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Why we love // Ultra355 Australia
The inaugural Ultra355 Australia is set to take place in the beautiful city of Hervey Bay, Queensland between February 27 and March 1, and to say we are pumped is an understatement!
A new event on the ultra endurance scene is exciting in itself, but with 10 T:Zero athletes hitting that start line at the end of February, let’s take a closer look at why this race has more than piqued our interest already …
A brand new, exciting challenge!
The brainchild of the Ultraman Australia organisers, Ultra355 is a three-day stage triathlon, comprised of a 5km swim and 100km bike (day 1); 200km bike (day 2) and 50km run (day 3).
To us, it presents as a new and exciting opportunity for athletes who may have already finished multiple iron-distance events, qualified for and raced Kona or simply decided that distances even longer than standard Ironman are more suited to them. Or perhaps they just want to see how far they can truly go... (*cough* #liveyourpotential *cough*).
If the distances weren’t already challenge enough, athletes must also be prepared to tackle the race fully self-supported. Unlike ‘big brother’ Ultraman, competitors must complete the event without a dedicated support crew.
There are some crazy awesome ultra races all around the world but certainly (and also importantly), in these unprecedented times, there aren’t too many that are this close to home (for most of us anyway).
The ‘stage’ aspect
Sure, the thought of getting all the pain over and done with in a day might seem more appealing on the surface, but let’s look at the upside to multi-day racing.
Stage racing is an incredibly awesome, challenging yet equally rewarding type of event to train for. First, and arguably most important - there is no run off the bike! Not only is this a win on race day, but it also means no nasty brick sessions in training! In fact, just like in Ultraman, there’s only ONE transition in the entire race - occurring between swim and bike on Day 1. After that - it’s all smooth sailing.
What stage racing does mean, particularly across three days, is that elements of rest and recovery are absolutely critical - athletes who are able to support and aid their body to recover and reset between the days will have the best chance at success. The element of mindset and an athlete’s ability to refocus or stay focussed ‘in the zone’ across that extended period of time adds a whole new dimension (and challenge) too.
Hervey Bay is a largely undiscovered oasis … in our own backyard
The stage is set friends, and my goodness it’s a beauty!
If you haven’t seen them already, do yourself a favour and check out Coach Rich’s @richardthompsontriathlon Instagram for some photos of the race recon trip he recently took to Hervey Bay. The photos are incredible and probably don’t even do it justice.
Situated in the Fraser Coast region of Queensland, Hervey Bay is a beautiful coastal city surrounded by picturesque waters and known for some of the very best whale watching in the world. It’s got that small town feel, yet is established enough to feature everything an athlete might need across the weekend, which, particularly when stage racing, is of considerable benefit. There are plenty of accommodation options along the 10km esplanade too, all with spectacular water views.
Indeed the race locations for Ultra355 events across the world have been chosen specifically for their “natural beauty and unique character” so if you can’t make it to Hervey Bay, how do Cozumel, Mexico, Penticton, Canada or Punta Del Este, Uruguay sound as alternative options? We can certainly vouch for two of the three having raced in these locations previously. And in our humble opinion, the common denominator is …exquisite beauty.
The course - of course!
If you’ve signed up for a suffer-fest, you may as well do it in paradise, right? And while we can’t speak from experience just yet, we can only dream…
The Ultra355 course encompasses:
5km swim - in a calm, protected and pristine bay with an expected temperature of around 27 degrees
300km (total, across Day 1 & 2) bike through rolling hills and out towards the Fraser Island barge before heading inland through the scenic rural Fraser Coast. The course then turns back towards the ocean, winding through coastal communities and returning to the race precinct along Hervey Bay esplanade
50km scenic run, out and back along the rockwall, through race central and along the esplanade for two fun-filled laps of pavement pounding!
This course gets extra points for spectator-friendliness too. 💯
The perfect precursor to Ultraman
Hey, we’re T:Zero! We’re passionate about endurance racing and we can’t help but see Ultra355 as the perfect stepping stone from Iron(man) to Ultra(man).
Most people don’t jump straight into triathlon by way of an Ironman. The majority of athletes start small - teams, sprints, Olympic, half, long-course … all come first. Often it takes many years of these events (and throw in a few swim, ride and run solo events) before they feel comfortable to make the jump. Similarly, many endurance athletes would look at Ultraman and immediately discount it as a realistic undertaking for them, presuming it would all be “too hard or too much” **.
Ultra355 is the perfect race to step up the challenge without going all the way. It’s a comfortable, (just over) half way point and fills a hole the race scene has been missing for quite some time. We are thrilled to be able to support it at the grassroots level and excited to see it grow.
We are super pumped to have so many T:Zero athletes taking on the challenge at Ultra355 Australia and can’t wait to see them all take the start line on February 27.
To our Ultra355 athletes - wishing you all the best of luck as you jump in to the last big training load before taper time!
If all this reading about the race has piqued your interest, you can find out more on the Ultra355 website, register your interest and of course reach out to us for some help with an achievable, completely customised training program to get you across that finish line, wherever it may be!
** If this is you, please take a look at this super blog from one of our incredible Ultraman athletes Jen McMillan. Might make you think twice ;-) #liveyourpotential
An amazing collection of training and racing advice from the T:Zero Multisport coaches- with the occasional guest blogger! Read this blog to help you live your potential!