The strategy paid off.
Off the bike leg I was fresh and settled into my target pace of 3:50/km for the first 5km. The course was two laps of a flat out-and-back along the lakes edge for 2.5km and, aside from the last 50m near the turn-around, the path was wide with plenty of room for passing people. This I made the most of, moving through the field and keeping a close eye so as not to speed up too soon and burn all my fuel in the first lap. And fortunately, by the time I turned for the final lap, the field ahead had thinned out somewhat. I continued to check the heart rate, assess the legs and chase down the field. Then coming into the final kilometre I started to push and reel-in a last couple of runners ahead of me. Judging from their race numbers, either could have been in my age group and not knowing my overall place I wanted to make sure I crossed the line before them. So pushing again I caught both within the final few hundred meters, picking up the pace to a sprint and passing the second just before the finishing shoot. I crossed the line 10th in my age group, 4 seconds ahead of 11th and 53rd overall. My official run time was 00:38:22 and total time 02:09:24.
Overall I was happy with how this race had come together. Placing wise, it was an improvement from 19th in my age group at Robina, but perhaps the level of competition had not made the trip to Canberra. The real success for me was the improvement across all three legs. Factoring in the course distance and conditions, there was a good jump in time and fitness from one leg to the next.
Pippa also had a great race. After an unsteady start in the swim, she made a lot of ground on the bike leg finishing with the 13th fastest time in her age group, before blitzing the competition in the run leg. Her run was the fastest of any female (00:38:53) and 32nd fastest overall. Her total time was 02:25:07 and she crossed 7th in her age group. What's more impressive is the fact she has only been training and competing for 6 months.
Coming up next is the National Age Group Championships at Mooloolaba on the 11th of March, where I will join a dozen other Darwin triathletes. This event draws a big field every year due to its location and offering of double points for those chasing qualification for Worlds. Until then, we get the chance to sharpen up at Lake Alexander on the 4th of March with the Darwin Triathlon Club's Spirit Series # 1, which will also provide an opportunity for non-club members to take part in a short taster ‘Come & Tri’. And for those who haven't tried triathlon before there are free training/introduction sessions on the two Sundays before the event. So if you can swim, cycle or run a little; and/or have friends that can you should either come along and/or pull together a team. More information can be found at http://www.darwintriclub.com/
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