I had a quick in and out trip to Penrith in NSW on the weekend for the Nepean triathlon, Australia’s oldest triathlon event. It was my first time racing Nepean and being a non-drafting format it was a race I was quite looking forward to competing in to see how I would fair against both the ITU athletes and the long course/ non-drafting specialists.
I Flew into Sydney the day before with my Dad who had snagged a bargain last minute flight and we drove off to the course site. The international Regatta Centre, the same location of the 2013 Aus Youth Olympic Festival triathlon and so a location I have had good fortune on before. Something I looked at continuing.
The last race I did started at 5.15pm so it was a bit of a shock to the system to be starting at 7.00am so after an early night, and early morning it was time to race. When given the option of where to start I always try and find myself near the top swimmers in the field to get the bet draft and get into some clean water so I had my eyes peeled for Aaron Royle and Josh Amberger as I knew they would likely be up the front out of the water. I found myself next to Bailie who was next to Amberger, I wasn’t going to push my way between them here though as there was a much more relaxed and friendly vibe at the start of the race than what I’m use to. After 600-700m into the 1km swim I started working harder to reduce the gap to Josh and Aaron who’s lead was growing to the rest of the field. I exited the water in 3rd place, with my swim being my weakest leg, it was a position I was happy to be in at that stage of the race.
I have really enjoyed doing a bit of work on My Giant Trinity time trial bike over the past month+. after a bit of time of riding like a bit of a hack post a mini break after Edmonton I knew I would at least look the part with the Trinity and ZIPP Sub 9 Disc even if I didn’t ride the part. After some solid training though I managed to string together some good end of season form a week out from the Nepean Race. Myself, Appelton, Good and Bailie rode hard but failed as Royle and Amberger went up the road and put a big time gap between us and them. Something I will definitely be focusing on this coming weekend in Noosa. Ride hard with no passengers and be in the race for the win, not for the podium.
I was feeling pretty good for the start of the run but am still a bit cautious of going out too hard and suffering for it in the back end of the race with a 10km run so played it safe and let Bailie and Good set the pace early on and after running through Amberger at the 3km mark Bailie seemed to be on a mission to reduce the gap to the lead position. Either that or he was just trying to make me hurt. Whatever his intentions, he succeeded in both. I somehow managed to get the better of Bailie within the last 1500m after getting dropped by him with 2.5km to go. I was desperate to get that second step on the podium as I knew the prize money halved from 2nd – 3rd, and I need to get a bit of cash in my back pocket! I also took the fastest run split of the day and gained 30 seconds on race winner Royle.
So it has indeed been a while since I wrote a blog, the monthly updates somewhere along the line turned into a bi-annually blog. So closing in on the end of the season and then the end of 2014 I feel it’s time to get back on track and keep some updates coming.
A lot has happened since June, so let’s skip though a bit, from Vitoria straight to Edmonton in Canada for the World Championships. My last race as a junior and my chance to redeem myself after what was a bit of a failed race last year in London, after a crash and a time penalty I knew what not to do in 2014. I did stay upright on the bike, and wasn’t penalised for any transition infringements so already things were looking up. After a solid swim I comfortably got myself up the front for the ride but not much was happening there, the group grew and grew as the pace turned pedestrian. I planned to put some sting into the legs of the competition on the bike so was a bit disappointed how that panned out, but with 40+ guys in the group there was always someone to mark the moves so it all stuck together. All to be decided on the run, which was also alright with me, I hoped.
I had played it over and over in my head before and each time the race was between myself and Montoya from France, which just so happened to be exactly what played out in the race. However in my head I never let him pip me in the final seconds of the race which is exactly what ended up happening. While running with Montoya I decided to let it come down to a sprint, I just stuck on his shoulder and waited. Unfortunately on the day it didn’t quite work out as I had planned. It was pretty disappointing to come within a second of being the world champion but after the initial disappointment I was able to see some more positives from the race and if anything it will keep the drive alive until one day I can finally become the world triathlon champion.
Just a few days later we were lining up for the mixed teams relay championships, where alongside; Gillian Backouse, Matt Baker and Brittany Dutton I managed to pick up another silver medal.
Post Edmonton I had a bit of downtime before heading back Home to Launceston while spending a few days in the most impressive city in the world, and my new favourite place, New York City. From there I was onto Los Angeles and then home time.
I am currently training back at home in Launceston in the lead up to Nepean and Noosa where I will see out what has been a very long season!