Seeing our customers take on huge personal challenges like Ironman races is one of the best bits of our job. Nicola has done a few Ironman races already but this time she started with one of the athletes she coaches [Carly, our Head Mechanic, Tim’s sister]. Nicola is also recently joined Greensbrough Tri Club as their new swim coach. Read below her race report from last Sunday’s race
Cairns Ironman 2018 [Swim 3.8km, Ride 180km,Run 42km]
I have always been told ‘an Ironman never goes exactly to plan’ but after finally arriving in Cairns and being three days from the race I was sure we were on the home straight, and race day would be somewhat of a smooth celebration.
Saturday morning the three ‘trimegos’, as we have called ourselves [Nicola and her friends Kate and Carly] headed out for a 30minute easy spin through on the bikes…when 8 min from home two of us clipped wheels at very low speed…both slowly toppling sideways to the ground. What could have been a funny and harmless stack resulted in my friend Kate breaking her elbow less than 24 hours before race start.
Needless to say two of the three of us were lucky enough to be lining up on race day and the excitement was bursting from both of us.
Looking out across the water, which had a small swell, there was a moment of quiet reflection. I was in awe of just how many people were standing next to me, all waiting to fulfill a dream, in one of the most beautiful locations on earth.
As the age groupers commenced their rolling start, Carly and I shared one last hug and smile before we ran down into the water.
My plan was to go relatively hard in the swim and to utilize my strength, but as we got going and I got a rhythm I settled into a pace that was, upon reflection, slightly below ideal. It’s difficult to judge the pace and stroke rate when you know just what is ahead of you…but this is a skill that can only be learnt through race experience.
The water was choppy which made sighting a little tricky, but when your in the water for 3.8km you need something to keep you entertained right?!
Exiting the water, although my swim was slower than I was hoping, I couldn’t believe how quickly the time had passed. I have to say that there was a moment when I though ‘shit do I actually need to do another lap of that?’, but nope I was out and ready to hit the bike.
Through transition with cheers from our amazing support crew and off I headed on the 180km ride.
For some reason I had been very nervous about the ride. Not for lack of distance in my preparation, but perhaps because I felt I had not trained as hard as I normally would in the lead up. I’m not sure what it was but I could not seem to shake a nervous and some what dull cloud that was hanging over my head.
This was a difficult space for me to be in as I usually have such a buzz on race day. But today I just was in a bit of a rough place, which I knew I needed to get on top of. My race plan was to relax and take it easy for 110/120km then finish strong, so I decided I needed to focus on my coaches words and just try to relax and let myself take in the stunning course.
As I rolled around the course, at each distance marker I was puzzled that I was way faster than my predicted speed, and especially surprised because I was just rolling the legs along…but hey this was going quite well so I stuck to that plan and decided I needed to now focus on trying to achieve a 4 year goal…yep for 4 years I have been trying to nail the ‘pee on the bike’…this was my chance with plently of down hill. This may be too much detail for some, but I have to say this is what gave me so many giggles as I battled the other mental demons that threatened to get on top of me. Sometimes it’s the small things that get you through the bigger things.
150km of rolling hills, along the coastline, through the sugar cane, sandy beaches and rainforest was nothing other than spectacular, and although the head wind was difficult to contend with at times, it was a refreshing temperature.
Into the final 30km of the bike and aggghhh I knew to expect a strong head wind…but man it still bites the legs like a teething puppy, just grabbing the quads and slightly burning. That was a long way through to transition…but now it was time to throw the runners on and dance. And man was I ready to dance after smashing my bike PB and feeling confident in my planned run pace.
The first 10km was rough, the pace was good but my lower back was in trouble forcing me to stop and stretch. I was feeling fresh in the legs and all I wanted to do was lock in the pace and run.
I knew I had to draw on my skills of mindfulness and relaxation, just to get me to special needs for some pain relief…so my mantra became ‘this is fine little mate, this is just an unfit marathon’. Holly cow I don’t think I want to do an ‘unfit marathon’ if that what it feels like hahaha but still I needed that to mentally comprehend what I needed to do.
