We all have our days. Days it all comes together and days it just doesn't. Sunday at Ironman Melbourne wasn't one for the record books for Luke, but in true Ironman fashion - he pressed on and made the most of that day.
|The support crew ready for swim start: Luke's parents, Linsey Corbin's parents, sister Jacque & friend Jeanie all in Hi Vis Luke truckers|
Long story short....
Luke's day began with a swim that wasn't quite on pace with the front group. He had been swimming well in general, but his shoulder took a bit of time to recover after his bike crash a few weeks ago. Luke didn't practice in his wetsuit prior to this race (note to everyone- even the pros should practice their race day equipment)....So, he didn't know that his shoulder would ache a bit with the added pressure of the wetsuit. He didn't come out of the water with the front group, but was still in position to easily make up the time on the bike.... until.....
In T1, he threw on his helmet (probably a little brusquely if you know bull-in-a-china-shop-Luke) and the helmet buckle popped off his helmet and some straps seemed to unravel a bit. You are not allowed to ride without a fastened helmet and Luke was not looking for a DQ. So, he took his time and rethreaded the helmet buckle- losing another couple minutes in T1.
|i've always wanted to do fine motor crafts in T1, haven't you?|
Onto the bike, things went well for the first 5 or 10k, power was good and Luke was ready to do some work to catch up....until....
The helmet buckle came undone again and this time the entire strap lacing system essentially fell out of the helmet. So, he pulled over on the side of the road, found the on course support/mechanics and did some helmet surgery which ended up involving several zip ties to re-attach the lacing system and then attach the whole thing to his head.
|hard to tell what's going on here, but you get the idea|
By the time he was back on the bike, the top 3 women (who started behind the men) had already passed him by on the road. All told, Garmin says he stopped for about 9 minutes.
|Me & the babybump cheering him along (thanks Sonja Wieck for the pic!)|
Luke didn't come to Melbourne to "validate" his Kona spot, he came do race his best and go for a spot on the podium. But, at this point it was looking unlikely. After this point, for the rest of the day, I've never been so proud. Luke continued to race as if he were still racing for the front and turned in his highest average watts ever in and Ironman bike, racing alone. Then he got off the bike and ran from 20th or so up to 13th, never giving up. I followed along the point-to-point run on my mountain bike and even though it wasn't the day he had trained for, it was the day that he got and he made the most of it.
|Still kickin and looking pretty good doing it|
Although Luke didn't have any big "wins" on Sunday, plenty of others did and it was amazing to watch. My two favorite wins:
My friend Kim Schwabenbauer ran a 3:01 marathon into 3rd place at a huge regional championship event. This is a girl who worked her way through the age group ranks with me and is now seeing the results of years of hard work and a refusal to give up. Can't wait to watch the rest of her year.
Kim's finishing chute moment. (Photo: Jay Prashuhn)
|Kerensa on the bike|