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monkie

Forbes Ultimate Triathlon 70.3

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My first go at a race report for my first go at the middle distance.

 

After a handful of standard distance races and building up to IMNZ in 2018 I thought it was time to give the middle distance a go. Having only done Elite Energy events so far I thought I would stick with the same stable and so looked at the Ultimate series races. This one in Forbes fitted in with my timetable and being a Brit I didn't realise quite how far away Forbes was from Sydney (got to stop thinking of states as being the same size as counties back home). Nevertheless was all booked in for the Sunday race which a month out was moved to the Saturday. I was mildly annoyed about that at the time but understand the reasons for it and in the end it was a great move to have all the racing on one day.

Drove up to Forbes on the Friday, it's a beautiful drive through the Blue Mountains and without too much highway drudgery and arrived with time to take the bike for a little spin to check it had travelled well and head to registration which was open the day before in the local RSL. Grabbed my new favourite race t-shirt which has a hood (I love a hood) and then headed out to grab the required pasta dinner (got very lost as the place we were looking for was hidden in the car park of a Bunnings... but not relevant here).

Saturday morning dawned bright, if a little chilly and we headed down to the race start. Well organised as would be expected from an EE race and a friendly if small crowd gathered for the race briefing. I was spotted by a couple of trannies because I was wearing a bright yellow hoodie which stands out at that time in the morning so said hi. There were no individual bike spots marked up in transition but our race wasn't full so plenty of space, I stuck my bike right down the end  and got set up before the race briefing. 

The swim is in a lake and given the recent rain it was fairly gopping... visibility was at zero and the start was quite squelchy. The water was a decent temperature though and the one lap route was scenic, this was my first race in my new wetsuit (Blueseventy Fusion) and what a difference it made! The course ended up measuring a little short at 1810m by my Garmin but I was still happy with my swim time of 34:15 which for me is very good and I could feel the last three months of more swimming working as I was as fresh as a daisy.

The swim exit was right next to transition so no long run a la Canberra, the small field meant that everybody was getting a name check on the PA as they crossed the mat which was a nice touch. The bike course had been advertised as pancake flat and a straight line so we were all looking forward to some impressive bike splits. It started well but the surface soon became pretty rough and there were some sneaky long gentle inclines so I found it much harder than I was anticipating, after the first lap I realised my target if 2:40 - 2:45 on the bike wasn't going to happen so had to back off hammering it too much as was worried about blowing up on the run if I carried on going for it. The small field made for quite a boring ride... after the first half of the first lap there wasn't really anyone around me... gradually overhauled a couple and by the end of the second lap we had the standard distance athletes out on the course too which made it a bit more interesting, almost got into a collision with one of them though as their turn was earlier than ours on the same course and he seemed oblivious to me shouting at him that I was going to pass him outside his turn...The third lap saw a fairly challenging head wind arrive so I finished on a bike time of 2:52:58 which I was not impressed by. Definitely need to work on my bike as the focus for next year!

Back into T2 and had the feeling which I reckon everybody must do on their first crack at the distance... how the hell am I going to now run a half marathon?  Set off and made sure I kept the pace back to start with, settled into it and waited for my legs to wake up. The run course was three laps around the lake shared with the standard guys ad gals for most of it. Interesting scenery including one guy catching MASSIVE fish and a very pleasant trot if a bit smelly at times. We were lucky we weren't there a week earlier when significant amounts of the course were apparently under water! Loads of volunteers out dealing with traffic, lots of encouragement from the locals, a great atmosphere. Finished lap one to hear the winner coming in (always depressing when you have another 14km to run) and then headed back out and around for the next two. Managed to reel in quite a few people on the run which is my strongest leg by far and managed an average pace of 4:25. Garmin measured the run to be about 1km short but I wasn't complaining and it resulted in a  run split of 1:33:14 meaning an overall time of 5:03:54. I had wanted to break the 5 hour mark but it wasn't to be... I guess I'll have to go back next year!

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Monkie, a great tick in the box - congrats. Yes, everyone usually thinks the same as they get off the bike. But you know what - you did it and in a good time. It's great to pass people at the back end of a race. Trusting your training is important and you can now confirm it worked. 

FM

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Hey Monkie, similar thoughts here, I did the standard distance, course was almost the same.

Swim - Our watches were showing anywhere between 1.8k and 2.2k for the swim. I am set-up to use standard GPS and GLONASS.
Bike - Bang on for the 40k, hazards were well marked. 2 laps of a 20k out and back.
Run - 2 laps of the loop around the river, like you found it a bit stinky in spots.

Found the people friendly and the event well run. It was a shame more people did not come out, towns like this love the money we bring in.

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