"I loved the race and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to others"
BY TRAVIS BOTTOMLEY
This race is a fairly new one on the Australian calendar with 2013 being only the second running of the race. I arrived the day before the race to find Mandurah a very nice little town approximately 70km easy drive south of Perth. It is set on a series of canals similar to those you would find on the Gold Coast. The transition area is on the banks of Mandjar Bay.
The swim is a point to point swim in the canals and on this occasion it was tide assisted which helped with some fast times. Due to the narrow nature of the course the wave starts were divided up so that each group had no more than 100 starters. This meant that my age group(40-44) was split into two starts. The swim was one of the more interesting and enjoyable ones I have done. I felt good in the water and was able to exit in 29mins probably about 3min faster than I would have expected in a non tide assisted swim.
The bike comprises 2 x 45km laps with the course mostly flat with some gentle undulations but it can be subject to being wind effected.This year we were treated with a fairly solid head wind on the outward section of each lap. The wave starts tended to spread the field out and so there was very little drafting. After taking about 10km to properly settle in I was happy with how I rode on the day posting a 2h 32min ride time moving me from 70th up to 39th out of the 200 in my AG. It might have been nice to have one more aid station on the bike with the temperature steadily rising on the day, as it does at this time of year in WA, it is easy to get a little dehydrated in the dry windy conditions.
The run first heads across the Mary Street bridge and up Mandurah Terrace past the finish area before returning across the bay past transition and along the bay for two laps. There is a small hill of sorts half way through each lap but nothing to be too concerned with. I felt quite strong on the run with the first 13-15km done at a fairly consistent pace. I felt that I suffered a little in the last few km's I think due to the heat, as it was well over 30 degrees by now. I managed to clock a respectable 1h 42min for an over all time of 4h 51min to finish 25th in my AG. I was really pleased with my overall result and how I raced on the day.
The finish area is located across the bay from transition in the park on Mandurah terrace right near the local restaurant strip and near a big playground if you have the kids with you spectating on the day. There are plenty of accommodation options near the race location and supermarkets etc to pick up those last minute supplies. Overall I loved the race and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to others or have another crack myself one day!