So we are 2 weeks into our season and already 2 races down. My first race was the Sunny Coast 70.3 Ironman event held at Mooloolaba, the second race was a sprint distance race held at Raby Bay (my local area) as Round 1 of the Queensland Triathlon Series. I’ll try to provide a little insight into both races.
But first let’s have a look at the results:
2017 Sunny Coast 70.3 – Official Result
Here I finished in a personal best time of 4:55:19, placing me 36th in the 40-44 category.
QTS Round 1 – Raby Bay – Sprint Official Results
Here I finished in a personal best for the sprint distance time of 1:05:21, placing 5th in the 40-44 category.
Now for some more details, first:
Sunny Coast 70.3
This is the 4th time I have race here at Sunny Coast but only the 3rd time I have finished. Mooloolaba is a favourite destination for me & my family, we absolutely love holidaying here & the fact I generally get to race is a huge bonus! As you may have read in my race preview, I’ve had mixed results here and I can never tell what is going to happen on race day! This year was no different. I woke early to the sound of a bit of wind, not gale force, but enough to notice from our apartment. I had my usual ‘eggy bread’ with banana & honey (maple syrup) for breakfast. Grabbed my gear & nutrition & headed to transition to set up for the day ahead.
When I was cleaning my bike and setting it up to get ready to rack it on Saturday, I realised I had made the rookie error of forgetting my feed bag (bento box or whatever you would like to call it), so had a little panic, but decided to simply tape my gels to the top tube and use the pockets on my tri-suit to carry my chews! For this race I was using a mix of Winners Gels, Winners Chews & Endura Rehydration formula in m bottles. This suits my stomach and seems to fuel me well for most of my longer events.
So back to the day, other than a little bit of wind the ocean was calm and the temperature was down, it was perfect race conditions. Entering transition and setup my bike and transition area, it a robotic process, done deliberately so I don’t forget anything. My only change was having to tape my nutrition to the top tube (not something I have done before)!
Heading to the swim start I was catching up with a few other athletes racing and this helps to keep my mind occupied and not stressing about thing I MAY have forgotten (which I rarely do)! Time to suit up, getting my seal suit (AKA wetsuit) on and head down for a warmup! My awesome mate Ian was my support this morning, carrying my bag and ensuring I had the my last chews before heading into the cattle yard ready for the start! As I wandered soon to the start I surveyed the flat ocean and picked my alignment out to the first buoy. I started on the left side of the start line and when the gun went had clear water. My clear water continued for the entire swim, I almost felt like I was the only swimmer out there, swimming directly from buoy to buoy. It was amazing conditions, you could at different points see the bottom. I kept asking myself, as I pushing hard enough? is there any more to give? The answer most of the time was no, perfectly at my aerobic limit! I exited the water and cross the timing mat stopping my watch at a super time of 28:21 (matching my official time 28:21 exactly).
Into T1, which was on Beach Esplanade, it was a long skinny transition area, but actually flowed pretty smoothly. Wetsuit off, helmet & glasses on and grab the bike to head out onto the bike course!
The bike course is essentially two very different loops now! The first is a 45km loop on the Sunshine Motorway, which is super flat. We had a small tail wind on the way out and the same headwind on the way back. The second loop diverts off the motorway heading toward the back of Bli Bli and starts to get lumpy, rolling hills without being killer big! I held my numbers really well on the first loop, managing 90 cadence ad about 210 watts fairly consistently! The second loop was a bit more of a struggle to hold the numbers, the hills proved to be a challenge, I was pushing too hard on the uphill and not hard enough on the down hills! But overall I’m pretty happy with the final numbers of 206 watts and 87 cadence and average speed of 35.1km/hr, stopping the watch with a bike split of 2:33:45 (officially 2:33:59). Feel free to review the data here:
Rolling into T2 and making my way along the long skinny transition area for the final time. Helmet off, sock, shoes, cap & number belt on and straight out onto the run course! As slick as I could.
The run is 2 laps from Mooloolaba through Maroochydore to Cotton Tree and back. Yes the headland is a hill and we have to run up it 4 times! But that is not even the hardest part, for me I consider the long stretch straight from Maroochydore surf club along the foreshore with the wind in your back. It gets hot and very uncomfortable. My calf caused my trouble from the first kilometer through to the end, I managed to I ran through the first 10km in 48 minutes with a slightly modified stride (trying to land on the outside of my foot) and was very happy. I took a couple of nurofen at the 10/11km mark and the stabbing pain eased, however the calf was still uncomfortable and tight. I took to walking the aid station and trying to loosen up my calf. I ran the through the 2nd 10km in about 54 minutes, a little slower than I had hoped, but again reasonably happy considering the struggle with my lower leg! As I approached the hill for the final time, I spotted a familiar face in Ian (my IM training partner) and he jogged up the hill with me, which was a nice little distraction. I eventually stopped the watch with a run split of 1:47:09 (officially 1:47:07)
Overall it was a pretty good day, all things considered, I banked a PB on a course that was harder than previous years (that I have raced here)! This served as the mark of my final 12 week run down into Ironman WA! It’s a short build but I’m looking forward to the challenge and focus.
QTS Round 1 – Raby Bay Sprint
So this season I get to rave with my 11-year-old daughter in this series, there are 7 races she is doing them all and I’m doing 5 of them (a couple of this series clash with other events I am planning on doing this summer)! This race also marked the start of my first race as coach of some awesome athletes ranging in age from 8 to 68! So I had 22 people racing at this round and the head coach left me in charge! I was bouncing around helping everyone get their transition areas setup, doing transition familiarization then simply calming nerves! I ended up making a few rookie errors myself, which helped break the ice with everybody racing. I remained calm and was able to deal with the mistakes and bank a solid PB at this course by approximately 1.5 minutes! Here are the links to my data from this sprint distance race:
Garmin Connect Data – QTS Round 1 – Raby Bay Sprint
Strava QTS Round 1 – Raby Bay Sprint – Swim
Strava QTS Round 1 – Raby Bay Sprint – Bike
Strava QTS Round 1 – Raby Bay Sprint – Run
This day was made special by the simple fact I got to watch, listen and be inspired by the efforts of 22 other athletes from my club do their absolute best and do it with a smile. We may not be the fastest club out there, but I can guarantee we were the club with the biggest smiles! As a coach I loved hearing about each and every details, from bloodied knees, uncontrollable nerves, and even those finding comfort in uncomfortable situations! It was an awesome day and the cherry on top was watching my daughter, Miss 11, Ella absolutely crush her previous best time on this course by nearly 2.5minutes!
So my season has kicked off with a bang, 2 races down and my build to my next Ironman has commenced. Lets rock season 2017/18, feel free to subscribe to follow my journey!
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Till next time build consistency, keep smiling and live to Tri!
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