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  • Official Web of Bevan Docherty-image
  • Official Web of Bevan Docherty-image
  • Official Web of Bevan Docherty-image

Official Web of Bevan Docherty

Kiwi Triathlete Bevan Docherty is one of the toughest Triathletes on the circuit, with two Olympic medals, a World title and countless victories around the World he stands by his motto.... "The pain of regret is far worse than the pain of pushing yourself!"

Follow Bevan's road to Kona here.

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About Me

2x Olympic Medalist. World Champion. 4x National Champion. Oceania Champion. Ironman Champion. 70.3 Champion. Husband. Father.

Ironman NZ Update!

Hey everyone, well I wish I could come to you with great news however I’m sure most of you already know that the race didn’t go according to plan.

 

It was certainly a very low day emotionally and just as frustrating.  To be honest it’s been an ongoing issue for around 10 months now, however, the positive side to last weekend is that I’m sure I have narrowed a long list of causes down to a very short one!

 

Long story short;  I am just really struggling to hold nutrition down throughout the day, and obviously in an event like an Ironman that is an essential part of the sport.  Some races are worse than others, however the trend is certainly affecting my ability to perform to what I know I am capable of!

 

So what actually happens – I guess the best way to explain it is to take you through my day.

 

Once again Taupo turned on an amazing day and the conditions were just perfect!  I very quickly got into my work and comfortably moved straight onto Marko Albert’s feet as I had last year and things seemed to be going great!  I certainly felt very comfortable there, in fact had hoped the pace would be a little quicker as I could tell there were a few more guys with us than I wanted.  The pace certainly wasn’t as quick as last year, in fact I later found we swam around 1 minute slower!

 

At this stage and as with the other races I was still very comfortable as I got to work very quickly on the bike and got into a very good rhythm.   However by about 40km on the bike I could tell there was a very limited amount of food going through my system, I would essentially burp up what wasn’t going through.  Throughout the bike I progressively got weaker and weaker and basically had to force myself to eat.  I was fit enough to sit with the pack, but when guys like Marko rode off the front there just wasn’t the power to go with him.

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By the time I got to the run it was pretty much survival mode!  I certainly had the fitness and leg speed to run with Cam and Terenzo for 1 lap, but by this stage the body was rejecting all forms of food right up until the point that it all just came out! I did try to continue but I knew that I certainly wasn’t doing my body any favors.

 

Like I said earlier, I have a great team around me and I feel we have pretty much gotten to the bottom of the cause, over the next few weeks I will know with more clarity.  As I have always maintained, you learn from you mistakes and I know this little episode is going to make me a better athlete.

 

Thank you for you continued support, it is certainly great to know everyone has my back over tough time like this and I’ll certainly do my best to make you all proud!

 

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Auckland 70.3

Auckland 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship

Any excuse to come home to NZ and race is a good one, however this race is one Kiwis can truly be proud of.  To host an event of this magnitude in a city like Auckland is a logistical nightmare, however it is totally worth the effort!

Leading into this race my training and preparation had been on target, I decided to head over a little earlier as the flu was starting to knock a few people down in the US and I just couldn’t afford to get sick.  It was a great move, although I have to admit that the training in Auckland and certainly the traffic hasn’t improved and has reassured me that basing myself in Santa Cruz was a great idea!

Another thing I don’t miss is the Auckland weather, however the gods were on our side and we had stunning weather come race day!  These early morning starts never get any easier, the consolation of a 6:15 start was no wind and we were going to miss the heat of the day!

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With perfect race conditions we were off for the 1.9km wetsuit swim, and I easily settled into a comfortable pace and positioned well in about 5th.  Unfortunately the one person I was following dropped off midway through the swim, generally if I was in this situation in a short course race I would put some energy into bridging the gap, however in these longer races you have to be patient, back yourself and have the confidence you’re going to catch up on the bike!

