMAAmaff.jpg-largeAround 19km Cam started to turn the screws on me as I’m sure he could sense I was hurting. Each quicker step hurt just that little extra. By 21km he dropped me by a minute or so and that was the race done there. I wasn’t able to put any time back into Cam. And looking at his back half of the marathon, he was very strong.

I’d really like to take my hat off to Cam Brown today. He’s so consistent at this sport and as I said in the press conference on Friday, he’s going to be a hard man to beat, and he was with a 2:44 marathon.

For the curiously minded, here are my numbers from the day.3.8km swim in 52:11. 180km ride in 4:39:35 / avg. 38.63 km/h. 42.2km run in 2:48:15 / avg. 3:59/km. Finished the race in 8:23:23.

Also a big shoutout to my wife Belinda as it’s her birthday today. Happy birthday!

Time for some rest and recovery.


Images supplied by Delly Carr, http://www.sportsphotography.com.au

A course record at Ironman Busselton 70.3

berkel-70-3-busseltonWhat an incredible day. A course record to take out the 2014 Ironman 70.3 in Busselton, Western Australia. I couldn’t be happier right now.

It was a picturesque morning in Busselton on Saturday yesterday and it unfolded as I had hoped it would. But before I jump into how the race went I wanted to share with you how I almost didn’t make it to the start line.

My preparation leading up to the race had been really good. I’d put some solid sessions in and I was feeling comfortable at where I was. As you can see by my data I didn’t end up training during the last week.

I nearly wasn’t able to make the start line at all as my final week of preparation was thrown into chaos. The timing was terrible. Two weeks out from the race I came down with a bug which went through the squad. I ended up having it the longest, which in hindsight, may have done me well given that I had forced rest and plenty of sleep. Hats off to my wonderful wife, Bel, who looked after me while I was ill.

The start gun went off in Geographe Bay for the open water swim beside the famous Busselton jetty. The water was glass-like and not a breath of wind could be found.

Courtney and Sam lead the swim out of the water. I felt like I had a great swim and was able to stay in the front bunch which really helped to set up the rest of the day for me. This is something I have worked a lot on over the last 6 months or so.

Out on the bike Tom Rodgers and James Hodge put some hard work in early. We were very fortunate again to have have any real wind hitting us.

Coming out of T2 and onto the run was a group of 9 which consisted of Guy Crawford, James Hodge, Courtney Atkinson, Sam Appelton, Alex Reithmeir, Tom Rodgers, Sam Betten, Casey Munro and myself. This is where the race is really going to begin as there was only about a minute between all of us.

Halfway through the second lap I managed to shake Sam and now I was moving in on closing down the gap between myself and Courtney. By the end of 2nd lap (14km) I’d passed Courtney and from there, it was up to me to hold on and ensure the win.

For the curious minded, I was fortunate to break the course record by a few minutes which was held by Brad Kahlefeldt at 3:45:38 with my winning time of 3:43:07. I’ve finally got one over my good mate and training partner. This one’s for you!

My data is now online

My data is now online

Post press conference chat with First Off The Bike at Ironman New Zealand

Related posts:

  1. A quick chat leading up to Ironman New Zealand with ATV
  2. I chat with the team from First off the Bike’s Tripod

Post press conference chat with First Off The Bike at Ironman New Zealand

A quick chat leading up to Ironman New Zealand with ATV

My new promo video

Defending my Australian 70.3 Championship, Mandurah, Western Australia

This year I was heading back to Mandurah, Western Australia, to defend my title against a field of competitors who were much stronger than last year. I’ve focused a lot of my year on being fit and ready to come back to Mandurah and defend my Aussie title, while trying to keep the race in perspective and treat it like any other day.

As a course, it suits me to a T, with the canal swim, flat and fast bike segment and the hot and windy run and I was feeling good going into it.

The start of the race went well, coming out of the water with a time of 21:19. I was on par with the main front pack which included, Bozzone, Reed, Kahlefeldt, Appleton, Bennett, Munro and Jurkiewicz.

