Yesterday was Round 2 of the Gatorade Series at St Kilda. First race for 2015 and post-Christmas break, it was always going to hurt.
Thankfully the forecasted wet weather did not eventuate and race morning was beautiful and sunny and the water was clean and calm, perfect conditions for a swim.
The race started with a rookie error as Grace Devenson and myself were mucking around at the start and meant that we were not prepared when the gun went off and started a step behind the other girls. The swim start was quiet shallow with a bit of wading and dolphin diving so we made it to the front before we started swimming. Grace set a solid pace and I was really struggling to hold here feet with my rib/shoulder issues and dropped off the pace halfway to the first swim buoy. By the second turning buoy she was out of sight and I have been caught by the two girls coming though. I had lost over 30 seconds in a 600m swim by the time I reached the shore, not a good start. I sprinted up the beach to try and minimise the losses but had no strength, I was feeling really tired already. After a not so speedy transition I was onto the bike. I caught up to the two ITU junior girls I had exited the water with. Sadly they didn’t have enough speed on the bike nor the strength to push the strong headwind so it was going to be a solo bike leg for me. I pushed hard on the first lap and started to close the gap to Grace but on the second lap I faded and lost ground. I couldn’t afford to back off to much as Kate Bramley was powering through the bike leg from behind.
I knew I had my work cut out for me on the run just to try and hold for second. Grace was over a minute ahead so there was no catching her in my current form. The first half of the run was into the headwind. I went out in with a solid pace as I know Kate would be chasing from behind and I didn’t have much of a gap. I was happy to reach the turn around and get the tail wind home. Eventually I reached the 1km marker to go. I was determined to not get overtaken in the closing kilometre again so I picked it up all the way to the finish chute. Phew, I held on for second. Good feeling to be back on the podium.
First race back is always good to see where you are at and provide the much needed motivation to get some quality training in before Round 3.
1. Grace Deveson 1:13:16.3
2. Penny Hosken 1:15:10.3
3. Kate Bramley 1:15:33.3