With a 4 week block of training under my belt post Port Douglas Half IM, the Ultimate Event (2, 120, 20) was the perfect distance to test where my fitness was at, especially bike strength with a 120km ride in the mix. Windy but clear sky conditions presented Sunday morning - it was going to be a tough, honest day, just the way I like it.
Swim - 2km, Forster Keys
7am the race kicked off with choppy conditions at Forster Keys (T1). The swim included a 2-lap rectangular course with the usual smash fest between competitors, around the buoys was a shocker! Kicked, slapped, dunked, pushed, swum over the top of - all the usual stuff. Just had to breathe through it, be patient and find my space and rhythm. As always, I was very glad to get the swim leg over with, see my bike and get on with the stronger legs of my race.
Bike - 120km, The Lakes Way
The bike course consisted of 2 x 57km laps out and back along The Lakes Way, followed by a 5km ride into Forster Town Park (T2). It was blowing gale winds from the start, the bike leg was definitely going to be a test of mental and physical strength! I felt very average heading out on the first lap, pushing through the wind with flat legs. As I continued grinding away, my High 5 nutrition eventually kicked in and I started to pick up energy wise. SaltStick tablets also helped a lot, topping up much needed electrolytes, given the intensity I was riding at. The turn around point at Forster Keys was a highlight seeing all the spectators and cheers of support :-)
The second lap of the bike I was feeling a lot better than the first. The pipes were open, I was finding a rhythm and energy wise I was feeling a lot more consistent. I don't time myself in racing or race with any number crunching gadgets, as I prefer to race on feel, with my nutrition/race plan in background. This is what works for me, I also find I'm more focused in the moment with this strategy. I had no idea what my bike split was until seeing the results after the event and was wrapped with a split of 3hrs.17mins given the conditions on the day.
The 2-lap run course traces parts of the old Forster-Tuncurry Ironman marathon, which was a highlight given the history behind this iconic event. The terrain included flat to undulating and couple of challenging hills thrown in the mix. Overall, I felt my run was relatively consistent, with the back half improving pace wise from previous races this year. There were couple of flat patches which were fixed with coke, water and another Saltstick tablet to keep moving forward. The spectator and volunteer support was awesome, especially running through Forster Main Beach. After a long hard day of 5hrs.17mins racing, I was very glad to run down the finish chute :-) finishing in 2nd place.
There's so much to be gained from every experience and opportunity, in terms of establishing what's working well and areas needing improvement in both training and racing. Racing Foster Ultimate at this stage of my program, was a valuable weekend, lots gained and learned in terms of moving forward.
Thank you to my sponsors High 5, SaltStick, Skinfit, Compressport, Bike Addiction, TriShave, Eyeline, ISM, Team Latitude, coach Gilesy, my husband Nige, friends and family for your on-going support.
Check out the Elite Energy 2012-13 season calendar - loads of races at various locations, distances ranging from short to long course triathlon, catering for all abilities and ages. There's an event for everyone! Triathlon is a great personal challenge with a fantastic community atmosphere including volunteers and local town support, be a part of it!
Lisa MARANGON 05:11:03 OpenFemale 1 00:27:20 03:16:05 01:25:26
Rebecca HOSCHKE 05:17:45 OpenFemale 2 00:32:05 03:17:07 01:26:00
Nicole WARD 05:24:49 OpenFemale 3 00:28:25 03:29:51 01:24:32
Natalie SILVESTRO 05:46:03 OpenFemale 4 00:34:37 03:34:18 01:33:06