What a ride this year has been! January I was preparing myself to enter back into serious racing after some time off in 2021. I had my eyes set on the Devonport Oceania Cup event in February as my first real test of fitness. February my base training was going strong, but speed was lacking. Eyes set on Devonport with entry, flights and accommodation sorted, until I got thrown my first curveball. I got a message from my coach asking if I was free for a meeting. Next thing I know, I was asked if I was interested in guiding a vision impaired triathlete in a weeks’ time.
My lead into the national championships was less than ideal having spent the last week away from home avoiding my parents in lockdown. Fortunately, I have my super cool van to move my life around! Now, enough of that... I was on duty as a guide for the first time at Runaway Bay, a course I have raced many times as an individual. This would be my 3rd race with Sam and the format was two races 90 minutes apart. Each consists of a 350m tethered pool swim, 8.5km bike, and 2.2km run on the track.
Welcome back guys, it's been a while since you've visited my blog. Between work and training, I have been a bit slack and neglected a few blogs, sorry for that. Mum Dad and I arrived at Mooloolaba Friday lunch and I rushed straight down to registration to pick up my race pack before Scomo banned all events. Fortunately, the event was still going ahead, albeit with a shorter swim.
Everyone always talks about Noosa and knows its the biggest Triathlon around, so after 7 years in the sport, I decided to have my first crack at it. This is only my 4th attempt at a standard distance triathlon which is a 1.5km swim, 40km ride, and a 10km run. My first 3 attempts weren't great, with different challenges that I knew before beginning those races. Noosa however, I was in good form, no injuries or illness and was ready to rumble. The start list was stacked and I was honoured to be on the start line with some of the guys.
My worst races I have are always at Robina, don’t get me wrong I love the race but have never had things go to plan there. That’s about as much thought as I’ve ever given it, I cross the finish line and go “hey, its Robina”. Enough with the excuses and lets get into the juicy error I made. So this race was my third attempt at a standard distance triathlon (1500m swim, 40km ride, 10km run) and was a bit of a last minute decision. Originally I was going to race half of that, being the sprint distance in preparation for a race in Hong Kong this coming weekend.
The Triple F crew and I began our journey to Rainbow Beach for the back to back triathlon; Boys trip style. Coach G managed to survive the journey with us all blabbering in his ear and we arrived late Friday afternoon to check into our cabin, unpack our bags, and then head over to Poppy Lane’s place for some pizzas in his wood fired oven. Saturday morning was race day, although we didn't race till 3:30pm which is a bit different.
Getting to the start line of my first Elite race was a mission on its own. I had been struggling with a niggling knee problem in the weeks leading up to the race, fortunately I had the support I needed from my coach, Glen Ingram Mobile Massage, and my Physio Peter Mitchell. Race morning was the usual transition setup followed by an extremely long queue for body numbering and timing chip collection leaving 10 minutes for me to do a warm up. Add to this the fact that we weren’t allowed in the water as “it is too dark” but we were racing 10 mins later?
I was pretty keen for this race as it was the first one on my new Cannondale System six thanks to the guys at V1 Cyclery. Dad dropped me off to the airport nice and early on Friday morning for my flight via Melbourne to Davonport, landing with the Triathlon Queensland team. Davonport is a pretty small place so it didn't take long for us to arrive at our accommodation and build our bikes. The afternoon was pretty rushed but I managed to fit in a couple of laps on the bike course and go for a small swim at the same tide as race day.
Canberra was scorching when I arrived, a lovely 40 something degrees. Friday afternoon we had course orientation and then a briefing later at the AIS. I chose not to get in the water as the swim course was changed and I wasn’t feeling confident with the water quality, not wanting to risk any sickness the day before racing. The bike course was a rough T shape with constant undulation but nothing too hard. There was a lovely u-turn through a car park that was pretty rough through the apex but smoothed out towards the end of the corner.