Up at 0430 race morning for the drive to Elwood, the weather was definitely not ideal for racing, upon arrival it was cold, raining and very strong on-shore winds. Checked-in and bike racked but only got about ten minutes of running before the rain was too much, also the air temperature was cold and made the decision to pass on the swim warm up and resort to dry-land stretching. All the athletes were together now on the beach ready to pick their spot on the start line, I was ranked 28th and all the outside spots had been taken as there was a strong current running left to right. I was determined to start as far left as I could so I ran to the inside and stood right behind the 1st guy ready to jump straight on his feet.
The race was on, short run on the beach and into the water, the bottom was a bit uneven so wasn't able to run and diving was a bit of a struggle. I was now out past the choppy breakers and right on the feet of who I started behind, we were swimming well wide, just letting the current bring us to the turning can out the back. The swim was extremely rough but had a decent group to swim with. I came out of the water with five other guys thinking this was the lead pack but running through transition I heard someone yell out 20secs... I didn't realise until then that I was second pack and there was three out front. Smooth transition and out onto the bike with the group, the first 5k we worked really well and I definitely thought we had a chance of catching them but as soon as we hit the turn around and started riding into the wind, the pack shattered. The group behind caught up and we had only very few trying to work at the front, the wet weather didn't help either and the front group was getting further and further ahead. About 1k before transition I went off the front to get a lead on the group and have a clean T2. Great transition and out onto the run. Felt good coming off the bike but it wasn't long until the guys from the pack started overtaking me, I tried to stick with anyone who passed but just didn't have that extra gear. Once I hit the turn around the head wind was fierce and my run started to get ugly but after a km of battling it came good again and my rate picked back up. Across the line and done for the day.
Overall pretty happy for my first major race placing 17th in the Elite Oceania Cup. Racing against such a high quality field allowed me to pin point the areas I need to focus on in order to improve my results for upcoming season. This is only the beginning, look forward to some positive results this year.
Loved riding the Giant Propel for my first ITU race, such a responsive bike and handles great. Couldn't be happier with the setup, thanks Giant Sydney.
This was also my first race in the Newton MV2, these are fast! My run is still slowly coming along but having these shoes to race in makes a big difference, the 5 lugs on the midfoot keeps my running in form during the whole leg, thanks http://newton-running.com.au/