Home > News

Bevan Docherty’s Ironman 70.3 Auckland experience

Second at Auckland, he hopes to defend in Panama.

New Zealand’s Bevan Docherty, a two-time Olympic medalist (Silver in 2004, Bronze in 2008) and 2004 ITU World Champion, is now fully immersed in the Ironman World and is in Panama this upcoming weekend to defend the Ironman 70.3 Panama title he won last year over Lance Armstrong.

As one of the clear race favourites, and a future threat to Ironman 70.3 World title and eventually at Kona, here is an opportunity to learn a bit more about Bevan through his Ironman 70.3 Auckland race report.

It wasn’t the perfect start to the season, but it wasn’t far from it with a 2nd place in the Auckland 70.3 pacific championships!

This was the start of my new focus toward Ironman, and with Specialized on board as my new bike sponsor, I’m expecting some big things this year.

Specialized is recognized as one of the leading bike companies in the world & has supported many of the sport’s top Triathletes, producing countless Ironman victories and World Championship wins! The companies HQ is in Morgan Hill, only a 30 minute drive from my house here in Santa Cruz. So I’m excited to be working closely with the company and believe they are going to make a big difference!

Going into Auckland I was uncertain about my form. My training had been going very well, but at this early stage of the season it’s a bit of a lottery! The first race of the season is never pretty but you have to “dust off the cobwebs” at some point and make sure your tracking right.

This was the inaugural Auckland 70.3 event, with both the organizers and Auckland community working very hard to make it a World Class event. For the first time a Triathlon would be raced over the Auckland harbor bridge, something I have wanted to do for a very long time, although much to my disappointment, I was too ingrained in the race to appreciate the experience!

The 1.9km swim started outside the Auckland Maritime Museum and wove its way around to transition beside the Viaduct events center. Coming from an ITU background, I probably went into the swim a little too relaxed, thinking that if I could make the front group in the London Olympics surely I could make it here! Well, I learnt very quickly and spent most of the swim playing catch up, finally coming out at the back of the front group! Lesson learnt, hopefully…

Onto the bike and right on queue the rain started to fall, not too heavy, but just enough to

make the roads a little sketchy as the lead group sorted itself out. This race was a nondrafting event, however the draft zone varies from country to country. In the US its 10m, in Australia its 12m, however in NZ to my embarrassment its only 7m! Needless to say there was a larger than usual group, but at the end of the day, the athletes were only playing by the rules. Throughout the bike I managed to stay out of trouble and not get any sort of penalty. This might sound easy but as the miles tick by, you start to lose focus and can find yourself in the wrong position!

At the end of the bike I was still in the main pack, with a few guys just up the road. From my

understanding of this distance, the real race doesn’t start until the 2nd half of the run. I quickly got into a good rhythm with fellow kiwi, Clark Ellis, and we hit the lead by about the 5km mark. At this stage, one of the athletes we caught along the way, Christian Kempe, clung on. I didn’t think too much about this and normally if you run someone down they can’t last long, however as the km’s wore on, it became evident the Christian was having a good day, as I was waiting for my “good day” to kick in.

I just kept waiting for something to “click” for me, and waited and waited but it just never happened! I was able to bring it home for a comfortable 2nd but I would have loved to have taken the win in my home country.

At the end of the day I have to look at the bigger picture, as there are plenty more important races this year and its good to know I’m on the right track. Another positive is this race offered valuable qualifying points to Vegas 70.3 champions and Ironman Champs in Kona.

Thanks to everyone for their continued support. As always, I appreciate you all making this possible.