This time I made sure to jump in the water and warm up for a 100m or so, just to let my heart rate come back down and to loosen the arms. As the event was sold out, we were set off in pairs to ease the congestion. This worked well and we lined up slowest first. Not really knowing where to start I headed off about 10 pairs back. Unlike last time I started slowly, got my breathing right and found my rhythm, I gained a bit of momentum and really got my head down for the second lap. I really enjoyed it this time, the conditions couldn’t have been better. I got to T1 relaxed and quickly got my trainers and “Christmas socks” on and ran through the bush to the start of the 1km hill climb up to the main road. I’ve always been a fan of hills and made up some places on the way. This was the first real test for my ankle, and although it hurt, it felt stable and I could push on. Once I reached the main road and it levelled out, I began to push the pace and before long had reached T2.
I put on my helmet and road shoes and pushed the bike onto the course. With the staggered times it was impossible to know your position in the race, so it became a time trial and a race against the clock. 9 short laps and it’s easy to lose count, so I kept checking my watch’s lap distance for reference. Today the course was fast out with a slight headwind on the return. It was getting busier on the course, with everybody dressed up in their Xmass gear. On the last lap I began to mentally prepare myself for the last run. Still being new to the triathlon/duathlon world, I remember all the mistakes I made in the first few, like tying my laces instead of using elastic laces, running through transition in my cycling shoes, instead of leaving them on the bike, all tips from friends, but it’s the small things that make all the difference, and make transition a lot smoother and less stressful. I pulled on my trainers and I was away again, 5km’s to go!
I always tend to be able to ramp up the running so I’m getting faster as each km goes by in a short race. I still managed this today and felt good during the first lap. As I began the second lap, I could feel the strain in my breathing, but my legs felt good. I felt great, and once I rounded the roundabout for the last time, I knew it was only going to be a couple of km’s to the finish. Once my watch beeped to signal 4km, I upped the pace once more, knowing I was nearly home. Around the cones for the last turnaround, and I started to sprint. Faster and faster, less than 100m to go, I could see the finish. I crossed the line totally spent, a feeling of relief and great satisfaction that it’s over, and you’ve given it everything and left it all out on the course! It’s funny you always feel relieved, but not long after feel you could do it all over again, even though moments before, you thought you were going to die, but that’s racing I guess.
“Christmas” hats off to Warringah Triathlon and all the members for giving up their free time and making these events great for all us competitors.
Despite the weather, my brief interaction with Deanna in the rain pumped me up – she was so excited and having someone that passionate about the club, the sport and female participation, reminded me of how much of a team event this weekend was going to be.
Having not slept a wink (mainly because my partner Fred kindly kept me informed throughout the night that he couldn’t sleep), I woke up bleary eyed with a stomach of knots. I suspected the ocean would be stormy and dreaded the swim. I only learnt how to swim freestyle a year ago, with a base knowledge of “knowing how to not drown” with thanks to England’s state schooling system in combination with my parent’s Sri Lankan teachings that the ocean was dangerous and to be avoided.
The feeling of team spirit at the start line had already begun, with the crew of Warringah ladies posing for photos (as we do best). Laura pointed out the last buoy and I originally thought she was joking - it looked so far away I could barely see it. I steeled myself as the intimidating waves built in front of me.
I lined up for my age group start, and the race was away! Full of adrenaline, I stumbled with vigour through the sand to the water suddenly thinking “do you know what, I can do this!” A great wave of positivity washed over me, and then BAM, an actual wave hit me. And then again, and then again, this time with my goggles and hat coming off. Reminder to myself: next time, learn how to duck dive. I persevered and eventually got past the waves but struggled with my goggles and hat that were not on properly. I eventually managed some kind of rhythm and tried to think of happy thoughts when I looked up and couldn’t see the buoy having swum off course. No matter, I will get to the end soon enough! In the words of a wise blue fish, just keep swimming. Hooray, the beach was in front of me and I gleefully scrambled out of the ocean running away from it thinking the worst was over and I could finally enjoy the rest of the triathlon!
