A result (and race review)!

2nd place in my (new) age group behind Rambo in last weekends Barossa Duathlon and I didn’t even realise it until today!

Winter will not let go in Adelaide and the weekend spent in the Barossa was wet windy and cold. One of the side effects of all this training is that you end up being the default designated driver and that was my role on Saturday. With Katie’s work colleagues we spent a great day in the Barossa Valley eating and drinking (no alcohol for me…) culminating with tasting 100-year-old port at Seppeltsfield  winery. I did sneak a few samples of the port but didn’t swallow.

Sunday dawned with the promise of better weather however it was wetter, colder, and windier for the Duathlon. Standing in the gym waiting for race briefing no one wanted to rack their bikes and I was secretly hoping for a poor weather policy to be invoked. Coach turned up to do the race call and pre race brief and the most sympathy we got was to harden up as at least it was a tail wind for the Menglers Hill climb.

There was then a scramble to put on as much lycra as possible as the BOM showed 8 degrees for the entire race with winds gusting to 52kph. Luckily I packed arm warmers and my 2XU cycling jacket and wore both for the entire 3 legs and apart from frozen feet off the bike it worked out OK.

As for my race I yet again showed no self-control with a plan to run at around 80-83% heart rate however whenever I looked at my watch it was in the upper 80’s. It felt OK and now that I have just downloaded the data it came in at an average of 83% – well done? Not sure better check with the Coach. Heading out on the run I knew I would go too quick to start with and tried to keep some fellow Lakers in check (Rambo, Richard et all) however though better of this after 5 km and pulled back a little. 10km was done in 43m57s @ 4m16s/km.

Out onto the bike and it was the first time on the Fuji D6 for a while and with a tail wind to start it felt great. It was all up hill on the way out with 2km of moderate incline and then straight into Menglers Hill summiting after 5km. The top of the climb is a little deceiving as there is a false flat before the summit proper followed by two additional little climbs before the decent. And the descent – with the gusting winds and wet roads prompting a good grip on the aero bars my top speed was a little sketchy at 65kph. The return leg of the loop was all into the wind so it was tough going all round. Two loops of this in 1h22m @ 28.5kph was enough and back to T2.

The beauty(?) of having the race announcer as your coach is that when you are in transition getting your watch off the bike and trying to get the foot pod working again (I love the Polar but this is a hassle) you get a little over the mike hurry up. So anyway my feet were so cold I struggled to get my shoes on but trotted out of transition into the rain again. This was probably the toughest bike to run transition of my short race career as I couldn’t feel my feet hitting the ground for the first half a lap. At this point I knew I had made up a couple of spots on the bike however thought my day was done as I pushed too hard on the first run. 

Nearing the turn around point I saw Rambo crossing ahead of me so thought he was a lap ahead and cheered him on (he gave me a cheer back too). On the second and final lap he was there again and thought that I was doing OK to finish near him and just put in a little more to close the gap. Turning into the home straight I had a quick look back to check I was in the clear and crossed the line. Another race/experience over and all I wanted was a shower.

It reminded me of playing rugby years ago as there was a change room and hot showers for after the race – just a lot more lycra and shaved bodies (not that I was looking). I think I prefer a hot race and a cold dip after rather than a cold race and a hot shower any way.

So felling sorry for Katie who supported me (and Steve) on the cold sidelines I had a quick shower and then we packed up before the race was over for a bakery stop at Tununda and then home. It wasnt until this morning I had a look at the TriSA site to see my time to discover I was 2nd in my age group 1m14s behind Rambo and 6m27s in front of third!

Great result and I don’t feel so bad for not quite hitting the HR marks I set for myself – just wish I had stayed around for the presentations!

Thanks to Triathlon SA for putting on the event and the Lakers for all the support during the race.

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About grantos

Heading towards Ironman WA in 2010
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