It was only last Wednesday that I realised this race was on and was very keen on getting out and racing on some local ground, thanks to Phil Dally at TRINSW for getting me on the start list with such short notice. The race was at Kurnell, NSW where I grew up as a youngster and started competing in my very first triathlons 5 years ago, the location and event is great. I hadn't been to race out there for a couple of years and thought it would be a good hit out for my first Triathlon back from Injury. This would also be my first race on the new Giant Propel from Giant Sydney, however, I was expecting to ride my new tubs as well but a pre-race ride the afternoon before resulted in a blow out in the rear tyre and ended up having to put on the heavy trainers. No race wheels and no aero-bars for a non-drafting race, I thought for sure I was going to be in trouble for the ride leg...
Early start Sunday morning, up at 0430 to be at Kurnell for a 0600 check-in, race start was at 0730 with the U30 males being the first wave. The course was a U-Shaped 750m in flat open water, the cycle was 20km out and back with a couple of very minor hills, the 5km run reminded me of school cross country, 3 laps of grass, hills, steps and a little bit of footpath.
After a good run and swim warm up I was on the start line ready to go. I had picked the very inside line to start, as I look to my left I see a huge gap of 20m or so and then every other U30 male bunched up shoulder to shoulder, jostling for that extra centimetre forward. I stayed with my first instinct. The race was on, several strides on the sand before hitting the water and a couple of dives before I was off swimming. As I breathe to the left I see the battle for clear water and I am here with no one else around me, the first buoy 200m away was directly in front of me and the rest of the group was 50m wide of myself. Almost at the buoy and I can see that I am level with one of the guys to the left, I knew that he still had at least 30m to come across to go around the buoy so he wouldn't be able to jump on my feet. Around the buoy and straight up to the other end of the beach for the exit. I came out of the water 1st and turned around to see that I had a huge lead, 45 second gap to be precise. I had a flawless transition and now onto the bike, time to put the Propel to the test, put my head down and pushed every stroke. After the first U-Turn in the side street I saw 2nd place, I still had a good gap but had only been riding for 5km, still a long way to go. I didn't notice much during the race without race wheels but definitely felt the difference not having aerobars, trying to posture up the best I could sitting on the hoods. I had now passed 2nd U-Turn and saw my gap to second place had increased even more, on my way back now and with a little bit of wind behind me, I was getting some weird looks from the other competitors heading towards the U-Turn, kitted with TT bike, rear disc, aero helmet and the rest, me on my roadie.
Coming back into transition now, legs feeling OK, quick transition and onto the run. Bit of a slow start first lap but my run only went uphill from that. Second lap the legs started turning over quicker and technique was falling into place, it wasn't until my 3rd lap I felt I was in full motion running but I was now crossing the finish line in 1st place. It was unofficially 1st as males 30+ were in latter waves but I was pretty sure I had it in the bag.
Finished 1st overall with a time of 56min 30sec, posting the fastest swim and run splits and 2nd fastest ride time of the day by only 5secs! That Propel is insane, so comfortable to ride at pace and extremely aero, can't wait to get the tubs on it #faster
There is a short time before my next race, I will be racing again this weekend even closer to home at the Australia Day Aquathon, looking forward to it.
I will be posting photos of me in action at Kurnell shortly, stay tuned.
Race results: http://www.multisportaustralia.com.au/Home/QuickResults?clientId=1&raceId=977&raceName=Triathlon%20NSW%20Sprint%20Series