Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tri Alliance End of Season Party

Last Saturday night saw my Tri Club’s End of Season Party funny about this the event is held on the first day our new season, go figure. This was the 2nd time I had attended and I was looking forward to seeing who would cop the Zooland’s spray. This season has been a big year few PB’s lots of different and lots fun and lots of good memories.

Ellie and I headed off to the Belgian Beer Cafe once we arrived we bumped into Steve and Luca both top blokes who we train with got our names ticked off and purchase some raffle tickets with the cash going to Smile for Smiddy. We caught with many of our follow training buddies and got our pic taken. Before too long we were shown into the dining room. Sitting with Jo Jo and her Partner Linda, Ryan, Coach Darren and his Wife Kylie and Steve.  During dinner they showed pics of the season that was, lots of pics of everyone, lots that I had taken and somehow lots of me were taken too.

Ellie and I

Tri Alliance Family

The Awards and winners for the night were;
SC Athletes of the year: Lisa Dominquez & Xavier Flynn
LC Athletes of the Year: Brianna Scarlett & Nathan Sims
Best Newcomer: Jessie Waugh
Most Improved: Belinda Griffiths
Team Players of the year: Ryan Kidd & Simon Gronow
John Cornish Memorial Scholarship: Brett Archbold
Zoolander: Brett Archbold

I must say to win Best Team Player aware is humbling, 2nd year in a row to be nominated and to win it with Ryan I could not be happier.

Ryan and I

My Prize Pack

Towards the end of the night Ollie called up all the coaches so that we could thank them. Sitting with Darren was funny as, he said “his not!” as Ollie does Darren said a few choice words and got up. Darren is a top bloke and I have a lot of time for him along with all the coaches. This makes why Tri Alliance to me is family.

Some of the Coaches

The last bit of the night that I love is the Zooland award, basically Greg gives us all a lesson in dress code while racing. Last year it was won by Ollie this year by Brett.  Greg's lesson's I remembered well in Geelong. A bunch of the TA guys (me included) who had finished were standing around Trisuits unzipped or around our waist then we were asked for our photo, so we all zipped up and commented that if Greg get’s hold of our “undress” we will all cop it. Greg gave many people including himself a spray as the photo’s are shown, even bring up a dog!  As he called it’s an epidemic, everyone is in it. Lucky for me no photos of me where found. It always the fun part of the night lots of laughs. After dinner and the awards the party and dancing. Ellie and I mingled around talking and catching up with people.

Bring on Winter Training and the new race season.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Puffing Billy Race

Today I raced Puffing Billy for the first time. For the last two years I have wanted to do this race, it’s one of those events that sells out quickly and has a limited number of entries but it was on my bucket list.

The morning of the race we headed up to the start line early with parking likely to be tight get there early was the go. After parking and walking around killing time before the event it was time to assemble in front of the fire station. I placed my hoddie into a bag attached the BIB baggage label and placed it on the truck.

The morning was cold and Ellie had stolen my jacket to keep warm (her 4th layer) plus she was have a coffee too to keep warm. I saw at least 6 or so Tri Alliance people racing this event so not a big turnout but as we waited I caught up with JoJo, Linda, Jesse and her Partner Glen and Sally, then I saw my new PT Luke and said good morning / luck for the run.

Ellie and I at the Start (Me with my jacket stolen back)

Well got in our wave starts chatting away to complete strangers (as you do at these events, great way to claim the nerves). Over the PA you could hear the announcer welcome the 2 train drivers and a big boo from the crowd, follow by  the Australian National Anthem was sung and then a minutes silence for all this killed or injured in the Boston Marathon Bombing. We all moved down (as much as could) toward the start line the horn sounded and off we went.

After I turned the corner and saw the start line all I could see was a mass of color across the whole road of people, like a human carpet. The first 3km’s are downhill so you feel really fast before the hill. As we all came down to the bridge you could hear the first train tooting I had a look and I had beaten the 1st train to bridge. I was happy with that I knew that I would not bet the train to the finish but felt good. I only had two goals, 1. Finish and 2. Beat the 2nd Train, as I started the 1st of the hill climbs I could feel my calf muscles tightening.  As I came down a hill I could see the race organizers open a crossing to let the runs past – good news the train had just been through, I was doing better than I thought. At the top of the longest hill I felt spent but it was downhill into Emerald then along the train track towards the finish line, speed time. The track seem to go forever than the park land opened up down a little trail, switch back to the bottom towards the park. People flew past me I kept it simple and tried successfully not to fall over or down the hill. At the bottom it was across the bridge up the hill for the last 50 or so meters to the finish line.

Sea of runners

Under the Trestle Bridge

It was one of the hardest runs I’ve ever done, I’m glad I did do some hill training and I loved it. My time was 1hr 16min 10 secs and yes I did beat the 2nd train.

Me at the finish line

After the race I caught the first train back to Belgrave, the train was freezing cold but when I got back to the station Ellie had a Hot Chocolate waiting and as soon as we got back to the car I did a change from a cold wet sweaty T Shirt into something a little more warmer. Followed by heater on in the car and feed at Pancake Palour. I love Pancakes!

Elevation Map of the Course

Course Map