10km down and I stared to find my rhythm, I started to get into that zone and began to tick off the km 5km by 5km. However, as all those Ironman athletes know…there are highs and lows and the lows always hit like a ton of GU smack in the face.
From 15km I started to gradually fade, and all I could think was ‘just keep moving’, and so that what I did…I just kept running forward…luckily because sideways would have made things difficult.
This is when I realized I had left my salt tablets in transition…now I was a 14km loop until I could get back around to my special needs, but finally I arrived and NO salt tablets (how did I mess that up?!?!) But what I did have was a tube of vegemite…random I know but ½ tube down the hatch (it turns out that much vegemite is quite spicy) and we were tapping away again.
Unfortunately that buzz I was searching for just didn’t come, but as I looked around I still could not help smile at just what I was a part of. This race that thousands of people have trained for months and months with the dream of running down that red carpet and knowing you have accomplished something incredibly fulfilling, and something you will be proud of for the rest of your life.
So as I approached the final lap, my heart wanted to explode with joy, desperation and love for our support crew cheering us on, running with us and lifting us up at the exact moment we needed them most.
Finally I felt my watch tick over the 41km mark and I could not have been happier to see the finish line so close. And like I had told Carly for weeks, that finish line feeling is worth every bit of pain…
At last I was on the carpet and I exploded with happiness…Ironman number three, done, dusted and many lessons learnt.
I hadn’t looked at my watch since the 20km mark of the run, so I had no idea what my time was…nor did I care. All I wanted was pasta and more pasta.
Turned out I did a massive PB and I guess I learnt that if you relax as much as possible your body will do what it’s trained to do.
Lying on the massage table I knew Carly was still out there and all I wanted was to hear her cross the line. 1 min into my massage I heard her name and those all important words ‘you are an Ironman!’.
With one leg massaged and a quick apology to the confused masseuse, I jumped up and finally, after months and months of training, there we were covered in sweat, salt, pee and sand…Ironman finishers…we did it. THAT was the best feeling of the day…we did it and we did it together.
Over all I am delighted in my race, not just the huge PB, especially on the bike, but that I also worked through a hard mental day. I cannot wait to get back to training and work on the areas I know I can improve.
Check out Bryce’s race report from the Buxton Bootcamp below, you can race a 6hour or 3hour event , either as a solo or as part of a team.
Gareth and I decided to test our stamina at the Buxton Bootcamp 3 Hour race on November 12th.
The event atmosphere held the friendly vibe that comes with a cross-country endurance race. I felt at ease finding out through the chatter that no-one had done any training and that nobody had been on their bike for the past 6 months. Then the start was counted down… I don’t think everyone was being entirely truthful… as the dust cloud rose along with the race-start tempo.
As always, you can never judge a book by its cover. In the case of Buxton Bootcamp the cover is a kilometre of ascending fire road that is only used at the start of the race before the field is directed into the 14km course that is, in this case, the book. With a majority of the course being single track there are still plenty of opportunities within the course to pass or be passed. The first lap provided a good example of this as everybody settled into their own rhythms or perhaps made some attacks. There was a mix of solo riders and team riders so choosing to attack or defend can make it easy to get lured into a pace beyond the ideal if the other wheel is racing in a different category. But sometimes it can be worth the effort if it means you can hold better momentum through any sections further ahead.
The first 2.5 laps demonstrated how a little bit of work on the ups gained the reward of some flow on the downs, but as the lap count increased the ups seemed to demand noticeably more work. Knowing that the flowing descent through the fern gully was a good place to regain some average speed helped to ignore the sign of cramp and muscle fatigue in the approaching climbs but my last lap become more of a mental game as the physical resources were drained to almost empty.
