Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lake Hayes Easter Sprint Triathlon race report

Note: Bit late getting this up because race results took a while to be posted.

Easter weekend meant 2 things: another Lake Hayes sprint triathlon AND hundreds of planes, helicopters, jets etc flying over Wanaka for 3 days for Warbirds Over Wanaka. Pretty cool to see them start arriving in the weeks leading up to the event. The town swells from ~7000 to over 45,000 people just for this crazy weekend happening once every 2 years. We even saw a jet fly from Wanaka to Queenstown (a 1 hour drive each way) in under 5 minutes. That is FAST, zoooom!

To the race report! Man, have we had a lucky autumn. Day after day after week of blue-sky sunshine, not a cloud in the sky, and best of all NO WINDS. The summer winds have died down, the lakes are calm, the trees are not raging... it has been amazing to train in. It's not hot anymore, but you can hardly call 19-22 C cold, especially when the NZ sun is so strong. I've been LOVING it.

Pre-swim. I don't know why I grimace when I smile for a
Swim: I tried to go out hard, and did for a while, but everyone was swimming stupidly, far right, and pushing me out faaaaar right until I finally had to just swim over everyone as I veered left again. I easily lost 30"-1' just correcting that. When I did approach the exit, I saw a huuuuge group ahead of me and thought, well wow I must be the last chick out. Turns out there was a massive group of guys, but I was only maybe 4th or 5th girl out of the water. Still much to improve on:
- be able to hold a sustained hard effort, not just for the first 100-200m.
- swim more on the inside than the outside, because if everyone pushes you out again, at least you won't have to swim over so many people to right yourself! 
- get faster...
Coming out of the water!
Bike: Transitions at this race at reallllly hard, I find. T1 goes like this: out of water, go up a 30% grade hill for ~60m, which means your heart explodes, then run past T1 to make it equal for everyone, run in from the other side, grab all your gear, run over grass and gravel to the gravel road and, for an unskilled mtber like me, pray to god I don't skid out when riding over ~600m of poorly maintained, pot-holed gravel road to get to the paved road. It scares the shit out of me each time I do this race.
Run with bike out of T1.
The bike itself was pretty sweet. Due to construction on one of the roads, we had a modified bike course which was 1.25k longer, and a significant hill was taken out. Yes, it meant it was flatter and faster, but it also meant that the hill didn't spread anyone apart... and that meant drafting. I saw many groups of riders taking advantage of this and that was dispiriting. I maintained my distance, and passed when I could, but it's hard to pass an entire group without busting a gut... and then they pass you right back anyway. Did have a REALLY good ride nonetheless, it felt fast, I felt fresh and went hard. That's something I'd been unable to do for a long while, and it was good to race entirely by feel, and to race hard. I came in, pussy-footed along the gravel section yet again, and got ready to run!

Coming in, getting yelled at by a kid to run faster. 
Run: I'd call this a hilly course. The hills are not long, but you are either going UP or DOWN at an uncomfortable gradient for the entire run. It's awesome trail running! I went out hoping to catch the 3 girls that were drafting off each other in the bike, show 'em who's boss, and I did catch maybe 2 of them? Either way, I made sure I ran uncomfortably hard the entire time (and not just comfortably hard, which is what I tend to do... honestly, it's embarrassing that my sprint and half-ironman speeds are so similar)
Running into the finish chute! 
Turns out I got 8th open female (18-39), out of 22, with the 2 top honors going to pro triathletes. Cool beans!

1 comment:

  1. Your blog makes me just want to come back to NZ now!

    Congrats on the race!