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