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.