Well that’s my 2015 race calendar complete. The results are in and Noosa 2015 tops a very good year for me. I targeted 3 main races this, the Cairns Ironman, the Sunshine Coast 70.3 (half ironman) and the Noosa Tri. The results at all three races exceeded my expectations and Noosa was the perfect cherry on top. So lets get into the nitty gritty here are the official results:
For those interesting in delving into the data a little more, here’s the Garmin & Strava data:
So how does that compare to my goals, really well actually. My perfect world (everything goes spectacularly to plan) target was for 2 hours and 20 minutes, my realistic (taking into consideration unknown conditions and course changes) goal was for 2 hours 24 minutes. As it played out I missed my perfect world target by a measly 1 minute 25 seconds, which to be clear I am over the moon about.
So lets break the day down and review it blow by blow. Up super early 3:30am wake up, breakfast this time consisted of a simple couple pieces of toast with jam, a quick shower, trisuit on & number up using the tattoo provided! Ready by 4am to head to transition. The morning of a triathlon is hard to explain, there are nearly 8000 competitors all bursting at the seams with energy ready to race, but first the nervous process of setting up your transition area! This is a methodical process that the more you do the more you tend to become complacent. The routine is almost the same or all of us:
- Pump tires up
- Drink bottles on bike
- Bike shoes clipped in pedals
- Lay out transition towel
- Helmet placed (with straps folded out)
- Glasses placed inside helmet
- Running shoes setup (with socks if you use them, I always do)
- Number belt laid out
- Running cap placed
- Nutrition setup & available (on bike, taped to top tube or ready to pick up and stuff in tri suit)
- Double & triple check everything before leaving & say a prayer that nothing fails!
With transition setup complete there’s time to kill until the race start. This is where the pre-race nerves start for me. Everything is done and now I am at the mercy of my gear and preparation, everything is done & there is little I can do now to change the next two plus hours. I continue to mentally rehearsing the race, counting the swim buoys, going through each transition, trying to anticipate any problems, solving those potential problems, visualizing my technique & wishing everyone and anyone good luck.
Entering the start holding area as early as possible to ensure I can get a good spot at the start line. I spotted my wife & kids, time for cuddles kisses & a final good luck. Front row slightly off center to the left was my spot for the start, the gun went & we’re away! The water (reportedly only 21.6, making it wetsuit optional) was amazing, cool but not cold, crystal clear, no swell & perfect for a fast swim! At the 3rd buoy (also the furthest point from the beach) you could still see the sandy ocean bottom, glorious conditions! Out of the water and up the beach in a little over 23 minutes, this year included a slightly longer run to transition than last, but it’s the same for all competitors. Wetsuit off, helmet & glasses on, gels up the leg of my trisuit and finally out onto the bike!
I always have my shoes clipped into the pedals and put them on while riding. But first get up to pace and over the Sheraton bridge & past the awesome supporters on the early part of the course! Now the fun starts, finding & settling into a suitable rhythm & tempo. Careful not to get too comfortable, today is all about that pace! Here comes the hill, from 11km to 14km, it’s a gentle climb timed by Garmin, I’m always conscious not to push too hard but also not bludge, the roll from the top to the turn around is my time to push! The decent at about 28km is epic, I topped out at 81.5km/hr this year and the cross winds made it scarier than I remember. It’s time for another gel and the punch into T2! Returning to transition in 1 hour and 5 minutes, feeling very positive. Bike racked, helmet off, running cap on, number belt on, socks, shoes, tie laces and out onto the run course!
How to attack this run, it’s 2 parkruns! Let’s try to set the tone early, up tall, slight lean forward and relax! My target was 4:30/km pace and I hit it perfectly early on! The sun was starting to warm up and the section of course from the AFL ground to the turnaround & back I struggled a little, but seeing my mates stirred me on and refocused me for the final few km. My pace drifted out a little and the infamous furnace of Wyuna Road didn’t quite hurt as much as previous years, but the last 2km still hurt the most. Finishing my run in a touch over 46.5 minutes, nearly 11 minutes quicker than last years run! Noosa 2015 DONE & DUSTED!
Mistakes, forgot my feed bag on my bike, forgot to wear my heart rate monitor, never eat Mexican the night before a race!
Tips or things to remember for next time, never get complacent, triple check your race kit when packing, cut your toe nails, find clear water in the swim, don’t draft, find your rhythm and push harder!
So with a PB banked and improvement across all three legs of the triathlon, I’m super happy with my progress this year. The highlight of the Noosa race is always my family & friends that are competing & spectating, all with their own goals and agendas. All at different parts of their triathlon journey. On the weekend I had a core group of 5 mates that I was racing with, 3 made it very clear from the onset that this would be their last Noosa (at least for today anyway), 1 was competing in her first Noosa and the other a seasoned (under prepared) veteran went about his business surprising everybody how little training he can do and still race amazing!
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been apart of my journey back into this sport & lifestyle. Each and everyone of you serve as daily inspiration and motivation. To my wife and kids who tirelessly cheer and support me in these crazy dreams from the sideline, without you I am nothing and these days would be hollow. You complete me and make my life whole, THANKYOU!
Now to start planning for 2016!
Till next time build consistency, keep smiling and live to Tri!