I usually go home to Australia in December, but this year, since I was getting married on New Year’s it made sense to stick around. This worked out pretty well, because I was able to get some training in December and January so that I could do an early race. South Africa is probably the earliest I’ve ever started my season, but I figured it was worth the trip. The location was awesome.
The day before the race, the waves were cranking on my warm-up swim. I thought I was going to get lucky and do some surfing for the race, but the next morning, the wind changed direction and the water was quite calm. Going into the swim, the water was freezing. It was probably the coldest water I have ever raced in and I’ve done 70.3 Oceanside for years. Despite that, I had a good swim and came out of the water in 3rd.
I was a little nervous going into the bike. Because of the wedding and a couple of bad weeks of weather in Austin I didn’t get in as many solid rides as I would have liked. I knew I was going to have to push hard on the bike to stay in contention. I ended up having a realy soild ride. My new Kestrel 4000 is just awesome. It really pulled me through. I also had a new nutrition plan for this year: Instead of having one water with all my nutrition in the one bottle, I split my nutrition between two bottles, because last year, I lost my nutrition bottles in 3 different races either from dropping it or having it bounce out off the bike. In each bottle, I put water, half a flask of vanilla First Endurance EFS Gel, and a heaping scoop of orange EFS powder. I think I’ll stick to this plan as seemed to work well and because of my history for losing bottles. Also, despite the fact that it started raining from 5K into the bike until the end of the run, the ride was pretty fast. There was an insane headwind heading out on the bike. After the turn around at about 50km we were going so fast I timed the next 20km. The first 10K we went through in 10:24 and for the full 20km we did 24:14.
My run was ok. I never quite got into a fast running groove though. After 10K, I really started to feel the pain of pushing the bike so hard and my legs started to bonk. I expected this to happen since it was such an early season race. I ended up 4th, which I am pretty happy with. It was my fist race in Avia racing flats and I’m really happy with the way they feel. I’m certainly not in any hurry to peak at this time of year. It’s going to be a long year with my major goal being the Rev3 series and the Rev3 Full in September. I think there will be a lot of bonked athletes later in latter part of the year with so many of athletes chasing points. I’d like to be strong when that happens.
Also, my bright green Rudy Project helmet was a big hit. I got a lot of good comments on my green-goblin-style race kit. I can’t wait to sport my new green Trakkers-Rev3 uniform. It’s going to look awesome. Also, I just wanted to commend South Africa for putting on an amazing race. Any race that can close down a 4 lane highway for a triathlon is pretty awesome.