Despite the course’s best efforts to break our spirits we were both able to complete 4 laps, aided by bursts of encouragement from Peter Hepworth at various points alongside the trails – he popped up everywhere! With one last charge through the fern gully remaining, and a couple of climbs at a pace that seemed only marginally quicker than backwards, my final challenge for the day was to not yield so that the rider I had recently passed could get back in front of me. I was able to hold position, tipping over the crest and down the bermed descent that covered the last kilometre to the finish line.
We each rode our Stumpjumper hardtails that performed faultlessly. Gareth and I had ridden to slightly different plans, but the end result matched – we had a blast and we were well-and-truly done!
Then Peter appeared with the cold drinks, capping off another great day on the mountain bike.
Ed’s note, Bryce finished with a 2nd place in the Master’s category ! Well done mate.
For those who haven’t heard of Xterra its a brand of triathlon that has events all over the world and is a “off road” based event. Generally the events are a 1500m swim, a 30km mountain bike ride and a 10km trail run. You have to qualify to do the world champs by competing in one of the events around the world. Generally by winning your 5 year age group will get you a spot. The World Champs are run in Maui every year with over 800 athletes from over 50 countries represented.
I have been wanting to do the “worlds” for 15 years and have had several friends compete over the years with Lucinda Garnett and Mack Clarkson both getting medals in their age group. A few years ago I decided to get fit so I could have a crack when I had my 50th Birthday [yes mid life crisis time]. Celine and I did the Xterra in the South Island in New Zealand called Motatapu , a longer event in a amazing part of the world in Wanaka. Celine got her spot there while I finished 4th and missed out on the coveted spot. Tim and I then traveled to Rotorua in NZ to race the Xterra there in March , again I finished 4th but this time I got a roll down spot to get my ticket for the Worlds.
Having trained for nearly 12 months with this goal in mind Celine and I both worked on our weakness to give us a shot at representing Australia at the worlds. For Celine it was getting her mountain bike skills up to scratch to take on the challenging course in Maui and for me it was to get my swimming up to a level , one that I didn’t drown and two , be in a better group out of the water as this is so important when you hit the tight single track course as its so hard to get passed volumes of riders out on course.
Come race day in Maui we had ridden the bike course , run the trails and swam at the beach where race start was in the week leading up to game day.
The bike course had been closed for a few days as the Island had been hit by a massive storm that blacked out all the resorts for 12 hours. As the land is on private property the course is only open for a few days a year so the event can use it. We knew we were going to be in for a super tough race after our recon ride, with temps in the low 30s and really high humidity it was going to be important to pace your self for the whole race.
The ocean had been stormy all week with a thumping shore break that had a lot of people nervous about actually getting out past the waves. The bike course had 1100m of climbing in the 32km course, nothing too technical but challenging enough to give confident mountain bike riders an advantage over their road based triathlete buddies. The trail run followed the same single track that the bike leg covered in the first 5km, straight up a twisty climb. Thankfully most of the final 5km was down hill.
Come race day the weather was perfect, 31degrees lite winds and blue skies. The Pro athlete’s went off in the first wave followed by 10 year age group waves, I was in the last male wave with all the female athletes starting 5min behind, both Celine and I had solid swims, I was rapt that I had so much confidence in the water , mainly thanks to my swim Coach Nicola’s swim program and stroke correction classes that I had attended over the last 8months at Watermark pool. The swim course was a M shape with us coming back to the beach after 750m then heading out past the shore break to do another lap. You really had to get the timing right between sets to get to the sand with out getting smashed into the beach.
