Not sure where to start with this one, it’s being a tough year. From broken toes to person and work challenges. This race had mixed emotions and started when I arrived at the airport, did my bag check in and sat at the gate waiting for the chariot to arrive. As other team mates arrived we got chatting and I started to feel relaxed. One of the coaches and I watched as the bikes (and bags) where loaded on the plane knowing a good feeling that at least our bikes had made the flight. As we started board they scanned my gate pass and said we have a problem with your seat. OMG my heart stopped, only to be told I had been moved to a Emergency Row Seat at no extra charge. Start breathing again. I found my seat and we pushed back once in the air I turned on my iPod and basically went to sleep. When I woke it the flight was almost over, we touched down and then started the crazy bit of collecting 2 bags and finding the shuttle bus for the trip to the Hotel.
|The Chariot awaits
|Just one or two bikes for the plane trip
After checking in and getting to my room job 1 was to unpack the bike and make sure it arrived ok with damage. Once the bike was sorted time to head down to the shops for some supplies and late lunch. By the time I completed this task it was time to change and head down for the first of 2 swim practices around the course. After about 500m I noticed that sea lice had eaten me and everyone else in our group. We pushed through the swim and after checking my Garmin at the end of swim I was happy with the pace, training with Anna over winter had paid off. The following morning we meet up for the first of the rides. From Facebook a lot of bikes had not arrived. Basically it seemed you needed to check in 1 earlier and 2 Jetstar seemed to be the problem not Virgin.
|Time to put the bike together
|Sunset in Noosa
The ride felt good to be on the bike back in the sun without 20 layers of winter clothing on. We headed out and up Garmin hill and out along the highway to the turnaround point then back into town and back to the Hotel followed by a little 5km run off the bike. The run was hot and hard. The rest of the day I just lazed the day away.
Friday morning was another ride up to top of Garmin hill and back into town lots of fast pace and swim in the afternoon. During the day I helped out putting up the tent and did the whole expo bit and picked up my race pack from rego. The swim in the afternoon felt good and the sea lice did not make an appearance and was a chance for me to try out the Trisuit before Sundays race.
|Race day home
|Swim number 2
Saturday we did our standard warm up, team pic, ride over the run course little run off the bike followed by a swim. The run surprised me a little I did a 4:45 1km effort – fast for me. It was warm so a dip was needed. Ollie then gave his race day prep talk and do and don’ts of Noosa Tri. Mid afternoon I took my bike down to transition racked it, dropped the air out of the tyres and head back to the Hotel to arrange my race gear and early night.
|Ahhh theres my bike
I didn’t really sleep well the night before not sure why, just didn’t. I got up had some breakfast rechecked all my gear and started the walk down to transition. The queue to get in was a mile long. Not only did you need you helmet on but your timing chip. New for this year. After a good 20min waiting in line got in to transition with some 15mins left before closing time. I checked everything I could, tyres pumped up food and drink on board, shoes clipped in, helmet, run shoes, race belt all on the towel ready to go. The exit out of transition was worse than getting in. The Officials made a call to let us out of the entrance into transition which I took and headed straight to the team tent.
With a close of transition at 6:00am and my wave start 6:48am I was not coming back to the Hotel. I made it to the tent dropped my bag off and headed straight to the bath room. I did what was needed and headed back to the tent and applied sun cream and got ready. Around 6:30 headed over to swim start with a few others. On the way we saw the Pro Men headed out on the bike, they were fast, very fast. As soon as I got to the swim start I dived straight in for my warm up swim then lined up waiting for my wave start. You could feel the current pulling along the start line, but around the back and up to the half way mark would be a push.
The horn sound go time, I swam, I pushed hard, swimmers over the top of me, me over the top of others felt good, felt fun, I was having a ball. I found clear water and started to push. At the final turn your could feel the current change from a push to a pull. We headed for home and passing slower swimmers from previous waves. I ran out of the water feeling good and relaxed. I ran through transition to my row grabbed my bike and ran out, I mounted my bike and started to ride out of town.
I heard the raw from TA Crew on the way through. At this point I had the feet in the shoes, but my strapped up, I spent the new few hundred meters getting my shoes strapped up, tucked into aero and powered on. Through the various roundabouts and speed/crossings until we got out on the highway. I started to prep myself for the climb up Garmin hill, taking other fluids and food on board then started the climb, 14 turns. I’m not a hill climber never have been but I felt ok. Once back on the highway back into aero and speed time. I was feeling speedy all the way out to the turn around and back to the top the hill. I have improved my down hill speeds, but still not wanted to come off I still gave respect to the hill so I sat up and controlled my speed until it leveledout then back into aero and heading back into town. As I came back around the final roundabout I unstrapped my shoes in readiness to get my feet out for the dismount. This year the dismount line was before the final roundabout after a nice quick clean dismount I ran back into transition re-raked my bike and put on my socks and runners and run out.
|Heading out of town
|Out on the Highway
I was not feeling the best in the tummy department, I felt my I may want to throw up. I ran out past the team tent again and head out through the first aid station after a bit of water both on board and a hose down I felt ok and pushed on. At the second aid station I needed to pee, badly, thank god for portaloos. I felt lighter and faster afterwards I kept working my may through aid stations with a sip or two of water and a couple of cups over my head. Once we entered the keys there was residents where out with hoses to keep us cool and keep us going. At the final turn about 1.5km from the finish line it was time to be strong and run home, making sure that the Trisuit was zipped out so that our beloved Coach Greg (aka Zoolander) didn’t have new martial for the awards night. I heard cheers as I passed the tent on the way home to the finish line.
|Race Done - Party time.
I run over the line feeling pretty good. At first I didn’t look at my watch for the final time. I went through the showers and into the athletes recovery area got something to eat and drink or two before heading back to the team tent. When I got back I put on a t-shirt and topped up the sun cream and grabbed a beer and support other team mates home. During this time I look at my watch and noticed at least a 2min PB.
It was not until later that after that afternoon back in the hotel the swim coach, Anna, txt’d me to see how I went. I started to break down the times of the race vs previous years. That’s when I found out I had scored a 6min 34sec PB from last years race. To say I was over the moon was an understatement. My final time was 2hrs 52mins 04secs Later that night we had a team after party complete with a Tri Cake.
|Beer well earned
|Tri Cake Anyone?