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. We went for a swim familiarization in the morning,hung around on the beach for an hour or so before collecting our race packs and getting our gear ready for transition. The water was a little choppy for the swim and I decided to opt out of using a wetsuit even though it was cool enough to.
The start line was moved at the last minute and I chose a pretty poor position. Fortunately it was a small event and didn't take very long for me to find clear water and get around the first buoy. I was a little behind after my start and swimming further then most, however I think without the wetsuit I was able to move along a bit faster than the others, cutting through the chop and slowly closed the gap to the front swimmers. I exited the water in 5th place and made light work running up to transition without a wetsuit, getting onto my bike in first place.
The bike course was fairly straightforward being 10 km out and 10 km back all dead flat and straight. After about 6 km on the bike Brodie Gardner came past, setting the pace for the rest of the bike; I tried my best to keep the damage to a minimum. Sadly that was not to be the case with both Hooper and Gardner starting the run 30 seconds ahead. The run was definitely the most challenging part of the course with two very pinchy hills that you ran out and back on over the 2 laps. The run was also slightly long at 5.5 kilometres and it took me 5 of those to close the gap and catch up to Gardner, just edging the win for race 1 of 2.
That afternoon I rode back to our cabin and settled in for an early night with some lasagne for dinner. Sunday morning was back to the usual pre-race routine of breakfast then riding to the venue and setting up transition. I opted for a wetsuit today as the ocean was calm like a lake and could do with the extra speed. The swim was unlike any other I've ever done as I had a good start, got myself into a good position and just sat in second place on the feet of the lead swimmer, quite different to my usual game of catch up. I decided to not bust myself and just sit where I was, ecstatic to get out of the water in 2nd place and out onto the bike. I soon took the lead on board my Cannondale System Six. Not for long though with both Gardner and Hull passing me before the turn around. Hull and I were pushing hard but Gardner just rode away leaving me 30 seconds back once again.
I wasn't going to risk leaving it as late in the run to make my move as I did yesterday. I began my run pushing my cadence down the first hill before attempting to find some sort of rhythm and close the gap. I let my legs go down the hills and prayed to the gravity Gods that I wasn't going to face-plant. It paid off as my face is still in one piece (believe it or not), and I closed the gap within the first lap of the run. From there the goal was to make it look like I wasn't hurting and to keep the lead. I don't think I did a very good job of making it look any less painful, but I did manage to hold the lead. Thanks Brodie, for the 2 day battle, I look forward to the next one!