I had a rather cavalier attitude coming into this race this year, I hadn't pulled up so well after Tinman with my annoying pre-Germany groin problem appearing on the opposite side. It started to get sore a couple of hours after Tinman and hadn't really settled so I hadn't run all week since it was sore just walking around. So I didn't really expect to be running.
Plus my super speedy new bike was STILL waiting for parts and I was really quite over the disappointment of coming home everyday to no special delivery so I wasn't really enthused about riding RooRoo again when I should have been riding something faster.
Race morning was rather chilly with quite a chop on the lake but the forecast was pretty good for the rest of the day.
Last year I had a moment of brilliance in the swim and came out of the water in around about 31mins which is a phenomenal time for me. Sadly I couldn't replicate it this year and came out in about 36 minutes... It was much worse conditions though and times across the board were slower than usual. I was racing AG and came out of the water with one of the Elite girls and there were still 2 more behind me - why did that never happen when I was racing Elite?!!
I was so cold (the water was 14 degrees) that I ran like a snail up to T1 and struggled to get helmet on, things in pockets, etc and ended up not doing my shoes up so well causing the velcro to rub a big hole in front of my ankle - ouch.
It took quite a while to warm up but luckily there was no rain so after about 30km I was feeling a bit normal again.
The number of fast looking people passing me indicated that maybe everyone had struggled with the swim and maybe I had actually done ok.
I saw a sad sight at about the 10km mark - Jared Razzle pulling the pin on his race and rolling back in to town. I knew it was on the cards with his multitude of niggly issues but was still sad to see him like that.
After about 25km I got mixed up in a pack which came past picking up every person in it's path, I did my best to keep my distance but had the old problem of opening up a gap and then someone else slotting in. When I realized that the pack contained the 4th - 7th females (my competition) I decided I to had to stick with it if I was to compete with them. The pack then got broken up a few times by the draft busters and me and one of the other girls had to spend some time in the naughty corner. The draft marshall freely admitted that the girls are much easier to pick on because we stand out among all the men which is the hard part of being near the front of the girls race but not a good enough swimmer to get away from the large packs of men.
The last 20km was spent passing the people who had passed me while I was serving my time including a couple of girls who hadn't got busted.
Coming off the bike I wasn't really sure how the groin would be but thought I would give it a go and was prepared to stop if need be.
And it turned out to be ok! It was a little bit niggly but never got worse than a 2/10 so it was obviously pretty warmed up after 90kms on the bike.
I was pretty disappointed in my run time but have had a broken couple of weeks for running so I guess it was ok. And I picked up a couple of places to put myself into 6th place which is always good.
I almost got run down in the finishing chute by Terenzo (he was doing it in a team) and his little group of fans who got to run the last 50m with him. He had the decency to stay behind me coming across the finish line and I would expect nothing less from him, I was wondering what the commotion going on behind me was.
Anyhoo I fulfilled my goals of going sub 5 hours and coming in the top 10 so it was a successful trip. The drafting penalty was a shameful moment for me but as Coach Poo said the top 3 girls at Kona this year all got penalties so I am in good company...
The groin is about where is was before the race so I don't feel like I have done any extra damage to it (am almost 100% certain it is my Pectineus muscle NOT a bone problem - whew) but will let it settle down before running again.
We had some fantastic hospitality from T the P and Netty at their lovely house in Kinloch and good company with the Poodle, the Hammer and the Seal. The Hammer had a phenomenal race to come 3rd in the ladies and the Poodle had a solid race overall and moved pretty quick (much quicker than me!) for a big man on the run course.
This weekend I am doing the bike leg for Team Speedtheory Ladies at the Rotorua Half and will not be on my new bike so don't even ask.