Monday, 18 February 2013

Geelong and Husky Long Course


Three long course races in month was probably not something I had planned on doing for a long time. Still being relatively new to longer distance racing I am still finding post race recovery taking much longer than I am used too coming from an ITU background. Nevertheless, I entered these races with a ‘play it by ear’ thought process to see how the body was going to cope.

Auckland 70.3 really took it out of me, and for the three weeks I had between Auckland and Geelong I found training quite difficult. My motivation was at an all time high, but my legs had other thoughts. Geelong came round and I was still feeling flat but I tried to remove these thoughts pre race. The race had perhaps the best long course start list assembled in Australia despite having little money and even less world ranking points. I swam well, exiting the water in around 4th place and straddled my trusty steed to begin the 90km ride. It wasn’t long before cycling powerhouse and one of the nicest guys in Triathlon James Hodge started dropping bombs and I was left seeking shelter. I’m not a huge numbers guy but my amicable host for the weekend Jimmy Seear said he was averaging about 320 watts for the ride and even I know that is big number.  The guys at the front proceeded to put 3 minutes into our chase pack and coming into T2 we had a big job to do. The run was deceptively hilly but nothing I’m not used too training up in the Blue Mountains and we started reeling some of the guys from the front. After 16km I took a detour off the run course and ending up running an extra 2km. As if 21km wasn’t long enough! This happened due to a combination of factors. My unfamilarisation with the run course, the sheer congestion of athletes who were on their 1st lap, and some poor race organisation with little signage and inexperienced race marshals.  I was running in 6th when I decided to take this scenic route and finished up 12th overall. Initially really disappointed I made sure I focused on the positives of the race and decided to use it for fuel for the next race 7 days later at Huskisson.

Jimmy Seear, Myself and Leon Griffin
Fast forward 7 days, after doing some light training and consuming every multivitamin under the sun I arrived at Huskisson feeling reasonably good. Husky is a fantastic event and the guys from Elite Energy should be really proud of the event that they have created. This was my debut long course race last year and my local Panthers Tri Club always has a huge turnout so it was an important race for me. The pro field, which included the likes of Tim Reed and duel Olympian Brad Kahlefeldt assembled in the crystal clear waters. The swim and bike went mostly according to plan except that myself and some other athletes had tried to target Tim Reed’s swim leg and open up a gap on him so he would have to work harder on the bike than us. Alas, Tim was ready and the plan was not exactly top secret and it all came together. After breaking a spoke with 40km to go and catching Ben Allen who had stealthily opened up a gap straight out of the swim onto the bike which myself and numerous others had no clue about we donned our running paraphernalia and set out on the picturesque run course. My goal was to stick with Tim Reed for as long as I could but after 7km and numerous attempts to trick myself into thinking that I was feeling comfortable I succumbed and dropped off. I had however opened a decent gap between myself and 3rd place which allowed me some breathing room. No changes to the order saw Tim Reed take the win after racing superbly all day and myself finishing in 2nd, one minute adrift. All round nice guy Benny Allen rounding out the top 3.

Top three males left to right: Me(2nd) Tim Reed(1st) Ben Allen(3rd)


It’s great to post a good result at Husky again especially after racing Geelong 7 days prior. Thanks to everyone who was out there supporting and everyone who has sent me their kind words. I do enjoy reading them all. Thanks to Glen Duggan from VoloSport,  Emo and everyone at Elite Energy, and Karl from Trizone who does a fantastic job covering these events. Lastly huge thanks to Mum who I am thrilled to have continuing to be my major sponsor of the 2013 season :-)

Having a few days rest now and then going to dial in for Busso 70.3 at the beginning of May. Thanks for reading.

Sam



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