Challenge Gold Coast
What a great way to be welcomed to the world of being a professional athlete!
We booked an extra day either side of our trip in hope of a tan. However the Goldies yearly quota of rain seemed to come the week that we were there!
Unfortunately my bike took a few knocks in transit, the fairing snapped and derailleur was a bit on the crocked side. Thanks Palm beach supercycles for sorting it out asap. We also made the mistake of not getting a rental car, 15+km of walking on the first day led to Kris purchasing a push scooter from cash converters to keep up with me on my bike.
It had been a while since I’d raced and I was feeling the nerves a few days out. I think Coach Chris Pilone and Kris had more faith in me than I did in myself. My pool swimming didn’t seem to be translating that well to open water, (NZ waters were too cold to test this out earlier) and my legs a tad heavy. Taper period is tricky, you tend to feel more lethargic and tired than mid training block. I overcame this with a decent sleep In one day out from the race, this meant waking up 6 hours earlier on race morning but least I felt fresh!
Race morning came all to quickly. By the first buoy in the swim the nerves had turned to adrenalin! I was in fact sitting in second place and feeling comfortable. I had my own water for all but the first 100m of the race. I exited the water with numb feet 31 seconds down on Annabel Luxford. Onto the 40km bike – shortened due to the weather conditions. There was an 18% hill in the middle of the original 90k course that would have been messy had the race orgainisers not shortened the bike leg. Onto the undulating course, I rode hard hoping to gain back lost time, catching up around the 15km mark.
I existed T2 with Annabel and decided to sit with her on the run, I have worked on my running over winter but I haven’t run a half since last season and wasn’t entirely sure what I could do. At the 18km mark I knew I had enough left in the tank to give the run a bit more of a push. I made a surge and picked up the pace for the final 3km to make it through the finishing banner in 1st place where I was welcomed by a giant, and heavy stein of beer! It was an overwhelming win to say the least and topped off by winning the Royal Package to Bahrain made for the most satisfying race in my pro triathlon career yet!
Cheers Brendon and Chelsea from the The event Crew, fantastic race! Nat and Dave for putting us up for 5 days! Blueseventy for getting me a spanking new helix last minute! And Cyco and floebottle for keeping me riding fast!