Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Triathlon World Champs in Auckland

Yesterday i competed in my first Triathlon World champs. Auckland was really buzzing with an influx of lycra clad, carbon wheeled, sperm hat looking athletes. An awesome thing to be a part of.
The day started early accompanying the boss down to her race. Sam was having a crack at the sprint distance as her 3rd ever tri.
Watching the sprint distance athletes go off sparked a bit of excitement. The goal of the day was to have a good bike split, not swim too far off course and survive the run. The swim started off with a long wait on the pontoon. Butterflies were abuzing in anticipation for the chaos to follow. 93 mid 20's males full of adrenaline is just asking for a bit of biff-o in the water. The hooter sounded and the chaos began. I've always been good at the 50m sprint, unfortunately for me the swim was a bit longer and inevitably the field swallowed me up. Time to settle into a rhythm. The first bouy rounding was fun. I was 2nd inside on a 6 wide funnel. one side of my goggles got taken out of commission. All good, there's always the other eye. The rest of the swim went well. Another competitor even gave me a foot massage all the way along the back straight. I needed it after the barefoot warmup run on the tarmac before the race. I let him know i had had enough with a polite kick in the face. He understood, must be a universal language.

The transitions were tough. Long carpet and tarmac runs. i was relieved to get too my bike. Time to lay down some smack. Shoes on and i was away. There was an endless line of athletes from my age group to reel back thanks to my average swimming ability. Hitting Gladstone i decided to get this campaign underway. I stood up to power around the first corner. Ewwwww, better rethink this as the legs were filling with acid like the sinking Rena. Triathlon riding is a little different to trying to burgle stravas during the lunch hour.

I really enjoyed the bike course. Its not often you get to really lay it into corners when the roads are open. Thanks to Rich (https://www.facebook.com/#!/RtkPhotographer) from Mt Eden Cycles, i had a camera on board filming the entire ride. Theres a few good passing manoeuvres, trying to negotiate around slower riders. Keep tuned for some footage. It was mounted just in front of my stem between the aero bars so catches a bit of each hand for most of the filming. Unfortunately at times the hands combine to look like someones arse crack so the video ends up looking like its film from inside someones bottom.

All too soon and the ride was over and time for a gallop. By the time i got to rack my bike, i was already asking myself "are we there yet". It always feels really slow transitioning to running after cycling but i kept myself restrained and checked the GPS for pacing. Pretty soon into the work i was joined by Rob whom i battled throughout the race in the Auckland ITU event the year prior. We race together for the entire first lap. I managed to put about 10m into him early on the second lap but couldn't seem to pull  away any further. You could definitely tell the calibre of the field with the speed some guys were running past me. With about 2km to go i really started to feel it. My running form was out the window and i was in survival. I could here Rob behind me from shouting spectators. I knew he was coming, i knew i had nothing. I tried to pick it up with 1km to go but that was a joke. He past me heading into the finishing shoot and gap the shit out of me. I looked back and in relief there was no one else. I spotted Sam and here family so busted a short exhausted attempt at an "aeroplane". Fun race all in all. Plenty of support and atmosphere.

I ended up 15 th overall out of a field of around 90 starters. 2nd fastest bike split.

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