Swim – Beach start, ocean, rectangular course, 2 loops, total 2km
Bike – Undulating, 2 loops, total 60km
Run – Flat out and back, 2 loops, total 15km
Callala Ultimate was a last-minute decision that could have gone either way. Since returning from Europe, my family and I have relocated to Jervis Bay. Training took a backseat as renovations and Little Miller were on the way! Throw in a few injuries and the passing of a close mate and plan B was given the go ahead. Plan A was to race at Western Sydney 70.3 Asia Pacific Champs, but both coach and I decided it was best not to. We took it day to day in the lead up to Callala and left the decision to race to the last minute.
Before I knew it, I was standing on Callala Beach in the race starters hands. The gun went off and in no time, I was leading around the first turn buoy. Another athlete came up around and I slotted onto his feet knowing that we had already gapped the field. I was hoping for a 1700m lift, but that soon went out the window when I was dropped like a hot potato! The reminder of the swim I ticked away at a good tempo trying to reduce the damage to the leader. I ran into T1 and I heard someone yell “You’re 2:40 behind!”. Wetsuit off, bike mounted, and it was time to go on the hunt!
I worked hard and took the lead at 7km and continued to push the pace for the first 30km of the bike leg. By this time, I established a 6-minute lead and rode the next 30km comfortably. I really like the bike course as it is continuous rolling hills which suits my style of riding. I took my time in T2 having the luxury to put on a pair of socks. I heard the same voice, this time the time split wasn’t as detailed as all I got was “You got heaps of time Nath!”.
With a 2 lap out and back run course I hit the first 5km at my planned race pace and went through in around 19:30. At this time, I got a good look at my competitors and my lead was out to 8 minutes. By this time I was getting pretty hot and I backed the pace off and ran the next 10km more tactically with my goal to look after my body. I found the last 5km extremely hard mentally even though I was leading quiet comfortably. I hit the finish shoot feeling proud of my performance which I dedicated to my mate Frosty.
With Little Miller due any time now, triathlon will take a backseat as I settle into dadlife, but I already can’t wait until she is on the sidelines with my ever supporting wife.