So on the 9th of February I participated in the Bribie Island Short Course Distance Triathlon. The distance is a strange one, somewhere between a sprint and an Olympic distance with a 1km ocean swim, 29km bike and an 8km run.
It was a late decision to do the race, and I only signed up a week ago. I thought it would be pretty neat to do at least one triathlon while I was home in Australia. Although it meant losing another long ride session, I felt I needed the energy of a race to keep me motivated and excited after so much solo training. I am so glad I made the decision as it was exactly what I needed and it was a fun, well organised and relaxed race.
The day started in the normal fashion for Triathlon events, with a 4.45am wake up. This time I had my parents and Kaden coming along so everyone in the whole house was up and about which didn’t make it seem as bad. Off we went on our 50min journey from Brisbane to Bribie and got there withe plenty of time for body marking and bike check-in. It seems the more triathlons I do the easier the prep and gear set-up is getting – however it felt so easy that I was sure I had forgotten something. Thankfully I hadn’t.
The Bribie Tri runs in a slightly different order than I am used to, with the shorter distance race going first with the age groups going from oldest to youngest. This meant I was not due to start until Wave 9 – about an hour and 15 mins after the first short course wave started. As always there was a good vibe though, with everyone chatting and catching up on the beach before their wave so it wasn’t long until they were calling my age group on to the beach.
The current in the Bribie channel runs pretty fast and the swim goes with the current, resulting in pretty fast swim times. The challenge was to get the right angle to head out to the “dude on the paddle board” which signalled where we needed to start heading straight down to to the swim finish. It was a long run out until the water was deep enough to start swimming – always feels so clumsy and something I really still need to work on. Once I was swimming though everything settled down, and with my usual fogged up goggles (I have sweaty eyeballs) I did my swim thing. To be honest I didn’t notice the current helping out that much, but my time shows the extra speed it added. I was 3rd out of the water (but due to so many waves and people in front of me I had no idea at the time). About a 300 meter run from the beach to the bike transition , through some nice soft sand just to add to the challenge .
With no issues in transition I was on the bike quickly ready to complete the 3 loops through the Bribie residential streets. Lots of turns and tight roundabout turn-arounds challenged me on the TT bike, but I made up for it on the straight sections. Was great coming through on the loops with spectators and family lining the street. I felt good on the bike and ready to give it all I had on the run.
Another 3 loops along the Bribie Esplanade paths, with spectators almost the whole way. First loop I went strong, second I just focused on going at a speed that wasn’t sacrificing technique and the third loop I just went as hard as I could. I felt pretty strong on the run and knew I was doing a good time as I passed a lot of people. I managed to over take a few of my age group on the run and this resulted with the 3rd fasted run time in my age group. I passed another woman about 300 meters near the finish and I could hear her very closely behind me on the run to the finish shoot. I then heard her coach or fellow team mate yell out “come on Hannah sprint to the finish, give it all you got” and I thought, yeah come on Hannah lets see if you can beat me? She couldn’t and I crossed the finish line for the first time knowing that I had really given a race my best. I felt that I pushed just the right amount in each leg which allowed me to run hard and finish with just a little bit left in the tank.
I crossed the finish shoot with no idea how I had gone in terms of placing, but felt pretty good with my performance. My time on the Garmin was 1 hour 47 mins (finally worked out how to use the multi-sport option properly). This was 13 minutes faster than I had planned so was really happy. We decided to stick around for the award ceremony as people had told me that they give away some really good prizes, including 200$ towards asics shoes (I have my eye on the new Asics Gel Noosas).
I was chasing Kaden around and chatting with my parents, and was shocked to hear my name called out for 2nd place in my age group. It was a great feeling being rewarded with a place after all the hard work, but really just the cherry on the cake of an already successful race.
At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter if you come 1st or last, it’s about going out there and giving it your best shot. It’s about sticking with your training, putting in the hard work and having fun.
Everyday I am thankful for how the sport and people of Triathlon enrich my life. No matter what your sport – give it all you got.