The ride was a real test of endurance, hot and hilly , some 22% gradient climbs. I decided to hold back early on and push the final 10km of the ride just so I had some energy left for the run. Celine and I had been going up to Smiths Gully over Winter and riding Mt Everard track and the Mt Jerusalem track to work on our climbing strength, it ended up being the perfect prep as we both had good legs up the climbs [relatively speaking given the oppressive conditions]
Having seen a few crashes and plenty of punctures I was careful about passing riders, heading too far off the thin single track lines can be deadly by hitting rocks or huge tree roots. I had crashed riding the downhill track two days before the race so it took me a while to get my confidence up and to go full gas down the fast descents, I really love riding my Specialized Epic bike and had full confidence in my tyres and tyre pressure, 20psi tubeless set up on race day. The final 6km are very deceiving on the map, it looks like all down hill but there was a lot of twists and turns and short sharp pinches to absolutely crush your legs before the final run. I ended up taking a Camelbak drinking system on my back with 2 litres of water and two water bottles on my bike filled with sports drink, There were 3 points to grab water bottles out on the bike course and I used all of them to drink and some to pour over me to cool off. I drunk about 2.5 litres during the ride and had 6 gels.
My energy levels were good and I started the run feeling hot but ok to give it my all on the run. The run was pretty much 5km up on mainly single track trails with rocks and tree roots to catch you out if you were not concentrating. There were drink stations at every 2km which I was so happy for, one cup to wash down a gel and a cup or two of water over the head was the best feeling. Only problem was 50m past the drink station and you were dry and feeling the humid conditions. Heading for home we ran down a narrow and some times steep track along a ridge then across a dry river bed to hit the soft sand at DT Fleming beach, I saw my daughter Adele and asked how her Mum was going , she just said ok, not filling me with confidence I asked my other daughter Elise 200m to go if she had seen Celine and her response was the same, they really didnt know how she was going or where she was in her age group.
Running up the finishing shoot, I was so pumped to have got through the course and felt I raced as well as I could, swim went well, bike I paced perfectly and had a solid nutrition plan that got me to the start of the run with good energy, and my run even though the first 3 km was a real struggle up the steep pinches I ran all but a few hundred meters of super steep tracks. I got one bad hammy cramp after tripping over a tree root on a steep downhill section, but apart from that my run legs are slowing coming back after two years of consistent injuries.
When I crossed the finish line I had my twins there waiting, they had taken pictures while we raced , its not a great spectator event as the course is all out in the jungle and sugar plantations, it was so cool having our girls there to share in the event, we waited for Celine to cross the finish line, she to was pumped to just get through the race , and to conquer her fear of off road mountain bike riding. When I asked how she thought she went in her age group she thought she might of got a place but had no idea after the ocean swim where any of her competitors were, and as she is so new to the off road triathlon scene she didn’t really know any of the race favorites. She was actually more excited that she had ridden most of the course with ease and that she now felt like a real mountain bike rider!
We spent the next 15min reminiscing what we had experienced out on the course with our friend Andrew Noordoff from the Nunawading Tri club. At the finish line they were printing finishing times for each competitor, I saw mine and was rapt with 17th in my age group, I was happy to finish in the top half of my category but to go top 20 was very rewarding after a lot of hard training over 12 months. My finish time was 3hours and 42 minutes.
We got Celine’s times and she couldn’t read the faded print out, she said she thinks she got 2nd, I took it from her and it read 1st in her category, that followed a lot of family group hugs, and all the emotion of doing such an epic event came spilling out in tears and laughter. To have our twin daughters their to see their Mum take a World title [2nd time they had seen it after her Duathlon World title in 2015] was very rewarding and we were happy to show them what hard work and dedication can bring in rewards.
Race maps below
Results from the Xterra World Champs
Pro results Xterra 2017 Maui
Team TGR athlete Kodey Hodgson had her first triathlon of the season last weekend. The race was a qualifier for the World Triathlon Champs on the Gold Coast. Kodey competes in the 16 to 19 year age category.
Yarrawonga, what a ripper weekend. Filled with so much encouragement, support and happy faces everywhere you looked.
My weekend commenced on the Friday. Parents thought it would be a good idea to drive down on the Friday evening, and look I wasn’t complaining about that I would definitely be struggling sitting in a car for 3 hours then having to race.
