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?
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.
My lead up to the national cross triathlon championships was less then ideal. Having barely ridden my mountain bike this year, and coming down sick two days before, I was ready. I think now would be an appropriate time to mention that I have only done one off-road triathlon prior to this. Ok, enough of my excuses, time to tell it how it was. Lying awake since 2:30 coughing and spluttering I was keen to get out of the house and do something. we made the drive to Ewan Maddock Dam in just under 2hrs and got a car park almost at transition.