Hopping over stones to transition, I excitedly trotted to the start of the bike course, clambered on and pushed off. One day I will learn how to do the flying start, but for now I was pleased that I located my bike and got my wetsuit off without too much drama. The bike course was tricky; the hills were tough, and the turns were tight, but I absolutely loved every second of it. I had tried my best to increase my cycling over winter and hang on to the Tuesday / Thursday WTC rides, and I could feel the improvement. What I loved most was the support from the women from all clubs – I stuck with a few women throughout and we would pass each other at different points on the course cheering each other on each time. The cohesive atmosphere of female athletes supporting female athletes was remarkable and so much fun.
Heading into the run course, I bounded off knowing this was by far my best leg. It was hot but oh man, the view of that water shimmering under the Aussie sun was spectacular. I enjoyed the fact the course was two laps, it meant I was constantly passing Warringah women all of whom were smashing it, high fiving (in a covid-safe fashion…) and cheering each other on. The encouragement from the Warringah volunteers also made me feel like a Rockstar. There was so much Warringah kit I briefly queried if the other clubs had got lost on the run. I turned the corner to the finish line seeing Fred and Ben shouting for me. I boosted my legs into a sprint finish and triumphantly ended with a few elegant retches in a quiet corner.
The remainder of the weekend was excellent; full of ice cream, brunch, drinks and a celebratory dinner with the club after being declared the division 1 winners!
What a weekend! I was so proud of myself for finishing the swim and facing up to some deep-rooted fears of the ocean and her toothy inhabitants. I was also buzzing from the display of incredible female athleticism and support. Thank you to the Warringah Triathlon Club for such a great experience. I can’t wait for the next one.
We were greeted by a wet and cold morning in Penrith, certainly not my preferred race conditions. To ensure I didn’t make the same mistake as last year, I made sure to choose my transition spot wisely and spread my bright yellow towel out like a honing beacon. One positive about Covid-19 meant my transition spot was extremely spacious!
Before I knew it, everyone was lining up to get into the water and shivering due to the non-wetsuit swim. My swim started at a frantic pace as I was determined to follow fast feet. This newly adopted strategy did not pay off as I ended up swallowing way too much water while at the same time enduring a number of hefty blows from all sides. I knew I had to get out of the situation so I swam to the side where I had to make a quick vomdrop due to all the water I had swallowed, and ended up getting rid of half my English muffin which exited my body in projectile fashion!
Note to self, “next time try eat your breakfast all at once, instead of trying to combine both of the GPS Guru’s strategies and keep your mouth closed while following fast feet”. After composing myself and continuing the swim with a new wide route strategy, I got into a rhythm and was soon approaching the end of the swim. I finished the swim in a time of 17:32 and felt great as I ran out of the water and up into the transition area. T1 felt like a blur, and all I can remember is that I was suddenly on my bike racing alongside the lake.
Going around the first corner I had to slow down for another vomdrop; this time it was only water and I felt relieved that the last bit of the Nepean lake was out of my body!
The rain was still coming down, making for tricky bike conditions. I enjoyed how the bike course was 3 fast loops as it allowed for a bit of cheering and trying to get in some quick banter along the way! I drank quite a bit of Powerade/water mix on the bike and had one gel. I finished my bike leg in a time of 53:40, an improvement from last year, which I was particularly happy with considering the conditions. All those brick sessions trying my best to hang onto my coach, Nic Ward’s, wheel had paid off. I was feeling extremely grateful for all the time she has spent helping me improve on the bike.
As I entered T2, I knew this was the moment I could finally put last year’s rookie error to bed. With a steel minded focus thinking of all the advice I had received from Nic since last years debacle, I breezed through the transition, achieving a T2 PB, “Whoo hooo!”
