The NSW Club Championships is held in Forster every year in mid-May. This year Warringah Triathlon Club was defending it's Club Champ title. The club has held this title 10 times in it's 20 year duration. This year was not the year for the trophy to return to the Northern Beaches but the club had a solid team of triathletes, volunteers and supporters representing the club who came out as runners up and had a ball dressed in fluro and celebrating the end of a great season for all!
WTC Member 2 years
Age Group Raced: 30-34
Why triathlon? It’s a self controlled discipline that is contained in a large team.
Triathlon goal for 2015: Half Iron Man Western Sydney – Bring it on!!
Why this race? It's club champs and I had been told that I couldn’t miss it!! (Andy). Plus, I wanted to ensure that I was a bigger part of the club in my second season than the first.
NSW Club Championships, Forster, NSW
Summarise the course:
The dog leg swim was begun just as the heavens began to open. This was a little annoying after the morning had begun so beautifully. The conditions of the swim were fine and with El Presidento helping clear me a path, the start was good.
The support coming from the grand stand near transition was worth the entry alone!! ‘Go Warringah”, calls from the stand keep people focused on the job at hand.
Into the bike leg and the two laps of twisting and turning and increasing rain, watching members, family and friends cheer from the roadsides. Quite alarmingly I began to see a fair few riders sat on the side, either with blood or blow outs!! It was a reasonable leg that began to start feeling uncomfortable half way through. Unfortunately the pain from the fractured rib was beginning to set in. Never mind, over half way now, can’t stop, there is a point in it for the club. Rolling into T2 I jumped from the bike and the pain fired up my left side, no run into T2 and only a shuffle back out.
Onto the run with only 8km to go, lots of Warringah Club Members at the run turn around were cheering and shouting words of encouragement. However, with amber nectar held aloft, all members were showing what was waiting at the end, oh yes, the BEER!!! Out on the run course, the club ran as a unit, and I even received a slap on the backside from Mark Northcote ‘come on princess’. The final run home was tough, the pain was now enough to have me wondering if any damage was done. But, as I entered the final straight, the club tent was rocking, the crowd inside was going wild (Again with beers in hand) and it was done!!!!
Favorite part of the race: This was the first race that I crossed the line to see my beautiful daughter still there. The feeling was magic!!!
How did your race pan out: With my preparations being hindered a little, I was more than happy to cross the line!
Highlight of the race and the event overall: The two highlights of the race for me was seeing my daughter at the end having a ball of a time in the club tent even though she was wet through. Being awarded the Iron Mike Award, was an absolute shock. I didn’t expect it and was totally over the moon with it. Such a prestigious award will sit with me for a very long time.
Any lowlights/take aways: Nothing for me to take away, but when it comes to club champs, I learned that it doesn’t matter if you breaststroke, cycle and walk, it’s the spirit of the race, the people you party with and the family you belong too that makes the day!!!
Would you return? See you next year!
How did you get there from Sydney.How long to get there? The drive from the beautiful northern beaches on a Friday evening was initially quite grinding. Gridlocked traffic in St Ives was met with downpours of rain as we got closer to Forster. With my 3 year old and my wife in tow, they were very patient and were also very excited about the weekend ahead.
Where did you stay and what was it like? Would you return or what other accommodation options would you recommend? Let’s face it, we are in Forster to race for the greatest club in the Australia, if required, we would sleep in the car!!!
Favourite place to eat? With family fully pumped after the race, the club meal took place at Club Forster. I couldn’t have been more impressed with the way we were looked after and the room my daughter had to do the things that children do.
A good 2 course meal with beers to wash away the days drizzle!!!
The Ironman Asia-Pacific Championships are held in Melbourne in March. This is the only Ironman in Australia where you can have ‘big city’ experience, and run in one direction from Frankston to the bayside suburb of St.Kilda. Known as a fast race with swim and wind conditions varying each year, and not an easy run with undulating hills - and not great for spectators having to follow their competitors all the way to the finish line.
SARAH AND DANIEL HOWITT
WTC Members 5 & 19 years
Raced: Ironman Distance
Age Group: 30-34 (both)
Why triathlon? We absolutely love the sport. It is a way of life for us.
Triathlon goal for 2015: To finish 2 Ironmans - one down and one to go…. Ironman Canada Here we come!!!
Why this race? Seemed like a good idea a year ago. 1 year ago we welcomed our beautiful daughter into the world and this Ironman seemed like the perfect way for us to get back into Ironman racing. The point to point run intrigued us and riding out on the freeway was something we were both really keen to experience. Plus Melbourne is a great place for our support crew (parents) to visit as well.
SUMMARISE THE COURSE:
Swim: Was actually beautiful (wasn’t expecting it to be like this). Watching previous coverage of this race we weren’t sure what the swim was going to bring but this year it was quite flat, clear and the rolling start ensured a less crowded experience.
Bike: Beautiful smooth road surface but it wasn’t a very picturesque. Cycling on the Eastlink freeway was definitely an experience. Battling into the wind in one direction was character building but then having the wind behind you in the other direction was fantastic. Overall the course is a fast bike course. Great place to do a PB.
