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Anutha Noosa Report

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Noosa - It's been my holy grail for the nine months I have been involved in the sport. It's been a fantastic year for me, getting fitter than I have ever been, doing races (of any kind) for the first time since high school (I'm in 35-39 AG) getting into cycling and having a good bike and learning to be a consistent and dedicated trainer - all of this has effected my lifestyle in positive ways. Triathlon is absorbing and compelling and the mental disciplines necessary to do it well are ones that can be used to positively influence the rest of your life as well - such has been my experience.


We did four days in Noosa, arrived Friday (VERY hard to stay off the booze on Friday night) I would have liked to go to the trannies dinner - but I haven't really spoken to the other trannies that much yet and - well - I guess I am a bit shy... :angry: Next time :angry: . Saturday found me on the bike with a bunch of mates who had done the race before and we rode the course - I picked up a lot of good advice about how to attack it which was great. 10:00am lined up to get a good spot in transition and after that with a lot of time on my hands I sat down to visualise and write out my race plan. I began to get quite pumped up and in the zone. I got my transition kit all sorted on Saturday night and into bed by 10:00.


Sunday morning, I woke at 3:30, had my Bananna/Opti/egg smoothie breakfast and lay there thinking about the race - I was feeling quite in the zone and happy. Reckon I went over the race in my head about 15 times before letting it all go and heading down to transition to see see how the bike had weathered it's first night out alone in the rain. :lol: It was all good though and I set up and started to drink in the vibe - transition was abuzz with preparing triathletes and I had a few of those brief but pleasant conversations with strangers you get before a tri - that always end with a sincere “have a good race mate!" After everything was set (about 5:40) I waled back to the unit for some quiet time before the race - My wave was due to go at 8:05. Once back at the unit, another trip to the loo (amazing how the body gets itself ready for racing :angry: ) and just sit for a while, waiting.


I got back to the race in time to see the pro's start, I did a swim warm up and then just tried to keep calm while I watched wave after wave of competitors move out. The crowd was unbelievable, a sea of triathletes on the beach that never seemed to get any smaller despite starting the race in their hundreds at a time. It was awesome just to stand there as a part of it all. Then it was time to go. I shook hands with my mates, wished them luck and swam out to the start. I had decided not to use a stopwatch or measure splits - I just wanted to do the race. I glanced at my watch as the siren went off and saw that we were pretty much on time - 8:05.


There was more room on the swim than I expected, despite a thrashing about at the start, I found clean water fairly quickly and swam around the Island without incident, but as we came out into the channel I started to overtake a lot of the slower swimmers from the previous waves, from there to the turnaround it was a dodgem derby, I took to having a look every sixth stroke to get my bearings and plan out a route between competitors. Once past the turnaround I could see the finish chute and swam straight for it - whereas most of the competitors went down the right side of the canal. In hindsight I don't know if this was the right thing to do or not as my swim time (25:10) was slower than I expected - perhaps I would have been better off staying in the pack and drafting. As it was I had clean water and put in a solid effort. I had a good swim.


Into transition, everything was there as I left it and went as I planned it, I soon found myself mounting in a crowd of people with my shoes IN the pedals. I got up to speed and put my first shoe in coming down the first bridge and waited a little while longer for a space before putting the other one in. It was very crowded at the bike start, and people were all over the place. I just stayed out of trouble and focussed on building my cadence and rolling up to race speed. Almost straight away I found myself passing nearly everyone, though of course there were a significant number of age groupers who went past me as quickly. It rained heavily on me going through Noosaville but I soon found a rhythm and hit the bottom of the hill with an average speed of 36k/hr. By the time I got to the top it was 34 but went steadily up from there onwards, at the bottom of the hill I was looking at 37.2 and managed to maintain that into town. There were a number of packs forming up out there a bit of blatant drafting, but I just did my thing - it was far too crowded for the rules to be strictly enforced. :D I rolled into T2 with a great ride (for me) under my belt and hopped into my shoes and jogged out on the run.


My race plan called for taking the first Km slow to let my legs get used to it and build from there. The first K went to plan, but the building part proved difficult.. My legs were SORE and it was HOT. I reflected that I hadn't held much back on the swim and the bike - but it all had to come out now. By kilometre 5 I had began to get the pain under control and brought my cadence up and began to pass a few people in my category - but I was still getting passed more than I was comfortable with. it was kind of frustrating as my breathing was comfortable enough, I just couldn’t push those legs any harder or the pain in my lower legs went out of control. By K8 I was still holding it together. The regular drink stations and residents holding hoses were more than small mercies. the last K I really put in and thought about how much I had trained and done to get here and how cool the whole damn thing was - I sprinted the last 400m on a belated endorphin surge and crossed the line with a big grin on my face very satisfied with the effort. For the record my first Noosa and my first Olympic distance at 2:15:46, Swim 25:10, Bike 1:06:43, Run 43:53.


I immediately met a mate in recovery and the stories started to flow, it was the start of many that day, in recovery, at mates units, at the presentations and then at the after party at the surf club. I had a dozen coronas and uncounted rumbo's but still can recall most of what went on :lol: I woke up Monday feeling acceptable under the circumstances and actually got talked into going for a ride with Mctwistie and mate. (after 10k I pulled them up, called them every name I could think of and went back home to bed where my tender head belonged ;) ) I spent the rest of the day recovering and we headed back to the real world on Tuesday.


There you have it - my Noosa experience. Kind of war and peace I know but to me is wasn't just about the race - it was the whole fantastic lot. The time spent training, the extended weekend, the race, ther party and the people I have met along the way. Now I have more goals for next year. It is time to go Long.


Next Race report - Hell Of the West. :dolphin:




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