Mackay Olympic Triathlon
Swim - 1500 m - 2 Laps in Marina Beach start with smooth conditions - No wetsuit
Bike - 40 km - 2 Laps Smooth Roads with 3 U-Turns Windy conditions
Run - 10 km - 2 Laps Flat spectator friendly Windy conditions
With a family trip booked to go visit one of my best mates and his family up in Mackay and finding out a Olympic Distance Triathlon was on at the same time, it was a pretty easy decision to put my name down on the start line.
Travelling with a 9 month old can be challenging let alone throwing in packing a bike etc so I decided to make it a bit easier and just borrow my mate's bike. Not ideal, but with the help of Ryan from 3D Bike fit I was a little more confident. With the days leading into the event, windy conditions remained (the locals tell me it's never like this). It was no surprise that come race day a late decision was made to move the swim 750 m away from transition into the Marina, sheltering athletes from strong SE wind.
With a very relaxed start (I didn't even have my googles on) the race director just yelled out "go". I quickly got my shit together and rounded the first buoy in around 78th position 400 m in. I felt pretty average in the calm crystal clear water but slowly found my rhythm about 1000 m in. I slowly chipped away and after a long swim of 2.5 km, yes an extra 1 km too long, I exited the water in 4th and with a 3 min gap to first. With the long 750 m run to T1 I tried to keep calm in my mind knowing that I had a fair bit of time to make up. Jumping on a borrowed bike, new course, and not knowing any of the competitors I was up against, I just focused on myself. With a smooth and fast T1, I was out onto the bike course and moved up into 3rd pretty quickly just 2km in.
I was happy the wind was blowing pretty hard as I knew this would work in my favor on the bike leg. As I hit the turn around at 10 km I would get my first look at the time gap which was down to 1 min to the leader. I worked at a good tempo back into the headwind moving up to second and by the time we ticked over the half way mark the gap was down to only a few seconds. As I was getting ready to take the lead, I sat 12 m behind 1st for a few minutes and regathered myself. I picked up my time around 25 km into the bike leg and let rip for 5 minutes. I hit the final turn around at 30 km and had already extended my lead to 1 min. I kept the tempo high on the return trip. I hit T2 and had a pretty average transition but was soon out onto the run course.
I felt pretty average for the first 2 km but then found a good pace that was comfortable being mindful my legs would be a little more wrecked from being on a different bike and the heat compared to current temps at home. I ran consistently throughout the 10 km not really knowing where the rest of the field was. I eventually crossed the line in a time of 2:12 and a 6 min winning margin over the local favorite. I really enjoyed being back out there racing and most of all my first giant novelty cheque. Back into some solid km's for a couple of weeks before hitting the Long Course weekend in Huskisson.