The run seemed to fly by and before I knew it, I was on the second lap with the finish line ahead of me, feeling strong and grateful to be doing the sport I love surrounded by some amazing friends. I finished the run in a time of 45:36, which was another improvement from last year and good enough to earn me a podium finish. I owe this improvement to my incredible, supportive and all-round superwoman coach, Nic!
Overall, despite the conditions it was a great morning out and I left the Regatta Centre feeling fully redeemed. Thank you to Ward Coaching and Warringah Triathlon Club for all the help and support along the way. I feel honoured and extremely blessed to be part of such an incredible community.
2:30am start didn’t go down that well, I was on the road just after 3. Returned 5 minutes later to get my licence in case they asked for it (Event Rego, not Police....I drive like Miss Daisy). Halfway stop to hoover up some Overnight Oats and half a bottle of UCan and I arrived in Morpeth at 530.
The swim is in the Hunter and there was a beautiful mist hovering over it as I arrived into transition to get myself prepped. Gotta say I love the COVID rules - only 4 bikes per rack and we could leave all our bags in transition...plus a bucket to put my wetsuit in post-swim. I positioned myself next to the big tree so it’d be easy to find my bike. The pre-race warm-up run got ditched given I didn’t bring spare runners, but the yellow and pink Warringah striped t-shirt was spotted by @Anna Elliot and we had a quick chat instead.
The mist had cleared so I decided to go for the clear goggles rather than tinted as it was looking cloudy. Race error number one: the sun came out just before the start and, as we headed east down the river, I couldn’t see anything and almost swam into a barge on the riverbank. Fortunately I had some feet to follow and even when he did get away, the Swimmer clearly didn’t know which colour buoy to turn at so waited for me anyway. We hit the turn boy and my 10-minute watch alert still hadn’t gone off so I knew the tide must have been running fast. Lost a spot navigating the turn buoy to the guy tapping my feet so back to 3rd. Sat on the Tapper’s feet on the return trip and I arrived at the boat ramp at the back of our small group of 3, leaving the Swimmer and the Tapper to fight for swim line honours. Swim split was 23 minutes something.
Into T1 and it turns out there were 2 big trees. Ran down the wrong aisle, but fortunately it was only one aisle out and I was able to easily duck under the rail thanks to COVID spacing. Shoes clipped on the bike and even without elastic bands, I managed the mount without embarrassing myself too much. The Tapper was out and gone quick and the Swimmer looked like he might be in T1 for a while, so was heading out solo. Got up to speed and then struggled to put my shoes on, doing so in a similar speed to my 7-year old trying to tie her shoe laces. The bike is a 2-lap course with 2x 180 degree turns per lap, half a dozen corners and a few smallish hills. There’s just enough of a tailwind at the start on the way out of town for your to think you’re riding really well, until you hit the 180 turn around the 5k mark and your speed drops 5-10kph. Even having experienced the same thing last year, I was sucked into believing again. Plan was to try and ride around 90% of FTP as long as my heart rate stayed steady. With there being 3 events (Sprint, Olympic and Long) all running concurrently, I started to make my way past a steady stream of everything from disc wheels to mountain bikes. At the turn I saw the Tapper not far ahead and tracked him down over the next 5k. As I went passed, he checked to confirm which race I was doing, and whilst the thought crossed my mind of telling him I was just out for a Sunday coffee ride, I fessed up and it was on! At that point it dawned on me that I was actually leading a race for the first time (Friday Night Aquathon aside) since doing a 1k time trial at Enfield Harriers when I was 12. The Tapper stayed in touch and, as the rain started, we swapped turns on the remaining 15k. For the record, I was closer to 85% than 90% of FTP but it felt about right and my split was 1hr5.
