I raced the Sydney age group World Champs race on Sunday. It was a quick visit, flying over Sat morning and back on Monday night. Now I’m very tired and can’t wait to hit the sack!
Results: 2:31:12, 16th in age group
1500m swim / 40km bike / 10km run
I arrived on Sat morning and went straight to the hotel room. I was staying with Emma and Chris Rathbone. Lucky they arrived the night before which meant I could check-in to the hotel early on Sat. I quickly put my bike together and had a wee nap while waiting for Emma and Chris to get back from some shopping. We all went down to registration to drop our bikes in transition.
That’s when I realised how many people were racing, the transition was massive, 2500 competitors. I had 80 in my age group which was bigger than the world champs final last year in Budapest. At that stage, instead of getting freaked out I thought it would be great practice for the swim start. At least it was a deep water one which makes it a bit easier. You don’t have to fight so much for position as you all tread water for a while and sort of claim your own space before the race starts.
After checking in my bike I went to the expo – I am a sales person’s dream. I wanted everything. There was a Dextro Energy tent which had samples of the carbo bars, and also had mineral drinks and tablets for sale. I hadn’t bought any Horleys Replace with me so wanted to buy some of the mineral sachet mix. The sales guy showed me the tabletss and they looked perfect to take during the run to give you energy and they dissolve in your mouth so you don’t need to chew. Perfect! You don’t need water or need to chew. I always find it hard chewing on the bike or the run so the tabs seemed like a great idea.
They also had carbo bars which he suggested to take while on the bike. I bought some of each but had the bar before the race as I already had Leppin squeezies for the bike and didn’t want to change my routine too much on race day as I know that’s not a good thing to do.
I bought two tops from the expo and one for the coach of course from Emma and I I wanted to buy some pink compresson calf sleeves but didn’t – nearly though! They were Compression Sport ones with sparkly things which I began to thing wouldn’t be that good for being aero during a race. but if Chrissie wears them…
In our race pack we got a tri top, a visor and a bag. One of the better race packs I’ve had! At the expo I got my bag and visor signed by Emma Snowsill and Jan Frodeno ohhhhhhh
We were up at 4am on race morning since it was such an early start. I had my usual porridge with rice milk and sipped on water until about 30mins before the race. Between then and the race I had a chocolate flavoured Dextro carbo bar which was really nice.
I was pretty nervous standing in line for the swim. Emma started nearly an hour before me so I got to watch her swim which gave me something to do rather than being nervous. Chris was there too, good to have someone to chat to, to take my mind off things a little. He was a great gear supporter, thanks Chris! Emma came out 4th – awesome! She is a great swimmer. Makes me want to get some coaching on my swimming and join a swim squad.
Then it was my turn!
Swim 25:45, 19th in age group
It was time for my race. I put on my cap and went into the starting pen with all the other white caps. 10 mins before heading in for the swim I had a Leppin squeezie. Then we were in the water claiming our spaces, lining up, the hooter goes we were off! It was an M shaped swim and it seemed to go good. I swam 15sec faster than in Wellington which I’m pleased with. After passing the second buoy there was a bit of overtaking of the swimmers from the groups in front but nothing too hard to swim through.
Out of the swim, up some stairs and a long run to my bike at the far end of transition.
T1 1:29, 10th in age Group
Woohoo I seem to be good at the transitions
Bike 1:10:26, 12th in age group
The bike went well. This time was also faster than Wellington. It had a few hills in it which I felt like I was passing people on. Also on the down hill I felt like I was passing a lot of people. They tended to not be peddling, what was going on?! Whereas I’d put it in a big gear and try and smash it as fast as I could and make the most of it.
The road was pretty shit, I thought I was going to get a flattie. Before the race I was thinking it was going to be really cool riding over the Sydney harbour bridge, but I don’t even really recall much of it except that I think the road was bad on that part.
While I was on the bike I had one drink bottle of Dextro Energy electrolyte drink. It’s real yum! I had the red orange flavour. I also had 2 leppin squeezies and a couple of sprays of cramp stop just in-case.