Run: Point to point run from Frankston to St Kilda. It was good in some respects as you feel like you are running with a purpose from one place to another however I think it is also quite lonely and very challenging for spectators. I (Sarah) only saw my family twice on the run – at about 2km and then at 41km. That is a lot of time without really seeing anyone. It is mentally tough not seeing family members regularly. Not knowing when you are going to see people you know can be difficult to get your head around especially when you are going through a rough patch.
Favourite part of the race: Both of us found the last 45km of the bike great (nice big tail wind). Also Last 1km of the run – there is no greater feeling than running down the M-dot carpet in the finishing chute of an Ironman.
How did your race pan out? All things considered we both had quite good races. We had a very different Ironman prep this time around. Trying to both train, work and look after our new daughter was challenging. We certainly weren’t able to get in as much training as we have for past Ironmans but were able to get most of our key training sessions done with the help of our amazing families i.e. 4am baby sitters.
Sarah: My race started pretty well – my swim was OK but most importantly I enjoyed it and managed to conserve lots of energy by swimming within myself. I was really pleased with my bike. Heading out on the second lap was really challenging as we were heading into a strong headwind. I just tried to keep calm and be patient and was looking forward to the assistance I was going to get as soon as I made the turn. The last 45km of the bike was fantastic. Having the tailwind was amazing. My run started off really well. I felt great for the first 25km then things started to get difficult. I was super proud of myself for holding things together to finish the race off. I was overall extremely happy with my race.
Daniel: It was a stress free morning arriving at transition before it opened and found myself near the front for the rolling start swim. It was a tough swim start with a long wade before I found feet to sit on for the next 50-odd minutes. I felt good at coming out of the water and had a smooth transition. Out on the bike I felt like I was off course, no one in front of me and no one behind me. I conserved early knowing there’d be a headwind next time out. I enjoyed the bike until getting chicked by a very quick WTC member. The relief of getting a bike seat out from between your legs is countered by the realisation of a 42km run. Felt great on the run and was motivated knowing there were WTC athletes up ahead. Hitting halfway was where things got tough and I begun walking aid stations. They seemed to get further and further apart. Set myself a goal of not walking from 36km and while its wasn’t fast, I was still catching plenty which gave me motivation. The final km took an eternity but once rounding the bend into the chute I couldn’t feel anything. Not ashamed to say there were tears, it had be a long challenging preparation but I was so stoked to get to the line in under 10hrs. It was the goal at the start of the day and I’d made it with a few minutes to spare!
Lowlight from the day: Not seeing my family throughout the run. (Sarah)
What I learnt: Patience is key in Ironman. Have a race plan and try to stick to it. (Sarah)
How did you get there from Sydney? Flew down from Sydney on the Thursday before the race.
How long to get there? Pretty easy journey. Took a couple of hours. Actually flew into Avalon Airport – which was really easy (no lines etc when we arrived). Hired a car and then drove to St Kilda.
Where did you stay and what was it like? We stayed at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Great location – walking distance to Ironman expo etc and close to all the cafes in St Kilda.
Would you return or what other accommodation options would you recommend? Yes I think we would return.
Favourite place to eat? Abbey Road and Rococo
Other things to do in this location (apart from the race)? What!!! There are other things to do other than race??? Seriously… exploring the Coffee culture in Melbourne is great. Shopping, Shopping, Shopping. I didn’t really get a chance to do much of this but would definitely do more of this next time!
Highlight of the race and the event overall? Highlight of the race was finally seeing our daughter when we started the run. And seeing her and our families post race!
Would you return? Yes
Member - 8 months
Raced: Husky Long Course (2km/83km/20km)
Age Group: 35-39 Male
Why triathlon? I’m not sure why yet. It’s not sensible to physically punish yourself for no apparent reason except you can. But it is oh so addictive and I am well and truly hooked.
Triathlon goal for 2015: Port Mac is my first full distance. I hope I enjoy it because I have already registered for Busselton in December.
Why this race? Everyone seems to rave about it and it was a good distance out from Port Maquarie as a fitness test.
Summarise the course: Amazing swim in Jervis bay followed by T1 at the top of the longest set of steps known to man. Seriously, it’s like climbing centre point tower. The bike course was great. Flat to undulating with no pinch climbs. The run is brilliant. Great track, lots of support and people with hoses blasting away like we were a bunch of pesky kids playing knock and run.
Favourite part of the race: Definitely the run. Every corner was an awesome new view and I was feeling good off the bike. And the WTC support tent. Best on course. Nothing encourages you to dig deep like the desire to look like you’ve got it all under control in front of your team mates.
How did your race pan out? Really happy with my race. Middle pack swim which is good for me considering I suck at swimming. Raced with a power meter for the first time and felt really fresh off the bike, maybe I just need to ride faster?
Had a really good run and especially enjoyed passing a guy at about the 10k mark who had blasted past me on the bike course. Beat my time goal by 15 minutes so very pleased.
