Upcoming Races



Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rigor Mortis AKA- Mooloolaba World Cup

So it turns out that I found my hammer again. I took great joy in embracing its vigor whilst refamiliarising myself with is lustful curves for a majority of the race, until I dropped it. I tried to bend down and pick up my beloved implement, but a bout of rigor mortis ensured my tool remained beyond a stiff arms length away. As macabre as that may sound, seeing as though rigor mortis is truly brutal, it's kind of what my body felt like during the run. But I'm happy to say that my mind was on another level above my battered body, and I can honestly say I'm content with my performance on the weekend. Give me a little more time, and I'm quite confident I will be able to finish the job tantamount to compadre Jimmy Seear. On that note, Jimmy may not have won, but he was the true hero of the race.

Firstly, I was relieved the swim was in the surf this year, as I feel the river swim drained the life and atmosphere from the race last year. With this in mind, I was keen to attack it from the start. I made it to the front of the pack quickly, and gave someone a gentle nudge out of the way, letting them know I wanted the feet of the leader. I soon moved up to the lead after the first buoy, and had a go at trying to string things out. I'm actually lucky I was able to navigate back to the beach, but my line of swimming was probably akin to something like the blade of a saw. The setting sun was not so benevolent upon my eyes, and the only way I could see where I was going was by every so often sighting the lead kayakers paddle making a silhouette against the sun. Dylan McNeice, who is a great swimmer, got me on the waves in and took the swim prime holding the lead into transition.

Based on last years break on the same course, the first few laps was where the break I was looking for was going to happen. Jimmy, Josh Maeder and myself tried hard to make a gap, but we were swallowed up within a lap. I think most were unexpecting it, including myself, but this is where things got fun! I actually never knew we were caught, and I was still pushing the pace on the front when everyone decided to sit and rest. After Jimmy rolled through, I looked back and we had made 100m within about 30 seconds. We both knew this was where we had to go and dug for something special to consolidate our lead. As we saw the gap growing each lap, we got more excited and increasingly determined to blow the chasers out to a huge gap.

The bike however wasn't without incident! If some people on the course heard or saw some not so desirable gestures from me, I can explain! Each lap heading into transition, there is a fast chicane on a little decline which put us down into the expo tent before popping us out at the u-turn on the roundabout. I took the lead down the hill and peeled off just after this section to let Jimmy take a turn. The lead film crew on the bike saw Jimmy roll the the right as I swung to the left, so I assume they were trying to get some pictures of him. He backed off and hit his brakes right infront of me, and pushed me into the barrier. I was grinding along the barrier getting flattened so I had to completely stop and go around him on the other side. Jimmy had to sit up and wait for me, and I caught the remarks of the commentator when I rolled through. It was kind of embrassing knowing they thought I was stinging off the back!

So onto the run, I soon found I just didn't have the legs. It was amazing though, with everyone cheering just as hard for me each lap even though I had lost my lead. Running through to the finish line was truly euphoric with everyone yelling for me, and in hindsight, it has only made me more determined to get out there next time and finish the job! So thanks everyone who threw a cheer my way, it helped more than you think.

Bring on Sydney!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Low Key, Obscure and Unconventional

Low key, obscure and unconventional. These three words would generally grab my interest, especially since I'm about to apply these three words to a race held last Saturday at Redcliffe, just north of Brisbane.

The format: Swim 600m, run 3k, swim 600m, run 3k.

This event, aptly named the Splash and Dash for Cash has been on the cards for a while. I love a good splash and dash, and in continuing fashion from the nostalgia of previous posts, I grew up doing this stuff in many puddles, pools, lakes, creeks, rivers and whatever other body of water permitted so. I missed last years splash and dash ritual due to stomach cramps, so I was extra keen to start it this year. It's quite a low key event with about 150 entrants all up throughout the categories. It's held along the picturesque Scarborough esplanade, which is a wonderful local with a long jetty for us to swim around, and intimate bike paths to hammer along in the run. Mother nature made herself aware, and greeted us with chop to the face in the swim, and a solid wall of wind on the run. Nevertheless, this made for a deceptively hard race! I would do this kind of stuff every weekend if I could.

Quite a few internationals were on the start line, of which I'm guessing are here for the World Cup this weekend. With mostly local athletes though, Dave Dellow and Josh Maeder were always going to be tough to beat, and both proved elusive, outrunning me on the final run leg. Our little trio led off the front the whole race, with the race stringing out mostly in the choppy swim conditions. The hard training never let up after Wellington, and tired legs got the better of me as I happily finished third rounding out the generous pay checks. Well done to Ash who finished 1st in the females, and 1st overall after we all failed to catch her with her 4minute handicap. She is very fast at the moment!

