Kurnell Tri 2019 Sprint
Total time 01:13:56
There’s nowhere to hide in a Sprint. For many people a Sprint triathlon is the least intimidating race and it’s often people’s first triathlon distance, but I hadn’t done a Sprint in a few years when I signed up for Kurnell. In a way I was nervous because I realised that being used to Olympic distance races or longer I might not be prepared for the short, sharp format of Sprint triathlon or the need to really push myself and put everything out there. I was worried that I’d have no excuses for not pushing hard the whole race.
Race day came with the usual excitement for doing a race. I can’t help but get excited when we pull up in a new town and see the course and transition laid out ready and waiting. To add to the excitement weather conditions looked great and the race start was nice and early (6:30am).
The swim was a one-way 750m open water swim in really flat near perfect conditions. My race plan was to go fast for the whole swim, push up the hills on the bike and smash out the run. I really wanted to race smart this time during the swim.
The swim start was shallow and I was surprised to see a number of guys continue to walk even when it was no longer shallow enough to be efficient. I wanted to keep up with the fastest swimmers and tried to catch up to the lead swimmer who went out hard straight away. I got caught up behind some other swimmers before I could really get going and I decided to just focus on getting around the bunch I was with. By the second turn buoy I’d managed to get ahead of most of the group and caught some of the earlier wave swimmers in the final section of the swim.
The transition was long and I had plenty of time to pull off my wetsuit and get into a steady breathing rhythm for the ride. I had a good transition and headed out on the first lap feeling positive. The hilly start was good for me and I quickly found a good pace and started to overtake some of the athletes from earlier waves. Once I was on the flat sections of the ride I was able to maintain a decent speed and navigated the corners and U-turns without too much difficulty. The slightly technical course and hilly sections suited my strengths on the bike knowing well that I don’t have the sheer power for flat out and back courses.
Getting off the bike I was stoked with how my ride had gone, but I quickly had to swallow some of my pride as I started the run up the hill and felt my momentum and energy sap. I had a pace for the run in mind, but once I realised how hilly the first part of the 3 lap course was I began to think my paces were unrealistic.
I decided to push based on feel and tried not to look at my watch. I felt slow and decided to give myself the first lap to adjust before pushing harder. The second lap was just as hard and I didn’t find my mojo until the third lap on the flat section. I picked up my pace a bit, but still felt like the legs weren’t capable of delivering what the brain wanted. I came into the finish feeling unsure of how I had performed and a little disappointed with my run.
It wasn’t until I started looking up the results that I started to cut myself some slack. I came 4th in my age group and 19th overall and I had placed fairly consistently across all three disciplines. Probably the first time my bike hadn’t let me down a bit. On reflection I couldn’t be happier with that result and even though the run was tough I managed to hold onto a decent pace and position throughout. I also shaved more than 5 minutes off my Sprint distance PB, so had nothing to complain about. Plus the commentary team were impressed I had managed to put on socks, so that’s something too I guess!
Thanks to Nathan for the encouragement to sign up for a Sprint race - I think I learned a lot by going outside my comfort zone. As always thanks to my training partners in Project M and Jenny for somehow managing a smile even when we pass each other semi-smashed during the run!