It feels like ages since we had a club race, with 3 weeks between races and so much going on in the world of triathlon, both locally and further afield.
This Sunday will be our 3rd race of the season. As usual, please be racked and ready to race by 6:15am. It was great to start on time at our last race, so please let’s keep this up.
Those on duty need to be at the Yacht Club by 5:45am to set up transition, etc. If you are unsure whether you are on duty, please check the duty roster at http://www.coffstri.com/duty-roster.html. There are still a couple of spots vacant, so if anyone can spare their time this weekend, it would be most appreciated. Please contact Mark Griffiths at email@example.com if you can volunteer, or if you have any questions about the duty roster.
Conditions are hard to predict this far out from Sunday, and things are so changeable at this time of year. However we know that the tide will be high at 10:15am, so you can expect a relatively easy swim into the beach on the incoming tide. The BOM is forecasting a mostly sunny day with a minimum of 16 degrees, light winds and a chance of a light shower. So it should be almost ideal racing conditions.
With these kinds of conditions and the season well underway, we can expect to see some slick times and a few PBs. Good luck everyone! See you out there!
KONA RACE REPORT
By Sinclair Black
My first taste of the Kona Ironman was as a teenager watching Wide World of Sports. I remember thinking these guys were mad pushing their bodies for 9 hours non-stop in such intense conditions. Ten years later I was on the back of a motorbike in Forster filming the journey of an Ironman legend. I still remember the words of the commentator in the finishing chute, “You are an Ironman” and it touched a nerve. But I never dreamt I would one day be crazy enough to do an Ironman, let alone being able to compete in Kona.
On arrival in Kona I was struck by the heat - it was hot, really hot. The town was buzzing and I’ve never seen so many lean, fit people in one place (mostly parading up and down Ali’i Drive with their shirts off). Everywhere you looked there were athletes running, riding and swimming in preparation for race day.
The welcome banquet dinner set the tone for the event and emphasised the spirit of Aloha. Highlights for me were witnessing John McLean walk from his wheelchair onto stage, seeing Ironman legends Dave Scott and Mark Allen in person and watching in awe as athletes who had competed in 10, 20 or 30 plus Kona Ironman races stand up. I was well and truly in the company of champions.
It was time to drop off my bike and gear bags. As you enter transition through a long chute, there are dozens of people with clipboards collecting stats on all your gear from your bike brand, watch, wheels, seats and shoes, you name it, they were checking everything and even asking questions about coaches, training hours, etc. I originally thought they were placing bets on whether or not we were going to finish!
Finally race day was here. Walking the 1km into town on race morning felt a bit surreal, like we were soldiers going into battle. Thousands of athletes and spectators silently walked towards the start line like zombies nervously anticipating what the day would bring.
As we headed into the water for the swim start you could see the huge crowd lining the shore, and above were helicopters, drones and skydivers and I knew there was no turning back now. The elite men took off, then the women and finally it was our turn. Conditions were calm but a little lumpy as there was a good swell running. Normally I find the swim quite easy but I was getting kicked and elbowed in the face and I knew it was going to be tough out there. After about 1km the swimmers spread out and I started enjoying myself. The visibility was perfect with coral, fish and even underwater photographers below. Once I found my rhythm I started to catch and swim through a lot of people making up for some lost time at the start.
Transition to the bike was great, with the music pumping and the crowd cheering everyone as they rode out of town. The ride is pretty much an out and back course. A small loop in town then you head north along The Queen K Highway. Bikes were flying past me and although tempting, I was very conscious at this stage not to go with them (thanks Andrew for the advice), and just tried to stick to my race plan. After about 30km the wind seem to be coming in from the side and was getting pretty strong, and I started to think these were the Kona winds everyone was talking about. But that was nothing, as around the 60km mark the wind was extreme. It felt cyclonic. Here I was going downhill thinking this will be nice to rest up and I was pushing 260 watts and only going 18km/h. I knew at this stage I had to change my race plan as to keep this up I was going to crumble on the run. The wind picked up even more with incredibly strong side gusts. While riding you were continually leaning to one side and I didn’t spend a lot of time on the aero bars as I didn’t feel confident handling the bike in the gusty winds. I saw a few girls blown off the road followed by ambulances racing down the highway and many people being treated on the side of the road. I had never experienced anything quite like it. Turning around at Hawi we had some reprieve with the wind directly behind us for about 15km and this was fun! Doing 55 km/hour with no effort - if only it was like this the whole way home. It soon ended and the wind continued to blow at full force from the side. Heat and fatigue really started to set in but I kept reminding myself to enjoy the day and take it all in. The ride itself was very picturesque through the lava fields with the Pacific Ocean by your side.
