So way back in 2011, I completed the Noosa 1km ocean swim as part of the triathlon week-long festival. Since then I have completed various triathlon and running events all over the big wide brown country of ours! Sunday the 23rd July 2017 saw me complete my first duathlon, since coming back into the sport! I gotta say I was not looking forward to it, I was petrified, not being a runner the duathlon literally scares me! I have well documented my lower leg struggles and running twice in an event just screams injury to me! But that aside as a club we had elected to head out and have a crack.
It was cold, exactly as predicted, single digits when we arrived at about 5:30am, I had a simplified version of my normal race breakfast, just toast & juice today. Layered up I didn’t notice the cold too much early on, maybe I was just to busy running around registering, racking my bike and checking all my club mates were ready to race! I had struggled all week with what I was going to wear during this race, yes it was cold, but running 10km was going to warm me up pretty quick, but then was I going to freeze on the bike in the wind? I packed all sorts of layers as options, from full length skins, both top & bottom, my cycling vest by Castelli, arm warmers (2 different thicknesses) and my beanie!
I settled on the new club tri-suit, with calf sleeves, my thick arm warmers, cycling gloves, the windproof vest & of course my new Ironman beanie (cause it fits perfectly under my bike helmet)! While my shoulders were exposed, I wasn’t cold after I started, so it seems my clothing decision were perfect! At the start line I met up with a few mates from the other clubs in my local area and the banter was strong, but lots of fun! The gun went and unlike any triathlon the start was very subdued and we all just jogged off very calmly, almost gentlemanly. Very unlike a triathlon start! I even joked that we need a few elbows and ankle taps, just to make it feel normal!
The first 10km was a four lap loop course around a small lake with a small out and back section, which absolutely flew by. Running with the Dazzler from Sharkies Tri Club the pace was on from the start, he was pushing me to a pace I wouldn’t normally run this early, but we kept chatting and it was uncomfortably fun! He surged away from me inside the last km to sneak in under the 40min mark for the 10km (I think) and I ended up just over that mark, 40 minutes and 10 seconds (unofficially)! My fastest 10km in 17 years!
Into transition and the shoes came off quickly and easily, helmet on and I was on my way out of transition onto the bike leg. I wore my Injini Performance toe socks and they kept my feet perfectly comfortable in the run, on the bike and even running through transition on wet grass and gravel! The mount line was on a gentle uphill which made mounting and getting the shoes on a little challenge. Nothing a little concentration couldn’t overcome.
This bike course was a challenge, with nearly 1.2km of climbing at the start of each lap and almost 80m of elevation gain over each lap, there was plenty of soul-searching during this 40km bike! Why didn’t I train more? Have I fully recovered from my last Ironman totally? I’m sure nobody else is hurting this much? Lots of self-pity and doubting questions. I spotted a few mates on course each lap and gave them a shout as often as I could, even giving Rod (a fellow Starfish member) a friendly slap on the ass as I rode past. It helped pass the time and before I knew it lap 6 had been completed and I was frantically trying to get out of my bike shoes, because the dismount line was JUST around the last corner, a lot closer than I thought!
Making my way into transition number 2 I was almost a little excited as it was only 5km run to go! I ditched the helmet, put on my other running shoes (Asics DS Trainer’s ), yes that’s right I ran in 2 different pairs of shoes during the duathlon! I ran in my Asics Kayano’s for the 10km and the DS Trainer for the 5km! Simple reason, the Kayano give me more support when running on the concrete for 10km and I was happy to go to a lighter (slightly less supportive shoe) for the last 5km. This run was a lot more of a struggle than the first 10km, my leg had been zapped by the hills on the bike. But I managed to hold just under 4:30min/km pace. So the results are:
Officially also available here.
So that enough about me, as a coach there are plenty of other highlights. The Starfish crew did an amazing job, rocking the course in the new Tri Suits! We had eighteen (18) athletes racing across all distances. As coaches, Ben and I were super impressed with the efforts on course, but even more impressed with the support each athlete offered to everyone in our club and other clubs. Special mentions and massive congratulations to:
- Ben Luscombe, 1st in the sprint distance
- Riley Wingad, 1st in the kids distance
- Saffy Pavic, 3rd in the mini kids distance
We have created a Facebook photo album of from the events of the day, please feel free to tag those you know and share them around. Congratulations to all 18 athletes, you did the Starfish proud!
I am super existed to be apart of this exciting club and the up coming season is shaping to be a very impressive one! If you follow my on social media you will know how super proud of my eldest daughter who has only just recently taken up the challenge of training regularly for triathlon and is reaping the rewards not just in her health and fitness, the discipline is helping her in all facets of her life and I am loving traveling this journey with her! Stay tuned this summer is going to be EPIC!
If you ever have any questions please reach out, I’m only a message away.
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Till next time build consistency, keep smiling and live to Tri!