2012 Interclub Triathlon (Mandurah)

Thursday, Dec 06, 2012 at 13:00

TriathlonOz - Michelle

Last weekend I participated in the Interclub Championship, an annual event held in Mandurah since 1994, organised for friendly inter-club rivalry. It's a sprint distance event and there are no age categories. I've only done this event once before (in 2010), as it tends to clash with my daughter's end of year dance school compulsory concert rehearsals, but I was very keen to do this event again, as my attitude is so different this year - with all the time out with injury and changed approach, I really wanted to do a "race" to test myself, but without pressure to perform. This race is about earning points for your club based on participation so just being there is enough to do your part. All up, there were 109 females, and 191 males.

I've looked back in my activity history for the 2010 event but see that I didn't even own a Garmin computer then so don't have the race log, didn't wear a wetsuit as I didn't yet own one, and I have no idea of my split times in 2010 but I have found my blog which says my run was pretty average (no surprise there)! See my 2010 Interclub blog here)

I really enjoyed this year's event and hope to be able to do it again next year. The day was forecast to be very hot but the swim start was very chilly and we were all glad of our wetsuits. The course was set just a little too close to shore and as I was in the second wave, we noticed some swimmers in the first wave actually stand up about midway to the first buoy so we all took note and aimed further out when it was our turn to go off. I haven't been doing squad training so its always interesting to see if I'm still able to keep up with the field. I felt fine on the swim except I tend to think I start off too slow and steady, trying to just settle into a rhythm and by the second turn, I always feel like I'm just getting into it, when the swimmers ahead of me start to tire, so that's when I tend to start to feel like I'm enjoying the swim. Getting out of the water, we had a mountain of seaweed to climb over and then a short run up the beach into transition. It always surprises me when I hear my name called out - spectators and cheer squads are so valuable, thanks to all!

I was happy enough with my transition but the wetsuit removal is never fast, and I got out onto the bike to find a few familiar bodies in front of me that I chose to chase down. At the race briefing, we'd been warned about the new course so I was quite hesitant coming into the first major bend and was a bit nervous about the "hill" to come, but very pleasantly surprised to see it was much easier than expected and managed to pick up some places. The trick now was to hold it for another lap. Coming into the end turn I had a scary moment when my rear tyre decided to skid around the corner and I performed a "slide' accompanied by an interesting screech, but luckily I held it. I enjoyed the bike course very much but started to feel a nasty strain beginning in my piriformis and down my ITB so was concerned this might develop into knee pain on the run later so I didn't attempt to push the pace any more just in case.

Coming into T2, I got out onto the run without fuss and actually felt pretty good in the legs. Nicki had managed to jump ahead of me and tried to coax me to run on her heels but I didn't feel I could hold a 4:50 pace the whole way so said goodbye and settled into my own pace. For the rest of it, I was feeling pretty comfortable and was rather enjoying myself for a change. I kept glancing at my pace and by the halfway turnaround I realised that I was well on track to do a decent run (for me), so did the return with a huge smile on my face. I didn't push myself to my limits at any point, just content to sit comfortably and pain free but in the final 1km my knee started to ache and I knew I didn't have long before it would be a problem but thankfully the finish line came up before I knew it and it was over. My run ended up 5:25 pace so I was pleased, given all the trouble I've had with my knees, but a 5km run is a long way short of the 21.1k I need to run in the Albany Half in a few weeks so my happiness is all relative to the moment.

At the end of the race I realised that I had taken on no sports nutrition but I felt much better than I normally do after a race. I had a small bowl of muesli with strawberries for breakfast at 4.30am and water, a banana an hour before the race, and during the race I sipped on a half-strength Dextro carb/electrolyte drink on the bike. It wasn't a hot day, and the race is only short I guess. It's been such a long time since I've done a sprint distance, so it was rather refreshing.

In the end, it was Stadium Tri club who won the Rob Pickard trophy and Exceed won the Presidents trophy. But North Coasters aren't driven by a single-minded competitive spirit, instead our team spirit of camaraderie was evident everywhere. Thanks to all the early finishers that stood around to cheer us slower ones in! The Mandurah Tri Club organisers should also be recognised for they came across as a really nice group of people and did a great job of the event.

So after a great morning of triathlon, we dropped our bikes off at a friends house and headed out together for an early lunch at the marina and the kids spent the afternoon jumping off the jetty, whilst we relaxed and looked on.

I'm feeling confident of doing another sprint distance race next fortnight at the Hillarys tri now and then that's about it until Albany Half on 5th January - arghh!!
Some wish for it, others work for it!
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