Perth, what a stitch up

Luke Harvey, Triathlon, AJTS, Triathlon QLD, Way out west championship, swim, ride, run, stitch, cramping, legend, needsmoregoats

If I can take anything out of the weekend it is how to bounce back and have a solid crack, even if it fails twice in a row. I flew over Friday morning and met up with the small travelling team of Calvin Franklin, Emma Hogan, Myself, and Tim Harridine (TQ) as the overseer. With such a long flight it was a tight schedule for the rest of the afternoon. Arriving at our accommodation we got straight into assembling and fine-tuning our bikes, of which mine needed plenty. I love how airlines treat bikes, some twisted bars here, a bent shifter there, and on this trip I spent a good half hour fixing and tuning my gears. Travel to the venue for course orientation and briefing has never been easier. With a minibus and only 3 athletes, all the bikes could just go in the aisle with ease. Rolling around the bike course I felt good and was keen to test out the swim course in the morning. Race day consisted of a qualifier and then an A or B final, with both races consisting of a 300m swim, 10km ride, and 2.4km run. The swim course I mentioned before, was a knee-deep start with an exit halfway through and a dive off of the pontoon before turning back to the exit. My first swim I had a great start but when I got to the buoy I was dragged back and swamped, swallowing half of the lake. Over such a short distance I didn't have the speed for the swim, although I did enjoy the dive midway through to mix it up. I came out of the water just off of the back of the 2nd pack which was not ideal, but also had a simple resolution, hard work. Getting the pack to work together we closed the gap, however there was some shocking riding and a frightening display of a lack of concentration. Several times there were near crashes on straights, and don't even get me started on the corners! I made it into transition in one piece and near the front. All I had to do was place in the top 14 to make the A final.

Run startA simple task given my position, however my body had other plans, 400m into the run a familiar scenario occurred; I got a stitch/cramp or whatever you want to call it. I quickly dropped from about 5th off the back of the pack, and continued to die from there. Over the next lap I managed to drop into 4th last, a long way from the top 14. I was more than devastated, however I took in as much advice from as many people as possible, went for a nap and reset for the next race. Starting in the B final I was confident I could get a good result. I made the front pack, organised the group and kept the pace on. I led into transition and ran on the heels of the Schofield brothers who were in the A final and on their second lap. Once again my old friend the stitch, made an appearance. I dropped from the lead and turned my mind to staying as upright as possible. It was a struggle but I almost looked like I was running!! As the photo below shows, I made coming 4th in the B final look easy...

4th is easy...

I headed back for a bath, and then watched a couple of movies in our own private cinema. Relays did not kick off until 10:30 and my team consisted of Romy Wolstencroft, Myself, Emma Hogan, and brought home by Jake Hynes. I had my best race all weekend, despite losing my goggles in the swim, and having a shocking first transition, staring Jake in the face and struggling to clip up my helmet. By the time I exited transition a small group of 3 had formed about 100m in front. I put my feet in, and ripped into it. Catching the group about 1.5km in I took a small breather before pulling a turn and reducing it back down to a pack of 3. There were still 3 people in front and we worked well together to bring them in and hit transition about 20m behind 2 of them, with Jayden Schofield off another 80m. I kept it steady until the 500m mark before unleashing with no sign of stitch and running from 4th to 2nd. I tagged Emma and all I could do from now was watch. Both Emma and Jake had stellar performances and it was a very close race between 1st and 2nd. We placed a very close 2nd with everyone giving their all, thanks for the fun time. A huge thank you to Toby Coote for your help and advice over the weekend, you certainly helped me to start finding a solution. As for my Mizuno sonic's, they only got 1/3 of the speed they deserved for the weekend, will it stockpile for next time?

Relay team