Following on from friends back home doing Powerman Lumut last weekend, over here I just took part in the Power Station triathlon (it's held near an old electric station) in North Cogee. I've raced this event religiously since 2006, which is the year I made a comeback to triathlon after 2005's layoff when I first started work and ballooned 12kgs heavier! Incidentally 2006 was also the year I met Li-Ann... coincidence? Maybe hehheh.
Darling and I had an early morning, waking up at 4.50am, arriving at the race venue at about 6.15am. We had a panic call from Eric, who's doing his first sprint triathlon, that he lost his way. But he eventually got back on track and arrived still way ahead before his wave start. We then proceeded with the usual business - race bib collection, bike racking, transition setup, stretches, semi-listening to the race briefing, last minute toilet visits. The race turnout seemed to have doubled (if not tripled) from last year!
Eric's wave started at 7.15am, 15 minutes before mine. So after seeing him off and wishing him good luck, darling and I walked further down the beach for my 1000m swim start. Somehow, I always looked so tiny among the Aussies.
It was a straight line swim along the shore. The water was pretty choppy but the currents were in our favour. I got some tiny sting spots on my right wrist, as opposed to Eric who was hit by massive ones on his abdomen and across his chest. I guess peeing in your race suit right before the swim start is the secret weapon to avoid stingers! It worked for me last year, it worked again this year!
I came out of the water in 14 minutes flat, the currents were definitely in our favour! Though I wonder why I've always stuck my tongue out in swim finish pictures :P
T1 was a bit of a disaster. The 25 minutes of fly bike mount practice the weekend before did NOT pay off at all! I guess my legs were still a bit wobbly from the choppy swim, I struggled to balance on one pedal and swinging the other leg across. After several failed attempts and potential collisions with the other competitors, I unclipped and put the shoes back on before cycling off. Total T1 time was 2:10 including the run up from the beach.
It was the same bike course as last year, with the many turns and tight corners. But at least this time the roads are all nicely tarred. Unlike last year, when is was still incomplete, we had to cycle on gravel. Oh, another blunder from T1 was the fastening of my helmet. In my hurry, both straps were in front my ears, rather than around my ears. No wonder my vision was partially blocked! Only managed to adjust them after the first loop.
I still need a lot of work on my turns. I'm turning so slowly whilst others are just whizzing past. Also, I still find myself being overtaken not only by the elite but by the average cyclists as well, like the guy below, who overtook me just after the shot was taken. Sigh... still a weak cyclist.
I finished the 30km bike course (30.8km according to my speedometer) in 1:00:39. Fly bike dismount was much smoother although a bit slow and cautious. Slipping into my run shoes wasn't as smooth as I wanted. My shoe laces got stuck in between the shoe tongue. T2 time was 1:06.
Historically, I'm pretty fatigued when it comes to the run of this race. But this time, I was feeling pretty strong, and was just eager to catch up with those who overtook me on the bike. I guess Ironman training helps with sprint races too!
Eric actually finished his race just before I started the run. He clocked 1:28:58, just slipped under his target of 1.5 hours! Well done, Eric and you're now a triathlete!
Back to my run, it was a 3 lap course - totalling 6km. Like the bike course, it was pretty windy. And there was headwind on the going out lap. But one thing I learned my long training sessions, is to keep composed and not overpush it, as for every headwind, there would be a tailwind. And yes, the tailwind on the coming back lap was such a relief! Also, the thunderous cheers from Eric and Li-Ann at the end of each lap kept me going strong!
From the pictures above, it seemed like I'm a heel striker. But I've always thought I'm a forefoot striker, hmm. Anyway, I finished the 6km run in 26:09, 50 seconds quicker than last year. Completed the race in 1:43:28, 3 minutes quicker than last year and 16 seconds quicker than my personal best when the bike course was slightly shorter!
I was 7th out of 22 in my age group and 46th out of 111 overall. We hung around for the prize giving, hoping to get some draw prizes. But we had no luck. I did get a lot of nice bike compliments on my Faith though, hehheh. We then adjourned to Toscanini's in Bicton to reward ourselves with a big breakfast.
And of course, we cannot forget our dedicated cheerleader/porter/photographer. Thanks, darling!
Ironman training to start this weekend!