The 2011 marathon world champs has come and gone and I am happy with how well I did, while at the same time completely disappointed. I had a great race. After the start I found myself well positioned on first wave for the first 2 kms of the race. There was a big front bunch of about 8 boats and about half way through the first lap there were a lot of intervals while the paddlers were jockying for position. My gameplan for the race was not to get involved in any of the early intervals and try and save myself for later on the race. The heat in Singapore is very intense and I knew that if too much effort was expended early on then I would pay later on in the race, especially considering that my base was exactly that big after years of 200m training. I eased up and waited for 2nd bunch to join me. I joined forces with Ben Brown and Ben Fouhy in the second group and we all worked very well together, keeping in touch with the front guys, but not closing the gap too soon either.
After 3 laps we eventually joined the front group and after some intervals and reshuffling the group now included 6 boats. Hank and myself for SA, Portugal, Spain, Hungary and New zealand. At this stage I was feeling brilliant and I started to believe that I was going to win a medal. Hank and I worked very well together ensuring that neither of us ever sat 2nd wave. It was a great advantage having 2 SA boats in the front bunch and we made the most of it.
On the last lap my lack of real long distance training started to show and I started to feel some real fatigue. The race finished with a portage and then a 800m sprint to the finish line. on the run in to the portage we were caught by 2 boats, a Czech and German. Now a 8 boat strong group, I got a little boxed in coming into the last portage and only ended up taking out towards the back of the group. I had a good portage but still put in 4th behind Hank and a Czech guy that had just caught us from behind and then the Hungarian guy. Hank and Czech had about 5 seconds on me and the Hungarian. We chased very hard but werent able to close the gap and the race finished Hank first, Czech 2nd, Hungarian 3rd and me 4th, about 5 seconds off the pace.
A huge well done to Hank who had a fantastic race and flew the flag high for SA. I really wanted to be on that medal podium also but unfortunately I just ran out of gas in the dying stages. I am however very proud of my attempt to get back on top of the marathon racing world with such a short preparation time. Next year I hope to be back and to fight for that medal that eluded me this year.