Lowlight/take away from the experience: I had massive goggle fog and I got a good punch in the face during the swim, still have bruise under my eye from it now. I was filled with instant rage when it happened, took me a minute to calm down!!
Location: Huskisson, Jervis Bay, NSW
How did you get there from Sydney? How long to get there.
Got a ride down with my new mate Bryan J Rollins. He is a man with an endless supply of stories, and some of them are entertaining. Takes about 3 ½ hrs.
Where did you stay and what was it like? Would you return or what other accommodation options would you recommend?
Shared a house with Warren and Laura, Ori, Sherrie and Bryan. Incredibly I was not the worst snorer (congratulations Bryan). I will take the Family down next year and avoid the Saturday 5am smoke alarm shenanigans of Bryan and Sherrie.
Favourite place to eat: In Husky the café on the corner near bike transition was like food Mecca after the race. They could have served dry weetbix and I would give them 10/10. Fortunately they did a great beer battered flathead and salad, fruit smoothie, coffee and coke. Pittwater RSL is good too. Great Pizza and chocolate machine claw bingo for the kids after dinner.
Other things to do in this location (apart from the race): Jervis bay is amazing. I grew up down the coast but haven’t been back for about 20 years so it was like visiting for the first time. Just stunning.
Highlight of the race and the event overall: The fruit salad and ice cream at the recovery buffet. The massage tent. The Warringah crew are also amazing. I have only been in the club a short time but the sense of comraderie and support is great to be a part of. It really is like a big family. There are crazy uncles, siblings to squabble with and everybody watching out for one another. Everyone is really stoked for you to try to reach, to meet and exceed your goals. Advice is willingly and enthusiastically given, whether you actually ask for it or not. And it is a lifestyle sport that you can carry, or can carry you, into your old age (Smithy?). And I do get a real lift when I see another Warringah jersey going around.
Would you return? Absolutely. I will be there next year for sure!
Name: Lisa McLean
How long WTC member? 3-4 yrs
Your supporters: Hubby Pete, kids Luke & Mia and our triathlon friends
Why triathlon? Many reading already know that I am following in my husband’s footsteps. I figure if you can’t beat them, join them! Well I will never beat them (aka husband and his friends) but after seeing Pete race Ironman for nearly 15 years I figured I should give triathlon a go. It’s a sport that will keep me active, fit and healthy as I age. I feel fitter and healthier than I did in my 20s and that's a big plus! I also think it’s important for the kids to see both mum and dad training and racing, setting goals and achieving them.
Goals for 2014/2015 season: Huski Short Course is the first goal of the year. I have only raced this distance once before, last year in Kurnell. Then the biggie is Noosa later in the year. It will be my longest tri - and just my luck they have changed it to an ocean swim!
How do you juggle training & work/life: For 15 years I have been asked how do you manage being an Ironman wife! I have often said to others I don’t know how you manage two people in the house training for Ironman with kids and careers. That’s why I am sticking to short course. What I have learnt from Pete is that if you really want to achieve something you have to make it work. You may have to sacrafice some things sometimes but really thats life - you can’t do it all! I don’t think I would have been good at fitting triathlon training into life with young kids but now our kids are aged 9 and 12 they are more independent, can be left alone when we both need to do an hour of training and sometimes they even join us. As all triathletes know, training is just part of the daily timetable slotted inbetween meals, work, etc. Triathlon training is also not just about racing, it’s about keeping fit and staying healthy. It can be a stress relief, it gives you time for yourself and at other times its very social so becomes a time to spend with friends. Triathlon is a lifestyle and one we love!
Most memorable tri experience to date: I have to say that at this stage it’s not the triathlons I have raced but the races that I have been supporter at for my husband and friends. There have been many. I have very fond memories of Forster Ironman races and some songs still remind me of standing at the side of Forster Lakes at dusk. We had an incredible experience at Ironman China which was ridiculously hot, no one spoke English, lots of people got sick from the food, the Chinese spectators on the day treated the age-groupers like pros and we ended up hitching a ride back to the hotel after the race in a huge truck with bikes and all the professionals - and most memorable was seeing Pete run down the finish line knowing he had his first ticket to Kona! The ultimate tri memories so far however has to be the Hawaii Ironman. It is the mecca for all triathletes. The whole week is an amazing experience and race day is something special. Everybody who is passionate about triathlon should go at least once whether you qualify to race or go as a supporter...and make sure you volunteer too!
Long term tri ambitions: I really don’t have any that I am aiming for at this stage but I suppose an Ironman 70.3 would be on my bucket list. I am just not sure I can see myself going the a full Ironman but I suppose never say never!
What other hobbies outside of triathlon? I started running after our kids were born and I still enjoy competing with friend in local running races. I don’t have much time to fit in other things much but when I do have time I like writing. I have a website and online social network called TriCrew which is all about about triathlon travel and supporting (www.tricrew.com.au) - which I wish I had more time for!
