An unusual start time of 4:30pm normally brings a hotter and more humid day to us, but today was not the norm. The race started off normal with heat and humidity quite high, but with the race briefing including a warning of three crocodiles in the lake and a contingency that had us get off/on the bike eight extra times, we knew that anything could happen.
The swim was pretty much as I expected, I was all alone and exited in 15 minutes, with no-one for 30 seconds either side of me. Something I know I need to work on.
Onto the bike and I do a nice juggling act with my speedo trying not to lose it. The first lap I see Chad and Tim in front and I know I need to work hard to catch them. The dismount areas seemed to help me a little with the strong cyclists behind me not catching me. I manage to catch Tim half way through the second lap but again I am all by myself as I head into transition.
I head out onto the run in 2nd with hopes that it won’t hurt…. I laugh to myself… On the first lap I get a picture of where everyone is and how they are going. I try and get into a rhythm as I know Markus and Mark are fast on there feet and the others don’t back off either.
Heading into the 3rd lap I realise I have pretty much got 2nd sorted with no way I could catch Chad, and I had enough left in the tank so that if the guys behind were catching I could put a kick in. With that I thought I would take note of the race happening behind. Steve, Justin, Russel, Tim and Mark all battling it out to set the top 10. Great to watch.
Happy with 2nd I surge to the line with a smile. Many volunteers greeting at the end, helping with drinks and sponges. Thank you to all out there that helped, it is much appreciated.
I start to pack the car and watch my brother finish. I help him out and get him sorted and start packing his bike into the car. Then the storm comes. Finish packing the car and I realise I had left my lights on and the car wouldn’t start. Make a mad dash to the club president for a jump start then take a slow trip home barely seeing the road due to rain.
Getting home safe was difficult but trying to get to bed and get enough sleep to get back to work at 2am was just as hard.
I knew from the start that defending my title was not going to be a given with Chad there, but as my coach said, “All you can do is what your good at, and that is have fun.” And I definitely did that.
Watching the Sydney Olympic Distance race now and how encouraging is the fact that Gomez can crash with only minutes to go on the bike, then come from the last into transition to win. The determination on his face and the pain that he would have been going through is why he is the best in the world.