With my broken toe just on 5 weeks again and coaches advice I swapped my race from a solo race to a team event. Ellie offered to run then 2 weeks out she went down with an inflamed appendix which needed removal. So I needed a new runner, thanks to my Coach Emma she arranged a run for me and her name was Christina. Christina made it clear she was not a quick runner and I confirmed with her that this was just a training event for me.
On the Saturday before the race Ellie pulled out of a field trip away still recovering from her operation, so I loaded up the car and headed down to Geelong on my own. Before heading down I removed my race wheels as the weather reported high winds for Sunday’s race.
When I arrived I found a park right in front of the race finish and expo area. I walked over to the help desk and change the entry from solo to team, paid the extra $34, collected our kits and registered the team name as “Team Toe”. I went back to the car put the race numbers on my bike and walked the bike down to transition and raced the bike. Being a hot day I dropped the air out of the tyres and headed back to the car and headed down to the motel via a supermarket . After checking in I started on my race prep. Fluid in-take, Pasta dinner, shave my legs, chat with Ellie and an early night.
When waking in the following morning the temperature was around 28c and strong north wind. In the motel where I was staying there were at least 5 other Triathlete’s staying in the same place. When opening the room door there was the standard nod and good luck looks as we all packed cars and headed off. After parking I walking down the team tents and found the Endurance Tent where Coach Daz had arranged for all the TA crew to share, they made us all welcome. I texted Christina where I was and were we should meet and had a chat with team mates while waiting for the 5150 transition area to open and shortly after Christina showed up and we did the form paperwork before heading in transition. While we were setting up Brianna who was doing the 5150 asked if she could use my bike pump which I had no issue with, but as Christina and I were leaving Brianna asked for help as she had pulled the value right out of the tube as I felt bad for her I changed the tube and took a huge chunk of skin out of my thumb. Oh well not much I could but get on with it as Sally (Trivic Tech Officer) asked us to leave as I explained to her we were changing a tyre she asked if we could hurry as much as possible as the 70.3 peeps were due in any minute, and we just made it.
|Home for the Day|
As the 5150 and supporters were watching on we notice some of the athletes were walking into transition. David who did the swim in the 70.3 team event said that it was not pretty, nice strong on shore swell. Before too long it was time to wettie up and get ready to race, as a group we did a warm up swim, Dave was right. As we lined up the wind really kicked in and the waves picked up from around 1m to 2m swell. The horn sounded and off we went, out to the first buoy was hard, couldn’t see it really got smashed around. I found the first buoy and headed down to the next but the swell started to push me into shore and I had to keep on adjusting my course and continued to be smashed right until the final turn into the beach and got a nice push right into the beach. Garmin showed that I swam 1.7km instead of 1.5km not too bad. I run into T1, got the wettie off, on the helmet grab my bike and run out. Sally yelled out you be careful out there. The ride felt good until I hit Point Henry Road, the salt from the salt flats was all over the road right in my face. At the turn I had a good push back and out towards Portarlington. At the turn around that all changed to head winds, it was a dry hot heat. The data showed 70kph winds at 36c (yuk!) at the water stations I grab water and poured it right down the top of me. My Garmin showed a speed of 15kph, dead slow and it was hot, very hot. I was glad to hit the water front, almost done up past the finish line to the turnaround then back into transition. I got off the bike headed into transition where Christina was waiting, racked the bike, took the timing chip off and the race belt and Christina headed out.
|TA Boys at the Start|
|Waiting for the horn|
|Heading out on the bike|
|Heading Back into Town|
|Glad that ride is over|
For me I grabbed my water, wettie and goggles and headed out of transition. I found one of the beach showers and just stood under it for 5mins cold water cooling down. I walked back to the team tent only to find it packed up due to the winds. I found my bag changed out of the Trisuit into my shorts and T-shirt. Michelle who was completing the 70.3 pulled out on 1st lap due to winds, She and I walked down to the finish where we both got a finishers towel and I waited for Christina to finish. Christina said that was a very hard 10km run, at one point she thought she was running on a treadmill. After cooling down and recovering we headed back to the tent area picked up my bike and Christina’s bag. I thanked her for time and being my team mate, said our goodbyes and we headed home.
|Christina at the finish line|
|Post Race Team Pic|
It was one of the hardest races I’ve ever done.
Our final time was 3hrs 15m 35s, but weather had a lot do with this race. We also heard on Monday after the event that 352 people either Did Not Stop or Did Not Finish, that’s 32% of the field. We did not stop, we where one of the finishers.