Triple Edge Endurance Race Report
If you asked me at the beginning of last week whether or not 2015 would have seen me finish a race, the answer would have been a very disappointing no. That all changed in a matter of days after an idea was planted in my head at swimming on Monday evening. After a hectic week of organisation which involved literally dusting off my TT bike, I found myself lucky enough to get an entry to the 2km/60km/15km Canberra Triple Edge triathlon. Obviously, the decision to race a distance longer than I have raced since December 2013 was one that came more from my heart than my head and despite the insistence of my coach, Brian that 15km is too long for me to run, it was too late. I loved everything about the triple edge race. It was in my hometown, it was the last possible race I could race in 2015, the distances of the swim and bike would give me a good idea of where I was and a couple of my talented lane mates would be lining up alongside me to give me a little bit of a test in the otherwise low key race. I was diving in and I was going to try and shake things up for everyone on the local triathlon scene that had never heard of this Thorp character wearing a USA labeled blueseventy kit.
Thankfully for me, Brian was set to be in Canberra the weekend of the race. Having him go through the lead up to the race and being on course was just what I needed to calm the nerves and remind me that despite the fact I don't feel like it entirely at the moment, I am a professional triathlete and I know what I'm doing.
The race itself couldn't have got off to a better start. I felt confident lining up next to Daudi, Adam, Kym and Dave who I have spent a bit of time swimming with under the guidance of Corey Bacon since returning to Canberra. The swim itself was rather uneventful. What was probably the most relaxed swim of my triathlon career saw Adam and myself joined by Shane Ilgen in a trio at the front of the course. From here, the real challenge started for me... running barefoot to T1. Under coach's orders I rolled through T1 gently and headed out onto the bike.
From there I quickly hopped to the front of the field and pushed hard. Despite running being my strength, having a world U23 duathlon medalist in the field and having not run more than about 10km in a single session post surgery, I knew I had to have a massive lead off the bike to stand a chance of attaining my lofty goal of winning the race. Entering T2 off the front of the field in my hometown was something I wanted to do, but with a lead of 2:10, I knew the odds weren't in my favour.
Taking off on the run, I felt absolutely horrible. My stride felt like rubbish and I wasn't sure if I was moving at all. Thankfully I was able to build into the run a little and as we came to km 7 I was feeling OK. That was where it all started going south. Adam passed me right at the 10km mark and I started to go into a bad place. The last 5km were an absolute struggle and I began to walk through the aid stations to try and cool my body temp down a little. I was passed by Shane at km 13.5 and went on damage control to get to the finish line that I have been craving for all year.
I have so many thanks to give to everyone that has helped me get back racing and helped me out this weekend that I will dedicate another post to ensure it can all be put into words.
If there is one thing I have learned this year, it is the lower the lows, the higher the highs. I have really struggled at times this year, but crossing that finish line showed me that if you work hard enough for something and believe in yourself enough, you can accomplish things you never imagined.