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NOOSA TRIATHLON 2011

Noosa Triathlon 2011Noosa Triathlon 2011Noosa Triathlon 2011Noosa Triathlon 2011

Over the weekend I had my first race back after my end of season break. It is one of my favourite weekends in the year as it is on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of Australia in the stunning setting of Noosa. It is a magical place  and when the triathlon is on the buzz is electric, a must visit for everyone at least once.

 

It has been a strange build up for me as I am currently coaching myself, guiding myself through a program I feel suits me with help from people that I trust around me. I put together a solid 5 weeks of training with consistent day in and day out work. I went into Noosa with a goal of using the event as a test to see if my training is heading in the correct direction and to see how I would go after making some changes to how I normally traing. I was very relaxed going into the race and was looking forward to seeing how I compared against competitors still in race season.

 

It is an early 6.30am start to the race on Sunday morning which is always a shock to the system needing a 4am wake up call!  I felt physically good mentally ready to go. The start list had some big names and it was the most competitive field in a few years. The course marshals declared they would be extra strict this year with their non-drafting rules.  It is a deep-water start and the group as always was creeping forward, I was with a couple of athletes who stayed on the start line while the others crept forward slowly. I did not think they would start the race with everyone so far forward, so from the gun I was a little behind the group. It was a rough swim and people seemed to be more aggressive than international racing. I was able to eventually settle into around 4th place in the water comfortably and was just focussing on exiting the water quickly and getting on the bike as fast as possible to put everyone under pressure from the start.

 

I had a great first transition and was 3rd onto the bike. Off we went and the pace was on straight away. I felt good after the swim and was trying to push the pace along from the start, this effort formed a front group of about 6 of us. I felt good and was sitting in my aero bars up the hill trying to push a bigger gear to keep my heart rate under control. I lead over the top of the hill and the chase group caught us at the top as we turned onto the main road. The front group had swollen to around 10 athletes heading out to the turn before we start to head home. There was a wind picking up as we hit the more open roads and small gaps started to form between athletes as the fatigue started to set in from the high pace.  A few of us riding a bit stronger noticed the fatigue levels and really tried to push the pace, I was behind two athletes who I never thought would get dropped from the bunch but to my surprise they were loosing big gaps to the front three. I saw these gaps starting to form so I accelerated around the slower two and bridged across to the main four athletes pushing the pace, I was really hurting from the pace but before I knew it we had opened up a sizeable time gap. We got back to the top of the hill quickly and were touching speeds of 100kmh on the decent. The pace was incredible, so fast, this run was going to be a suffer fest even more so as the heat was really rising.

 

I had a good transition and the crowd was amazing, the crowd had really swollen during the big leg and everyone was yelling. I left transition in 3rd place. And quickly moved into 2nd and tried to get onto the leaders shoulder. My legs felt a little shaky at they start of the run after the fast bike time but I knew I could build into it.  I felt good through the first few kilometres and then as I started to approach the run turn at around the 4km mark my legs started to feel like they wanted to stop. I had another athlete close behind so I knew I couldn't back off at all. I was caught on the way home around the 6km mark and I moved behind him and used the draft to try and rest and get ready for a quick finish.

 

I was hurting and surges kept getting thrown at me that I had to go with and follow. Coming down to the final km I knew I had some good speed in my legs and I was relying on that speed to get me onto the podium. Another surge was thrown at me and I went with it and as they started to slow down I kept pace and was able to build a gap through to the finish.

 

I was over the moon with a 3rd place at the Noosa triathlon and it was great to get a result on a hard race after such a disappointing year. It was an interesting year, I finished only a minute behind the winner who won in the fastest time in the last five years. We rode the bike leg two minutes faster than last year and I won the fastest time up the Noosa Hill, beating all the other professional triathletes and also all the professional cyclists doing the relays! All in all a great day out giving me some confidence I am on the right path. I am now building up for the Hamilton Island triathlon in 3 weeks where I will have some great competition in Craig Alexander and Peter Jacobs who just placed first and second at Hawaii Ironman just recently.

 
 
 
 
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