Walking around the expo as the excitement starts to come together. I love the atmosphere that these races give out. The opportunity to catch up with so many different people from around the world is just (in the words of Blinky Bill) extraordinary.
Race day was a bit chaotic with an early start and a fair walk to catch the bus out to race venue. I get everything sorted out in transition, double; triple checking over everything making sure I was all set. I catch up with a couple of old training partners and find out what they have been up to, anything to keep my mind off the freezing morning.
The swim start was run a bit different, it was in a 1 lap M shape (2 laps for the people doing the full distance) and we started as the main group was starting their second lap. That slowed me down a little as I had to try and push through them to get anywhere. I had a good swim and I got out in front early, however I made the mistake of getting in the bunch of IM competitors too early.
I got off the bike and through transition pretty good. My legs were pretty sore but I just set my mind to finish mode and made it from aid station to aid station. The run into town was long, hot and unshaded. Coming from Darwin the heat didn't really bother me, but the sun was blistering. I was managing ok and only walked through the aid stations (getting as much fuel on board as possible) until the half-way mark. At the 12km mark I came across a guy who had been walking since the start, I encouraged him to pick back up to running my measly 5min/km pace and he stayed with me for the rest of the run.
I came 3rd M18-24 in 4hrs 55min. With the minimal amount of training I did leading into the event I am relatively happy.
After the race was a bit of a disappointment. The only nutrition they had for the Challenge half competitors was fruit. The massages were great though. Then we had to get back out to the transition area to pick up the bikes and equipment, and they wouldn't let us on the bus back with the bikes, so we had to ride the 20km back into town.
Well all went well health wise.
I’m on my way back home now to get ready to go to Brisbane for the L1 couches course.
Next race is Yeppoon in August.