We exited about 20 seconds down on the leaders, however as anticipated I bridged up within 5km and one large group of around 12 athletes formed.  The WTC are seriously going to have to look at extending the drafting zone if they want to prevent these large groups out on the bike.  To everyone’s credit they were sticking to the rules, however there is still a significant advantage with a 10m draft zone – I vote for 20m!  That said the bike course still takes its toll on the weaker cyclists.

I have to say I didn’t get too much of a chance to appreciate the view going over the Harbor Bridge, however along the waterfront a few times I spied Rangitoto across the water and it brought back some great memories.

I felt pretty strong out there and was able to cover any gap or break, however I could tell this was the first race of the season as my legs had no desire to attack or make a move.  By the end of the bike only one guy Andrew Yoda from America had broken away and he wasn’t really too much of a concern to me.  Our group of about 10 contained some of the pre-race favourites like Frodeno, and Bozonne, but also some big hitters were missing like Alexander!

Onto the run and all I could say was that I felt strong, but just had no speed!  All I could do was watch Frodeno run away and hope he was going to hit the wall.  I settled into a solid rhythm with Bozonne as we knew there were some solid runners chasing us down!  By the halfway point Frodo had already put about 1minute into us, as we were joined by Richie Cunningham who was charging!  I was comfortable with the pace, but just couldn’t match any surges and dropped off with about 5km to go.  In the end I finished 4th only 20 seconds from 2nd and 10 from 3rd.

To be honest I was a little disappointed with the result, I had a very strong race, but I’m well off where I know I can be.  I might have been only 10s off the podium but Frodo was certainly a level above all of us;  somewhere I know I can be when I’m on form.   I do however have to keep in mind that it’s a very long season until Kona in October – the sport is about peaking at the right time and having the confidence that I’m tracking well.

Next up for me is Panama 70.3 in just over 3 weeks time, so plenty of time to take it up another level!

Bevan

 

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2013 Ironman World Championships -Kona

Kona 2013

Well my first Kona experience certainly wasn’t what I had hoped for, however I have come away knowing it’s certainly a course I can conquer!

I’ve always maintained throughout the transition from short course to long that Swim, Bike, Run comes naturally, it’s the nutrition that’s going to be the real test.  In an olympic distance ITU race sometimes you slap a bottle on just for ‘looks’ and if you’re feeling like treating yourself you may even tape a gel to your frame.  It seems to get exponentially more complex the longer the race gets!  By this stage I think I have a pretty good Half Ironman plan in place, however my Ironman inexperience certainly shows.

The year on a whole has been a great one, consistently at the sharp end of the field and on several occasions racing out of my comfort zone off the front and making the race mine!  In fact it seemed like the only time I didn’t have a good race was when I was fighting the flu passed on from my kids!

I’ve made some great gains on the bike and it’s certainly been a massive advantage having SPECIALIZED as a main sponsor located only a 40min drive away.  I was the first to admit my position wasn’t the greatest at the start of the year and it still isn’t perfect, however over the course of 8 months it’s come a very long way.  I’ve had to hold myself back at ‘trolls’ commenting on pics they would see online, thinking a few simple adjustments are going to make the difference.  These people probably have time on their hands to troll because they’re injured!  Good things take time and working with various teams at SPECIALIZED we were able to slowly improve my position without a loss in power or injury.

The lead up to Kona was pretty good as well, unfortunately Vegas was smack-bang in the middle of some pretty intense training but once my body accepted its punishment things started to come together nicely at the right time.  Looking back on my build-up I wouldn’t have changed much, the training is some of the best here in Santa Cruz and the weather was even behaving.  Maybe next year I’ll head over for a small 5 day block about 4-5 weeks out, however you are very limited for running in Kona and it seems like a great recipe for injury!

Kona, or should I say Kona Ironman week, it’s a little nuts!  This is where the hardcore triathletes come to play and it’s very hard to distinguish AGers from pros, or even supporters from competitors!  The week is heaven for an endurance sport junkie with the perfect mixture of festivities, compression wear, carbon, electrolyte, testosterone and coffee with probably a little too much flesh, panic training and traffic!