Onto the bike the pace was fast, I pushed it pretty early trying to split the field up a little bit and by the second half of the bike I was really starting to feel it. The wind was picking up on the second lap and the heat was coming at me from every angle. I made good time of 2:03 with a couple of the boys absolutely flying along. Bozzone was super strong and really showing why he is number 2 at 70.3 world champs.

Off the bike, Bozzone was the first to get running. It was down to us, Appleton, Bennett, and Jurkiewicz, we were only separated by a few seconds at the start of the run. I was off in 3rd position and it took a while to get my legs going. I was really feeling the pace of the bike start to bite and a few of the guys were really taking off and began to leave me behind.

I slipped back to 4th position during the first half of the run. Finally, when my legs came good, more than half way in, it was a battle to try and shake a few of the boys off. I gave it my all and managed to push my way back up to second. I was moving in and out of bad patches all day and the standings continued to swap around through the second half of the run.

Once I firmly made my way into second position it was then a battle of wits and a few mind games with the young pup Appo to get rid of him and put a bit of space between us. I pushed to catch up to Bozzone who’d made his way up the road in front of me. Unfortunately, he’d been able to get a good minute on me and there was no chance of catching him. He made it to the finish in 3:42:58 and I came in at 3:44:30.

He managed to steal the Aussie title off me and I had to settle for second place this time around. Although he is a kiwi, so I’m still technically still the Aussie champ…right?

Thanks to the Asia Pacific team for a great weekend. I look forward to going back to Mandurah next year and trying to steal the championship back.

Samoa Half Ironman & Yeppoon 70.3 Ironman Race reports

Originally Samoa was not on my race calendar however Guy Beasley convinced me to head over and try out this new race. Samoa was a destination I had not been to before. It wasn’t a long trip so figured I’d give it a go. Samoa was some what an eye opener for me. The Samoan people were lovely, there food was really tasty and I loved drinking there fresh

The temperature on race day was hot and it was a non wetsuit swim. I had an ok swim then onto the bike where my day ended. I had a flat and I was one of the many casualties during the day. I was able to fix the first flat with a pit stop but after it blew completely so that my day over. I was in second place and was lucky enough to receive a police car escort back into town. To make the trip not a complete waste of time I decided to do the run.

Overall my experience was great and I thoroughly enjoyed the race and the people. But all in all I would recommend this race. PS: I highly recommend taking your training wheels with some seriously good tyres on them. I think my Giant cross bike would have even been more appropriate. I want to thank Seti and Emily for making me feel so welcome in there country.

The following week I headed up to Yeppoon which is based in central Queensland, Australia. Race morning was lovely and Yeppoon really turned on the weather. My swim wasn’t too bad coming out in the tail end of the first pack. Onto the bike I set out on my merry way chasing down the boys. I caught the them and moved into 3rd place only having to catch Casey Munro which I did and of course Tim Reed was up the road.

I was then riding on my lonesome on the third lap and this is where the controversy started. A Technical Official (TO) rode up to me and gave me a blocking penalty. I questioned this by asking “WHO”, as there was only a bunch of age groupers near me, riding 2-3 abreast on a narrow course. I thoughtfully moved to the middle of the road to pass them (common sense) which obviously was what he was trying to pull me up on.

I got off the bike some 3 and a half minutes behind Tim Reed. I served what felt the longest 5 minutes of my life which of course caused my legs to seize up. I slowly watched my place get eaten up, dropping me back to 8th spot before I was able to going again.

The boys took off quickly with Mitch Robbins pulling up the road at a very fast pace which I knew I would have my work cut out for me in order to catch them. I slowly started to tow the boys all in and I managed to get my second spot back again around the 8km mark.

I ended my day with a disappointing 2nd place, 4 minutes behind Tim Reed. I take my hat off to him, and credit where credit is due, he ran a professional race and well done on back to back victories.

So back to my questionable penalty of 5 minutes. I feel that the TO could have observed the situation and responded more accurately. Anyway what’s done is done and I’m now back training and looking forward to competing at Metaman in two weeks.

Thanks again to my amazing team; Wife & fur babies, Scody, Giant, Newton, Daikin, Endura, Shimano, Oakley, Garmin, Blue Seventy, Altitude training systems, Continental Tyres, Scicon and my coach Grant Giles

Cheers Berks