Had such a good sleep woke up bright and early, even though my race didn’t start till 1:33pm, I decided I was going to treat it like every other race. Defiantly did not want to over sleep but also was cautious that I got enough sleep too. Had a shower to wake myself up just that little bit more, and then got into the packing and getting ready. Made sure to triple check everything just so I knew I wasn’t going to forget anything that was needed…wetsuit…race flats…rubber bands…talcum powder…goggles…Alpha Keri…tri suit…helmet…drink bottle…towel…bike shoes…and of course my bike. Once that was finished it was about 8:00am; I then rolled out my muscles getting rid of any tightness that I had, Put all my stuff in the car, then parents drove into town to get some breakfast. I on the other hand rode my bike down just to check over all my gears to make sure everything was working smoothly, also wanted to keep my legs ticking over. Once breakfast was finished I rode over to the race venue. Went through a bit of the bike course just to familiarize myself, checked out the mount and dismount point, practiced a couple of times just so I knew how much room I had before the line. Nerves where started to kick in a lot now, got off my bike and walked into the race briefing area. Still had 4 hours to wait, all I was thinking was that’s 4 hours to stress and get even more nervous. Saw the coach so walked over to him; he could see how nervous I was just by my eyes and the way I was standing. He said it’s good, being nervous will boost your adrenaline levels up. Helped set up some tents. Before I knew it I had 3 hours before my race, that little clock in my head was slowly counting down. Wasn’t long now, I got my coach to double check my bike, make sure the tire pressure was good and that the gears were working well. Transition was opening in 10 minutes so I picked up my race pack, stuck all my stickers on and into transition I walked. I started racking my bike, I saw that the girls I normally race with had a different Colour drafting band and where racking there bikes somewhere else.
The men I was racking next to were just looking at me, “you do know you are racking with the 40+ men” I looked at him, all that was going through my head was you have got to be kidding me. They gave me the wrong Colour band, well yay that’s just great. I didn’t realize I looked like a 40 year old man. I went over to one of the officials and explained my situation to him and he helped me sort it all out. I then moved my bike to the same rack as the other girls, set up my bike all over again and then walked out of transition to go and get the right colour band for my bike. I got to the race pack pick up point, and the head coach of TVDP walked over to me. “ I have been looking for you” I looked at him and surely not that cant be a good sign. He then started explaining to me that I am the only senior racing in the School Sports Victoria qualifying race, as the other girls I normally race were all racing in the Worlds qualifying race. He then gave me the option to either be the only senior but set of with the intermediates or go and do the Worlds qualifying race. At this point my mid was just running, going in big loops and I was starting to stress out a lot. My mind set was definitely not in the right spot at this point. Dad said I needed to go and talk to my coach so that he could calm me down a bit because my race was just not going as I planned and I hadn’t even started racing yet. I spoke to my coach and he gave me the best pre race briefing I have ever had, he helped me focus and clam down and understand that this sort of thing can happen to anyone and not to worry about it. We then decided that I would go ahead and compete in the 16-19 Worlds qualifying race as bottom age as well. So I got the right drafting Colour band quickly went back into transition and swapped it over with my old one. My friend Grace was really excited that we were now racing together because we are the only two that are the same speed in the swim so we came up with a good race plan which meant we could help each other but also do really well individually. I love a bit of healthy competition.