Favourite triathlon race course/location: I haven’t raced enough courses to have a favourite course. A triathlon which has something for everyone and is a nice family weekend away has to be Huski. Of course, Hawaii is my # 1 race location and Noosa would be runner up. Busselton is pretty nice too but you need at least a week if travelling from Sydney as you want time to enjoy the Margaret River area. So many other races we still haven’t been to and I am sure are amazing!
Hero/oes (sport or otherwise): My husband when it comes to triathlon. He really has made me so proud with what he has achieved in the sport he loves. John Maclean is another (no we are not related) and when I think of people outside of triathlon who inspire me (rather than who I see as a hero) it would have to be anyone who has dreamed big and then achieved that dream. In sport, business, entertainment - and especially those who raise money and awareness for people who are not as fortunate as us.
Favourite Motto: I have decided my motto for 2015 is Do What Makes You Happy. Another one I remind myself often is Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!
Tips/Inspiring comments for other triathletes: I am a middle aged mum. I was never sporty and never dreamed I would be a runner let alone learn to swim or ride a bike. I built my running abilities up over time and eventually set myself a goal of running a marathon. When I achieved the goal I was so proud. Now triathlon is my new goal. I am still learning. I am not fast. I am scared at times and wonder why I bother at my age, but on the flip side as you get older you need to stay fit, you want new challenges and setting goals to achieve something you never believed you could do is good for us all. I have to not worry about what my husband is doing or friends around me when it comes to triathlon. My tip is to stay focussed on what you want to achieve and work with your abilities. Find friends to train and race with. Take it slow and eventually you will build your fitness to the point that you can achieve your goal - and when you get there you will look back and wonder why it seemed so daunting! You may even get addicted and set yourself a new goal that is bigger and more daunting. What I have learnt from Pete is that consistency and determination will get you to the start line no matter how big your goal is or what challenges you face along the way. :-)
BY GEOFF MEERS
I love this event. I think it’s because I think transitions are so much fun and this particular one has 3 of them – it’s kind of a competition to see who can move their runners around the course the fastest. It’s also intriguing to see the two different types of competitors – the fat ocean swimmers who cruise around the buoys with their enhanced flotation, then waddle around the run course painfully, and the lean triathletes that struggle around the swim course, then smash the run. It’s also great because, as a back marker, you get to watch the leaders fly past you as they sprint to the finish line, as you head off on your first run of the morning. Also inspiring – the pro’s are there and recent winners include our own Pete Jacobs.
My preparation for this particular 3 points was less than ideal – baby girl was jet-lagged and wouldn’t get to sleep till 9.30 each night, then there was my shoulder problem, the back problem – and the excessive alcohol intake on the eve of the race that was necessary to cope with the other problems. However, even though I checked off my Triathlon Checklist in the morning, it wasn’t till I reached Warringah Mall on my motorbike ride from Bondi that I realised – I’d forgotten my runners.
Hmmm…..don’t panic, there’s still time I thought. Thankfully, and $90 later, the taxi delivered the forgotten items to me just after the orientation talk.
Despite weather predictions, it was a lovely morning and conditions were great, so the organisers made sure they put the swim buoys that little bit further out, to make up for last year, where we got to have a wade in the break at Freshie as our only “swim”.
Sadly, the alcohol seemed to have put my navigation out and I soon found myself on the first swim to have drifted way north and in clear water with not a soul around. Reminding myself it was a privilege just to be part of it, I soldiered on and emerged onto the sand with the disabled grannies. At least I had someone to overtake!!
The second swim at South Curly was short but intense, through the break and back, always watching for the gutter that always seems to leave me stranded for seeming minutes, only metres from shore. The Freshie swim is equally challenging; being such a gently sloping beach, it’s a choice of swim, wade or use up my remaining energy doing 50 sequential porpoises as I watch people strolling past me. Around the buoy and the same thing back to shore.
It’s reassuring when you discover you’ve still got energy to take the 50 stairs back up to the street 2 at a time and to overtake a couple of people, even though they may be at the extremes of the human lifespan. A dash through the dog poo fields and it’s onto the soft sand for 400m of torture – there’s inevitably a well-proportioned lady endowed with generous cellulite just ahead of me, who my ego insists I MUST overtake, although my legs are screaming for mercy.
In all, a great event, well attended with plenty of WTC athletes and some great results.
For further details on the Three Points Challenge which takes place every December on the Northern Beaches of Sydney visit their Facebook page. www.facebook.com/3PointsChallenge
Name: Danielle Albertz
Lives: Queenscliff/Hornsby (sort of – it’s complicated at the moment)
Your supporters: All my warringah training buddies; Andy Kean, Natalie and Amee . My dog, Brody and my bestie – She play’s Patrick Swayze’s ‘She’s like the Wind’ to get me over the finish line.
How long WTC member? A year in December
Why triathlon? I’ve always wanted to do it…I used to want to do the Uncle Toby’s Ironman Series when I was younger. Ended up getting ‘tricked’ into doing the Enticer in Penrith, been addicted ever since.
Goals for the rest of this season and into 2014/2015: To finish Challenge Husky Long Course in under 7 hours.
