Monday, October 28, 2013

Highlands Sprint triathlon race report, I won!

First triathlon of the season, done and dusted. In cold, pouring-rain-all-day conditions. Awesome!! Actually, I was dreading the start so badly, considering dying while eating breakfast.

I wanted to do this very early season race because it's set on the newly built motorsport RACE COURSE in Cromwell. I want to go fast, zoooom! Only problem with such an early season race is that spring brings highly variable weather. It was snowing on the nearby hills and mountains and pouring at town level.

In short, I walked around in the hours before the race start in winter socks, ugg boots and my wetsuit on in full. Oh, and my winter jacket!
As all the girls crept into the water to warm up, I was the girl shaking and crying at the edge of the water saying "Oh no, I really can't do this". Ice cream headache, frozen feet, I am not enjoying this at all!! But all of a sudden the race director yelled GOOOOOOOO and my brain went into full on race mode.

I dropped everyone but one girl who races for Southland Tri Club, she pulled away a tiny bit more with each buoy. I came out of the water behind her by about 10" or so?? She was just about to leave her nearby bike as I arrived at mine, talking aloud to myself "Oh fuck, oh fuck, it's cold". I spent my time putting on a jacket (ironman transition, yikes), but did finally get going soon enough. She was long gone! I never saw her once on the bike course! I cycled back and forth with another girl for the first lap of 5 on the race course, but then really told myself to start racing like a mofo, and so dropped her after that. In the third lap, I was told I was 1:30 down on 1st and didn't hear the split on lap 4 (it was now down to 1:00, as I found out later). I arrived into T2, got my jacket stuck on the zip somehow, had to step out of it like a monkey, was asked by the race director: "Are you going to leave any clothes ON for the run??" (I was in a sports bra underneath so as not to ride in a soaking wet tri top -- good way to stay warm!!). Onto the run, and I thought, well she's gone, haven't seen her all day... but after the 2 mini laps around the mini-lake, I saw her running out, told her she was running well, but then 50 meters later hit a turnaround. Holy shit! She's only like 100+m ahead of me. Time to nail this chick!! I hadn't been able to feel my frozen feet since before the race start, so had to run at a crazy 100rpm cadence, but legs were working so I just ran fast. Passed her quickly, and dropped her by a lot, to win by a very comfortable margin. Yahoo!

Not many racers for a number of reasons: very early season, it was bloody pouring and freezing, and the cost of the sprint was too high (70$ compared to the usual 30-40$ from other events in the area). It's a great course, really fun, and I can only hope that the event continues to grow (and is staged in prime summer months, e.g. February).

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