Busselton Half Ironman 2010

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 15:55

TriathlonOz - Michelle

I've been to 3 previous Busso Half Ironman races, but always as the spectator/supporter for my husband. This year was my first time in the event but not yet as an individual racer, but as the cyclist on an all girls team - Team Tri-it-on. We headed down on Thursday before the Saturday race to give us time to settle in and be a little more relaxed leading up to the race.

On Friday during registration we had a chance to go to the Triathlon Retail Expo and part with a sum of money getting new racing glasses, merchandise, skins and a few other discounted essentials. At the registration time we collected our race bags and deposited our bikes into the transition area. Then it was out for an early dinner in town and back to the park for race briefing at 7:15PM.

The Course

For full details see: Course Information

Swim: 1.9km

It’s a one-lap swim in pristine waters alongside the historic Busselton Jetty. Our team swimmer was Sharon, who is not a triathelte, but a great swimmer. She also had the whole family - Matt on camera, 2 kids in tow.

Bike: 90.1km

Two-lap bike course - flat and fast. (changed from the 3 lap course of previous years). This was my leg and I had no idea how long it would take. My best guess was somewhere between 2:40 - 3:00.

Run: 21.1km

A three-lap run course. Around and travel along the foreshore bike/walk path and Geographe Bay Rd. This was Kate's leg - Kate has just started triathlon like me but is a great runner, and this will be her 3rd(?) 1/2 marathon race this season. She is running around 1:40.

The Race

The weather on the day was great with no rain, light wind (that picked up a touch during the bike) overcast to clearing so everyone was feeling good about the day.

We were up early at 4:30AM to eat breakfast and then go back to bed for an hour or so. We left the accommodation (Busselton Beach Resort) and drove the 3.5 km to event start/transition area, arriving on time.

Our team start was 8:45AM but because Sharon was swimming first, I was able to head down and watch the race start to see off David and Sharon (and all our other friends and NorthCoast competitors) with about 35 mins before my part in the day started.

I couldn't risk staying to watch Sharon exit the swim else she'd beat me to the transition area where we would change over the timing chip, but I did have time to see David come through and give him a cheer of support.

As a team, we are allowed into the transition area to wait for our team member and it was perfectly legal for me to go and check my bike - and thank god I did - I found I had a bit of a flat front tyre and no more than 5 mins til my race start!! I knew that David had put the pump back in the car (a million miles away with the key in some unknown spot that only David knew about) so ran around trying to find one I could borrow... bad move. A lesson well learnt that I will never repeat. This was the strangest looking pump I'd ever seen and rather than fix my tyres I managed to rip out the valve as I disconnected it after filling the air into the tyre. .... expletives exploded from my mouth and I basically melted into a puddle of tears until some onlookers gave some helpful words of encouragment and support and I pulled myself together and realised there was no choice but to do a tube replacement. I started but got stuck and managed to get a bit of help from Kerri Waterman another North Coast team member, and we got it on and pumped up with one of my CO2 gas cylinders this time. Meanwhile, Sharon had done a great swim and had spent a minute or more looking for me but I finally managed to get through the hoardes of other team riders trying to tag off with their swimmer and headed out for my ride. I can't put into words how happy I was to finally get on my bike. Nothing was going to stop me - I had put so much training, effort and planning into this one day and to be so close to having it all taken away because of a flat tyre was NOT going to happen to me, no way!!! So, with a huge amount of adrenelin pumping through my system I shot off to enjoy my ride.

I surprised myself at reaching the end of the turn-around (half way through lap 1) in a much faster time that I had anticipated. It gave me a huge boost of confidence and for the rest of the race I simply pushed my guts the hardest I've ever riden in my life. I set myself a goal to finish in 2:45 based on this estimate and stuck with it to the end. The finish was 2:47:59 and put me the 3rd fastest team rider on the day! Whoo hoo!! When I came in and swapped my timing chip over to Kate's ankle I still had so much adrenelin pumping that I didn't even feel the need to regain my breath or stop and rest. It was over to the finish line to start cheering in the race leaders in the individual age groups, and not long till we saw David come in with his PB of 4:43:48. Due to the staggered start between Dave's age group and the team's it wasn't long before Kate crossed the line with one of her best run times too. We were so happy, proud of one another's achievements in just finishing and doing our best and no idea that we had placed 3rd. In fact, we gave no thought to placings and after recover, went home to wash, and eat with no plans to attend the event dinner.

David was browsing the results on his iPhone later that night - about 8pm when I asked him to look up our results. The moment we realised we had placed 3rd he said "get yourselves together you need to get up on the podium" so we left the kids with whoever was around and rushed back into town just as they started the announcements. We were so dazed, that we didn't notice they announced us as 1st place and our medals had blue ribbons until later that night. What a mess - now we had to organise a swap over to get our 3rd place medals and now we felt embarrased to show them to anyone or have our photos taken with our medals as the one's we had weren't ours!

So here are the splits:

Team "Tri-it on"

Swim - 00:35:17
T1 - 00:02:44
Cycle - 02:47:59
T2 - 00:01:55
Run - 01:41:18
Finish Time - 05:09:16

So this result gives the girls a category place of 3/61 (Female teams) and an overall place of 53/225 (Total teams - males + female).
Some wish for it, others work for it!
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