How do you juggle training & work/life? I’m single, which makes it easier because you have more time. I did have to make more of an effort to become more selfish when I was training hard to make sure I had enough sleep and nutrition. I can sometimes get carried away with trying to do everything. I admire all those with family plus work commitments, you guys rock!
Most memorable tri experience to date: Doing the Port Stephens Olympic Tri in May. I trained hard for 3 months with Andy Kean at HPT North’s Olympic Program. I made such massive improvements and not to mention, awesome training buddies! That was the defining moment for me, I shaved a cool 8 minutes off my run alone from my Wollongong time which was only 2 months prior. It was then that I was hooked!
Long term tri ambitions? It just keeps going up and up. First it was an Olympic distance, now I’ve done 3. Now it’s Husky Long in Feb. I plan on signing up this week…eeek! Hmmm maybe like to try Busselton?
What other hobbies outside of triathlon? I read A LOT. It counteracts the energy I have in all other areas of my life.
Favourite triathlon race course/location: First it was Calalla, now it’s Port Stephens. They just keep getting better and better!
Hero/oes (sport or otherwise): Linda Halfweeg was my favourite sportswoman back in the day. I also think Hilary Clinton and Chrissie Wellington are awesome.
Favourite motto: Without challenge there is no change
Tips/Inspiring comments for other triathletes: I’ve managed to train, compete and improve on a very small budget and in a very untriathlonesque* bodytype. It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are, there are no excuses. If you want it bad enough and if you’re determined enough, you can do anything.
*no it’s not a word, but as you’ll get to know…I make up my own majority of the time.
"There is something unique about our sport and a willingness to generously sponsor our athletes who give Triathlon a go."
BY Elliott Cunnew
So Challenge Forster is my fourth Long course event, having previously done the Ultimate at Forster in 2012, I knew what the course had in store for me. The big differentiator this time around was the ATSS Heroes factor as a major motivator.
My daughter Amelia suffers with a genetic condition called Tuberous Sclerosis. 1 in 6000 children are born with it. Amelia has epilepsy, developmental delay and TS sufferers have growths which can appear in their brains, kidneys and lungs. Amelia is now 18 and is a very happy young lady. She also has kidney complications from the TS.
ATSS heroes is a group of friends of Jeff Place who also has a child with TS. The goal was to raise $50,000 via sponsorship. I thought that was setting his sights a tad high with only 6 months to do it in. Jeff rallied 25 new recruits to do Foster. Many hadn't done a Triathlon before but they got behind the fundraiser in a big way.
6 am morning, perfect conditions, on the shores of Forster Quays knowing we had collectively raised $45, 000 towards our 50k goal. Wow go Jeff and team. An amazing result, certainly started our day in high spirits.
I got into my wave start @ 6.19 just as the pros started to finish their swim leg. Clayton Fettel was out first and for the girls Liz Blatchford in smoking times.
Pop Quiz: at the briefing (pretty ordinary briefing Challenge sorry, and we were made to travel to an RSL to listen to it) Only negative for me!!
Question : how many ks does Fettel do in his training week on average on the bike???
Answer : 1000 ks !!! The other pros on the panel were doing 250 ks at best.
Swim: The swim was 2 laps around a rectangular course, and was quite shallow in parts. I was really happy with my swim coming out in 29 mins! I thought the Garmin was playing tricks on me , until I glanced a short swim distance of 1.7 k. I'll still take it. I expected a 35 min swim so I'll take that all day long.
T 1 went smoothly , aside from Numpty move number 1, no sunscreen application. I still have the Tri top sun burn marks to prove 90 ks on a bike without screen ain't smart. Im sure that didn't help my run performance, more about that later.
I headed out down King Georges Rd, and set off , trying my absolute damnedest not to draft , as I had been busted at my last Long Course in Husky 2014 and that mentally really put me off my game. I succeeded no draft penalties this time around. Phew.
First 50 k loop all was well , keeping to my 31 k p h goal. Numpty move number 2 , Only 3 gels in my bento box for the ride and even though I had a gel in T1. I lost a gel out of the bento box so was severely depleted of fuel on the bike only being able to put down 2 gels on the bike.
Also not good, waving to family at Blueys turnaround and knocking straw from Profile hydration system, meant only half my drink was drunk so had to rely on second bottle of high 5. Mental note tape straw in next time. I felt ok though as I knew I could stock up at the aid station drinks wise which I did. So I was still happy with how I felt, especially on the second 40 k leg of the ride, as there was less congestion and on the last part of the ride, and I was able to open up. I pulled past my buddy John Kearney and sent the big love out as I went past him.
T2 and Run Leg:
2 hr 53 on the bike had me well on track to get my goal of sub 5 hr 40.
Run started ok, all was tracking fine pace wise until 7k when those 5.20/5.30s shot up to 6.20s. What happened? A piano magically appeared on my shoulders for one !
My form started to suffer from back pain, and although we had great support from the TSC hero supporters with their yellow t-shirts and plenty of high 5s from other supporters I started to suffer. The second 10 k of the run was looming large.
