|The view from our house on the bike course|
I arrived on Saturday morning with my wife Hayley and two Border Collies Ozzi and Jordi and checked into a pet friendly house that was on the water at Point Vernon and was located on the bike course. Saturday consisted of a very casual rego and race briefing followed by dinner the local pizza shop that went down a treat.
Saturday afternoon, the wind had picked up and kicked up some decent chop in the bay. Throughout the night, the wind did not ease and we were met on Sunday morning with a gusty Easterly blowing and a decent amount of chop.
I towed the start line in the under 40 wave and was first wave of the day. The swim was a two lap triangular course exiting the water after the first lap. I started hard from the beach start and felt I was in a good position rounding the first can which was only 50m away. Sighting to the second can was made difficult by the sun coming up as well as the wind and chop blowing straight in your face. The leaders were off the front in the swim but I found myself in what was either the second or third pack of about 5 others, where I swam strategically. After lap one, I found myself on the front of the pack and was not interested in towing the others around so swam off to the side and slowed up allowing a couple of others come through and jumped straight back onto their feet. I stayed in this spot for the remainder of the swim and exited in 34min 35sec and fifth in my age group.
My bike is usually my strength and being not the fastest swimmer, I usually have to ride hard to make up any lost ground in the swim. Lately I have been working hard to turn my run into my strength so my plan was to ride the first 20km of the bike hard and then ride very conservatively to finish with a strong run.
The course was a four lap course over some undulating terrain of some long steady climbs and one short sharp one. At the first turn around (halfway into the first lap) I was about 90 seconds down on 4th and 5th overall being Jason Crowther and Nathan Fitzakerly. My goal was to bridge up to them steadily and then switch off a conserve as much energy as I could to setup my run.
By 30km, I had caught Jason and Nathan and dropped my pace right back and did not worry too much about chasing 1st and 2nd as they were minutes up the road riding solo. We were slowly reeling in my good mate and superfish Dan Hutchinson who was also riding so but did not catch him until 60km.
With about 5km to go, our group of 3 were caught by a bloke who started in the wave 5 minutes behind us and was flying. He flew right passed us as we were coasting to setup our run. This shook our pace line up and everyone was scrambling to stay near him and not lose any time going into T2. I was the only one who managed to stay near him which gave me a 20 second buffer on the other two.
Bike time - 2hr 7mins 6sec, 1st in Age Group
My goal for the run was to run a 75min 18km therefore I had to maintain 4:05min/km. I exited T2 in 4th place just behind Paul Dodd who had a 5min buffer on me having started 5min back. He immediately put 50m on me but I worked hard to not lose anymore distance. At the first turnaround 3km in, I had approximately 100m on Jason and a bit more on Nathan who was further back.
For the first lap, I averaged about 3:55min/km but was really hurting. It was tough running on the hot, tight twisting course but I just concentrated on my form and speed. I was running in my Asics Hyperspeed racing flats and I was confident these would get me through the 18km although being such a light weight race shoe. They are so light yet supportive at the same time.
After the first 6km lap, I settled into a good rythym and slowly gained on and picked off 3rd place and concentrated on holding my position. I maintained my speed and distance on Jason and kept ticking off the km's getting closer to the finish. By the second last turn around, I had put some more time on Jason and was confident I was going to cross the line 3rd. Run time: 1hr 13min 35sec
After the times were calculated, I was actually 4th overall having only put 4mins on Paul in the run therefore he had beaten my by 1min. I was stoked to come away with the win in the 30-39 age group which had some very handy athletes.
Total time: 3hrs 55min - 4th overall, 1st 30-39
It was great to be able to race alongside so many people from the Redcliffe Tri Club and the support from fellow competitors as well as specators was fantastic.
A big thank you goes to Nick and Dawn Downes and the Hervey Bay Tri club for putting on such an amazing event. The Hervey Bay 100 is definately a race I look forward to competing in next time.
For those interested, I have included my nutrition plan for the race.
1 gel 30mins prior to race start.
1 gel as soon as I got on the bike and then one every forty mins from there on the bike. A small handful of party mix lollies every alternate 40mins on the bike.
For the run, I had a gel every lap so each 6km's which was about 25 mins apart.
All roads now lead to Ironman Melbourne which is just over 17 weeks away. I have a 5 week block of base building consisting of alot of hills both on the bike and run.
Till next time....