Swim 00:42:00 (231/269 & 43/47)
Bike 02:50:53 (149 & 26)
Run 01:43:09 (118 & 22)
Overall 5:19:09 (141 & 25)
Chose this race as it was good timing in building to Port Maquarie in May as well as just before Graham's stag do in Vegas. Another major draw card was that Em's gran lived in Batemans Bay (or nearby) and Em had been coming down to the area for years. Em was due to be doing the sprint tri but as she was now 3 months pregnant had decided/advised not to compete.
I was probably behind on my race prep and training although I do remember high hopes of doing ok (iif everything went perfectly). One major flaw was that I hadn't researched the course and thus when I found out that there was a big hill in it that you had to go over on the way out and back that put paid to any super fast bike splits (or should I say relatively super fast).
Got a lift down to the transition (racking was the day before) from my uncle in law as he was also competing in the super sprint and his partner was attempting the half.
The bay was relatively calm although there was enough chop to put me off my stroke. I had been going to swim squad so was hopeful of being able to crack 40mins (a sign I was swimming well). However, after several waves had gone passed me I realised that I wasn't doing so well. In fact as my first race in Australia the Aussies were showing me how the swim should be done. I came out quite far down.
On to the bike and after a bit of undulation it was up over the hill. Once across the hill there were two flat 'hot' laps which meant down in the TT position and cranking out a big gear. As the time and is clicked by the wind also started to pick up. I was glad to be back over the hill when I was as it was getting quite strong. Down the other side and a few more undulations right into the wind that took it out of you after 85ks already done. The major learning from the race was the heat. First race in Aus and not appropriately prepared for the heat. I had used my normal combination of gels and bars. But had found that I was very thirsty and didn't or couldn't eat the bars. That meant I ran out of gels and was short of food on the bike. I also didn't take on enough liquid from the aid stations. It was to the point that I realised there would be problems on the run even before they got there.
Got back to T2 in 2:50 and the announcer commented on my strong bike. What he meant was how bad was this guys swim if he is just getting in now off that bike. The bike split actually turned out to be my best 90k split in a HIM - go figure (but still in the c50th percentile).
Out on the run and quickly started taking on gels and trying to take on more liquid. Although this is tough to do. I ended up feeling bloated and having a bit of sloshing in my stomach. Not ideal for a fast run split. I was hoping to put in a good run split but this wasn't going to happen. I was taking on liquid at every aid station trying to rehydrate but was too late. I struggled round the course and finished in 1:43. The course was really nice (excluding the wind at various points) passed all the shops and restaurants and out over the bridge. It was nice to sit in one of said restaurants after and cheer in the other competitors.
Coming down the finish shoot I tried to collect Amy (which you are allowed to do in challenge events unlike IronMan branded ones). She wasn't overly happy at leaving mummy and I had to pick her up and run her down the shoot as she started running back at one point. Handed a cooler glass as crossed the line and immediately tried to take a drink, not realising that the liquid I could see was just in the sides of the cup - like some form of torture! I wasn't the only one fooled by this.....
Overall / takeaways:
Really enjoyed the race and location. Great bike ride and views from the 'hot' laps. The run was good for competitors and spectators alike. The Aussies are better swimmers on average. The heat means liquid and hydration is more important as is the choice of food (gels vs solids).