I started in the 2nd row of the swim and was a bit worried I would get trampled but it actually turned out ok, had a little bit of contact with other swimmers but probably mostly me swimming into other people... I felt like I was swimming well, I went pretty straight and followed feet pretty much the whole way. I wasn't wearing a watch so hoped there would be a clock at the swim exit, so many times I think I have swum well then I get out of the water and see a disappointing time so I was dreading seeing a clock. As I came out of the water and looked up I saw the seconds say 57, 58, 59 and in front of it was a 31 !!!! I almost had a party there and then. Then of course I thought it must have been short but I decided to bask in my glory for the meantime anyway.
I ran pretty hard up to T1 having to pass a few people along the way - why do people run to transistion so slow, don't they know it's a race?! When I got to my bike for once I wasn't the lonely bike on the Elite rack - Rooroo had company! Not for long though, my friend Two-Piece had swum about 30sec quicker than me and was just about to head out as I ran in. I then saw Sammy the Seal across the rack from me who always swims quicker than me so I suspected then that perhaps the swim distance was legit and I'd actually had a good swim.
I then forgot how to put my helmet on properly and lost about 45sec trying to figure that one out.
|Looking very calm on my way to T1 but secretly partying it up on the inside|
Once on my bike my initial goal was to catch Two-Piece since she wasn't far ahead of me which I did within about 5km. The weather was a bit yuck and not really as predicted - very drizzly and foggy and by about 1hr it hadn't let up and my hands went numb. Eating got very difficult and I had to shove my Em's Cookie Bar down my top because I couldn't navigate my pockets properly.
I rode pretty steady and took advantage of the downhills on the way to Reporoa. I saw J-Rad go past in the second group with Davo on his wheel which I was impressed with, only to see actual Davo go past a few minutes later - the cold must have affected my eyeballs.
I got to the turn at Reporoa and started the long slog back only to realize that we'd had a slight headwind on the way out so a tailwind for the way back - yeeha! This made the hills in the last 20km not so bad at all and I realized the I would make 2hrs40 easily, once I got closer I thought 2.35 would be possible and I finally rolled in with a 2.34 - the clock at T2 had a cumulative time of 3hrs10 so I had 1hr50 to run to break 5hrs - easy!!
After a quick toilee stop I started my trot. The Gayman took a while to fire up but I planned to hold 4.30's which would give me 1hr35. The first few km's were quick and then I settled into 4.30ish pace. The first 10-12km were pretty good, but about 13-16km I was starting to get a bit wary and times were creeping up into the 4.40's and then 17km came and BOOM! I was over it, baby steps to the finish. I had a girl from about the 18km mark who was slowly coming back to me and I wanted to try and catch her but just couldn't quite do it. There was a nasty uphill in the last 500m which I went up at absolute snails pace but by the time I got to the top and made the tun to the finish chute she was right in front of me. I am not known for my ability to sprint but thought what the hell so I gave it a go and I got her! As I ran towards the finish I saw 4.49 on the clock so I had made it with over 10mins to spare. Run time was 1hr37 which was a bit over what I wanted but as Coach Lawson says I have to be happy that I can now do a whole race, run included, so I will take it.
The finish line area was pretty poos with only water and Balance on offer - no food, get your act together Taupo Half - $245 entry and no food at the end! How bad is that.
So overall a pretty good effort I think - exceeded my swim and bike expectations and held together for a reasonable run. And not wildly far off the big girls either. PB by 4mins and 7th girl overall. J-Rad had a solid performance to be 8th overall in 4.14 with a run PB and Captain Pudding punctured but perhaps wasn't meeting his KPI's for the race anyway.
Hopefully some more photos to come...