I had a great Christmas break and was lucky enough to have a few weeks off work and spent it anywhere but in town. A few days in the alpine region riding, sometime up at the river waterskiing and the majority of the time down the beach getting back into training which included my favourite coastal ride along the Mt Martha coast. Sadly I am still having trouble with my health and injuries with running so I am racing on minimal training but I still love getting out there and having a crack!
Gatorade Round 2 Olympic Distance Triathlon at St Kilda 12/01/14
This was my opening race for 2014 and was Olympic distance. It was earlier than I would have liked but I love racing the local Gatorade series. A big thank you to Aquasphere for sorting me out with a new wetsuit on race morning.
It was a cool, calm summer morning, perfect racing conditions. The swim was one lap. I had a good swim start and got straight onto Grace Devenson feet but I just couldn’t get into a comfortable rhythm and hold the pace and slipped out of the first group. Around the back straight I got onto a set of feet and started to feel better. Not long after I picked my pace up and set about my chase down to the leaders. I swam solo until the last swim can until I realised Madeline Oldfield was sitting on my feet. I drafted her into shore.
We ran out of the water together and set about the chase down to the lead group. Unfortunately I slipped on the wet grass while running around the bottom end of transition and fell on my hip making it a bit tender and also meant I let a gap open up to Oldfield so she got out onto the bike before me. I knew I was usual the strongest cyclist in the field so I put my head down and started to close the gap. I was excited to be racing on my new Specialized S Works Venge thanks to Topgear Cycles and Specialized Australia. Within the first 7km I had caught up and formed a lead pack of 4 and were rolling turns quiet well. After the first lap it was becoming clear that not everyone was doing their share so I put a surge into the turnaround and reduced the group to 3. In the final lap Deverson was started to fatigue and struggling to pull her turns. I wanted to keep the pace high and build the lead on the chase pack as I knew I hadn’t done the run training after my foot stress fracture. After T2 Oldfield hit the lead and was gone, she ran strongly and was a deserving winner. I went out a bit slower as I was not sure how I’d go over 10km. I felt good for the first lap but the wheels feel off in the last 3km and Deverson passed me with 2km to go.
I was very happy to still finish in in third and be on the podium after such a disappointing past 10 months and motivated to try and get my health sorted and form back!
Portsea Swim Classic 25/1/14
Greeted with an icy breeze on Saturday morning down at the Quarantine Station for registration. But as the morning progressed, the sun broke through the clouds as we queued up for the shuttle bus to get down to the start. Portsea is a point to point swim, from the pier to the quarantine station. Its 1.5km with strong current assistance. Warming up the water was beautiful with lots of fish and sea grasses which I could see clearly thanks to my Engine Weapon goggles. The start is one of my favourites with a long sandbar which means lots of dolphin diving which suits me perfectly. I was neck and neck for the lead across the sand bank and then got passed by a few girls. I caught back up with the two of the leading girls as they took the line to the first swim can to narrow and had to swim back against the current. Once around the buoy it’s a very fast swim to the Quarantine station thanks to the current. I was 4th in my wave and 7th overall in Open.
Mt Martha Australia Day Triathlon 26/1/14
Perfect sunny and calm conditions for one of my favourite open water swims. I like it because of the relaxed atmosphere of the race and the beautiful clear water. I felt much stronger in the water here than I did the day before at Portsea which is promising. I got into a good rhythm and was very happy to take home 2nd in the 18-29 years category.
Australian Sprint Championships incorporated in Gatorade Round 3 16/2/14
Deja vu to be back in Elwood with the same wet and windy conditions as greeted us for Round 1 of the Gatorade series. For Elites this was not only the Australian Championships but an ITU Oceanic Cup which meant the field included not only some top Aussie athletes including Emma Jackson but a number of top international athletes including Barbara Riveros from Chile.
Its nerve racking getting introduced as we run down onto the start line but as I was the local athlete it was fun. I had a great swim start and was out through the shore break first. My home ground advantage from swimming open water at Elwood on a Friday morning before work paid off. Sadly my lead was short-lived as I struggled to find a rhythm or stay on any feet in the choppy sea. Fortunately Annalise Jefferies exited the water just behind me and we were able to work together on the bike to try and close the gap to the leaders. Within a lap we had caught Ai Ueda from Japan and the three of us worked well together rolling turns at the front for the remainder of the bike. Thanks to TopGear Cycles for the BG bike fit during the week, I felt compfortable on my new S Work Specialized Venge. Sadly once onto the run I was quickly dropped as I have not been able to do the run training. I finished in 10th position overall, 6th in the Australian Elite Sprint Titles.
Vision Super Central Goldfields Reverse Triathlon
It was a hot and windy morning in Maryborough in country Victoria. The atmosphere at the event was nice and relaxed. It was great to see locals having so much pride in their event, great organisation and even the coffee cart was free!
All women and Open men started first. It was a three lap course around the sports fields. I really struggled to get running, the heat was so dry. I hit T1 a long back from Narelle and three of the ITU juniors. I kept calm because being reverse meant I had my weakest leg, the run, out of the way. The bike was two laps and mainly flat but the wind was very strong. There was times when I sitting on the drop bars to hold straight in the cross winds. I rode through into the lead after the first lap. I kept the work rate high to build my lead and make up for my disappointing opening run. Into T2 and swapped the sunnies and helmet for cap and goggles and “walked brisky” onto the pool deck.
The swim was two lots of 200m’s but done as 50m in one lane, duck under the lane rope, 50m back and so on doing a ‘M’ shape. Then after 200m you got out of the pool, and started the ‘M’ again. The first 100m’s was tough. My arms felt heavy with all the blood still in my legs. We don’t train for the bike to swim transition. I got back into a rhythm and completed the swim in a comfortable pace. I could see that I had enough buffer to hold the lead.
I am very happy to get a win under my belt. Reverse triathlon and country racing was great fun and I will definitely add it to my calendar again next year.
A big thank you to Topgear Cycles, Specilized Australia, Dextro Energy, Engine Swimwear and Aquasphere wetsuits for all your support, it is invaluable!