It was about 1 hour till my race now, time flies when your having fun they say. The whole ETPA group (my training group) were getting ready to all do a warm up swim together. I went through my usual wetsuit set up. Covered my body pretty much head to toe in Alpha Keri oil for extra help when taking my wetsuit of. Then started pulling on the wetsuit, wetsuit was on and more Alpha Keri was put on the leg and armholes. Cap and goggles were put on and into the water for the warm up we went. Wasn’t as cold as I thought it was going to be, so that was nice. Just before we were getting out of the swim we did a couple of 100m efforts, then hopped out of the water. 15 minutes until race now. Started walking over to the start line with Grace, heart was racing and I was getting very pumped now. Off the boys wave went, and into the water we jumped. My nerves get to me weirdly, at the start line I start to talk a lot to just anyone around me. It was 3 minutes now, race conductor explained that we were then in the starters hands. Next minute you know the gun went off and we started the swim. It was a deep-water start but was only waist deep, wadded out a bit then dove in to start swimming. Of course it was me, what else could honestly go wrong today, well apparently a lot more then I thought. There I am standing up in the middle of the group because my goggles had been knocked off my head. Fixed them up and quickly sprinted up again to try and catch Grace. I suck at the swim, its my worst leg, so I wasn’t hoping to much out of it cause I didn’t want to disappoint myself. I get into a good rhythm pretty quick, which I was stoked with. Started exiting the water and saw that Grace was about 3 seconds in front of me. Running into transition goggles and cap off holding them in one hand and ripping the wetsuit off with the other hand. Get to the bike the rest of the wetsuit comes off and helmet on.
Grab the bike and running towards the mount line, flying mount onto bike and off I went. Grace tailing on behind me, rolling turns everything was going as we planned, until I rolled to the front looked behind me and Grace was no longer there, had to quickly change race plan. But turned out to be better then I thought. Tail wind on the way down, picked up a couple of people made them do rolling turns with me and stay with me cause I knew I was going to need them for the way back. Got to the turn around and started heading back to transition. Picked up two more groups before the dismount line, so was in a really big group now. About 400m before dismount line and I moved my way to the front of the group so that I had a clear dismount. Off the bike I came and into transition. Bike racked, shoes on, helmet off, pick up race band and run out of transition, that’s what I was playing over in my head and it went exactly like that very smooth. Felt really heavy on the run, found it hard to get into a rhythm, just focused on breathing and trying to get just a little bit faster. Got to the turn around, was feeling a lot stronger. Picked up the pace a bit and started heading back.
Saw Grace going towards the turn around, best high five I have ever done was in that race. Last 200m I could just feel the speed of the legs getting faster. Excitement was building, I was almost home. Sprint finish to the line. I was done, my grin was bigger then you have ever seen, so many vibes through the air. Congratulating everyone around you, best feeling you could have. Finished and placed better then I thought I would, which I was happy with, especially after all the muck ups that happened in the build up to the race.
Each October we run events just for women, we love to get more girls cycling. Check out the events below if your keen to get involved. If you know someone who might be interested let them know too, our Pilates classes are super friendly and lots of fun, our bike path ride is a flatish, easy ride along our beautiful bike paths. And for those who want to learn about looking after your bike and pick up tips on some of the issues we have with our bikes out on the road or trails this is perfect for you.
Pilates for cyclist at Topgear Cycles Mondays at 6:30pm October 9th,16th call shop to book a spot Cost $15
Social Bike path ride October 14th Saturday at 8am leaving from the store. Distance 35km medium pace, coffee stop included. Cost FREE just book your spot by calling 98502996
Bicycle Maintenance Clinic October 12th at 6:30pm Come along and join Tim and Peter for a bike maintenance clinic, learn every thing from cleaning and maintaining your bike to puncture repairs and gear and brake adjustment. 1:5hours approx.Cost FREE , please book a spot as numbers limited call 98502996 or email Tim at email@example.com
Come join us for the Amy’s Grand Fondo Gravel ride. We have created a Team that you can sign up to when registering, and if you feel like you want to donate to Celines fund raising page to raise money for the Amy Gillet Foundation please do with many thanks:]
Here are some of the details about the ride….
A new ride option to the event schedule, Amy’s Gravel Fondo is the perfect ride for those who want to take their riding off the bitumen and onto the gravel. Amy’s Gravel Fondo will take place on Sunday, starting and finishing in Apollo Bay and covering a distance of 65 kilometres including 1,500 meters of climbing.
Whilst not a technical course, it will still be challenging, perfect for those who prefer mountain or cyclocross bikes to road bikes.
