Tomahawk Triathlon, Waxhaw, NC Race Report

Geez, life has been crazy since I got to the US of A.  I don’t know if it’s my own lack of time management or all the cleaning I now have to do…but the days just seem to be flying by.  So that’s my excuse for not posting in a while and being so slow to post about my 2 most recent races, the Tomahawk Triathlon in South Charlotte, NC, and Eagleman Ironman 70.3 in Cambridge, Maryland.  So get comfortable and ready..here we go for the 1st of 2 race reports!

Tomahawk Triathlon 31st May 2014.

Ok so 2 days before this race I realised how absolutely ridiculous it was that I was doing a race 1 week out from a 70.3 and 2 days before I was to make a solo 650km trip to the Nations Capital on my own.  It was one of those late night spontaneous registrations and the medal looked so cool.

Never mind, I would have my TriSherpa (hubby) with me to help me drive there and provide moral support…mmmm..except the night before he informs me he has to work..oh great!  Then it started raining.  Awesome. I was so close to pulling out, but I didn’t.  These are the moments where I know the sport is going to teach me something, or give me a new opportunity.   So I packed up the car, set the alarm for 4:15am and went to bed.  Up I got the next morning, it was still raining and only relying on my car navigation off I headed in to the darkness for Cane Creek Park, Waxhaw, North Carolina!

It actually was pretty easy to find – however I was feeling a little dubious as I pulled in to the carpark through a thick layer of fog and light drizzle.  No-one else seemed to worried so I just did my thing and got ready to register and rack my bike. I felt unusually calm…With only the obligatory toilet stop left I went to line up for the time trial swim start.  Thankful to see a few familiar faces as well – it was a relatively calm start.

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The time trial fashion meant for pretty easy swimming – and before I knew it the 1km was over and I was finished and running up towards my bike.  There was still a light drizzle, but by this stage of a triathlon I’m usually not concerned by things anymore – just focused.  I jumped on the bike and my legs felt like lead, seriously they were so damn heavy, it took about 10kms for them to relax, the next 20kms where pretty good and the rolling hills were great.  Off the bike, and I start running – same feeling, heavy legs.  I knew it was a trail run, but didn’t realise it was going to be a slightly hilly, and wet trail run.  Ouch – the legs where still a bit heavy but I ran on.  It really was a beautiful run along the lake and I made sure I took the time to take in the scenery.  Few more turns and there was the finish line..always a pleasant sight no matter how long the race is.

Due to the time trial start I had no idea where I had placed, only one woman passed me on the bike (she had her name on her tri suit – a sure sign of being good!)…they had an awesome electronic timing system set up which allowed you to type in your number and get a ticket with your splits and place as soon as you finished.  My time wasn’t great compared to my previous race of this distance – but the conditions where very different. At that stage I was first in my age group – but I thought I would give it another 20mins or so before getting too excited in case someone came in behind me but with a faster time.  I packed everything up and came back for the awards ceremony – still 1st in my age group and tied for 4th overall.  Wow – this was very reassuring and a great feeling.  I was still improving even after all the drama of the last 3 months.

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I have to thank a lot of people who got me through these last 3 months.  Firstly my Mum and Dad for helping me out when I first got here and running around town with me to the pool, and gyms, then the crew at Precision Fitness for putting me back together when I almost broke (twice), my coach  Liam Bromilow for constantly adapting my training program to address my new surroundings, timings and dramas, and always making me laugh when I usually wanted to cry, to a lucky chance meeting at the Lowes YMCA Pool with the Triathlon Godess Tonya Allen, who took me riding, picked me up when I fell down (literally – twice)  and is inspiring me towards reaching my Ironman dreams – and lastly to my Hubby who doesn’t really get why I am doing this, but still puts up with all this stuff, and believes in me!

My 1st place also got me qualification to the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in Milwaukee on the 9th of August – now to decide whether I go or not (really matter of budget and logistics). Seems like something I should do – who would have thought I would be qualified for USAT National championships??!!

I thoroughly enjoyed this race and yes – the medal was totally worth it.  So glad I went – sometimes the things that seem hard, turn out to be amazing opportunities and experiences…

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