So that’s a wrap, Mooloolaba triathlon 2016 is done. Racing fatigued is not fun, it’s tough, but a challenge I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a huge weekend and I’m already back into the swing of things with my focus now switching entirely to ironman Port Macquarie in a 6.5 weeks. But before I move on completely lets reflect, here are the results:
I have previously written about how this is a family orientated weekend and event for us! My wife, Mel, doing the twilight run on Friday evening and the kids doing the Superkids Triathlon on the Saturday morning. It is a really enjoyable weekend and this year we even took a few extra days to enjoy the sand and sun before coming home!
So lets get into the nitty gritty. Following the kids triathlon on Saturday the plan was to do a gear check ride before racking my bike. Then head back to the unit for a lazy afternoon watching the pros go at it in the ITU race and the criterion races. Unfortunately I missed all the action and saw the back of my eyelids for a touch over 4 hours. Obviously much needed sleep! So now to get in and pack my kit, the process is the same for every race, lay out my gear in order, tri suit, goggles, cap, calf socks, trimming chip, tattoo, helmet, sun glasses, bike shoes, running cap, joggers, socks, race belt (with number attached), gels (currently using a mix of winners, endura or ettix) and a towel for transition. A quick shower to shave the legs down and I was off to bed by about 10pm.
I woke at 4:30am on Sunday morning to torrential rain, oh the HORROR, this was going to be a long, wet, soggy, stressful day. My breakfast was a couple of croissants with jam, I was just not organised enough this year to arrange my typical eggy bread (French toast). Tri suit on, tattoo applied, dressed and ready to head to transition, meeting Ben, Emily & Jason in the foyer at 5! The best part of these days is sharing the experience with friends and this weekend was no exception. Emily the queen of Wellington Point ready to take her age group by storm, Ben the grey hound racing his first Olympic distance triathlon ready to chase me down all day and finally Jason this is my last ever triathlon I’m retiring (well for now anyway) hoping for an epic day to upset us all!
Arriving at transition I try to remain really cool calm and methodical in my approach. Pump up the tyres, UHOH problems, my ever reliable fast forward carbon tubular won’t hold pressure, its blowing bubbles all the way around the rim? Some quick thinking and a SOS call to my amazing wife and Johnny had my spare wheel arriving at transition about 15 minutes later! Crisis averted, thanks to my awesome friends & family! Right, back to setting up transition. Bike shoes clipped in to the pedals, check the gears are good for mount, layout my helmet with sun glasses inside, running shoes with laces loose, socks folded inside out on top of my shoes, race number over the top of my shoes, gels on my towel. All done and dusted inside 15 minutes, a quick last minute check and off to the beach for the swim start!
This was the first time in 5 years that the planned and mapped swim was utilised, no alternate swim needed, this year the weather and surf was cooperating. The long walk up the beach is a great time to focus on the race ahead, we were running a little late and missed a warm-up, straight into the holding pen, ready to start. Look like the swim out to the first buoy is my warm-up (definitely not a recommendation)! By now the weather had cleared and the day was shaping to be a cracking day! The water was a beautiful 27/28 degrees Celsius, so not wetsuits. This was a perfect swim for me, rolling waves, but absolutely perfect conditions compared to previous years. My swim was almost perfect, perhaps a little conservative upon reflection, but never the less a solid performance. Out of the water and onto the beach in 24:50, about 65 seconds slower the last year.
The stairs up from the beach are always a challenge, trying to stay upright and not fall flat on my face in front of the cheering crowd. Transitions 1 is a quick simple process, cap & goggles down, helmet & glasses on, then out to the mount line to start the bike. The wind was picking up already and it was noticeable on the road out to the motor way. Mooloolaba bike course is always windy; managing the effort on the way out (with the tail wind) is smart racing. Pushing hard, but not over doing it on the way back (into the head wind) is even smarter racing. I watched my heart rate pretty closely in both directions and managed the effort in zone 3 (60%), with a little into zone 4 (40%). Heading back down the hill into transition 2 there are some tricky corners and roundabout to negotiate all while taking my shoes off!
Transition 2 is a little long, I always go to the effort of putting on socks and tying my laces (I find elastic laces just don’t provide the support my fickle legs need). Out onto the run course and ready to tackle ‘the hill’ 3 times. It always takes me to the top of the hill to find my running legs, approximately 1km, by the downhill I am right into my rhythm. Running north was hot, very hot, running with the wind is hot, the aid stations brought a welcome relief. Finally getting a chance to see my fellow mates and the gaps between us. Ben closing the gap, fast, and Jason trying to enjoy his last hurrah and Em struggling to find her rhythm. I shouted some encouragement (ok instructions), gave a high 5 and kept going trying to hold onto my dying lead. Finally the last downhill and the finish line was in sight, finished in 2:24:37, approximately 2:56 minutes faster than last year.
Ironically, upon looking closer at my results, my swim was 65 seconds slower than last year, my bike was 49 seconds slower than last year, my run was 5 seconds quicker than last year, but I did a 2:56 personal best at Mooloolaba. Explanation, my transition 1 was nearly 5 minutes quicker than last year. Here is my data if you are interested:
I would like to take a moment to thank my fellow competitors, in particular Queen Emily, you will dominate as an age grouper with consistency, Beginner Ben, I’m getting to old to be the rabbit out front, and you’ll have me next year, so I’m glad to get this one on you. Finally Jason ‘this is my last triathlon, I’m retiring’ it was a pleasure to race this last one with you, never say never, I hope we get to do it all again somewhere else! To my amazing support crew, aka my family, you are my inspiration and the reason I keep doing this, I hope I make you proud! Friend’s watching make the day, Tammy, Les, Hanna, Carolyn, Michael, Johnny the support never goes unnoticed, THANK YOU.
Monday morning, I was straight back into it backing k’s with Johnny and Jason on the bike! Now my focus shifts completely to ironman Australia in Port Macquarie in 6.5 weeks on the 1st of May! Stay tuned for further updates, I have the Luke Harrop Memorial sprint triathlon in 3 weeks. Thank weekend is going to be epic, I have some big plans!
Till next time build consistency, keep smiling and live to Tri!