So my LP is on it's last grooves, which means I'm diving into bed to begin my decent in comatose. Below are some picture from the race!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Times of Grace

Last night I had the pleasure of being invited as an awards recipient to the University of Queensland (where I study) Blues awards night. For those unpardoned souls who are unaware of what a university Blue is, it's significance can be found here http://www.uqsport.com.au/index.html?page=7122

With so much history behind an award, it was a pretty cool to be one of four recipients this year at a uni of about 30,000 students. The whole night wasn't however dedicated to Blues awards, and served a much broader task of appraising UQ Sport, which is a wonderful organisation that hosts many sports, teams and clubs, including my training squad! There were many special guests including Blues recipients dating back to the 1940's, up to the 1970's. Of course these guys are always more alive that what their age would suggest, and are always keen to sponge up the free booze and elaborate relentlessly on some narratives from their golden years. One Blue from the 60's told of a cruise he had with his mates, and how they decided to play a joke on the skipper, for which he was locked in a porta-loo and promptly pushed overboard. Other special highlights from the evening included a speech in response to the toast, for which was done by your truly ;)

That's all for now.

Keep it real.

Campbell and I

One of the weather-beaten types in attendance, my Dad


One of the Larakins, Jules, a Blue from '63 I think.

Guilty of Nothing!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Crawl forth mathematical minions, and revel in all things statistical (in Particular MAX power output). I was not wearing a heart rate monitor, but whomever I picked up needs to train harder :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Toolbox

I remember when I was a kid, I always had these grand designs about things I wanted to build with wood and the like. I wanted to build possum boxes, bows and arrows and other things that turned out looking like anything but. In hindsight, I should have set out to build a monstrosity instead, then I would have actually built something I intended to build. Nevertheless, I would always have a go even if I had no idea what I was doing. Obviously my parents never let me play with power tools, so the only tool I had was this old artifact that bared some resemblance to a hammer. It was about half the size of a conventional hammer and made with only one ingredient, solid steel. Dad use to always ramble on about this hammer; that he made it back when he was in the Army and that he was really proud of it, to which I was always thinking 'whatever old man'. This hammer and I saw through many tough times, times like when I would try and hammer a screw into something and would wonder why it wouldn't budge after a few hits. I guess I didn't know what a screw driver was. But one grim and desolate day, this hammer unfortunately was lost into oblivion in the realm of deceased tools, which left Dad and I pretty sad.

A valuable lesson ultimately came out of this. As I wanted to keep making useless articles, Dad went out and bought me another hammer along with a tape measure. My uncle who is also a builder bought me a tool belt and a few other little things on a trip he took me on down to the hardware store. Being the consumer I am, I kind of wanted every bloody tool and was always demanding more. The lesson was that tools are something that you build up over time, until you have somewhat like a buffet meal of tools lined up in front of you by the time your an old man like my Dad or my uncle.

Like my hammer which I used drive nails into wood, I kind of feel that I have raced a lot like a hammer with the philosophy of just going hard with no regrets. However sometimes it never worked out, leaving me like the times I miserably tried to hammer the screws into the wood.

I guess my prophecies of my last post descended into oblivion like my old hammer. With my favourite tool tucked away in it's box at Oceania's on the weekend, I was ultimately forced into an attempt to expand my tool box a little, and try to extend beyond the dynamism of my sacred tool.

The swim was rough and brutal, it was more like a competition to see who could drink more salt water than each other. With salt water not my preference of beverage, I spent most of the time trying to work my way up to the front with a bitter taste in my mouth and my mind. I noticed there was a guy wayyyy down the line about 30 seconds up, and I knew this is where I should have been but had ultimately failed to do so. I think the salt water drinking derby at the start left most of the field bunched up, with all the main players exiting the water together for a stroll around the 40k bike. A few break attempts were made, but every attempt failed. I tried to stay out of the wind and get my running tool ready, which I later struggled to pull out of my box until about 6k into the run when I found my legs. I still managed to snag 5th in u23's with a decent run split, which is nothing to be disappointed about.