For more info and registration details check out this link to http://amysgranfondo.org.au/new-for-2017/
Have Monday morning free? why not join us for a ride around our local bike paths. Our ride is approx 35km with a few hills, some gravel sections, so you can ride a road bike, we suggest 28mm tyres or a Gravel road or cyclo-cross bike, but a hybrid or Mountain bike is ok too. The pace is approx 20km/h avg speed. Any questions drop us a line at the shop 98502996, see you Monday.
Time 9:30am [meet at 9:15am]
Place , rear car park at Topgear Cycles
Pace Avg speed approx 20 km/h
What to bring Safe working bike, water bottle, Helmet, food snack, warm cycling clothes.
Road trip to Rotorua New Zealand
Last week Tim, Chris and myself headed across the Tasman to ride the Redwood Forrest in Rotorua. We timed it so we could also do the Xterra Off Road weekend , which included Trail runs , mountain bike events and the Xterra off road triathlon. Somehow we managed to miss all the bad weather with Cyclone Debbie dumping record rainfalls in the North Island days before we arrived. It is a absolute credit to how good the mtb trails in Rotorua are as we saw a lot of flooding on our drive down from Auckland airport but the trails were perfect.
Race day was Saturday and we got down to the Blue Lake [Lake Tikitapu] early as Chris was first to go off at 9am. The MTB event was the same loop as the mtb leg of the triathlon, we had ridden the course the day before so we knew what we were in for. The 26km loop include 800m of climbing, some of the sweetest single track on the planet and a final decent on the legendary downhill track called “Eagle vs Shark”. Having ridden the course the day before we had a good idea of the more technical spots on course, this really helped on race day as with a narrow track and a lot of competitors it was hard to pass slower riders.
Chris had a solid ride and mastered all the obsticals on course to get around in a time of 1 hour 53min. Tim and myself started our race at a relaxed 11am, with a mass start , crystal clear water and no wind it was a perfect day for a race. I have really worked hard on my swimming this year, as in this race 12months before I really struggled and got way back in the field starting the bike leg so I was determined to have a strong swim and come out of the water with less riders in front of me.
With a traditional Maori welcome on the start line the scene was set , some of New Zealand’s and the world for that matter elite athletes were here racing, Baden Currie who had just won Ironman New Zealand and was looking at defending his title. ITU triathlete Sam Osborne who had been a podium finisher in this event over the last 3 years andin the women’s race two of the most experienced off road triathletes, Renata Bucher and Jacki Allen [nee Slack] were going head to head. Last years female winner Lizzy Orchard,was sideline due to a injury but still managed to compete in a team doing the swim leg.
I came out 6 min quicker than last year in the 1km swim and saw Tim head out of transition so I was pretty pumped as I thought I would be about 3min behind him, even though I still didn’t feel like I had the best swim. With my improved position in the water I was really able to ride a lot faster this year as the single track wasn’t as crowded. I some how passed Tim on course as he was caught up with some riders crashing in front of him, I called out as I was taking the high track around the group, but he didn’t hear me.
The ride took over a 1.5 hours and I gave it every thing I had out on the single track. I have had ongoing calf injuries for 12 months [yes old man calf syndrome :] so I hadn’t run consistently for months, so the 11km trail run was always going to be a battle. To my surprise I ran the first lap in under 30min, I had hoped to run under the hour for the whole course, but the legs shut down with 3 km to go , and I lost my podium spot in the last 1.5km. Still I was stoked with 4th place and to go under 3hours with a 16minute PB from the same event 12 months ago. Tim came in 10th in his age group and was surprised to see me at the finish, he hadn’t seen me pass him on the bike and with the run being mostly in the bush he hadn’t spotted me up the road. This is a great result for Tim who has had a bad knee injury over the last year, hopefully we can have many more battles together like this one in the near future.
If you are looking for a challenging event or just a great place to ride your bikes, Rotorua is a must do destination.
Tim and I would like to thank Celine, Nick and Lucas for looking after the shop while we were away, couldn’t of done this event with out their support, cheers Peter
details of Xterra New Zealand can be found here