Jo's race report from Noosa

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Noosa Triathlon 2016- race report

 

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It was nearly 7 months since I did my last triathlon, so naturally I was feeling pretty nervous leading up to the Noosa Triathlon. In saying that, I’d been able to follow my training program from my coach Michael Pratt nearly to the tee (apart from a little hiccup with my shins and minor bouts of the common cold), so I knew I could trust in my fitness and abilities.

Come race day, the water was 24 degrees so it was a no wetsuit swim. I was happy about this as it was one less thing to think about in transition. The starting gun went, and my wave of 15-19 and 20-24 year old females took off. The first couple of hundred metres was absolute chaos; the water was quite choppy and we were all swimming on top of each other. A few kicks to the face and a couple of dunks later, I managed to find some clear water. I swam with another competitor for most of the course which was great as we both held similar paces and it helped me to stay focus. I came out of the swim (which garmin told me was longer than 1500m) in around 27mins; not a terrible start but not the best either so I knew I had some chasing to do.

Coming out of the water, it was quite a long run into T1. The transition area is absolutely huge with over 60 rows of bikes. Luckily I managed to find my bike smoothly and headed out with my trusty S-works Amira.

The first couple of kilometres of the bike was twisty with lots of roundabouts and speed humps to overcome so it was tricky to get into any rhythm. But once we left the main town area the roads straightened up and it was time to put the head down and go. At the 10km mark, I hit ‘the one big hill’ that everyone told me about. I actually enjoyed the 3km climb, it was a gentle gradient and it added a bit of variety to the bike course. The rest of the course was quite fast, especially the decent from the climb where I hit 76km/hr! I passed two girls from my wave during the bike so this gave me a bit of confidence coming into the final leg.

T2 didn’t go as smoothly as planned. I racked my bike and then looked down to see someone else’s shoes. It turned out someone else had a very similar red towel to me. Anyway I managed to stay calm and found my transition area a couple of spots further down.

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The sun was beaming down by the time I headed out for my 10km run. I haven’t raced in such heat for awhile, so my plan was go to out conservative and pick up towards the end. And to not let any girls overtake me! The crowds and volunteers were wonderful along the whole run course. The hoses and sprays were a welcomed gesture for me especially in the detour section into a residential area where there was absolutely no relief from the heat. At the 8km mark, I could sense the finish coming, so I tried (keyword: tried) to pick up the pace. When I hit the blue carpet and then under the finishing arch, it was pure happiness as I just had so much fun out on the course!

After the euphoria died down a bit, I started to feel a bit lethargic from dehydration and ached all over from blisters and chaffing around my body. I still didn’t know my finishing position but that was the least of my worries as I just wanted to head back and freshen up. On the way back to our apartment I bumped into one of my teammates Hugh was gave me a big hug and told me I had finished first!

It really didn’t sink in until I received my medal at the presentation. 1st in 20-24 year old age group, fastest female age grouper and 15th overall female including elites. That night we celebrated with champagne and a huge surf ‘n’ turf meal!

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I have many people to thank including Top Gear Cycles for the continual support including all my bike maintenance needs, ASF Tri and Yarra Tri for my training, and of course everyone who was involve in the organisation and execution of the world largest standard distance triathlon. Noosa is such a stunning place, hopefully I’ll be back next year to defend my title 🙂