This car is too small….
It’s been a strange few months – recovering from Ironman SA, dealing with personal life issues and getting over a cold/flu doing its rounds – but fortunately everything finally started coming together in the final couple of weeks before race day. Probably not at full fitness but I had no reason not to have a good race. I was feeling confident and ready.
I generally try and stick to my/Dave’s race plan but I usually get told off afterwards for not! And how I could have done better if I had! So for this race I was really determined to do as I was told, following the usual pre-race day ‘discussion’; and if I won it would all be Coach’s glory and if I came last it would all be Coach’s fault!! 😉
I was a bit wary of the new rolling swim start concept – great for safety and a less congested swim, but not great in terms of racing with the fact you wouldnt know where you’re rivals were. It was going to be an individual time trial and again no reason not to stick to my race plan!
I was hoping for a half decent swim, having recently started to get help from Bianca Marais, and on the whole I was happy with my swim. It just seemed to take forever to get over the backline on the way out to the first buoy and coming back to shore was slightly scary being caught in 2 massive waves.
There was a long run from the beach to the transition tent so generally transition times were 4 or 5 minutes. There seemed to be a lack of helpers in the change tent so was the first time I’ve ever had to pack my wetsuit into my bag which seemed to take me at least 3 attempts!
It was fantastic to ride on the smooth highway. A pretty flat route with a few rolling hills. I was managing to stick to my planned power and all seemed good on the first outer loop. There were a few irritating athletes blatantly drafting who I tried to politely tell not to draft only to be given abuse back. I remembered their numbers and now know who they are. It’s not nice to have such arrogant cheaters in such a beautiful sport.
The second smaller loop was chaos. Far too many people on the road and a slight headwind made for large pelotons. Being totally paranoid about being caught for drafting I tried very hard to keep out of it all. Unfortunately that meant surges to pass the bunches and then the peloton would gain on me so I would have to drop back and then surge past again. Fortunately after the turn around heading back home I managed to get away and apart from people blocking I managed to keep at a more constant power again.
Coming into T2 something didnt feel quite right with my bike but hey it didnt matter now! It sounded like I was riding on my rims. I later found out I had been!! The valve on my back tube that I had thought wasn’t quite right before the race really wasn’t quite right and had been slowly deflating!!
I came out of T2 feeling great and then all of a sudden both my legs cramped up. At the first water table I grabbed water and electrolyte drink and took some anticramp tablets. The cramping eased a bit but the muscles were now tight and sore. For the whole of the run the cramping kept coming back. I’ve had issues with cramp before and it was my own fault for not taking precautionary measures. Recently I’ve not had cramps so I thought ‘if it aint broke don’t fix it’!
The first half of the run I managed to stick with my planned pace but the second half my slight lack of fitness showed as I began to fatigue. I feel I should have run 5 minutes faster so was slightly disappointed with myself.
I had no idea where I was placed as I ran over the finish line; obviously hopeful to have achieved a podium spot. I was very happy to hear I was 2nd 🙂
A huge thanks to my coach, Dave (Wingman Multisport Coaching) – I really did try my best to stick to my planned power on the bike!!
Thanks also to all my friends/training partners. Winter training has been so much easier with such a great bunch of people. And the weekend in Durban was so much fun! Thank you Eugene for being such an awesome friend/mechanic/teammate. We had so much fun in our tiny hire car – its amazing what you can fit in a Hyundai I10!
Thanks to all my sponsors (Gundle, Cyclefunatic, New Balance SA, Zoggs SA and 32Gi) who’s support is invaluable.
35-39 age group: 2nd