Australian Capital Triathlon Draft Legal Sprint Race Report
Throughout the week there had been a lot of chat among the PTC athletes about what was going to happen in the men's race. Just about every scenario was thrown out there but all of them involved our teammate Liam S leading us out of the water. Sure enough as the gun went off Liam hopped to the front followed by Jed Boxall. I jumped on the train with Nuru on my feet and this is how we stayed around the buoys. As we went around the second buoy Liam was still only a couple of body lengths off the front and I thought if things went to plan I might be able to bridge up. That's not what happened and after Jed decided he wanted to swim extra and veered off to the right, the gap opened up so I let him go and followed Liam on the way back to the swim exit. I have been told, and I firmly believe the swim exit through the first few minutes of the bike are going to be the hardest in a draft legal race. This was the case for some of the athletes in the race and after knocking over each other's bikes in T1, struggling with helmets, forgetting race belts and mounting the curb as they mounted their bike, there were three of us off the front. We worked well together and got a good look at the group of two that were chasing hard. At the 10km mark we came together but not without hurting the legs of the boys that had chased for half the bike. From there it was 4 PTC boys plus one other. I will just say I am thankful I wasn't the lone athlete in the pack. We came in together and for the second week in a row I was in a foot race.
The boys seemed to have learnt from T1 and after Burto and Nuru tore through T2 I was out in third. I have a lot of respect for those guys' ability to run and still being a little unsure of my own run I hopped in behind Nuru and decided to let them dictate the pace for a while. As we came round the first lap Burto had popped off the back and it was Nuru and I going toe to toe. With every step I grew more and more surprised at how things were going. After going down in a sprint finish last week I decided not to try my hand at another and made a move with 2km to go. Thankfully it stuck and I was able to put a gap on Nuru as we turned to come back towards the finish.
In that last kilometer everything was put into perspective. Seven months ago I was given the all clear to hop on the trainer and ride for 15 minutes. The excruciating pain I was in was countered only by the image of me holding the tape over my head having won a race.. That thought of being back racing and racing well was what had been keeping me motivated to turn the pedals over and this was it. All the hours of hard work had finally led me to the finish chute being surrounded by my family, friends and teammates. I didn't care what the race was, I was pumped.
Massive thank you to everyone that came out to watch us race and to my Dad for the great photography work to catch us in action. I am pretty happy with where things are right now and am excited to have a couple of less strenuous days before I head over to NZ on Wednesday to test myself over the Olympic Distance next weekend in Gisborne.