The Cairns 70.3 was a great way to kick off my 2015/16 Triathlon Season. Albeit under gloomy skies, this is surprisingly becoming the norm for this race over the journey. An alarm at 3:30am was a bit rough though!
I had high expectations leading into the race, my training had been consistent and certainly my body was 100%. It was all about race day.
30 mins before the race I consumed my International Protein ISO Cuts (Vanilla Latte) shake, with a scoop of Extreme Carbs. I’ve done this for over 8 months now before any session over 2 hours. In my first water bottle on the bike is 1 scoop of International Protein Amino Recovery and a scoop of Carbs. The combination of these two consumed within 1 hour of each other, really seems to sit well with me and sustains me from gels till at least 90 mins of race time.
This was my first “Rolling Swim Start”, and I was Number 1 into the water, I’m not sure whether this was the right move. Ultimately a swim time of 25:51 (4th Rank), would suggest it was given conditions. In the end I think around 30 people swum past me during the swim leg overall, there may have been faster times, but they may have started 2 mins after me. This does make it hard on the run leg trying to work out where you truly stand in the field. At the end of the day I suppose you just race as hard as you can, but for me there’s nothing like seeing your category letter on a right calf 100m up the road. It's almost “live baiting”.
T1 was a heavy sand run into a long winding transition area. I could have been faster through here, but I was hurting in the lungs and felt dizzy at some points. Onto the bike and heading north towards Port Douglas for the first 30 odd km.
The first 25km was relatively lonely, as I worked my way through some FPro’s and a smattering of AG Males. The odd AG Male team time trial would eat me up and spit me out, I’m not one to jump on the back of the train. I’ve never had a drafting penalty in any race, I simply hate cheats and like to sleep well at night. I was really dirty when heading south up Rex’s lookout I was swallowed up by 3 (30-34) “G” category riders in a group of 6. In the end they would put 8 mins into me on the bike, and that was the difference in the end. It took every fiber not too jump on the train, knowing this would ultimately hurt my result.
There was a relatively stiff headwind heading back into town of about 30kmh. From the 35km mark until the 87km mark, nobody passed me. I ground it out averaging 36kmh for 60km, getting all the nutrition I needed in. At the 87km of the 90km bike leg, coming through the speed humps in town approximately 30 AG Males tooted past me into T2. I was furious, but made a promise that not one of them would run down the finishers chute before me. Bike time was 2:28.
Running out of T2 I felt heavy, too heavy. I’m not happy with this and need to address this over the next few months. 1km – 8km was simply a constant battle, after 3km I was 37 secs ahead of my target pace, at the 8km I was over 2 min over my target pace. I got hit with the weak a piss bat. I tried to feed off the crowd turning into the second lap, I knew I’d lost ground to a few. Perhaps it was because it had been over 8 months since my last race, but I’d lost that ‘killer instinct’. From 9km – 21km, I ran as hard as I could and left it all out there. I set myself to run sub 1:20 before the race, I finished with a 1:27 (2nd Rank). Well and truly over my goal, however relative to the field I’ll take it.
I finished in 25th place overall and 4th in the 30-34 category, in 4:26.23. With the big picture in mind, I’ll take much from the race and build that into the next. Much like Geelong before Melbourne in 2014, there’s nothing like the exam of a race to truly tell you where you’re at. 4th doesn’t sit well with me at all, it’s burning my insides.