7th - 2:02:57
swim 22:01 (13th)
bike 1:03:04 (1st)
run 37:51 (7th)
2 minutes before race start and one of my competitors tells me I'm not aloud to
wear my Blue Seventy speed suit. I had been through the rules before and it clearly states I'm aloud. But she continues to tell me that just this morning they declared ALL speed suits illegal. How did I miss this I think. Emma Snowsill is waiting to interview me before we start but instead of conducting the interview she is now also running around trying to find out. We soon find out my speed suit IS aloud and I quickly swim over to race start.
The frustration of my competitor trying to put me off works in my favour as I take off a little more aggressively than usual. But it isn't long before I'm spat out the back. The swim is tough. I'm all alone and instead of keeping my head down and swimming hard I'm constantly lifting it trying to sight. I come out a good few minutes behind with Sarah Crowly on my heels. There are three bikes left in transition. I get the sympathy clap as I mount my bike.
I'll show them! I think to myself as I motor up the road. I feel good but I'm a little disappointed there is no wind. The day before was very windy. I was hoping it'd be the same on race day. Being a stronger cyclist a tough head wind will exaggerate this and work in my favour. It will also reduce the chance of athletes being able to work together to get away. No wind today but RAIN - oh no! That wasn't here when we were swimming. Too late to deflate tyres.
Sarah has a speedy transition and is on her way well before me. But I pass her a few km up the road. I then pass another competitor about 7km in. I'm all alone for the next 5 or so km and the rain starts to pelt down. I climb up the 3km hill feeling strong and I start passing more competitors. At the turn around I can see a group of three riding together. Lisa Maragon leading Felicity Sheedy-Ryan and Ashleigh Gentle. All strong podium contenders. I want to be off the bike well before them.
Coming down the steep hill back into Tewantin I hit 81km/hr. Not quite the 100+ some of the boys can hit. With 10km to go the girls are well and truly in sight. 7km to go there is a tight roundabout. I get right up on the girls and plan to make the pass as soon as we leave the roundabout. The volunteers are waving frantically to slow us down. The road is really wet and super slippery. I slow down so much that I wonder why they are STILL waving. Then... Bang! I hit the deck. Shivy slides out from under me and I slide along the road following. I quickly get back up and on my bike. The next corner I take super slow. And the next... And the next. The roads are as smooth as silk and the water is puddled on them. I lose confidence and slow my pace down considerably. It takes me a few km now to pass the girls but even then I can't gap them. I'm too nervous to really put my foot down. And if I wasn't already nervous enough, I hit the home straight and a volunteer walks straight out onto the road crossing my path. White line, water, spectators... I swerve and slide. But I keep it up.
I hit T2 with four girls now right on my heels. I'm first to get the shoes on and run the loop around transition, up and over the bridge and then down onto the road to exit T2. Coming out onto the road I get bumped into the barriers as a competitor jumps accross in front of me. The 2 of us run together for a little bit while the 3 leaders are about 1min 30 up the road. It isn't long before the speedy Ashleigh Gentle (eventual winner) storms past us. I know straight away that I can't go that pace today. It's been a very choppy season running-wise with limited training between races and niggling injuries so I stay stuck in about 2nd gear for the majority of the run leg. Soon into the run leg another volunteer walks straight out in front of me as if I'm not even there... I take a thump to my shoulder and start to think that there must be a higher power trying to really test me today. Things just don't seem to be going my way and I start wondering if it's better if I pack it in for the day before something worse happens out here on the course.
While watching the mens race unfold as they run back past me in the other direction, my mind starts to wonder half way through the run...am I even racing? Or am I out for a jog while spectating? I'm running the pace I would in a half Ironman. I start working it out that I'm actually even running slower than I would in a half IM. I cross the line feeling like I've just been for a training run. Aside from some brusing and scrapes to the hip and elbow, I'm not really sore! I'm not physically hurting from racing! But mentally I was pretty spent. I'm not sure what happened out here today but it was far from my best. One positive I can take away from it was I did post the fastest bike split (including a crash along the way). I felt good on the bike, until I crashed. I think I took off in the swim fast (for me at least) so that's a positive. And the run, I got my legs straight away, but I just couldn't go any faster than the one pace I was stuck in.