Last race of three in a row done and done! I felt like I was getting stronger as the races went on and aside from some back tightness I felt I could still have a really strong race to finish off the trip. The course was a cold wetsuit swim at 15C and then a hilly two lap bike course with a 1km granny gear climb followed by a two lap run with a hill in the middle of the lap both ways.
The days leading up had been cool 22C and comfortable with a haze blocking the sun mostly. Race morning we awoke to beautiful blue sky and we could actually see around the beach front city of
I started off with another good swim, second/third for the first lap then lead the second lap after an extensive series of dolphin diving in and back out from the turn. It was a longer 300m run to transition but opened up a smaller gap into transition from the guys on my feet. This was helpful as we had 50m to put our shoes on before going up a short out of the saddle hill to start the ride.
We quickly formed a group with Kyle, Gavin Noble (Irishman from last week) and an Aussie. We started rolling off as a group but nothing too hard as we new we had a gap and there was tough riding ahead. We stayed as a group of four till 8km when we were joined by a Russian and a South African. The rest of the ride was pretty relaxed and the 1km climb was solid each time but nothing too hard. We gained a huge lead over the chase group so it was a six man race.
Having gone out strong but not crazy last week I wanted to push harder earlier and see how strong a run I could pull out. Going out I felt relaxed and strong and pushed the pace on the group of five that formed up the first hill. This managed to stretch the group and after making the 180 at 2.5km it was Kyle, Gavin and myself with gaps between the others behind. Coming back over the hill (steeper in the return direction) Kyle and I pushed hard and opened a gap to Gavin. We worked hard over the hill and rolled off each other along the 1km flat stretch to the 5km first lap mark. Coming out of the turn Kyle put a solid surge in and I increased my pace but couldn’t match him. I then focused on running solidly over and back to the top of the hill on the way back. I continued to put time on Gavin bit by bit. I reached the top of the hill with just over a mile to go feeling strong but hurting. I got down onto the flat and focused on the finish stretch. Somewhere along this stretch things started going sideways. With 800m to go I was struggling to keep pace and Gavin went by in a blur and I got to the finish chute in a daze and wobbling to the finish. I was then taken off to the medical area where I proceeded to throw up everything I had drunk during the race. Guess that explains the dehydration. A couple of IV’s later I was good to go and up on the podium in third place for the third weekend in a row. I was feeling so strong up until the last 1200m and really wanted to finish strong and move up a podium spot, but it is what is and it has been a successful trip none the less.
Thanks for the support from everyone over the last weeks, it is so good to be back on the world circuit again.
Congrats to Kyle for going three wins in a row, he was a running machine these past weeks.