This is a game of the mind. No walking is my rule,
It was one foot in front of the other, in the second part of the run. Running along scenic parts of bush track and then on the headland. The wind was blowing quite hard by then so that did not help my fatigued and depleted state but I dug in and started to suck it up.
The last 1 k over Foster Tuncurry Bridge.
A lady sitting on a bench asks me as I ran past" where youse run from then" I couldn't even speak.
She goes "geez that one can't even open his mouth" she was 100% correct!!
The TSC supporters got me home, the last 5k was a sloth like 40 minutes, the wheels had well and truly come off, with a total time of 5 hour 43 minutes.
Not a train wreck overall time wise, and at least I finished as did all of the TSC heroes, some with great times considering it was their first Triathlon for many of them. One posted a 5.15, go Chris !
I eagerly went to collect my Challenge beer tankard after Sally and the kids had seen me over the line only to be told they had run out of beer!!!
Plenty of learnings from this race and a total rework of my hydration and nutrition strategy for my next 2 long courses in 2015, Thanks Shorty and Pete McLean for the post race nutrition advice.
Whats next ?
Challenge Husky and Busso 70.3 already locked in, it took me 3 days to sign up for 2 more 70.3 s …Its about improving for me and the camaraderie and loving the feeling of keeping fit, and meeting new people. One day a sub 5.30 70.3? Who know's maybe Busso???
So in summary, I would definItely do Challenge Foster again. I trained for the event with multiple different people made some solid new friends as well during that training process and had a really good time with the family over the race weekend .
My tip is to stay outside of Foster as you get nicer accommodation and access to better beaches and restaurants at Blueys.
My other tip is when setting targets for fundraising and combining with Triathlon events, set your sights high. Its a very powerful combo that one !
Jeff amazed us all with the final $$$ raised which we presented to the ATSS president after the race. ATSS can now fund a full time person to man the phones for offering advice to people who get the diagnosis of TS and don't know where to turn. My wife Sally gets a well earn't break from doing it
Well done ATSS heroes and well done Jeff and all the heroes for a sterling effort . Find out more about ATSS HERE
The stage has been set, club president John Moore has challenged vice-president (and house mate) Chris Harmer to a show down at this weekend’s club time trial at Akuna Bay.
Chris will be starting favourite with a course PB of 13:56 verse John’s 15:44 however John has been spotted riding up and down hills all over the northern beaches of late.
How is this expected to go down you ask?
Chris will likely have the speed over the first 3km which is the steeper section of the TT however over the back half as the course starts to level off a little, John fancies himself a chance to make up any lost ground and just maybe take victory.
Have you got a challenge to make? Challenge your mates on the clubs Facebook group to be in the running to win, a WTC visor, a WTC running singlet or a WTC race Entry to a club duathlon or triathlon.
Entries are only $15 and open now REGISTER HERE
Race day entries will be $20
"Have fun and keep balance in your life."
A couple of weeks ago Dave Washbrook won his age group at Ironman Cairns. Last year he qualified for Kona in Melbourne - his second Ironman ever! There are not many who have reached these lofty heights in Ironman triathlon in such a short period of time. Dave is certainly talented but also very dedicated and passionate about triathlon. So how does he do it and what's next? Read on...
Name: David Washbrook
Supporters: Wife Emily (also a WTC’er), daughter Serena (just turned 1) and my parents. Plus love all the WTC support at races (there always seems to be some no matter what race you are at!)
How long WTC member? 2 years
Why triathlon? I like the challenge and variation. I think that I would get bored too quick just focusing on the one sport
Goals for the rest of this season and into 2014/2015: I’ve had a pretty solid two years of training and racing (without any real time out) up to Ironman Cairns a couple of weeks ago. I plan to take things relatively easy for a month or two to focus some time on my family and day job. I’ll be back again in 2015 though!
How do you juggle training & work/life? Early to bed and early to rise. I do all my training early morning or at lunch time with evenings reserved for family time. I get out on the 330am shift on a Saturday with Vinnie, Rog and Brucie for the long ride. It was tough at first but not so bad once you get into the swing of it. Anything is possible...you just have to prepared to get up early enough to achieve it!
Most memorable tri experience to date: Kona last year. Such an amazing experience (and a privilege) to compete in such an iconic race alongside so many great names.
Long term tri ambitions? Stay fit and healthy & continue to enjoy both training and racing. Hopefully another trip to the Big Island at some point.
What other hobbies outside of triathlon? Playing with Serena and if time allows surfing/snowboarding/surf boat rowing.
Favourite triathlon race course/location: I think it’s more about the people, I love going to races with a good contingent of friends and fellow WTC’ers to share the experience with e.g. Husky, Cairns, Club Champs.
Hero/oes (sport or otherwise): Not sure that I necessarily have a hero but I generally admire those that ‘give something back’ e.g. Bill Gates, Branson, Macca through his work for breast cancer
Favourite motto: Don’t judge those who try and fail only those who fail to try
Tips/Inspiring comments for other triathletes: Have fun and keep balance in your life. In setting my training my coach built a plan that I can commit to week in/week out while not unduly sacrificing work or family. ‘Hurry slowly’, consistency is more important than big training weeks but then having time out due to lack of motivation/injury/sickness etc.
