Greetings from down under where the BMC race season is now well under way following the year-end MelbourneMan warm up race.
Ten days before the first race this year, Melbourne had its worst rainfall for a hundred years, nothing is small scale here. The result was that the local beaches were closed to swimmers due to pollution, the storm drains simply overflow into the sea, yuk.
As race one loomed the temperature rose and the beach only got the all clear from the pollution the day before. By then the temp was 37′ and forecast to be 34′ on race day, and there was a night time minimum of 29′. Lots of drinking to hydrate on Saturday . Come Sunday, a twenty minute ride to the start, registration is quick, but they still hadn’t found, following their office move, the watch I supposed to pick for having won the the series last year, most frustrating. Temp was now 30′ and a strong wind blowing, and more drinking. It was a flat sea for the 600m swim, and wave start of about 50, a reasonable swim, ok transition and out on the bike for two laps of closed (of course) dual carriageway roads. After about 8k my energy dissipated and I slowed, a not too bad first lap, but a definitely slow lap 2 inc sitting up and free wheeling, something was clearly wrong!. Thro transition ok but out on the run I was reduced to walking after 500m, not a good feeling, a mixture of walking a running for the first k then a less than happy run to the finish with only one more walk. My worst ever triathlon and it was only a sprint. Quite a few dropped out and one guy said it was far worse than dong his ironman last year. Dehydration was the problem, I assume. I then heard that not long after the swim the beach was closed as a shark was sighted, just as well I could swim fast enough at the start, thanks Brian. But I recovered fine and got my mind ready for race 2 a week later, but would I be ok?
Anyhow, gentle training was ok for the next week to be ready for the ‘Enduro a sprint, with a 250 swim, 10k bike and a 2.5k run, then all done again, so 5 transitions in all.
The temp had dropped to the high teens so it was a cool ride to the start. Quite a rough sea for swim, waves of about 1m which others found difficult but ok for me. I reached the first buoy in a pack, with sighting easy from the top of the waves, and a good first swim, longish run to transition, and a good first bike lap, closed roads again, but then towards the end I got a penalty for drafting, my first time ever! A ‘discussion’ with the motorbike referee did not change the outcome. I think I had not dropped back enough when overtaken, they normally warn you, but not this time. So it was 3 minutes in the sin bin where at least I had a rest and a relaxed digesting of a gel. A good transition and what felt to be an easy and good first run. Fortunately I was not too hot when it came to entering the warmish sea for the second swim, no wet suit this time, ano goodish swim and T1 (T4 actually) and out on the road for the second bike, then thro T5 and ano good run and I was fine, with a good time, about 2 minutes slower than five years ago, and second place. All in all, a satisfactory outcome and relief after the previous race. I am now looking forward to race 3 in 3 weeks time, and if I am OK, a fourth and final race the week after that. And I have just had an e mail to say they have found my watch, so all’s well that ends well.