Leading into this race I was feeling very confident, training had been going really well and at the end of the day I had nothing to lose.  Historically a lot of athletes had failed miserably on their first crack at the Big Island, however I had no reason or excuse in my books.

Even for the biggest race of the year the vibe is far more relaxed than any ITU race I’ve done, maybe it’s the island mojo or maybe being surrounded by thousands of other athletes who have more excitement than nerves, rubs off on you.

The race started without issue and I quickly got into my work, sitting close to the front but mindful that it was a big day ahead and tried to be patient.  The pace wasn’t that fast out there, in fact  -dare I say – a little slow making it a harder swim.  Let me explain; in a fast swim it’s more spread out therefore you have clear water and are able to swim your natural stroke, however on a slower swim you end up fighting and working hard to hold your ground.

I came out in a large front group and we all headed out on the bike.  From what I understand about this race positioning on the bike is crucial, especially with such a large group.  This is a non drafting event however with only a 12m spacing there is still a small advantage and you want to be placed near the front when the breaks start to happen.  The only problem with that is everyone else wants to be there as well and you constantly find yourself fending off others cutting in front of you, needless to say it got quite heated out there and at times a little physical!

About 50km into the bike things started going a little wrong, every time I took a drink some of it didn’t want to stay down.  I wasn’t vomiting, more just having small amount repeat back up.  Not too much cause for concern but I could tell that my system wasn’t processing things properly.  As the race went on this small lack of nutrition began to affect my performance and when the telling breaks started to happen on the way up to Hawi I wasn’t able to go with it.

From that point on it was a matter of hope.  I was hoping that my stomach and system would just click and start feeding my muscles properly.  In an event like this and certainly under conditions like this it’s very hard to rebound.  I was able to make it back to Kona still positioned relatively well, however I certainly wasn’t in the competitive condition I had hoped for.

Out on the run and I knew it was going to be a battle, initially the only reason I was holding pace was because I was so fit.  By now barely any food was flowing through my system, however instead of repeating on me it just sat in my gut as I got more and more bloated.

Finally at about the 20km mark on the run everything came out!  In a way it was good as it relieved a lot of the pressure on my stomach, but on the other hand it showed how much my body was missing out on.  From that point on it was a case of trying to find what my body wouldn’t reject; bananas, gels, coke, anything I tried just came straight back up!  I tried this for about another 5km but nothing as the positions just slipped further back.  My day was DONE!

Needless to say I was devastated, I’d come to the Big Island in fantastic shape full of confidence; I have to say I’m more frustrated than disappointed – frustrated about the lost opportunity over something in my mind that could be a simple fix.

I’m always an optimistic type of guy and try to look for the positives in everything; certainly the best way to learn is through your mistakes and I have a lot to learn from this experience, I’ve run over multiple scenarios that may have caused these stomach issues and feel I have a good grasp of what caused it and certainly how to prevent it in the future.

I’ve also come away from the island with enthusiasm; even though I had a disastrous race I still thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  I love the course and what it offers, I love the elements and how they slowly beat you down, finally I love the atmosphere and how passionate both the athletes and spectators are about the event.

Sign me up for next year!

 

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Ironman Vineman 70.3

Vineman 70.3 Half Ironman

The Vineman Half Ironman is one of the Classics on the 70.3 circuit and has had a history of attracting very competitive international fields.  The race starts at the beautiful Russian River and then takes you around the amazing Sonoma Wine Country, certainly plenty of distractions for the wine enthusiasts out there!

Leading into this event I was in some fantastic form, in fact I had held that form from my previous win in Boise, and was beginning to wonder if I could hold it for that long!  Needless to say I was eager to get out there and test the legs.

The 1.2mile swim was ok for me, however coming from an ITU background where the cut off temp for wetsuit to non-wetsuit is 68°f to WTC rules where it is 76°f, it was certainly a little on the warm side.  I’ve learnt to just accept these new rules even though I might disagree with them, the sport has been around longer than I have and I don’t have the energy to fight them.  I’m a good enough swimmer to stay out of trouble and I was content to just sit in and ‘follow the bubbles’, exiting the water with the lead group of 7!