Finally after almost 6 hours I arrived back in Kona where the music and atmosphere almost made you forget the last 6 hours of pain. The transition was fast and easy and heading out of town the legs felt surprisingly good and I was maintaining a nice steady pace. It was very hot but the nice ocean breeze along Ali’i Drive was a welcome relief. The run out of town is a loop of about 15km and the cheering crowd lining the streets really spurs you on. Coming back into town my pace had slowed but I was still feeling good until we had to climb a short and very steep hill and it took everything I had to reach the top. For the next 15km I was in a world of hurt with all the questions running through my head like why am I here and can I make the finish? It was not until I got to the famous Energy Lab that I started to feel a bit better and seeing the Hawaiian dancers and enthusiastic volunteers really lifted my spirits. I was now well past the halfway mark and although my legs were a little overdone from the bike, I managed a good steady pace all the way home. With about 5km to go we were rewarded with the most magnificent red sunset, it was spectacular.
It was now dark and with only 3km to go I could hear the music and the commentators at the finish line and my pace picked up and I really brought it home. There were people everywhere cheering and high-fiving as you ran down the road towards the finish. With only 50 metres to go I found my biggest fan Hadley and it was very emotional and one of those moments I will never forget. So just over 12 hours after I started, Mike Reilly (the voice of Ironman) said the words I had been waiting to hear all day, “Sinclair Black from Coffs Harbour Australia, you are an Ironman.” I can’t tell you how happy and relieved I was to cross that finish line.
I feel so lucky to have taken part in this incredible event. Just being part of something so iconic and surrounded by some of the best athletes in the world was very humbling. The vibe in Kona is amazing and very relaxed and friendly and if you ever get the opportunity to go as an athlete, spectator or volunteer, I highly recommend it. Straight after the race when I was hurting, tired and not feeling the best, I said to Hadley, “That’s it, I am done, no more Ironmans”… but as I write this I am trying to work out how I can get back to Kona and do it one more time!
Thanks again for all your support and encouragement. I have managed to raise just over $30,000 this year for Tour de Cure, a charity I am very passionate about and one that’s very close to my heart.
By Michael Dougherty
This is the second year Adventurethon has come to Coffs Harbour and for those who like to try something different, nothing is easier than competing in your backyard. Paddling in the jetty and beyond, running along Park Beach, McCauleys Headland, Diggers Beach and riding up Bruxner and into the Orara State Forest are treks we’ve all made at some time. Combine this with a Woopi Tri like atmosphere and you have an event well worth competing in.
The Coffs Tri Club was well represented with both competitors and volunteers. Glen George, Bec and Lee Varney were welcome faces stationed deep in the Orara Forest and Mt Coramba keeping an eye on things during the MTB leg. Leeann, Michael and Michelle gave great support in the run/bike transition area at Pac Bay - it actually had a club tri feel about it. Karen Masson got my vote for best on ground, winning her class in the Ultra event in 5hrs 45min and being only one of two females who took on the 18km paddle, 11km run, 35km MTB and 6km run. Sisters Melissa Bulloch and Kylie Marle toughed it out in the Enduro event with very limited paddling experience and finished with smiles. Tim Jacobs showed there a still a few humble Queenslanders out there when he let me cross the finish ahead of him despite racing together for most of the day. A host of our other members competed individually and in teams and no doubt enjoyed the experience. On Sunday Bree Rooney, Mick and Jenny Booth, Pete and Marg Roberts, Pete Grant and Lee Varney showed their versatility in the Taste of Adventurethon race. Jai Lyons blew the field away in the junior race and will be ready for the step up to senior level next year.