Bit slow getting my socks on (but better than blisters) and out onto the run. 4-lap course on gravel with a few giant puddles to negotiate. Aim was to run 4 flat per k. The Tapper was off again and judging by his early pace, I wasn’t going to be catching him unless he slowed down. First k 4:05. Athlete 190, who was probably 2 decades younger, flew past doing mid 3’s. Assumed he must be in my race given I was 189. So guessing I’m in 3rd now and I won’t be seeing him again til the finish. 2nd k had to stop to get a stone out of my shoe; 4:25. 3rd k 4:20 and my lower back is stiff...maybe that warm-up run would have been a good idea. Settled into 4:10-4:25 over the next two laps as a few speedy Trisuits flew past me as I moved back to Completing rather than Competing. Heart Rate felt relatively easy, but the rest of the body and the mind didn’t want to push on. Saw Anna on my last lap and, after some mutual encouragement, I started calculating what I needed to run to go sub-2:15. Figured I should be sweet unless the course was long. Picked up the pace to 4 flat for the last k just in case. The 10k alert went off on my watch and I’m not home. Crap, it’s long...now I have to sprint and hope!
Squeezed across the line 18 seconds under and glad it was over. Beats me why anyone would enjoy these short-course races. Usually the bike is a weakness and the run is a strength, but definitely the reverse today. I actually really enjoyed pushing on the ride. Anyway, it turns out the Speedy Trisuits were all in the Long course, competing for spots at Worlds, and I got the last spot on the overall podium behind Athlete 190 and the Tapper. In true COVID style, the post-race medal presentation involved going to the registration tent to pick up your commemorative plaque still in it’s cardboard box. I celebrated with an extra large cappuccino and a drive to Woy Woy markets to see Melinda Wheatley and the kids. The kids weren’t particularly impressed with my achievements, but they left plenty of leftovers at lunch, so all-in-all it was a good day. And I can always rely on Strava for some kudos.
Special thanks to Nic and Bern and the team Ward Coaching for their help, expertise and encouragement over the last few months. And to Melinda Wheatley for letting me have nearly half the morning outdoor training slots most weeks, a trainer in the mancave and cooking triathlete-sized meals every night.
A last minute decision to take on the Elite Energy Little Husky Tri, saw me book a dodgy motel in Nowra where I was greeted with a certain herbal smoky smell upon check in and not much sleep due to the paper thin walls and the interesting characters/conversations in the surrounding rooms. I was more than happy for an early morning wakeup, coffee and to get down to the race early.
First post COVID race and what else would 2020 throw up but horrible and testing conditions. Torrential rain, 50 km/h wind gusts and 15 degrees!! A different experience with social distancing, masks, hand sanitiser at check-ins and transitions, no pre-race briefings and a spaced out transition area being a great positive considering the mess that my transition always is. This left me with a huge fear of going the wrong way on the swim course or getting lost somewhere on the bike
Considering the wind, the ocean was relatively calm providing a welcome change. Visibility wasn’t great due to all the rain but that’s probably for the better considering all the shark sightings of late. I came out of the water in a time of 24:48 by far a PB for me, feeling stoked and up the hill into T1 out of the wetsuit and trying all the tricks as shown by Bern and Nicole from Ward Coaching.
On the bike was when we really got to know how great the conditions were. At this point I was regretting my decision to take off my wetsuit and goggles as they would have been pretty handy on the bike in these conditions. The few turns out of town had all riders going extremely slow because of water across the road and into the wind. The road out was completely flooded at some points and on the second lap there were plenty of people whose races were over, walking their bikes back into town with their tail between their legs. Thankfully I made it back with no mechanicals. The course was 2 laps where we travelled through town and out to Falls Creek via Woolamia. I’m unable to comment on the beauty of the course due to pure concentration with head down bum up just trying to stay on the bike. Bike time coming in at 1hr15mins, which I was happy with considering to conditions.
Into T2 I struggled to unclip my helmet and gave myself a good talking to for not having elastic laces as I couldn’t tie my shoelaces due to frozen fingers. In the end we got there and out onto the run course
The run I could imagine on a nice day would be absolutely stunning and even in the rain was still beautiful. Off we went heading south towards Vincentia on an out and back course travelling past some beautiful blue beaches via the coastal path, which in places were completely covered in water, where running through you would be up to your ankles in water. After training for Ironman all year it was tough to get the legs moving fast off the bike. I was quite disappointed with the overall run time however I did manage to negative split for the first time as a positive with run time coming in at 42:25.
