FORMER Port Macquarie athlete Christian Kemp was feeling stiff and sore yesterday, but was still thrilled to get the biggest win of his career at the Auckland 70.3 on Sunday.
Kemp is now the Asia-Pacific champion, after finishing ahead of hometown hero, Olympian Bevan Docherty, in the race.
The win was even more special as Kemp completed the last four kilometres of the bike leg with a flat tyre.
A loud bang was the first sign of trouble. He said he was lucky to keep it upright and not crash in the closing stages.
“That was in the back of my mind,” he said.
“The pack was about 50 seconds to a minute behind. I had conflicting reports on the road.”
The greasy conditions made it even more dangerous, he said.
“It was a bit sketchy,” Kemp said.
His run is Kemp’s traditional strongest leg, but Kemp was most happy with the bike performance, after working hard on it over the past 12 months.
Auckland is definitely the biggest win of his career, and it’s even sweeter for Kemp, after an injury-filled 12 months. A right calf tear hampered him.
“It’s hard to give it enough time [to heal] during the season,” he said.
Triathlon commentator Pete Murray was impressed with Kemp after his win.
Murray watched a live stream of the last part of the race, and said Kemp, as usual, excelled on all three legs of the race.
But, agreed the bike leg was Kemp’s strongest.
“He set himself up on the swim, then he rode 2:10, which is a very quick time,” Murray said. “He pulled one out of the bag.
“He had a good day. I’m sure this is the start of some big things for him.”
Murray is a Port Macquarie ironman identity.
A former competitor, he now commentates at the Port Macquarie Ironman and 70.3 events.