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Geelong 70.3 is at the perfect time of the year for me, as a primary school teacher I get to do most of the build during school holidays. It’s also the closest 70.3 for us living in Adelaide. Probably my B race for the year, and always I good one to see what a difference a year of training makes. Third time both me and my partner Sam have packed up the car and driven to Victoria. We know when to get there, where to stay and to always pack winter gear - just in case as Geelong weather can be unpredictable! I had a solid built, with no injuries or illnesses. Felt good and ready to roll come race weekend. Mother Nature was kind last year, and this year was no different. Very light winds, mild temperatures - I think it got up to 27 for the day.
Calm and mostly cloudy in the morning, pretty much perfect swim conditions. Due to sea urchins near the swim entry, the organizers changed the start from a wave start to a rolling wave start letting two people go in 5 second intervals. F25-29 and 40-44 were going together as the third wave for the day. So much better than starting all the way back like last year! The swim is a triangle that I like to split in thirds. First one trying to find my rhythm and some feet to sit on, not that there were many around due to the rolling start. The second third luckily wasn’t as lonely as the first and I found others to swim with. Pace was steady, pushing it still but something I could maintain. Last third was faster as you get a little push from the current/‘waves’/whatever it is - and I remember thinking ‘Jeez this swim has gone quick’. It sure did 34:43 - a 3-minute PB! The best possible start to the day. First time in a triathlon my swim was in the top 50% for AG and gender.
My new wetsuit not only allowed a better range of movement in the water, but also came off quicker in T1. My T1 was quite uneventful, which is probably a good thing!
I remember hearing Craig Alexander call the bike course in Geelong ‘honest’. It has faster flat sections, winding rougher roads through the parklands as well as one bigger hill (nothing crazy though). The 2 lap bike course is super exposed to any wind, and two years ago that direct 30+km/h headwind was brutal - we were so lucky with weather this year! This was my second 70.3 racing with power, so I had numbers in mind and I managed to hold on to what I was expecting. The plan was to build, but I got carried away at the start so instead of it being a build, I more so took it a bit easier in the last 10K (you know, given I had a half marathon to go!) 2:48 for the bike, 8 minutes faster than last year and 27 minutes faster than 2 years ago. Happy with that!
Always such a relief to get to T2 without any mechanicals or flats! Not my quickest transition, but not my worst. Swapped my shoes, grabbed my race belt, visor, two gels and started running.
I quite like the run course in Geelong! You wouldn’t call it exactly flat, but all the undulations are manageable and there are flat sections too. Crowd support is great! Warm and sunny by this time, and no I’m not complaining, two years ago it was merely 10 degrees and it wasn’t that pleasant to say the least. Started off steady, a pace I could easily maintain. Had a gel at 7 & 14Ks and water and ice at every aid station. I also poured ice into my trisuit every chance I got to keep me nice and cool. Enjoying the scenery, the parklands and the waterfront - probably more during the first lap! 12-18K I had a choice to make. Keep it steady and comfortable or speed up. I chose to maintain the same pace. In hindsight I should have picked up the pace here. At 3Ks to go it’s all downhill to the finish line and I sure picked up the pace. Given my last 500m I was running at 4:00min/km pace and I got to the finish line feeling good and jumping around so stoked to get a 10-minute PB, I can’t really say that I emptied the tank during the run. 1:44 for the run, a minute slower than last year but a valuable lesson learned - don’t settle when you’ve got more to give.
To me racing is all about beating my previous time (given conditions are comporable) and effort. I finished in 5:13:37 which I was very happy with, 6th from 34 finishers in F25-29. There would have been a Women for Tri 70.3 world champs spot for me at roll down, but unfortunately, I need to afford food and hence gave it a miss haha! Until next year Geelong.
Did someone say sub5??
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