END OF THE SEASON
Well, we can’t always be blessed with perfect conditions, so nature threw us a curly one on the weekend. With wild weather hitting the area on Friday, we were unsure whether the last race for the season would go ahead at all. Fortunately, the rains eased and the race went ahead as planned. What was left of the weather made for a fun and more challenging race for those 45 competitors that took on the long course, and the 2 that did the enticer distance.
The swim was shortened to 800m, but some chose to go a little longer while swimming around trying to find the buoys! The Jetty waters were not as flat as usual, but the waves gave us a nice ride back to the beach. The recent wild weather had created a nice sand ramp up to the transition area, with the timber steps almost completely covered. Made for a nice change.
You know winter is fast approaching when the cool westerly winds arrive and the sun sits so low in the sky you can’t see the final swim buoy for the glare. The ride leg was also a challenge with the glare from the sun keeping everyone squinting, particularly those senior members already struggling with their eyesight. However, cool conditions also means no overheating and there were some slick run splits as a result. Fastest male was again Richard Pearson with 58 minutes flat, rather slow for his standards and an indication of a long season. Leighton Rogan is in top form ahead of Port Macquarie Ironman and finished with a season best and Sam Bourke was third. Two other Ironman competitors Chrissie Lefeaux and Jen Hoyle topped off their training taking 1st and 2nd respectively among the women and run specialist Jess Dougherty continues to improve in her rookie season coming in third. Well done to junior member Jake Golding with a PB and was proudly watched by his father Sean, no doubt having thoughts of days gone by. Other noteworthy performances were Paul Dance, Peter Birch, Mel McCosker, Kerry Cameron and the colourfully dressed Charles Barnes. There was some great racing in the short course with Ky Sullivan and Rhianna Birch finishing first in the men’s and women’s divisions.
EVEN MORE PERFECT
It wasn’t just starting in the light that made Sunday’s race one of the best of the year, it was the beautiful, warm water with smooth waves gently helping us back to shore. It was also the slightly lower temperatures, relative lack of humidity combined with just enough breeze to keep things cool when it was heating up that helped so many of us cross the line looking fit, strong and ready to take on Club Champs!
Although it was a little tricky trying to find that last buoy when swimming into the glaring sun, you just had to follow the splashes ahead to find your way there and then head home. Kudos to the scratch starters who had to navigate without the benefit of following those ahead!
Then onto the bike, with barely a breath of wind to impede those increasingly fast times. While there was a fair bit of traffic on the roads and around the Jetty, everyone was courteous to drivers and largely kept to the rules of both the road the triathlon.
RACING IN THE LIGHT!
How good will it be to start the race in the daylight? No torch for transition set up and hopefully not swimming into the rising sun. We only have 3 more races left for the season (not including the most important race – Club Champs!), with only 2 more in the standard distances of Sprint & Enticer. Our final race on 3rd May will be a long course to get us all ready to go the distance at Club Champs.
So if you’re looking to set a PB for the season, you only have 2 more opportunities to do so! Unfortunately the weather outlook for Sunday is not looking quite as perfect as we are used to. A cool change is predicted to come through this week and morning temperatures might dip a little during the week, but they should increase slightly by Sunday. An overnight low of 16 degrees will turn into a beautiful 25 degrees. Pretty good triathlon weather! The winds should be light, the tide will be on its way out and the sea temperature is still a lovely 23 – 25 degrees! Oooh….borderline no-wetsuit swim!
After listening to feedback from last week’s later Enticer start, the committee has decided to keep this in place for the rest of the season.
There were some concerns about having our younger members out on the road later and we will continue to monitor this issue. Note that we have two “normal distance” races left where the Enticer will start approximate one minute after the last handicapper commences. Our last club race on 3rd May will be a long course (1/30/7.5) which will act as a tune up for the club champs. The Enticer start time will be confirmed in the Newsletter prior to the race.
Please be aware everyone must activate their timing chip by 6.20 am no matter what distance you are competing in.
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