CHALLENGE GOLD COAST RACE REPORT
By Clint Rowlings
Driving from Coffs to the Gold Coast with your windscreen wipers going flat out for the whole trip is far from motivating when you know the following morning you will be out in the elements going into battle with yourself and 1500 other not-yet-diagnosed, mentally insane people. "Welcome to Challenge Gold Coast"...........really?
The swim course looks like dirty dish water, the roads look like water slides at Wet n' Wild and the run looks like it's going to be a 21km wade through knee deep water!
After constant rain Friday and Saturday the event organisers were forced to shorten the ride from the original 90km to 40km for safety reasons. We were all informed of this Saturday evening. Come Sunday 6am it didn't matter what the weather was doing, it was go time!
The swim was held in Currumbin Creek. Besides the soup-like water, it was a well set out course with massive turning buoys and lots of room to not get caught up in the fight. Once out of the water it was onto our trusty steeds, with the ride through the rolling hills of Currumbin Valley. Conditions were tricky as the rain started again. I think most competitors would have been happy to get through in one piece!
Out onto the run and yet again it was 21km of playing dodge the puddles. Two 10km loops along the beach front of Palm Beach and Currumbin was what greeted competitors - a great view on what will become an iconic race. Although the ride was shortened to 40km it was amazing to see the amount of people who had cooked themselves by the second lap of the run!
Coffs Tri Club had several members take the challenge:
Richard Pearson - 7th professional in what was the deepest 70.3 field assembled in Australia to date. With some bad luck early in the swim, he rode hard and ran past several well-respected athletes (two former world champions) and up into the top 10. A massive result and a sign of things to come.
Andrew Wellington - personal best swim, solid ride and a good run considering conditions, would no doubt have been very disappointed with the shortened ride as his cycling has come on in leaps and bounds lately!
Clint Rowlings - Good hit out leading into IM Malaysia. Decent swim, safe bike and spent most of the run abusing Richard to make sure he didn't slacken off!
Aimee Sutton - first time over the longer distance on her now "home track". Finished third in her age and managed to cartwheel over the line!
Jennifer Hoyle - I was unaware she was racing. Finished in 3:39 which is impressive!
Dan Stein - on his way back from injury, rode and ran as part of a team. Played the Good Samaritan role on the bike and helped a man who had crashed heavily. Once on the run he was flying. To use the phrase of a guy running with me "holy s#>t! Did you see that guy going the other way, he was moving!"
Team Coffs - Simon McIntyre, Chris Jahnz, Matt Lassau. These three boys have all dabbled in the tris over the years. They put together a team and had a blast! Simon swimming 30mins, Chris riding 6km, getting a flat and then pushing his bike back to transition to claim the 6th fastest overall ride time! And Matt cruising through at a touch over 5min/km pace. The image of these three holding hands like schoolgirls running across the finish line laughing will never be forgotten!
Leanne Wellington - completed the run as a team, smiled the whole way and clocked a 1:51.
Some highlights for me were:
- Watching Richard run past Pete Jacobs with a smile as big as Luna Park!
- seeing so many people ride far too hard and wonder why they couldn't run a solid 21km.
- getting told by Emma "hurry up you are taking ages!" When I was cruising along on the run.
- Watching one of the Bondi Rescue boys finish with blood and skin coming through his shoes, then see the medical staff tend to the damage - caused by having a scrunched up sock in the end of each shoe!
This race was affected massively by the weather and can only get better! If you are looking for a race to see how strong you are and not to get your fastest time then mark this race in the diary for next year!
WOOPI TRI COURSE ORIENTATION TRAINING DAYS
Phil Benoit will be holding training sessions to give club members the opportunity to be familiar with the race environment they will face on Woopi Tri race day. This is intended to help decrease risk and anxiety and increase the chances of members racing to their potential.
Here are the details:
Any queries can be directed to Phil Benoit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There were some absolutely fantastic performances at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships held at the Gold Coast over the past week. But hands down, USA swimmer Katie Ledecky showed she is a cut above the rest. She now holds the record for the 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle, smashing her two of her own records at this meet. She set the 400m bar at 3:58:37, then backed it up with a world record 1500m the following day in an astounding 15:28:36. That’s holding a little over 1min for every 100m.
It’s worth a look to see near-perfect swim technique in motion. CLICK HERE to see Ledecky’s 400m swim and CLICK HERE for an abridged version of the 1500m swim.
And when you’ve finished watching those amazing performances, check out this analysis of Ledecky’s style and some tips on what we can learn from it 5 Things All Swimmers And Triathletes Can Learn From Katie Ledecky’s Freestyle.
Yep, already. The first magpie bomber of the year has been reported lurking on Orlando St waiting to attack passing cyclists and threatening to make our otherwise splendid spring rides very unpleasant. No doubt many more will follow as the weather warms up.
Knowledge is power, so they say. So here are some “fun facts” about magpies:
Many theories abound on how to avoid the inevitable beak snap in the ear and sharp peck to the neck or head. But the bad news is that it seems that magpies are able to recognise and remember individual human faces, even if the person wears different clothes! They also have a sense of timing. So if you usually pass by at a certain time and are attacked, chances are they will be waiting for you at the same time each day.
So you can try the usual tactics – masses of cable ties protruding from the helmet, sticking eyes on the back of your helmet, waving your arms around like a lunatic. None of these have been scientifically proven to work (but some anecdotal evidence suggests they do).
So what can you do? If you get attacked while riding a bike, get off immediately and keep your eye on the bird while you move out of its range. If a particular bird is harassing you repeatedly, choose a different route for the next few weeks until the chicks fledge.
RULE OF THE WEEK
Rules apply to transition as well as the three legs of a triathlon. Make sure you know how to conduct yourself in the transition areas.
Rule 5 - Transition Area Conduct
5.1 A competitor may only have a bare torso when moving from the swim exit to their bicycle rack or moving from their bicycle rack to the swim entry, the latter in a multi swim event.
5.2 A competitor must mount and dismount the bicycle at the respective designated mounting and dismounting zones.
5.3 A competitor must at all times rack his/her own bicycle only at their designated bicycle rack location and leave it in a stable position.
5.4 A competitor must at all times place all their equipment at their designated bicycle rack location.
5.5 A competitor must not interfere with another competitor's equipment but where accidental interference occurs the offending competitor must replace the equipment to its former position and state.
ONES FOR THE CALENDAR
“Remember how far you have come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be” – Anonymous.
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