My first Husky tri will definitely not be one I forget anytime soon. There is some unfinished business there as I would really like to experience the event with some great weather and enjoy a few post-race cold ones in the pub with my fellow competitors. Overall my main goal was to break 2hr30mins and I clocked in at 2hr 27mins so I could walk away happy. It was so great to be back racing and I already cant wait for the next one… and hopefully a drier one. Thanks to Warringah Triathlon Club and Ward Coaching for all the support.
I was glad to have been given a 7:20am race start for the 20km (1 lap) race (other crazies did the 40km!) so not too early a morning start. With a plan to meet at Terrey Hills shops to ride to the start line, as my sense of direction can't be relied upon (thanks Logan!) it was a good warm-up for what was to come.
Helpful volunteers directed me to sign in and it was lovely to see some familiar faces. Rolling up to the start line, with a few tummy nerves, and a quick look at the electronic sign board with the numbers ticking closer to my start time, and before you knew it Deanna gave me the countdown and 'Go!'. A quick click into my pedals and I was off.
It was lovely riding through the National Park, although my eyes were concentrating mostly on the tarmac in front ... and the hills ... can't recall any mention of those hills in the 'Athlete’s Guide' and the map of the course looked completely flat, very deceiving. But for every ‘up’ there is a ‘down’, the positive of all those hills! Hearing the friendly cheers from cyclists going by encouraging me along gave me that extra motivation to keep going ~ that's Warringah Tri Club for you, surely got to be the friendliest club, not just the best.
Comforting seeing so many cyclists on the road, even if they were passing me by at great speeds, so I knew at least I was headed in the right direction. Reaching the halfway turn around point, was relief but a sense of dread that I had another 10km to go, with legs burning I started to regret having done the crit race at Heffron yesterday. At this point my 2 main thoughts were that everyone else here is probably feeling it and in the same boat, and more importantly, that I better get a job quick smart as this looks like a pricey sport with some of the get-up of my fellow racers.
Finding a steady cruising pace and telling myself to just keep it up to the end became my goal, with a little thanks to my brother for playing ‘The Power’ by Snap! in the car on the way here, as it was stuck in my mind as I hit home down the straight to the finish line.
Thank goodness it’s done … now looking forward to seeing you all at the next one! If you haven’t yet given one a go, sign up and give it a try - I bet you’ll then be back for more. A big thanks to WTC and MWCC for putting this event on and all the volunteers that made it happen.
Race report (Josh amberger style).
Woke up. Early. Why am I doing this again?
Out the house like a ninja, trying not to wake the kids. Parked up. Fixed bike up. Equal mix of nerves, and adrenaline. Oh I’ve missed that pre race feeling.
8km ride to start line with new ‘Tri-friends’. Equal chat about psi, champions league, and if any actors have starred in eastenders and coronation street. To be googled later.
As rode close to start line, looked like a millionaires bike parade. Serious Kit out there. SERIOUS kit. Aero helmets. Disc wheels. Full carbon TT bike. Full cat suits. So many middle aged men with too much money. Hang on. Is that me now? One guy on a turbo trainer on the side of the road. A TURBO TRAINER ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD!
30 sec breaks between starters. Started to think about how many I’ll be able to catch.
Rolleed into starting chute. Here we go. Missed this feeling. El presidente counts down from 5 seconds. Here we go!
First 5km feel good. Surely only a matter of time before I catch someone. Front tyre feels a bit flat. Is it? Nah. Carry on. Only 40km. Will have done that in a bit.
Someone over takes me. Yeah, Keep riding, I’ll catch you in a bit sunshine. Didn’t.
I’ll definitely take over someone soon. Surely. Fair few hills in this course isn’t there? Should have put my TT bars on.