Most challenging legs on Saturday, definitely the MTB leg, particularly the climb up the aptly named Tuff Trial to Mt Coramba. Even the best bikers can’t ride this so we all hiked, pushed, grunted, swore (under our breath of course) until we reached the descent point. Park Beach dished up a full tide for the run home which zapped the legs again. This also meant a full swim across the Coffs Creek entrance. Luckily we had an extremely buff looking Mick McFarlane in his speedos keeping an eye on competitors as they crossed. Incentive enough for the males to not to require rescuing.
The Adventurethon will be on next year and the club has a few paddlers who can assist for those who are keen to try something different. There are plenty of MTB tracks from single to smooth Forestry 4WD and while it may not be for everyone, there’s nothing like a home game.
PS: Apologies if I’ve missed anyone’s name as a volunteer or competitor.
HOW TO WEAR YOUR BIKE HELMET
Allan Harrison, who is a fully accredited TA Official (also a new club member and tutor to our new level 1 TOs) very generously gave his time to wander around our last club race and help out members with compliance with TA rules.
He has supplied the following picture and information about how to correctly wear your bike helmet during TA sanctioned races (this includes our club races).
RIGHT: Square on the head WRONG:Tilted backwards
Maximum protection for the face Minimal face protection
Straps form a neat “V” under the ear Straps loose
Will stay in place in a fall Comes off easily in a fall
bcu COFFS TRI
Entries for the bcu Coffs Tri are open. The main event will be held on Sunday 8 March 2015, with the Enticer also on the Sunday. Kids events will be on Saturday 7 March.
As Mick Dougherty mentioned in his Adventurethon wrap up, there’s nothing like racing on home turf!
And just to top it off, Village Sports are offering one lucky participant the chance to win a brand spanking new Carbon Felt F5. All you have to do is register before 1st November.
You know you’re going to do the race, so why not enter now and win the bike too!
Go to http://villagesports.com.au/events/bcu-coffs-tri/ to enter.
Phil Herd, a member of the Sydney Triathlon Community, has extended the following request to all NSW Triathlon Clubs.
The NSW government has rejected 8 proposals that would save the lives of cyclists on the roads and ensure natural justice for injured cyclists and the families of cyclists killed on the roads. Proposal 2 will also ensure that justice is actually achieved for ‘anyone’ who becomes enmeshed in the NSW justice system. This petition targets 3 of the proposals that will make the biggest impact on road riding safety and will ensure ‘natural justice’ is achieved through a justice system that clearly fails the ‘fair go ‘test in these matters.
PLEASE SIGN ‘NOW’ AND CRUCIALLY INVITE YOUR FRIENDS AND CONTACTS TO ALSO SIGN.
Nothing will change to make the roads safer or to improve the justice system until a great many people demand that Premier Mike Baird begins the reform of the NSW justice system by immediately implementing 3 of the 8 proposals already put to his government.
If you and your club members ‘have signed’ make sure all your friends and contacts also sign.
Please join this campaign: https://www.change.org/p/premier-mike-baird-stop-cyclists-being-killed-on-the-roads-and-reform-legislation-that-undermines-the-justice-system-and-fails-the-fair-go-test?recruiter=121940770&utm_campaign=mailto_link&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition
Some of our members have some incredible bike handling skills and would be considered deft and nimble on a bike. But professional street trials rider Danny MacAskill takes things to a whole other level.
His latest video “The Ridge” has him rowing his MTB to the Isle of Skye in Scotland, riding & climbing its mountains and then taking on the death-defying Cuillin Ridgeline. Not for the faint-hearted, but well worth viewing. Check it out HERE.
ONES FOR THE CALENDAR
“You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction.” - George Lorimer
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