Race Report – Dare 2 Tri Race 1
Once again, I ventured out on another hit out to see how the body would hold up in a short, sharp race situation. This time, it was a local race in a saltwater lake so no swell to contend with. The goals were to simply refine my transition skills and to push hard from the start then maintain the rage for the entire race. Either way, it was going to be a day to leave it all out on the course!
Swim – 12:29
Despite being in a lake, there was a visible swell present – unfortunately it was against me for the longest leg of the course. I used this opportunity to position myself well at the start, then push as hard as I possibly could. My plan was relatively simple – find someone’s feet to follow and stick to them like white on rice. One problem with that, however, is that it requires someone in front of you. Within the first three minutes I had etched out a slight lead over the rest of the pack, and suddenly I was on my own – definitely a first! Rounding the first buoy, I felt the change of swell start to push me along, which presented me with an opportunity for me to really sink in to a rhythm and gather momentum. I left the water feeling very fresh and ready to hit the bike – a complete shock seeing as I had cut nearly two minutes off my previous PB for the swim!
T1 – Too Long
T1 was still a little bit of a shambles, yet an improvement over the weekend before. I had practiced getting the helmet on before taking the wetsuit off completely during the week, however it was still not pretty. I eventually got the wetsuit off, grabbed the bike by the saddle and hit the bike course. Additionally, my feet didn’t slide easily into the shoes, which then took a while to get sorted – at least this occurred whilst I was still moving in a forward direction! Lots of lessons learned from this, hopefully we will see some improvement over the race season.
Bike – 39:08
After sorting out the troublesome transition, I managed to stretch the legs out a bit on the bike. I am used to maintaining about 36 – 36.5 km/h on the bike, so when I saw 38km/h into the headwind I was a bit shocked. After a quick ego check, I realised that I was feeling extremely good and wanted to test the engine out a bit. I started to use the power meters to dictate my output to save any overexertion throughout the ride. Overall, I managed to hold an average of over 250 watts for the bike portion, something that I was extremely pleased with considering the upcoming 6km slog. I finished up with the third fastest ride for the day, not a bad outcome at all.
T2 – Still too long as well
T2 was an interesting situation. The bike didn’t rack properly with the handlebars, something that would slow the overall process down. Once it was secured safely, the remainder of the transition went relatively smoothly, smashing my race flats on, then grabbing my visor and sunglasses so I could don them on the run. Out I went, with one competitor right in front of me and a handful up ahead.
Run – 22:38
With one athlete ahead, I knew that I had to hold my ego in check or else I would completely blow up early on. I checked the heart rate out, and settled into a rhythm at just over 160bpm. I caught up at just under 1km, which I ran at 3:48. I remember thinking, ‘good, this is going right to plan’. This other competitor was simply not going away however. He sat on my shoulder the whole time – smart on his behalf. Both of us caught and passed another runner at about the 4km mark, which gave me a little bit of extra energy and enthusiasm to keep pushing. At the 5km point, however, both of our watches beeped (to indicate another km down), and I heard the breathing of my new best friend increase. Within the next 100m he had passed me. I tried to hold him, however he was just too fast – he had clearly been using me as a pace setter for the first portion, then left me in his trail in the last portion – I ran the last km in 3:38, so not overly sluggish, however I simply didn’t have the legs to match him. Hats off to him, that is wise racing!
Turns out, however, he had been racing in the open category who had a two minute head start on me – so I finished on the clock at 1:50 ahead. Overall, I had come second, two minutes behind the winner (and a professional athlete to boot), won my age group, and set a new PB by over 7 minutes – a significant improvement in a race that only lasted 75. Yes, my transitions still needed some refinement, but I can honestly say that I left it all out there and had an absolute blast! Now it’s time to turn my attention to my long course season. I simply can’t wait, it’s going to be a cracking season!
See you all out there.