For an indefinite amount of time I will need to sharpen and refine the tools I already have and try to acquire some of the elusive tools I do not have. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to find out what tool I'm going to have to draw at the Mooloolaba World Cup in 12 days time. Hopefully I'll have it in my box!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I'm leaving soon for Wellington, which will be the season opener in Olympic Distance terms. I'm very excited for this race, as Wellington usually means the toughest guy wins!

Here's two pictures from 2008 to give an indication of the course. I would say this course has a very intense clinical medical condition known as bipolar. It might be 90% flat (the other percent is a bastard child hill that comes at you like a buzzard) but at any given time you could be going 60km/h sipping coffee or reading horoscopes (whichever your preference), then turn a corner and BANG, the wind adjusts you to 15km/h. To be honest, I love it, and I wouldn't want it any other way. Just maybe, I have found true love.

If you click on the above and take your attention away from my sweet biceps, you can check a little of the swell that strings out the swim. I'm sure many pee in their wetsuit pre-start even though they are plenty warm.

Time to demonstrate my style, hopefully I can report back with some good news!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Food 1.0

So the rain hasn't stopped, and neither has my insatiable desire for food. Not only did my inflated chocolate quota (boost bar, cherry ripe, large cold rock with 5 mix-ins, specifically 2x turkish delight, 2x caramello koala, 1x caramel fudge, 1x oreo) from yesterday fail to appease me, it only aspired me, or moreover my mum, to more lustrous manifestations.

Here's the baking I came home to today from training :)

Guilty Suspects: Banana Bread (front), Honey and Oat Slice#1 (back left), Honey and Oat Slice #2 (back right).

More on food, one of my favourite sessions is the long Bunya trail run or threshold build, including breakfast with the comrades post effort. Here's some pictures from last Thursdays :)

Hunger pains aside, I need to be more like Ash, and have an Ash-sized Ashcake. See below for example!

Expect many more posts on food!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Relaxation 1,1

Brisneyland= rain.

After a few days of rain/8 hours of soggy saddle time/40k soggy Nike time/3 hours of soggy, er speedo's time + a season of Dexter later, Ash and I went for a stroll down to the local catchment to have a look! The power of nature is incredible and I never tire of just standing there looking at creeks. I use to play here when I was a kid, always trying to catch eels and guppies to feed my Barramundi; and just being a rat in general.


Here's a bonus picture taken today, just for fun :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Raby Bay Brutality!

The past Sunday saw the second race of our national elite series at Raby Bay. Unconventional had it's name all over this race again, with a 250m swim/5km bike/1.6km run three times through after short breaks. Fecal accidents aside, I think everyone enjoyed the race and had lots of fun. I myself managed to stay out of trouble and finish in 3rd place, a step up from the first race of the series. It's great to be back on the podium!

Swim starts are getting worse and worse nowadays, with all three swim starts in the male races unfavorable to those not willing to cheat; namely myself, all-round good guy Jimmy Seear and a few others around me like Sam Appo. A few of the guests down under from Europe, and even some coaches on the sidelines don't seem to understand what respect is; at least they are not making any friends because of it. Nevertheless, during the first swim start I spent most of the time trying to stay out of the immenent bloodbath after a slow start. I managed to advance quicker than what I thought to come out of the water in the front group. Onto the bike there were only a few of us working, which meant all the main players caught us, namely Courtney Atkinson, Dan Wilson and a few others. With the dismount and transition very slippery, I took it pretty easy, as well as during the first run leg. I sat back off a pretty large group amazed at the speed the guys were willing to take the first run. I was throwing down some hypotheses' in my head as to who would be able to hold the pace throughout the next two races and as to when I had to make my move. I knew quite a few of the guys wouldn't be around for much longer, so I didn't have to use to much energy, and worked my way up out smarting Atkinson for 5th :)

The second and third races were much the same, with the run turning out to be just as quick but with much less people to contend with, with each time having to chase down the bloody electric Dan Wilson, and Dave Matthews. I finished 4th in the second race, and improved on that again with a 2nd in the final race, finally getting Matthews. Well done to those boys, I love racing when you have to lay everything down and show all your cards. Hopefully I can improve on my position again for Oceana's in Wellington in the coming weeks.

A drug test, chocolate muffin and double espresso later I was on the way home to spend the day with the family for my dad's 65th birthday. He's the best looking 65 year old around so on that note congrats to Dad! I gave him a book (How to lose a Battle), did the dishes and put the new tyres on his bike, which all was an easy win, and consolidated my position for the day as favourite child. What a great day!

Take it easy, Josh

(Please send some pics of the race through if anyone has any!)