Grafman TE Middle distance Champs
This was my 2nd visit to have a crack at this event after I was so impressed with the organisation, atmosphere and location the previous year. We camped by the lake again which the kids love although I am having serious doubts about doing this again after a repeat of last year’s minimal sleep in the tent!
One of the benefits of camping right near transition is I didn’t have to climb out of my pit until 6am as it was only a 200m or so to rack my bike. The weather on race morning was overcast but the clouds looked threatening and the wind started to pick up. A complete contrast to last year which was hot and almost no wind.
I went off with the 2nd wave about 5mins after the young guns. I like the swim location, it involves 2 loops, the first 1050m before an Australian style exit, and then back in for the remaining 850m. I felt pretty good on the swim and although it was very congested at the start and round the buoys which held you up. I took just over a minute off my last years time. I felt much fresher to boot.
Out on to the bike was pretty painless and I quickly tried to find my rhythm. The course is slightly rolling with just a couple of steeper kick ups and involves a short out and back ride before returning and then heading out to a longer loop which is completed twice. I remember loving the bike last year as it so picturesque. You get to go through a few of the small villages and the local support out on course is great.
The weather really took a down turn on the bike this year though and it was windy and very wet. It was difficult to keep the speed up and a few matches had to be burnt to keep the power up. I really enjoyed the bike even with the weather and it seemed to pass really quick. The only downside was I couldn’t feel my feet. Nearly a minute slower than last year but I will take that as an improvement considering the wind ;)
Coming in and out of transition I felt great. A slight mishap finding my rack space but set off on target pace. The run course is a repeat of a loop which passes through transition a total of 4 times including the start and finish. So it’s great for support. The first out and back is flat along the side of the damn wall and its quite exposed. Very hot here last year but this year the temp was nice, just breezy. The 2nd out and back is rolling and with some off-road tracks. It’s a good run course but quite wearing.
My first 5km I felt really good. The bricks were paying off I thought! But once I hit 6km the wheels started to fall off. Definitely should have held back a bit more on the first 5km and maybe not spent so many matches on the bike. Too late now though…… The rest of the run I just seemed to get slower and slower and by the last 2km my quads were completely shot to the point that a was bent nearly double getting up the last little incline. Very relieved to finish and took 4mins off my run time from last year and 5mins quicker overall.
11th in my AG so a jump of 11 places from last year. Not too shabby but still a way to go.