Yeah, pretty sure I’m losing more air now. Have I got all my kit? How do you use one of them gas canisters again? Do you have to stop it? Can I blow up the tyre? Can I be bothered? Overtaken again. Yeah, probably should, otherwise will buckle wheel. Let’s get the big hill done first. Do the hill. There’s the photographer. Good spot. Remember that for 2nd lap and get good photo.
Overtaken again. Make it to the turnaround. Feeling tired. Only 9km in. Could do with a rest. Time to change the tyre. Change Over not too bad. Will everyone think I’ve made this up to cover for being so slow?
Back on bike. Plenty of downs. Plenty of people over taking me. Making that stupid vrom vrom noise. Helicopters. Surely I’ll over take someone soon.
Hit next turnaround. Ok. Half way. Come on. Get it done. Feeling horrible. No rhythm. Keeping changing gears. Not a good sign. No power in legs.
Finally get sight of someone. This is it. My first pass. Hang on. Is he finished and warming down? Yes he is. Nice one.
2nd half pretty uneventful. Get passed a lot by the helicopters. I remember when I used to do that. Good times.
Absolutely nothing in the legs. Struggle up the hill again. Remember that there’s a photographer at the top. At least I can get a good photo for my mum. Zip up Yorkshire top. Ready for it. Here he is. Should I smile? Should I look in the zone? Should I pretend he’s not there? He doesn’t even take my photo. I call out. Common man? He says sorry. “Didn’t think you were racing”. Ultimate insult.
Onto the final leg home. 10km.
Having a friendly battle with the speed machine Mathilde. She passes me again. I gamble and shout ‘Allez allez’. Turns out she’s French. Well received. I eat her dust.
Why did I do this again? Ah yes. I wanted to see how unfit I was. Nice one. Wonder what I should call my ride on strava?
Struggle over the line at a crawl. Thank f%^€ that’s over. Think about hanging my punctured inner tube around my neck. Just to prove to new triathlon friends what happened. Didn’t.
See that guy on the indoor trainer on the side of the road again. Doing his cool down. Did he actually race? Or just stay there the whole time?
Quick sausage roll and chai latte at the end.
Home. Plenty of work to do on the turbo. Fun times ahead.
I’ve only recently joined Warringah Triathlon Club, having moved to Sydney in September last year. So I have been using the Manly triathlons as starting point to encourage me to get fitter and try to meet more people.
At my first Triathlon in November, I was so nervous and arrived 30mins before registration, I was confused at the format (with the killer 1.6km hill run after the swim), so I was just happy to finish it. What I loved most about it were the friendly people and the beautiful setting. Manly North Head is a special place for me as my Mother grew up living in the Quarantine station.
In December, I didn’t get the message about the fancy dress but would have definitely embraced it. I was even considering an Easter theme for the April tri! I felt like I was improving in my performance and didn’t even stop to walk during the hill run (a sign of my poor fitness).
Then for the February triathlon I awoke ready to go but saw the storm and presumed it was cancelled so disappointingly i went back to bed, and didn’t realise the competition was still on! I had been increasing my runs and was trying to cycle to work a couple of times a week so by the time March triathlon came around I felt excited.
The swim went well (I do love the shallow water which means that you can often cut the swimming short and wade) . I ran up the hill with (relative) ease and felt good by the time I got to the bike leg. I was focusing on using my shoes and push/pull method to pedal, and I was chasing another female competitor who really pushed me. I was so focussed by the time I made it to transition I’d completely forgotten there was a run leg!
At the point that I was running I realised that I might be able to place so I was focussed at trying to run as fast as I could, knowing that it is my weakest link. Then as I crossed the finishing line I was elated to know that I was the first over the line in my race, I was completely exhausted! Thank you to the lovely Club Captain (?) who not only lent me his bike pump but pumped up my tires, and for all the friendly people who have made me feel so welcome at Warringah, and Mona Vale Dental for the $50 voucher.dit.
The All Schools Triathlon out at Penrith on Wednesday was a great event that I feel privileged to compete in. It started as many often do, an alarm going off at a ludicrous hour of the morning, but the early morning and long drive was definitely worth it.