T2 1:20, 7th in age group
When I got to transition after the bike I was a little sad to see so many bikes already in there. I think there must have been 15 bikes already there in my rows. I threw the handlebars over the bike rack, removed my leppin from my back pocket and threw the new Dextro Energy tablets into my pocket along with the cramp stop that was already in there. I took off my helmet and slipped my feet in my Kona K-Swiss shoes and was off. I passed a girl in my age group during transition. And I had the 7th fastest time – woohoo another great transition!
Run 52:10, 29th in age group
On my way out the run exit I started the Garmin I was wearing. I’d borrowed it off Chris in the hope that I’d make sure my pace stayed consistently faster than 4:30min/km. This soon went out the window. The run started on a hill which went up towards the finish shoot, I noticed on this my first km was 5min. I was shocked and disappointed. I can’t run that speed in a race! The beep went for the next km and it was a little slower! The next bit of the run went down to the Sydney Opera House which was gorgeous, then straight back up to the finish again. This was another long hill. Then turn around back to the Opera House and back again up that damn hill!
On the last lap to the Opera House a girl in my age group passed me. I got a mental plan in my head that I would stay with her until the last 500m then sprint her off. I was going to be subtle and not let her know I was there until the last minute. I had it all planned out until she ran off the course and went toilet. Shit, my pacer was gone! I had to keep up the pace by myself for the last 4km. I could see some more girls in my age group ahead. Usually I never pass anyone on the run, but this time I passed one, then another and I was just thinking “shit, don’t let them pass me back straight away”. I was trying to hold them off and I did. once I got to the last 1km I could see about 3 more so I put my foot down. I passed them all but was really worried they would come and get me. As I was 100m away from the finish I heard people on the sideline cheering really loud around me and I knew someone was coming. ahhhh I had to sprint! So I did and I bet the person – but it was a guy! I was worried it was a girl in my age group.
At the end of the run I was still shocked to see 52min on the Garmin. It was such a bad time although I didn’t feel like I’d had an overly bad run. It was just such a tough run. Do I like the Garmin? Yes! It’s great how it can measure it’s own km’s by using GPS. It would be so helpful in training when my coach gives my 600m or 800m intervals. I want one! Although they are quite large. I didn’t have any trouble getting my wetsuit off though. It does a whole lot more than I used it for but they are a lot of money! $550 on www.wiggle.co.uk at the moment.
ahhhh a good race and I felt like spewing after that last sprint
3 hours pre-race: 1/2 cup porridge & rice milk
1 hour pre-race: Dextro Energy Carbohydrate Bar – chocolate
10 min Pre-race: Leppin squeezie
Bike: Dextro Carbo Mineral Drink with 750ml water, 2 Leppin squezziesn
Run: 3 Dextrose Tablets, water
This is the first time I’d raced with Dextro. I had tried it the day before and really liked it. I was worried at one stage I thought I was about to get the stitch but I didn’t. I’m going to stick with it. Next time I might try the Dextro Liquid Gel too. I think you can buy Dextro products at Countdown in New Zealand. The tablets were super easy to take. I popped it in my mouth and just left it there until it dissolved then swallowed it – about 30 secs later.
The Elite Race
I missed the womens race as I’d gone back to the hotel to shower. The results were:
1. Paula Findlay (CAN)
2. Barbara Riveros Diaz (CHI)
3. Andrea Hewitt (NZL)
3 min video on the womens race
I went back down for the mens race. It was super exciting! Although it started raining as they got on the bike leg I stayed down there drenched, saturated cheering. The Brownlee brothers were damn exciting to watch. They were in the front bunch of 4 on the run and looking strong. After about 7km Alistair slipped on the wet road and lost placings and possibly hurt his ankle. Younger bro Johnathan held on to come second to the amazing Javier Gomez who crashed on the bike and clawed his way back on the bike and run – to run past them all and come first! Man that was awesome. At one point the commentator said Javier was running at 23 km /hr down hill. That’s sub 3min pace.
1. Javier Gomez (ESP)
2. Johnathan Brownlee (GBR)
3. Sven Reiderer (SUI)
Watch a 3 min video on the elite mens race
Because it was raining I didn’t really get good shots but here are a few of my favourites.