Had fed and hydrated better than ever before, with salt in everything I drank and ate. I was about 3kg lighter than Yeppoon and felt much more confident for this race. Was still pretty nervous before the start though, still felt that the run was an unknown and wasn’t sure how I would go.
No messing on the day, had a powerbar and bottle of opti for breakfast at 4 and drank water from then on. Got my wetsuit on and went to the aquashop tent to get them to check it. Had new goggles and jumped in the water about 10 minutes before my wave start. Did about an 8 min warm up then waited for my wave start. I wanted to do a decent warmup as I have noticed my shoulders hurt in the warm up in training and then I don’t notice it after. But I have never warmed up properly before because I have thought of myself as a poor swimmer and wanted to make the swim as short as possible! They delayed the starts and so I had to wait a while. Probably could have done another warm up but didn’t bother.
Started the swim on the inside a couple of rows back, after the start I swam quite hard and concentrated on good technique and sighting the buoy. Went around the first buoy on the inside and started looking for someone to sit on. Was in the main pack until about half way but then somehow got a bit off course and lost the pack. When I got back on course I was about 40m off the pack with no one in-between, I couldn’t catch them but at least I had clear vision to the end.
The next wave caught me right at the end (45-49) so I lost 5 minutes to them. Out of the water in 34:43 to the mat. Not a great swim, but not too bad, I was in a good frame of mind going into the bike.
Had a fast transition onto the bike and was going in no time. Heart rate was up a bit to about 160, so took it quite easy to start with, once it had gone down to about 145 I felt good and tried to get into my rhythm. I took 4 bottles on the bike, 1 opti with 5 scoops on the down tube so I could grab it easy and take a swig throughout the ride. I had 1 endura and 1 water on the back and 1 endura in the aero bottle. I could have only had 3 bottles and taken a water off the aid station but it’s a flat course so weight isn’t really an issue and I could have water from home which im used to. I started drinking as soon as I was going on the bike.
I was passed by Clayton fettell almost as soon as I was going on the bike, he was absolutely flying! I expected to be swamped by the pros soon after but they didn’t pass me until half way through the second lap (3 laps on the day due to Kirken road being resurfaced) Their pace was quite slow compared to fettell and I ended up riding behind that group for a while, then they started to up it so I let them go. The wind on the bike didn’t bother me too much, I used a high cadence (110) when riding into the wind, then used a bigger gear and about 85 on the downhills to change things up a bit.
I took it very easy on the bike and had average heart rate of 147, legs felt good but my back was a little tight, I took the opportunity to stretch often on the downhills and when the wind was behind. I passed a lot of people on the bike and only really got passed by the pros and a couple of others, so that was encouraging, especially as I got out of the water with the leaders of the 45-49. Although the second place guy of that class drafted off me the whole way!
I drank all my drinks with half a lap to go so I took a water at the last aid station and drank half of it. It wasn’t very hot and I wasn’t sweating much. Got off the bike feeling reasonably fresh in 2:30:20. I didn’t have any gels on the bike this time.
I took two flasks of endura and 2 gels on the run, and had a big swig out of another in transition before starting the run. I also had one of those small bottles of red bull which is about the size of a lipstick. It was for emergency only!
My plan for the run was to sit on 80% and see how it felt, I didn’t take any time splits at the km points or the laps. I just looked at my heart rate. 160 felt a bit high so I eased off a touch. I felt like I was running a good pace and was passing a lot of people, and only getting passed by a couple every now and then. I felt like I was running at a pace that I could sustain throughout the race. I was watching other people a bit but kept telling myself to stay in my own square metre, which seemed to work. I was breathing reasonably hard but in a good rhythm. I had a gel at 10 km and sipped the endura throughout the race. I never touched the red bull but felt like I should have had the other gel. I wore my racing flats, which I think reduced fatigue overall, but made my feet hurt a bit by the last 4km. Nothing I couldn’t handle though but I might get some lightweight shoes with a bit more cushioning for Busso. I only took water from the aid stations, 2 cups, one over my head and one to drink. I never walked a step on the run although it took some mental strength to not walk at a couple of aid stations. I was still passing a lot of people on the last lap of the run and very surprised to be pulling away from some fast guys. I didn’t look at my time on the run until the 20km point, when I realised I was going to smash 5 hours and run under 1:40 I couldn’t believe it! My run time was 1:38:48 for a total time of 4:43:50!
My aim before the race was to swim 35min, bike 2:35 and run 1:45. This is the first time I have ever exceeded my expectations in even 1 segment let alone all 3. Its also a PB half Marathon for me, although I have never raced one straight.
I was 68th out of 125 finishers in the swim, 14th on the bike and 25th on the run for 22nd in my age group. I finshed 86th overall. my first time to break the top 100. It was a petty good day for racing, not too hot and a little bit of wind. I am looking forward to Busso now with a lot more confidence than after Yeppoon.