"I love that saying that "pain is temporary but failure is forever” & now I could get over the sore feet and legs, knowing I’d smashed my PB.."
BY PAUL SHELBOURNE
Waking up race morning at 4am was a stretch. The last bus transfer to the 70.3 start at Palm Cove left at 4.30am even though I’d drawn the last wave start at7.10am! I figured that gave me a good couple of hours to eat as much breakfast as I could stomach and still have time to prepare my bike. We didn’t get a good night’s sleep as we had some p!ssheads above us partying until about 9.30 before they went out, then they came crashing home again about 2am. Part of me didn’t really care. I’d trained 10 months to get to this point so I’d race on no sleep if I had to :)
I was the only one eating on the bus. The bloke next to me must have thought I was nuts. I woofed a vegemite sandwich, a honey sandwich, yoghurt and oats plus an apple while the dark Cairns countryside whizzed past. I find it fascinating how different personalities prepare. Some on the bus (the extroverts) were chatting and joking around while others (the introverts) kept to themselves and went into their own headspace.
T1 was the floodlit hustle and bustle triathletes recognise but under a warm light rain. I attached my bike shoes to my bike and pumped up my tires and realised transition would be completely waterlogged by the time I got to my bike after the swim. Emma Just was directly opposite me pumping up her tires too! It was calming to know there was such a Warringah presence so far from home. I put my street gear bag into the transfer bin and, like scores of others, took shelter from the rain at the Pullman Sea Temple resort hotel. That was surreal! The hotel cleaners were trying to go about their pre-dawn rituals picking their way through wetsuit clad bodies sitting about, with only the hiss of falling rain in the dark as a soundtrack. It still wasn’t 6am.
The crowd at Palm Cove beach was packed around the fenced start pen. By the time I’d walked up there the first waves had gone off. Going last sucks - it’s just more time to get nervous. The conditions were poor but a far cry from the mountainous seas I’d seen the day before. I took a brief swim to warm up and to test the water. It was warm but not enough to overheat. The beach was steep and the swell went quite a way out. This wasn’t going to be like the Manly B&B!!
Finally the mens 40-44 group were called. The announcer said ours was the biggest wave in the field, the maroon caps. I focused out to sea, goggles on ready to go. Before I was really ready the start beep went and we were off!
Not being the best swimmer I wanted to draft as many of the front swimmers as I could for as long as I could. The waves were bigger than I expected, but unlike beaches in Sydney the swell didn’t drop off once we were past the breakers! I figured drafting in this stuff must be twice as beneficial as on a calm day. I hung on to as many feet as I could and before long we rounded the first buoy. The big waves forced me to time my sighting at the top of each wave; otherwise you looked up and saw nothing but more waves! After rounding the last can heading for the beach my watch beeped to let me know we’d past the 30 minute mark. I really wanted to go under 35 minutes and figured I was still 200 or 300m off the beach, so I hit the gas. We were already passing the back markers of two of the waves before us. By the time I reached the sand and hit the button on my watch I didn’t think I’d done it in time. Running up to the boardwalk to transition I took my watch out of my cap and took a peek at the time - 33:50 - a PB. I was stoked!
T1 sure enough was a waterlogged mud bath! I’d never done an Ironman transition with the ‘gear bags’ so wanted to be in and out as soon as possible. It was great that there were volunteers happy to take my stuff once I finished changing. I took off out of the change tent, grabbed my bike and got out on the ride.
I figured if I was onto the bike by 35:00 I was at least on schedule for a PB. My coach had told me to not worry about the conditions and to ‘follow the process’. I had told myself if the conditions meant a fast time wouldn’t happen there wasn’t much point worrying about it. Everyone had to race in the same rain and wind so it was important to focus on the ‘controllable’ things. By the time I had clipped in and made my way up the road past the swim start my watch had only just ticked over 35 minutes. Tick! This gave me a huge confidence boost knowing my worst leg was out of the way and ahead of time.
The ride north was quite sheltered from any wind thanks to the trees lining the beach. While the rain was falling this didn’t slow me down as much as I’d thought. I knew i need to average about 36km/h to be on track for a PB but didn’t know how the road or conditions would affect this. Heck I didn’t even know if I could maintain that speed for 90kms! I figured I’d get about 10km under my belt and check how I was going. As I got closer to the ‘hilly’ section towards Rex’s Lookout I checked my watch and was averaging over 37km/h. This was great! I remembered my coach told me the bike was all about setting up the run - my strongest leg - and I didn’t want to peak early and blow up later. The plan was 36km/h so I backed it off, just tried to maintain a good pace, and focused on a good pedal stroke.
During the ‘climb’ up to Rex’s Lookout I dropped my chain changing to the small chain ring. Bugger! I had to stop and manually hook it back on. In hindsight didn’t phase me. I passed the Ironman turnaround, the penalty box (no thank you!) and eventually reached the turnaround at Thala Beach. I was feeling good knowing it was all one way back to town for the run; but now I wanted to see whether it would be headwinds all the way home. I was still on PB time and had plenty of gas left in the tank.
