The banter amongst the Turbo Studio Squad before this race was high. The Captain was laying down the smack talk pretty thick on myself and Big JT and being the first major race of the season, this was a chance for every one to show their form… And the boys were looking strong!
This would also be my first race on a plant based diet, not the this was too much of a factor, my numbers in training were all going in the right direction… But still, it’s the sort of thing that sits in the back of your mind.
Race morning was mercifully still as the ocean was looking pretty angry the previous day, and the swim is not my friend. After meeting up with the squad for some tire pumping and transition banter I made my way to the swim start to watch Kat launch herself into the surf like a hero at about the same time as swim coach, (and awesome pro) Lisa Marangon emerged first out of the water like a BOSS!
The goggles went on, position were taken, BOOM!
This would be my first beach start at a tri, and let me tell you, nothing like diving through the surf all arms and elbows with a couple hundred other enthusiastic age groupers to get the heart rate up!
With the swim my weak leg I decided on a slightly more aggressive approach to the start, going out hard in the first few hundred meeters and looking for a decent set of feet to hang on to. And you know what, it worked… I got out the water feeling fresh and faster than I really had a right to given my ability.
My usually shoddy T1 wasn’t that bad either and I was soon out on the ‘flat’ bike.
Well it is mainly flat, but don’t be fooled, there are some climbs that will get the Watts and HR up heading out of town onto the free-way. Another thing that spiked the watts and messed with my nice clean low time trailing estimated VI, (and if you’re not enough of a Training Peaks nerd to know what VI is you can learn about it here) was having to put in some big surges to pass the big draft packs out on course… and dam was there a lot of drafting; not really a hell of a lot more than any other flat course I guess, but it didn’t make it any less annoying.
Anyhow a combination of the surges and pushing a little to hard on lap 1 meant my 2nd lap was around 10w lower. Still made for a respectable bike time but certainly keeping a more even pace at this distance is something to work on going forward.
Not much more to say on the actual course itself. It’s (mainly) flat. It’s on a free-way. The road surface is good. It’s boring. Nuff said.
“The run is flat” they said, “It’ll be fast!” they said. Well they were 80% right, but let me tell you, the long dragging hill you have to climb 4 times, (twice each side on the 2 lap course) certainly takes the spring out of your legs, especially coming out of T2. The cool sea breeze really helped as the temperature was starting to climb and I found myself really being grateful for my De Soto Cool Wings… they may look a little dorky, but splash a little water on them at the aid stations and man… they really work! So fuck aesthetics, I’ll take dorky and ‘cool’.
Pretty happy with the run although the pace was slower than I’ve been hitting in training; but that’s probably a combination of heat, the hill, and overcooking the bike a touch. But hey, if I’d had gone 3 mins slower on the bike would I have made that up on the run? The eternal balancing equation that is Triathlon!
My 4:28:37 finishing time was enough to earn me 8th in my age group and a roll down spot for the 70.3 World Champs in Mont Tremblant next year. I would be excited enough about that, but The Captain and JT also snagged spots as well, (although I did manage to beat them… which is of course the important thing)! It’s going to be a blast!
So baring qualification for Kona in Busselton, the road to Mont Tremblant starts next year, (hey – only so many holiday days in a year… doing both would be a stretch!).