Sunday 14th January 5AM – 2XUTri : “Due to poor water quality the swim leg has been replaced by a run…”
The only small saving grace? It was not a beach run but rather a path run, slightly better. The first leg for the Sprint distance was now a 3.5km loop towards the city and 2 laps for Olympic distance making a 7km run.
For myself this was pretty much worst case scenario. As someone who proudly walks 95% of the run leg (slowly improving on this) in all my events, a double run leg was not ideal to say the least.
However I was going into this race with a slightly different aim to usual. After an up and down 6 months to end 2017, I came to the realization, that I’d lost, that normally highly contagious, Triathlon bug. I quickly realized I had two options, quit the sport or get the bug back. With the decision made, I’s signed up for Race 3 that day which was to take place later that week and the aim was simple – catch the bug again!
Everyone lined up at the ‘Swim Start’ and after a few jokes with fellow competitors and a look at the ominous dark clouds above us we were off. Whilst intending to walk the majority as usual, I still started off in a jog and kept up with a few athletes in my wave for the first couple of hundred meters and then I felt this not so nice sting in my Achilles. Uh Oh, not a good start just 1 minute and 45 seconds into the race. So straight to walking it was. I tried a couple of other small jogs but my ankle did not want to cooperate.
Heading into T1, I was about to call it done, my foot was not doing well and I just had the letters DNF going through my mind, until I saw an old work college of mine on the sidelines cheering me on! She was there watching her partner race but saw me and cheered me on as well. She walked the length of Cantini gardens with me and on I went into T1 ready to continue on!
The bike was a pretty standard St Kilda bike leg. Horrible wind conditions, bit of rain, strong tailwind, worse headwind. Repeat for 2 laps. Finish.
Heading into T2 my friend from earlier was back again cheering me on (with her partner now finished and by her side) which gave me that little bit of encouragement I needed to head on to the final run leg. After some significantly cramping in T2 which delayed my ability to put my runners on (but was probably quite entertaining for spectators) I was out on the ‘run’, and boy was it going to be a slow one.
I tried to take the Tri-Kids turn to the finish line after 500m but the officials somehow picked up on the fact that I was a bit too old for that, so onto the 5km loop it was. And it was a slow loop at that, any slower I’d have been going backwards. But I figured one foot in front of the other and eventually I’d have to get to the end of the 5km.
And I did, after 1 hour and 2 minutes I finished the final run leg and crossed the finish line in a total time of 2 hours and 56 minutes in 664th spot (out of 664 if you were wondering).
So probably doesn’t sound like the greatest of days out – but it actually was. I caught the bug and I loved it, problems and all.
The pats on the back from numerous strangers on the course, our fellow BCB athletes, the cheers from the volunteers and the crowd, the chance to push you mind and body past where it thinks it can go, the good, the bad and the ugly all come together and we are hooked.
Massive shout out to fellow club members, Adrian and Luke who stuck around for more than an hour after they had finished (both in 1st place!) and cheered me on through the finishers shoot as well as making sure I was OK when I has a bit of a moment post race.
Written By Ashleigh Whiteside
Photos by Ashleigh Whiteside and Official Race Photographer – Raceatlas
|Competitor||Time||Category||Category Pos.||Gender Pos.||Run||T1||Bike||T2||Run|
|Adrian Verdnik||2:19:04.7||Olympic Male 45-49||1||36||0:27:17.7||0:01:48.0||1:03:04.4||0:02:03.8||0:44:50.7|
|Brendon Dunn||3:12:54.4||Olympic Male Open||16||255||0:39:52.6||0:00:00.0||1:21:15.3||0:03:29.2||1:07:58.2|
|Ashleigh Whiteside||2:56:54.1||Sprint Athena||7||221||0:33:58.4||0:00:00.0||1:16:09.0||0:04:13.0||1:02:33.4|
|Ho Wah Ng||1:34:11.5||Sprint Male 30-34||26||218||0:16:10.9||0:02:34.8||0:46:43.9||0:01:47.2||0:26:54.6|