With grade 12 exams and being sick, my lead up was less than ideal, almost non existent. I finished my exams on Friday, packed, and flew to Amsterdam on Saturday. I was due to race 1 week later on the 17th, and the weather was rainy and miserable. The next few days were spent touristing, adjusting to time zones, and getting over jet lag. Wednesday morning I caught the train to Rotterdam and by no surprise, it was raining. After putting my bike together I went for a small ride to have a look around.
A chilly arrival and knowing it was to be the warmest I would experience, made for quite a shock. The opening ceremony was on the Friday afternoon at the Tasmanian Police Academy, along with a track walk. My course was 2x3 km laps on a rather easy course in a grass paddock. The only thing making the course tough was the wind, rain and cold.
Having raced state cross country for the last 5 years it has become a part of the year I look forward too. My first few years I was nervous and scared to push myself to the front of a start line, even having an asthma attack before the race started. Flashforward again and I am on a start line talking to mates after warming up together and even pushing on to that front line. This year I had one of my worst lead ups yet, with minimal running in the last 2-3 weeks not the ideal scenario.
I woke up to my alarm early Saturday morning, but it took me a while to realise what for. I lay there looking at my alarm as it went off trying to remember why I was getting up, it’s a Saturday, triathlons are always Sunday, aren’t they? Ooops that’s right, Straddie is a weekend of racing with both the pure and salute triathlon on the Saturday morning. I ate a couple of pieces of toast before I left for the barge, thanks Mel for picking me up. It is an hour’s trip on the boat to Stradbroke Island and I took my time to eat some wheat-bix and watch the sun rise.
Last National Schools Triathlon The Queensland team met at Brisbane airport first thing Tuesday morning, where we checked in 36 bikes and bags before having a meeting. Samantha Whiting and myself were honoured to be announced as Team Captains and given the task of firing up the team for a 12th victory. 12 in a row, here we go!!! Landing in Sydney, the rival teams had already stolen our truck, this caused a little delay but our superb managers handled it perfectly.
This blog is going to carry over a couple of busy days from me. Thursday I was invited to represent and promote triathlon at the Commonwealth Games Activation at Soutbank, Brisbane, with Jess Ashworth and Emma from Triathlon Queensland. We ran the Trystars Kids Triathlon and had a great time, before packing up and heading down the coast with Jess for the two days of racing at the Gold Coast Jewel Triathlon. Race briefing was Friday afternoon at a hotel in Surfers Paradise and we were given our access passes and had a quick team meeting to decide when and where to meet.
With NSW and their daylight savings, I had to wake up 1 hour earlier and left around 3am, with dad driving, and myself going back to sleep. After waking up for the second time I ate some creamed rice and arrived at Kingsclif. It was still dark, luckily I brought my bike light to ride to transition. Racking was in number order, and my rack was around the basketball courts, behind the toilet, and on a little mound. This little mound made my bike too high to fit under the rack, so I had to rack by my bars. I came out and went straight into a warm up jog around half the run course.
Being in Western Australia since Tuesday, we stayed in Fremantle and did general touristy stuff until Friday afternoon. That afternoon I turned up to the race venue and had a ride around the course before briefing. It was a sprint distance, draft legal event with a unique 2 lap swim, 3 lap cycle and 4 lap run. After briefing I went for a swim and then had a quick celebration of birthday cake for Jess before heading back to Fremantle for the usual pre-race dinner of lasagne and garlic bread. I had to be at the regatta by 6 am to check in my bike and watch the first race.
After a 4hr drive I was keen to get out of the car and move around. I had a team meeting with Met East at 3pm along the Hervey Bay Esplanade, and was keen to catch up with everyone. Once the meeting was over I hung around for a couple of hours talking before walking down the beach to the Sharkie's for a swim. I dragged a scaredy cat out a couple of hundred meters to do some swimming and pace work before tomorrows race, or at least that was until something touched her foot. I headed back to my room for the usual pre race dinner of lasagna and garlic bread before an early night.