Onto the 56mile (90km) bike I hadn’t planned on making a move, I had ridden off the front in Boise and discovered it’s the hard way to win races!  However after 5 miles the legs felt good and I sprung away on a short climb.  I thought to myself ‘Crap, now I have to keep going!’  So I put my head down and pushed it as hard as I could!  After about 5mins I couldn’t see the group behind so tried to settle into a solid rhythm that I knew I could hold to the end.  Its very unsettling when you know there is a group behind trying to chase you down, but you don’t know how far behind they are!  Admittedly I did look behind a few times on the longer straights, and was relieved not to see anyone.

I finally hobbled into T2 and set out praying I didn’t see the group too soon.  Finally a large pack of about 8-9 rolled by and I could just see there were some fresh legs in there.  Its reassuring to know you are one of the faster runners and have a 2:30 lead on the chasers, however in this sport nothing is a given and you have to work to the bitter end.

I still had that horror film feeling of being chased and knew the guys were catching me, however as the run wore on I could feel my legs start to switch from cyclists legs to runners legs and actually started to pick up the pace.  At about the 7 mile mark Tim Reed (AUS) and Terrenzo (NZL) had closed the gap to 1:40, however I knew they had gone out hard and fast and I had paced myself accordingly, I then began to pull away again and let them battle it out for the minor places.

As I entered the finishing shoot it was a pleasant surprise to hear the announcer say ‘Record Time’ as I crossed in a time of 3:45:10 for a comfortable win and over

2 minutes clear of Tim Reed in 2nd.

Like I said earlier it’s not an easy way to win a race but racing like this is certainly going to set me up better for the very competitive fields later on in the year.

Thanks to my sponsors Specialized and Adidas, also to my family, friends and supporters, this is all for you.

 

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Ironman Boise 70.3

2013 Champion. Right from the start, Bevan put together a great race.  Fast swim, Fastest Bike Split of the day and a blazing fast run for altitude and racing Rev3 Quassy just 6 days before.  ”IM Boise 70.3 was certainly not an easy day at the office and I don’t normally race off the front; however, it was a great way to test myself and try different things.”

 

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IRONMAN NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand Ironman

It’s funny how you look back on something and just think to yourself “it was just meant to be”.  So looking back from winning the Ironman in my home town of Taupo on my first attempt, I can’t help but think fate had worked its magic!

From the years of training over that very course as a teenager, to my recent partnering with Specialized bikes, everything began falling into place nicely and I seemed to carry an exuberance and confidence into the event.

I have to admit there were a few nerves ahead of the race, but they were more from stepping into the unknown and fear of making silly mistakes, rather than self-doubt.

Having grown up in Taupo I’ve always known how magical it can be when the weather is good and it wasn’t far off perfect!  The previous year the event had been shortened to a Half Ironman due to bad weather, so the event organizers were more than relieved to finally get a good one.

In the past for an ITU event you’d essentially rock up to the transition 60-90mins before the start, set your gear up have a quick warm up, hurt yourself for 2 hours and then it’s over!  Ironman takes a whole different level of organizational skills and focus.  Days before the event you have to start building your nutrition plan, bike setup and even support crew!  Organization isn’t really part of my repertoire so the day before the race when I had to rack my bike and hand in my transition bags I was left scratching my head…  What do I do!  I did manage to BS my way through it, with the odd stupid question to an official or age-grouper who thought I was just messing round with them.

Race day and I was surprised with how relaxed and calm the mood was, it is so different to be around athletes who want to share this experience with others, as opposed to an ITU event where the whole goal is to hurt the other athletes as much as possible!  I found myself sitting down at the start feeling guilty that I hadn’t done a warm-up but convinced myself that I had at least 8 hours to warm up and so just continued to just enjoy the moment and watch the sun rise.

