Australia’s Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack proved he’s not lost it when he took down a stellar field at Ironman 70.3 Laguna Phuket (read a race report here). While some had written him off after he dropped out of the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, the old master proved there’s still plenty in the tank when it comes to this triathlon lark. We caught up with Macca post-race to hear his story
How did your race go in Phuket?
I sort of popped in the swim. I did the same last week at the Laguna Phuket Triathlon (LPT). This course suited me a bit better with the first part of the bike course being flat.
How was your fitness coming in?
I’ve had a month off but where I’d done a good block for Kona I had some fitness and I’ve spent the last week in Phuket working on things. I had to be patient during the race and that worked. The cooler conditions on the run because of the rain suited me.
How did your battle on the run with LPT winner Ruedi Wild unfold?
I wanted to keep a good tempo on the first half of the run because I didn’t know who was there. It took Ruedi a few kilometres to catch up out of transition. He was running behind and that’s not his style. He usually runs in front or next to you, so I thought he might not be having a great day. He’s new to 70.3 racing and that’s a tough bike course. I was able to capitalise on that because he’s a speed racer and it wasn’t a straightforward speed race. It was more of a strength race in the hills, rain and wind.
How does it feel to win this race?
It’s phenomenal to win this race as a Challenge ambassador, especially when it has just been announced this race will be a Challenge event from 2013. I kept thinking about this on the last part of the run. I was really happy and I know Felix Walchshöfer (Challenge CEO), who was at the event, was happy too. It’s a great partnership that we have.
What do you think of the event?
The LPT is the oldest triathlon in Asia and is a must do marquee race like Wildflower or Alcatraz. I’d like to win both the LPT and the middle distance race, so next year I’ll come back and try to do that. Both are must do events and it’s great that it’s going to be the Challenge Laguna Phuket Triathlon Festival in 2013.
What do you say to those who wrote you off after Hawaii?
It’s endurance racing and you only have to be one per cent off over eight hours and that’s 16 minutes. It’s tough racing in Hawaii and it’s a special beast. I’ve tasted every emotion there and you take every race as it comes. A true champion bounces back. In Phuket I was pleased to be able to play a smart and tactical game, and get away with it.
What are your plans for 2013?
I have a full schedule of races lined up for 2013. I am looking forward to going to Challenge Wanaka in New Zealand at the start of next year and I will also race Challenge events in Copenhagen, Barcelona and Rimini.