Sunday, 25 March 2012

Hillarys Sprint Triathlon

While others are either racing the inaugural Ironman Melbourne or the Kenyir Lake Olympic Distance back home, I had a sprint distance instead. The last time I did a triathlon shorter than an Olympic Distance was probably the extra sprint at the Power Station triathlon in November 2009. But a sprint distance of 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run... I must say, I don't think I have done this distance before. I signed up for this race as I was participating in my friend, Sam's sports science experiment. I got a couple of cool gadgets on loan as a result.

SRM Powermeter Crank

Garmin 910XT watch

I did a ride with the BYL group in the hills the day before. A ride which had me toppling off the bike as I was pedalling too slowly up a very steep hill on Hadrill Road. Nothing major, just had to do the walk of shame up the remaining of the hill. At night, Li-Ann and I were treated to a very nice Korean BBQ dinner at Hwaro Northbridge, to celebrate our friends' registration of marriage - congrats Kiez and Justin!

A late 8am race start meant that I was able to sleep in that morning. I met Sam at the registration and did a pre race weigh in as well as take a urine sample (for the purpose of the experiment! Not all participants had to do this). Then, racked my bike in transition and got down to the beach for a bit of a warm up.

The water was pretty cold but many, including myself didn't have a wetsuit on, so it was still manage-able. The water was calm and the winds were pretty light, with a bit of overcast - perfect racing weather! We were released in waves according to our age groups, there were just over 60 people in my age group. I felt really comfortable in the swim, found a pair of feet to draft. It helped that he was wearing a pair of bright compression calf sleeves!

But when I came out of the water, I was a bit disappointed that my time was over 15 minutes! Obviously, I was too comfortable during the swim! Had a pretty slow transition, guess I'm too used to having transitions in the change tents in Ironman races. Had a really embarrassing bike mount, I tried the fly mount but totally failed! Didn't fall though, just awkwardly had to kick off the ground several times before I could get going.

There were lots of cyclists on the course from the previous waves but thankfully the road was wide enough. At the turnaround point, Sandy who probably finished her long run that morning, was giving us a cheer, thanks! Surprisingly, I caught some of the guys in my age group, which rarely happens in the bike leg as it is my weak link. I must have swam really slow then!

Rode back to transition in just over 38 minutes for the bike split, didn't bother with the fly dismount this time, just slipped my feet off one-by-one with the shoes clipped in. But I had a quick T2 and got into the rhythm soon enough. Was clocking about 4:05 average, the overcast weather helped. Managed to catch a couple more guys in my age group before finishing the run split in 20:34, and overall finish time of 1:14:13. Missed my target by just over 4 minutes! I had the swim to blame but I felt strong on the bike and run. I finished 15th in my age group and 114th overall out of over 600 participants. Full results here.

After the finish, I had to weigh in again and take another urine sample. I lost about half a kilo from the race, which I'm unsure whether is a lot or not. Other than the slow swim, it looks like my training is heading in the right direction and I'm feeling tired but good at the end of each week. I have the Coogee Olympic Distance in 3 weeks' time, another new course for me.

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