Another thing that stood out pre race was just how clean and clear the water was.  I’ve raced all over the world and unfortunately most swims you struggle to see your hand let alone the bottom!  The water in Lake Taupo is just amazing, in fact if you were skilled enough you could swim and drink at the same time….

6:45 and we were off!  One of the great things about changing from short course to long course is that I have gone from an average swimmer to a great swimmer!  I was lucky to have Marko Albert from Estonia, who set a fantastic pace and I just sat on his feet, within about 200m we had already cleared away from the rest of the field and proceeded to put time on everyone.  To be honest I was enjoying the moment so much that the 3.8km swim seemed to pass by just as quickly as any short course swim!

We exited the swim in 45mins and made out way to Transitions one.  I threw my helmet and glasses on ready to roll, but only to discover the morning dew had built up on my lenses and I couldn’t see a thing!  Rookie mistake #1…

Onto the bike and I settled in a very comfortable pace.  It was fantastic having Marko there to gauge how fast to go.  To be honest I had no freaking idea, and at the current pace thought we were going to be caught in 20km!  However once we started getting regular time checks we seemed to be pulling away, I’ll take that!

After a while I started to become greedy, initially I wanted just a few minutes lead, then maybe 5, then 7, hell lets make it 10!  It’s such a new feeling for me and honestly as the km’s ticked by I just felt stronger and stronger, I began to start saying to myself “should I make my move now!”  Finally with 40kms to go I knew I could push for home, I put a small effort in and Marko couldn’t react.  From then on it was just a matter of staying focused and not pushing too hard.

Over the 180km ride I downed 5 bottles of fluid, 9 gels and 2 cookies!  This is the area of the sport that I was worried about and had no idea.  By the time I got into T2 I was certainly on a sugar high and ready to run!  I was actually a little nervous about how I was going to feel running off a 180km bike ride but to my surprise I was on my toes and settled into a good pace.  10 seconds later my bladder needed to be emptied!  With a 3 minute lead over Marko and 11minutes over Cam Brown, I was relaxed enough to take my time.

For the first 30km of the run I settled into a great pace that was familiar to me, with a few time checks saying I was on 2:40 pace and still pulling away from the others.  My only concern was that I was struggling to stomach the warm coke I had in my race belt, and the fluids being handed out at aid stations were the same…  So I decided to lay off the fluids for a while until I could stomach it.  Rookie mistake #2.  Within 2km of cutting back my whole world began to cave in around me, and believe me it was not pretty!

Yes I did walk and yes I did bonk!  However as soon as I got to the nearest aid station I made sure my belly was full of fluids and within a few km’s I was feeling a 100 times better.

For the final 5km I once again settled into a solid pace, but dared not celebrate too early.  I could have easily fallen back into another hole or worse passed out and blown the race.  To make matters worse there were reports that I was on record pace, so instead of relaxing I still had to drive on.

Finally with 400m to go I allowed myself to celebrate, this was for all my friends, family and fans, it was also for my critics, moments like this don’t happen very often but this is the reason I love this sport and  makes all the hard training worthwhile.

So I am no longer and Iron Virgin and now I can not only call myself an Ironman but an Ironman Champion.  I set a new course record of 8:15:35, finishing 10mins clear from Marko Albert and almost 20mins clear of 10 time champion Cameron Brown!

This was the perfect start for my Ironman career, however it was by no means the perfect race, but I guess that’s the exciting thing – I have learnt so much from this event and am already a better athlete because of it.

A huge thanks to the race organizers and volunteers for making this event possible and as always thank you to everyone who has supported me and helped me achieve this result, its all for you and believe me there is more to come!

 

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2013 IMNZ Champion & Record Holder

The New Zealand Ironman has always been on Bevan's wish list. Born and raised in Taupo and learning the sport of Triathlon on the very course of the Ironman, its was very fitting that IMNZ would be his first! With the support of the whole town, Bevan raced home to his first Ironman Victory and a new course record!

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