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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Port 70.3

Less than two months ago I had an embarrassing moment in Syracuse when my bike fell off the car on the way to my first 70.3 race. Apart from feeling as useless as a marzipan dildo, I felt I needed to reschedule the lost race and get my 70.3 virginity over with. So last week I saddled up and headed 8hours down the East Coast for the Port Macquarie 70.3. I didn't realise it at the time, but Port was going to be a whole bunch harder than Syracuse, with a tougher course, and a tougher field.

I drove down to Port with eventual winner Clayton Fettell. He's in career best form at the moment in the lead up to the Busselton Ironman in December, and my plan all along was to stay with him as long as possible. I only needed to suffer for two hours on the bike and I would outpace him on the run for a win. Dream on lad! I ended up 5th place in 4hours 2minutes.

The swim is pretty easy in the 70.3 format for the good swimmers. There's no short course shit-fight to the first can, there's never 5 guys either side of you holding you back or sucking your wake, simply clear water from the start. I sat on Clayton for the swim, and we started the ride together. The Port course is 2 laps on the bike, with the first & last 12km's each lap over some pretty agressive hills, which also doubled as the run course. The other section is a pancake highway. I rode with Clayton until about 30km's, where at this point he managed to find the benevolent slipstream of the lead motorbike, instantly gapping me and leaving me solo and a bit annoyed. I hate dobbing, but this was a pretty shit thing to do on his behalf. I continued by myself, but lacking in experience and endurance, I ended up getting caught by a bunch at about 65km's. I knew I just had to sit in, and conserve for the run. After sitting in, I lost a bit of focus and hit a pretty low point at about 82km's, began losing energy and concentration fast, and consequently started the run by myself after getting dropped again.

On the run course, there's only about 2km's in the whole half-marathon that is flat. I got the first flat km ticked off easy, but locked up as soon as I hit the hills. I'd been warned about the high and lows and endurance racing, so I sucked it up and kept chipping away at time. I ended up coming good at about 8km's, but had lost too much time to claw my way back into the podium places.

I came into the race without really preparing properly for the distance, and I probably disrespected the 90km TT a little and suffered as a result. I just wanted to get my first half-iron done as an end-of-year treat (a treat only a die-hard triathlete could love I guess), and to put some long-distance feelers out there for the future. Now that it's over, it's exposed a nice chunk of weaknesses that I can work on for my races in 2012. I'm definately going to do more of this distance! 4hours, 2mins over a brutal course can only get faster, lads. Maybe next time I can win like Clayton did, off the front the whole way. I like that.

1 comment:

  1. Sitting on feet on the swim? Come on mate