The ride back went smoothly. I was on time, riding within myself and eating on time (despite being one gel short - I dropped one earlier!). I felt great riding past the bike start at Palm Cove following the sign pointing me to the finish. The first Ironman age groupers were starting their long day on the bike. The course detour to Yorkey’s Knob meant more wind as it was open and unprotected, as was the ride past the airport. My average speed was parked on 36.8km/h and hadn’t moved so I could relax knowing I was ahead of schedule still, and nothing would stop me getting into Cairns city on PB time. My confidence was sky high now. I knew I only needed to run a 90 minute half marathon to get a PB.
As I rode down Cairns Esplanade I looked for my family at our designated point but couldn’t see them. I figured I was early so they may not be there yet! I dismounted and ran into T2, and could feel my socks full of water and mud as I ran into the change tent. I decided to do something I’ve never done - ditch my socks for the run.
I charged out of T2 knowing if I averaged 4:15 pace then today would be a PB. I was feeling energetic. I had read Jared Medhurst’s race report from IM Australia and had his words ringing in my ears, so I would take it easy running out of T2 and stick to my goal pace. The target was at or just under 4:10 per km for the first 10 km then under 4:05 for the last 11k. The tendency is to go too hard out of T2 then have nothing in the tank for the second half of the run. My coach had drummed it into me that the race really starts at the 10km mark of the run. After everything going to plan so far I was determined to reach that point having not spent my tickets and to finish off this long long season by giving my absolute best.
My first 3ks were 4:05, 4:06 and 4:08 so I decided to back it off to 4:10. I realised how great it was to have had a plan and to be able to ease into the first half of the run knowing time was on my side. I could feel my feel stinging where my feet rubbed without the socks but I could tell it wasn’t going to stop me.
It struck me how much support the community was giving to all the athletes on the course. The race number had your first name on it and complete strangers would shout encouragement to you by your first name. Even Bondi supporters were encouraging Warringah runners. I realised this was why I did triathlon. Despite the still falling rain people were all around the course ringing cowbells, waving signs and applauding. I passed my family on the Esplanade and I waved to my little son with a big smile. I was having a ball! I patted Emma on the back as I saw her on the course plus three more Warringah legends. We were well represented on the course.
I reached the 8km mark and realised I was nearing halfway. The winding course was deceptive. I felt like I was a long way from the finish line but in 2km time I’d be halfway and would pick up the pace. Just before the 11km mark I collected my second lap wristband and rounded the first turnaround by the harbour. The crowd was huge! As planned I picked up the pace heading out of town running 4:06, 4:05, 4:03. As I got closer to the turnaround near Airport Drive I checked my watch. I was at the furthest point from the finish line yet my watch said I had only about 3km to go, with 4 hours 25 on the clock. This didn’t make sense. I thought this far away would be about 7km from the finish. There would be no way I’d get back to town by 4 hours 40! I couldn’t work it out!
I rounded the last turnaround and headed back to town, now at pace. I realised the winding course meant the run into town was probably only 3km long, so covering 3km in 15 minutes was easily within my reach. As I hit the top of the Esplanade a wave of euphoria came over me. I knew nothing would stop me getting a PB now. I could enjoy the run into town and not worry. My family weren’t were I saw them last time but I figured they were near the finish. The run toward the finish chute was a blur. My last 5kms were 4:01, 4:01, 4:00, 3:53, 4:01 and 3:53. I high-fived the volunteer standing at the entrance to the finish chute and charged up toward the line knowing I’d smashed my previous PB I’d set nearly four years ago at Port.
I crossed the line with my hands in the air as I heard the announcer say my name. I didn’t hear anything else he said! I felt a towel go around my shoulders and a medal around my neck. A volunteer looked me in the eyes to see how I felt but all she saw was my beaming smile. Tears welled up in my eyes as I realised what I’d achieved. As I walked off to the recovery area it suddenly got very quiet. The crowd was gone, as was the noise. I laughed and welled up with tears again. I was so emotional I checked my watch and realised I’d forgotten to stop the clock!!
4 hours 34 minutes 49 seconds. A full 12 minutes faster than my previous best at Port in 2011!
I hobbled into the massage tent with a cup of coke and realised my feet were paying the price for running without socks. That last minute decision was one I’d pay for for several days. I didn’t care. I love that saying that "pain is temporary but failure is forever” and now I could get over the sore feet and legs knowing I’d smashed my PB, more than even I’d thought possible. My dream was to hit 4:40.
Easily the best thing that went through my mind at that time was relief, knowing that so many people had supported me and that the result, I hope, repaid their passion and support: My coach Bruce Thomas, everyone at Altitude Training Australia, my in-laws and most important my long suffering wife Kate; who tolerated my alarm going off early for the morning rides and B&B swims, the gym sessions at night and my general selfishness putting in the hours of training while she looked after me and our little boy (all while working and being pregnant).