2015/16 Australian X-Tri Championships – Australian X-Triathlon Champs – 27 February –Lake Crackenback, NSW
1500m swim – 30km MTB Ride – 10km Trail Run
In2adventure event company know how to put on an event. Its very evident that they run race’s for the athlete. The passion that Robyn and Simon Lazenby have towards putting on events is outstanding and I can highly recommend their races after doing two TreX off road Triathlon races recently.
After I did the Bendigo race I decided to take on the National Cross Tri Champs at Lake Crackenback, near Thredbo in the NSW Snowy Mountains. Both these races are qualifying events for the World Champs held at the same venue coming up in November this year. With a race course set out to test the skills of triathlete’s and mountain bikers alike it didn’t disappoint with me feeling a massive sense of satisfaction when I crossed the finish line completely exhausted.
With 6 of our shop riding group all traveling up together , I was pumped to be sharing this experience with them. To me this is the best part of what owning our shop is all about , having fun with your mates and challenging ourselves with crazy adventures. I had done a 4 minute PB the week before at the Gatorade Sprint Triathlon so I was pretty pumped to do well.
Two days of checking out the course , relaxing in the beautiful Snowy Mountains resort of Lake Crackenback and making sure all of our team had their bikes in top condition, had us all nervously contemplating what lay ahead on a tough and technical course.
The morning started with athletes being told there was no wetsuit alloyed policy because the water was too warm at 22.2 deg, which when you are at 1200m altitude and at a ski resort was a surprise.
Not great for me as I am not a strong swimmer and with a freshwater swim compared to the usual salt water to give me some form of buoyancy I was in trouble early. I have lost approx 10kg training for this event and now I had wished I had a few of them packed back on!
The race started with the pro men and women starting together, closely followed by 1minute wave starts [men then women] keeping the field closely bunched through the two lap swim. With surf lifesaving legend Guy Andrews in my category the pace was on early. I had a good start to the first bouy, but then the pack swum over the top of me and I soon started to panic. I have had this before in surf swims, not a great feeling and I had to swim to the side and compose myself. Disappointing after I had tried to work on my swim over the last few months and now I was faced with pulling out or toughen up and get back into the race. I had picked this race 6 months before and had trained hard for it so I had a good long look in the “suit case of courage” and got back into my swimming. With the girls starting 1 minute behind they soon swum past thankfully I started to get some free space so I could concentrate on just swimming, not just surviving.
Into T1 and my watch read 32 min, way off what I had planned , head spins trying to put on my MTB shoes didn’t help either. I was so happy to be out of the water and onto the bike course. Two 15km laps of tight flowing single track. Not as technical as Bendigo so it suited the strong road based athletes, but still a fun track to ride. As I had lost so much time in the swim I was now faced with the traffic jams of athletes struggling to find a line through the singletrack. After about 8km I had used a lot of energy passing riders on limited opportunities of double track, I also was trying to keep hydrated as it was getting hot. I soon started to pass some friends , first Dim then Karina, which made me enjoy my day even more. These girls are so full of life and so encouraging, I couldn’t help but get spurred on to push further into the pain cave. We have a great group of riding buddies in Melbourne and it was so much fun traveling to a race with some of them.
By the second lap I new I wasn’t riding as well as I had leading up to the event, but pressed on hoping the work I had done would let me finish strong.
Into T2 and I was looking forward to the run, we had walked the 3km looped course the day before and it was challenging then to say the least , with river runs,
swing bridge’s, very uneven terrain, climbing through very low tunnels and some rock climbing, there was never going to be any sub 5min/kms going on.
I thought I was running ok and started passing people , I really enjoyed this course as hard as it was, it pushed us to our limits. The run was so demanding that if you stopped concentrating for a second, you would end up flat on your face. The river run was refreshing but I ended up with so much sand and small stones in my shoes the sensation soon wore off.
I got lapped by our shop ambassador Mack Clarkson who gave me a slap on the back as he went by at lightening speed to finish of in 2nd place in the 40 to 45 age category. He keeps amazing me with his performances after not that long ago, he had a debilitating back injury that kept him out of the sport for a long time, massive congratulations to him.
I managed to run evenly for the 3 laps, again not my best run , but I made the most out of what I had for the day.
Congratulations also to our traveling group with Karina 5th, Virgini 4th [35to40], Dimiti 5th [30 to 34], Nathan 18th [35 to 39] , Mack 2nd [40 to 45]
I ended up 7th in my category [45to49] which I had hoped for a top 12 placing , so pretty stoked with that. I was initially disappointed with my race as I felt I had thrown away any chance of a good performance with a bad swim, but proud I regrouped and got over some of those swim demons. Thanks to all those who came along for the journey and to In2Adventure for a great weekend of events. Now time for some recovery.
Team Tgr www.topgearcycles.com – Specialized Bikes – Aquasphere Wetsuits – Swisseye Sunglasses – Verge Custom Clothing – Torq Nutrition
Day after the “after Party” was pretty cool , riding up the valley to Thredbo, sweat single track will cure a hangover every time!