Ironman debut swims, rides and runs like clockwork
WHEN David Lovell told The Daily Examiner he was aiming to break 12 hours in his debut Ironman event, he secretly had higher ambitions.
Rather than throw caution to the wind, he kept to himself a much faster time that was flashing in the back of his mind.
"I wanted to be under 12 hours but I had internal eyes to be around an 11 hours 15 minutes," he said.
"I timed it perfectly. I can have a smile on my face for that one.
"I thought it was manageable if I had a good day."
On a day where competitors were greeted with unseasonally cold conditions for the start of the 3.8km swim, 40kmph winds caused havoc on the 180km ride and saw slower than average times at the finish line at the end of the 42.2km marathon run leg.
But the Yamba real estate agent was an exception to the rule, perhaps underestimating his own abilities being his first attempt over the distance.
Lovell began with a swim leg of 1 hour, 4 minutes, 14 seconds, completed the ride in 6 hour, 6 minutes, 6 seconds and the run in 4 hours, 25 minutes, 43 seconds for a total time of 11 hours, 13 minutes and 18 seconds - 102 seconds under the mark he had paced himself for the race.
Like most of his fellow competitors, Lovell still described the day as the toughest he'd ever had as an athlete.
"Normally the swim is my achilles heel," he said.
"But I had a very good swim and of the three legs it was probably the most pain free and pleasurable, if you could call it that.
"There was a strong, cold westerly all day on the bike. It made you do a lot more work and then you have to carry that through the run."
Lovell finished the race 412th overall and 52nd in the Men's 45 to 49 years category.
Nearly three hours ahead the winners threw up some surprises. Canada's Elliot Holtham took out the men, while it was Melissa Hauschildt who was the first female.
Hauschildt is a two-time Ironman 70.3 world champion, but Port Macquarie was her first attempt over the full ironman distance.
"It felt amazing crossing that line," Hauschildt said.
"That was the toughest thing I've ever done. It just goes on and on and on."
1 Elliott Holtham 8:35.17
2 Paul Ambrose 8:37.46
3 Nick Baldwin 8:41.18
373 David Lovell 9:28.42
1069 Jason Limbert 13:20.36
1073 Chris Limbert 13:20.36
1288 Cheyne Willebrands 14:37.51
1349: Keaton Ingram 15:10.45
1 Melissa Hauschildt 9:28.42
2 Lisa Marangon 9:30.49
3 Melanie Burke 9:32.52
78 Kim Elvery 12:11.18