Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Huskisson Long Course Triathlon

After racing the Nepean Triathlon back in October last year I was keen to do more non-draft racing after borrowing a friend's TT bike. It sat in the back of my head for a while until I came across a cheap TT bike, this was a sign and have found myself training for long course/70.3 racing for the past couple of months. I have been enjoying the change in training, the increase in bike k's has been good and the swimming has eased off a bit. I suffered an injury which put me out of running for almost all of January but still had a few weeks prep before the race.
I had been planning to race Huskisson long course at the start of the year but wasn't sure how long this injury would take to recover, ended up entering a week out after getting the all clear. I was really keen to head down to Huskisson, especially for a different event, it's such a great place and the atmosphere down there is awesome. I put myself in the Elite category backing myself for the swim, bike and to see what the run brings. Quality field in the Elites, some strong athletes listed and a total of 19 turned up on the day.
Headed down to Husky on Saturday for registration and some pre race training. It had been overcast all day but a couple of minutes into my ride the rain started to come down and didn't stop until I had finished, perfect timing. Bike into transition, quick dinner and off to bed ready for an early start.

Up at 0445 ready to go straight into transition, still pitch black outside it was a bit tricky setting the bike up. Had a short run and headed down to the water for a good swim warm up. Everything was now done and ready for the 0630 race start, little nervous but keen as to get going.
There was a bit of confusion as to where the swim start line was, the field was a bit staggered and a lot of us (including myself) got caught off guard when then gun went off. I was a bit behind at the start and had to sprint my way to the front and ended up taking everyone with me. For the first lap I lead a long train of swimmers but on the start of the second lap I darted off course for a bit to shake some of the guys and ended up with only one left on my feet. The second lap was a lot harder, passing through wave after wave of other athletes scattered all over the course. Exited the water 1st with Russell closely followed and a 20-30sec gap on the rest. Smooth transition but by no means my fastest, out onto the bike ready to tick over 83k.
Appleton had a speedy transition and was off in a hurry, he wasn't seen again. The bike course was 3 laps and quite undulating making it hard to hold a constant pace, I rode towards the front of the guys chasing Appleton but he was putting 2mins into us each lap and there was no reeling him back. I was happy with how I rode, paced myself well and felt strong throughout. Wasn't happy though when my power meter dropped out after 1:20hr. Came off the bike, legs feeling a bit shaky, much faster transition and was out onto the run just trailing 2nd.
A few guys went out hard but I settled into a pace I had hoped to hold for the next 20k. Legs were feeling alright... for the first 10k but then it got real ugly heading out onto the second lap. Stride rate dropped right off and calves started to burn, I slowed down a lot and had to focus every little bit on turning the legs over the get to the finish. I didn't think I was going to make it with 2k to go and had a quick walk to re-gather and finish off the last part.
Finished 7th Elite in 3:47hrs. Bit of mixed emotions at the end, stoked to finish my first long course and especially in 7th position but disappointed my run let me down so much. Deep down it was kinda expected considering I didn't run  through January due to injury and haven't ran near 20k in over a year. Really keen to get my run going and look forward to the next one.
Thanks everyone for the sideline support and my awesome sponsors. Such a great event in Huskisson, look forward to returning next year.

Results-  http://www.multisportaustralia.com.au/Home/QuickResults?clientId=1&raceId=1200&raceName=Husky%20Long%20Course

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