Race Number 5 at Shepparton 70.3 has come and gone.
I didn't have my fastest time there, however did manage my best result. 2nd in my A/G & 8th Amateur across the line.
I didn't think that the field was as strong as previous years when I went through the start list due to a lot of the familiar names in my age group either missing or in the 35-39.
As the saying goes, you can only race against those you turn up. My main threat for the day was Jamie Black (4hr10min Busso 70.3 2012) and whom I swim with (when I get there) at Yarra Tri.
The swim start was the calmest that I have ever been in, so it was easy to settle into a good rhythm. I was a bit surprised how early in the race we caught the waves ahead, so all I could do was to negotiate them by taking an inside line to get an uninterrupted swim. By half way around the swim I did notice someone in my a/g that I was swimming next too. A bit of experience here and I know how big the male ego is, I let him go and just tucked in behind him and got sucked around for the remaining part. Thanks Brett!!
Swim time: 29.07...nothing flash, but was 8th in my a/g on the day. Probably a little faster than where I am at due to the Rocket Science Wetsuit.
Getting my wetsuit off, I also removed my timing chip, so was unsure what would happen post race.
On looking back at the results, I was really surprised that the fastest swimmer only swam 27.37 as previous years there had been few 25's in there.
Onto the bike, I was just satisfied with having a solid day. I settled quite early and started to pass people at a rapid rate. I did recognise Barny who was in my a/g and when I went by, I was confident that I would be near leading the age group, if not in 2nd. The good thing about Shepparton's numbering system is that it is in alphabetical order, so unless you know the person, it is hard to determine what age group they are in.
Catching Banger around the 35k mark was also pleasing as he is a far superior swimmer than me and also started a few minutes ahead.
Heading back towards the turnaround, I could see the pro's coming towards me and looked like a fair bit of separation at the head of the field. Once I turned, I saw the age groupers coming towards me and did see some good packs (but that doesn't mean drafting as you can legally sit off the back and still be a back) and was expecting them to catch me on the second lap.
Nothing else exciting happened on the bike, I started to catch a few female pro's and at about 75k into a cross head wind, David Meade caught me, which was a blessing due to I was just starting to struggle. I was able to pace of David and work a few turns with him (all legal as we had a bike with us) until into T2. As we were getting near T2, I noticed Jason Shortis was just ahead of us and was pleased to have caught him getting into transition.
Ride time was about 2hr 16min (results not correct on site due to timing chip and they made up the times!)
Fastest in Age Group and only possible due to the Schnell Carbon Wheels, so thanks again Karl for your support and also to CBD Cycles for fixing my bike on the Saturday pre race!
I got off the bike and got my running gear on and got out in front of Jason Shortis and David Meade. I was and settled into a sub 4min pace and had David Meade fly by. The guy is a freak. After 2k Jason Shortis came steaming past and all I could hear was the puffing and panting he was making.
I was really happy with my pace, running about 4min/k and when the 3k mark hit, Jamie came smoking by. My next concern was to minimize the loss and the amount of people running by, so I kept the intake of the Shotz Gels and knew that I would be fine. My legs held really strong until the 18k mark where they started to fatigued and my splits blew out above 4min 10sec per k. But by then I had 2nd in the bag.
Run time approx 1hr 24min
Getting to the line in 4hr 15min & 2nd was really satisfying and another solid race and podium under the belt.
The more pleasing part of my day was the athlete's results that I coach.
Rene Rutze 4th 50-54 incl Vegas Spot
Adrian Ball 4th 55-59
John Cahill 5th 45-49 including fastest age group swim time of the day & Vegas spot
Ben Hughes 6th 35-39
Michael Harvey 8th 25-29
Tim Tingiri 30min PB
Jason Dwyer 6min PB
Cameron Wood 1st 70.3 5hrs 20min
Adam McCarthy 1st 70.3 5hrs 31min
Naomi Wood 1st 70.3 5hrs 32min
Nathan Coppock 1st 70.3 6hr 24min
With the remaining athletes, everyone got something out of the race, whether it be a good hit out for Ironman or a PB in a particular discipline. So a BIG congrates to all who took the start line.
For me, have to thank Andy again for getting me up and about for this race only 2 weeks after my 3rd at Murray Man and only 5 weeks after the Hawaiian Ironman.
For Now... A bit of rest and recovery before I get fine tuned for Canberra 70.3 in 3.5weeks.
PS. A big shout out to Matt Stacey for the treatment to get me mobile again after my back was playing up.