WA TriSeries Race 5 - Hillarys #2

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011 at 16:50

TriathlonOz - Michelle

Hillarys Triathlon #2 was a couple of weekends ago now, but I wanted to wait until I received the event photos before I published this blog about the race. Mostly, because its the first time I've used my new TT bike in a race and now that I'm purely training on this bike in the lead-in to my main race - the Ironman 70.3 in Busselton in just 3 weeks time, I had heaps of transition issues to sort out, as well as getting familiar with the new bike in race conditions.

I have to talk about the weather first - with the long hot summer that never stopped and has continued into Autumn here in Perth, we awoke to the coldest, windiest day of the year. Thankfully, this gave me a chance to try out the wetsuit in race conditions (before the Busselton race). But unfortunately, it didn't allow me to race with the big race wheels (88 Vipers) that I plan to use, which was a shame.

But despite this, I felt calm and energised before the race and got a great start in the swim - heading out in 2nd place of the wave on the toes of Pip (superfish) but I couldn't hold it. The sea had more swell than would suit most, but I actually don't get bothered by big conditions (years of practise waterstarting a windsurfer helps) and find I hold strong in these types of races but still not enough to keep 2nd place in a field of all the females age 35+. I gave myself a little challenge to get as close to Jenny Alexander this race though, she and I race in the 40-44 age group and have been finishing quite close this season, but she always pulls away from me on the run and I noticed we were swimming together for most of the race. I felt her drop behind a little as we came in close to shore and I deliberately tried to put some space between us and was thrilled to get myself into transition well ahead. But that's when things went pear-shaped... I had checked my position on the bike rack before the race start so came in looking for the row 5 flag - but the organisers had taken down the flags... strange... but FRUSTRATING.... I nearly picked it right, but found myself on the wrong side of the racks and starting calling out "where's my bike", to which Jenny called out to me "over here Michelle"... so whilst we're competing, we're also helping one another... that's what I love about triathlon, its a friendly game. I managed to get through transition pretty quick after that but the delay had cost me dearly and Jenny got out on the course a few seconds before me.

The wind hit us in the face and I knew this was going to be the hardest leg of the day but I put on the pressure and quickly caught up to Jen. Not sure what happened, as I thought I was riding evenly, but midway through the 2nd lap she caught me again and I never regained ground and she finished a strong minute ahead of me.

She was just leaving transition as I got in, but I was happy to take my time to get my elastic laces adjusted firmly enough to avoid blisters and felt strong as I started the run. I was thrilled to finally sort out using my Garmin in multisport mode, and remembered to take it from the bike mount to my wrist mount as I really need it to check my pace on the run leg. Running is my weakest of the 3 disciplines but I managed to get in a PB on this race, with a split time (including bike - run transition) of 26:00 and my Garmin recorded the 5km run distance to an exact 25minute 5km so I was thrilled with that (a 3:58 improvement across the season!).

So my results were:

Swim: 4th place
Bike: 6th place
Run: 10th place
Finish: 6th place (Jenny was 5th, well done!)
Time: 1:25:49

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