An amazing effort from everyone who raced and a great weekend spent with some wonderful people. Bring on the next one!
It’s a Sunday morning and the alarm goes off at 5am. Fortunately I’m sharing a house with five other WTC triathletes, so I don’t have to worry about being quiet. We’re only staying 500m from the start so after our pre-race meal, it’s a pretty relaxed journey to transition to register and set up.
There’s a strong WTC contingent competing today, with 13 of us lining up for the Classic distance triathlon. This is a new distance on Elite Energy’s calendar and consists of a 2km swim, 60km cycle and 15km run. For a few of us, including myself, this is our first attempt at a longer distance triathlon.
It’s a perfect morning for racing and whilst there are definitely a few nerves, having so many other club members around helps to calm them down.
Swim - 2kms
The swim is a 2 lap rectangular course and as we all head onto the beach for the start, the chatter amongst the competitors goes strangely quiet… The normally FLAT Callala Beach is experiencing 4-5 foot waves which are dumping 5 meters from the beach. With such a big shore break I’m wondering at this point if they’ve confused our event with a surf carnival!
I steel my nerves and when the hooter sounds for my start, I race into the water trying to time my entry between wave sets. I make it through the first couple of meters with no problems and then I realize I’m a few feet short of the next wave and get pounded by the water. Goggles fall off, I get a mouthful of seawater and I’m a little shocked at the force of the wave - perfect start to the swim leg! I re-adjust the goggles, focus on getting through the next lull between sets and make it through to clear water. Unfortunately, some of my fellow competitors didn’t even make it this far. Now that I’m clear of the waves, I settle into my stroke and enjoy the calm of the deeper water. As I’m swimming though, I feel something brush my fingers every couple of strokes but I can‘t see anything in the water. I try very hard not to panic at the thought of what this could be….
One lap in and the buoys seem to be a looong way apart. I continue on my second lap and focus on just completing one section at a time. Coming round the last buoy on the final lap I’m very happy to be heading back into shore. This has been a BIG swim and when I finally make land I’m very relieved. I head up the beach to transition and overhear the announcer comment on all the jelly fish in the water. Light bulb goes off - eeewww!!
The bike - 60kms
Heading out of T1 and mounting my bike I hear “Go Lindsay!” and think, I know that voice…. Turns out coach Andy Kean and family and fellow club member Bryan Rollins have driven down from Sydney that morning to come and cheer us on - now that’s what I call support! Such a nice surprise and a great energy boost to start the next leg.
The course is two loops out and back on an undulating, but reasonable road surface. We’d been reminded at the start that no drafting was allowed and a twelve, yes you read that right, TWELVE bike gap was required on the course (must be some secret drafting advantage I’m clearly not aware of). Not to worry though, as the course kept everyone pretty honest and the field was nicely spread out. The ride was pretty uneventful but filled with lots of cheers of encouragement amongst the WTC competitors.
The run - 15kms
This is normally my favourite leg of a triathlon…..
Again, this is a two lap leg and I come out of transition and feel the heat straight away, so I know this is going to be tough. Within 2kms the course surprises us with what I can only describe as dirt bike moguls which we have to run through for about 200 meters. Let’s just say that if I had been on two wheels they would have been fun!
I seem to be running ok the first few kms, but I start to deteriorate rather quickly and I also need the loo. Not wanting to draw any attention to myself, I keep my eye out for a suitable location and duck into the bush only to be tooted at by a passing car!
Back on the course and my body is not coping well. I start to feel slightly ill and I end up stopping at every water station worried that I’m not hydrated enough. My pace has drastically slowed and the final nail in my run leg comes around the 12.5km mark when my ITB gives up completely. I end up walking the rest of the way and manage a shuffle the last few hundred meters to finally cross the finish line. Not quite the race I planned, but still a huge personal achievement.
Fortunately, there were some fantastic results from other club members on the day with three firsts in their respective age groups for Emma Just, Phoebe Fear and Darrin Jones. Special mention has to go to Emma for also finishing third overall in the females. Other great performances were Sharyn Nicols, second in her age group and John Moore and Claudia Nicholson fourth in their respective age groups.
As with any event, the post-race catch up is a great opportunity to share experiences and enjoy a guilt free indulgence or two. It can also reveal some cracking stories and anecdotes and the winning one from Callala……that swim of 2kms which felt really long, well it was, 3km long in fact!!! An amazing effort from everyone who raced and a great weekend spent with some wonderful people. Bring on the next one!