It seems that every time I write a blog I am on a plane, and this report from the final chapter in 2013 is no different. I am on my way to Sydney where I'll then make my way to the home of the Wizards, Wollongong. From there we will be heading up to Falls Creek again for another block of altitude training at the snow resort. This time is a little different however, because so far I have no return ticket back home, so I'm not really sure what will be happening after the 3 weeks on the mountain. A little bit of a scary thought!
The past month was pretty jam packed with a mix of racing, training and of course family time over the Christmas- new year period. On the 12th I flew to Melbourne to race at the Zatopek 10 athletics meet where I competed in the Rob De Castella u20 3000 race. I have taken part in this race for a few years now and it has always been one of my favourite races of the year, normally a great opportunity to get a PB. Last year after leading for the first 7 laps I was overtaken in the final straight by two other runners, Declan Wilson from New Zealand (not the Aussie triathlete) and Zac Patterson from Victoria. Zac was in the race again in 2013 and I was a bit more aware of his speed over the final lap this time round so went into the race with different tactics. Me and run coach Kim Gillard both agreed that I was best to sit in the pack, go with the moves and wait till I felt was the right opportunity for me to make a move and hopefully hit the lead and hold it to the line. Before I knew it we had just 2 laps to go, the early stages of the race seemed to fly by in no time and it was the first time in a while I had felt so good at this stage in a race. I thought I may have left my move a bit late, but with just over 500 to go I came round to lead the pack and from there opened up a small gap, Zac was chasing me down in the last 300m and after watching the race footage I was surprised he didn't get me. In the last 100m I pulled away slightly and was able to take the win in one of my favourite athletics races. Stoked!
From here I was making the trip from Melbourne to Falls Creek, the long windy roads were starting to get to me by the end so was very happy to be there and to meet up with the group. I did not envy my parents at all who had to then drive back down, and fly home the next day. Thank you and sorry I never got my license! Haha. I was only there for a week this time but was able to get a feel for the area and how my body would react to the altitude before heading back up in January for 3 weeks.
After the week on the mountain it was home time for Christmas and new year, and a couple of races in the middle. On the 28th I raced an indoor invitational mile run at the Launceston Cycling Carnival, it was the first time they had put on the indoor mile. To add a bit more excitment for the crowds there were four Kenyan runners who have all run in the mid 3:.30s for 1500m who were brought down to go against some of Tassie's best in James Hansen, Josh Harris, Hugh Nicklason, Grant Page and myself. The race was 6 laps around the inside of the velodrome on the wooden floor, so it was a pretty packed race and got a bit rough at a few stages. It was obviously a bit different to all the other cycling races for the night so the crowd really got behind it. For five laps it was the four Kenyans leading from the five Tassie guys and then on the last lap I went with Kiptuo who made a move then in the final 50m got past him to claim the win in front of the roaring crowd. I have never heard such loud cheering for an athletics race before, this probably made it one of the most enjoyable and fun races I have done.
The next morning I raced my first olympic distance triathlon in a non-drafting race at Bridport, my legs were stingin' during the run after the solo 40k and the race the night before but I still managed to get the win from James Hodge who finished in second place. It was good to get the first one under my belt so I don't get thrown in the deep end so much when the time comes to race an olympic distance ITU race.
Over the Christmas- New Year period I was staying at the family shack by the beach, it's one of my favourite places to be during summer so I was glad I got to go there and spend some quality time with the family and girlfriend for the week before leaving.
The next month I'll be up here at Falls Creek for the majority before heading down after the third week and getting into some races early Feburary.
Thanks for reading,