My event ran smoothly, although alterations in the swim course caused a bit of chaos. As usual I found myself lagging well behind out of the swim leg (About 40th) , but after increased training on the bike this year, I passed a few guys and was then able to split the fastest run time to scrape just inside the top ten (9th Overall). I was only aiming for the top 20 so I was definitely happy with the result.
Transition went smoother than last year, for a start the bike remained upright (I pride myself on this accomplishment). It was bloody hot out there.
After my race a heat related injury (not sure on the details) immediately suspended all racing, resulting in a chopper being called in, causing chaos for the junior athletes. The officials were definitely tested trying to get the races back under way, but the restart worked well and everyone was happy.
It was a great day full of racing, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope to get up to north head for the next club race.
My first Ironman 70.3 - I loved every single second of the whole experience and it couldn't have gone better.
Ironman really know how to do races, they make you feel like a queen from the minute you register, with the first timers bell (I screamed with excitement and HAD to get a selfie) to your personalised race pack and transition spot.
After several more selfies at the finish line and a small fortune spent in the gift shop, it was time to pack my transition bag, eat lots of carbs and get an early night.
It was a cool 13c on race morning and the water was so flat you could have walked on it. Thank goodness as my biggest fear that day was the swim. I'd only learned to swim a year ago and I'd had a rough swim at Cole Classic a few weeks ago that was haunting me. It was a rolling start due to mass amounts of sea urchins apparently - glad I found this out later! I placed myself at the end of group 3 as I didn't wanna go too slow and definitely not in with the speedies. This was a good call and I had a perfect swim. Spotted a lot of said sea urchins along the way and didn't even freak out, I just marvelled at how amazing it was that I got to swim with such creatures. My game plan for the swim was just to relax and keep it steady. Bubble, bubble, breathe. It was only a bit further than B&B, easy. I came out feeling amazing and looked at my watch- 40 mins!! I was so stunned, I even stopped to look at it again. I've never swum that fast.
Running into transition feeling like an absolute champ and a big smile on my face, I was ready for the bike. It was a decent 2 lap course with one real climb. I settled onto my bars and enjoyed the ride. All I had to do was 3 Thursday morning rides. Again, I could do that. Totally fan girled when Hannah Wells the female winner and Tim Reed and Crowie pasted me. How cool is triathlon, you get to race the same course at the same time as the pros. Started to hurt at 65km and the heat of the day was really starting to settle in. A coach once told me to always smile, even if it's only on the inside. I took this advice and smiled at every volunteer I passed and pushed through. The course was pretty empty at this point so I was happy to come to the end and back into town. I was definitely getting lonely! My amazing support crew were waiting for me the second I got back into town and gave me a much needed boost. Even shouting at me as I tried to walk my bike into transition 😂 "come on Caroline, jog it through"!
Now onto the run, which is my strongest leg, but I wasn't looking forward to a half marathon in the midday sun. I started off strong and tried to maintain that throughout, slowing to a walk a few times. Almost caved at 10km, I just didn't wanna do it anymore. Remembered my brother telling me I had to finish, I'd bought all the merchandise so I'd look silly with it if I didn't do it. Again that wise coach came into my head, telling me to smile (hope you read this Carm)! I spoke to the people around me, I ran through the aid stations, professing my love to them all. They returned the positive vibes which helped massively. Ice down my tri suit and buckets of water thrown at me in the splash zone also helped. I took it 1km at a time. Suddenly I was at 18km and the rest was downhill and through town, then 19km, then 20km where my cheer squad were waiting for me. It was then my turn to take that left and down the finishers chute. That tiny bit of juice that I kept in reserve for a fast and strong finish was released and I enjoyed every second of that red carpet. I hope I never forget that moment. I didn't have a target time but I did want to do around 7 hours. I dreamed I could get 6.30hrs and I did 6.29!! I definitely won my own race.