Tuesday, January 4, 2011


2011 is here and what a best way to start it than with a race report.

Contact Tri series, race 2 - Whangamata - 3 Jan 2011
The NZ calendar is set up to always have a good break and many workplaces are empty until at least 4 Jan, year after year. It gives people the opportunity to fly off to the beach, the lake, the mountains or wherever they're more pleased with. Whangamata is one of those holiday spots, a beautiful surf beach on the Coromandel peninsula. The race has been going on for over 20 years and now it is part of the 8 that make the series that is sponsored and run by TriNZ. I did this race 3 years ago and I remember suffering on the bike, it is a hilly course and to top it up it involves running in the sand for about 2km of the 5km run. Both times I've done sprint distance. The first time because it was my second race. Ever. This time around I chose the sprint for more tactical reasons. The Sprints nationals are 4 weeks away and this race could be a benchmark as I haven't done a sprint tri since worlds 2009 in OZ. The second reason was that it is a holiday and I didn't wanna hurt a lot : ).
The Swim

The race start is gentleman's hours 8am and the surf was on there were 2 and 3 feet waves breaking from 100m to the shore, that's fun to get in and more fun to get out, bodysurfing. My mate Martin was doing the sprint as well and Reado and the coach were doing the standard as a team as well as Kevin. In the girls field, Alesha was doing sprint distance. We're off, Martin is on my side for the first 100m and then I lost him after a big wave that I ducked into and he might have taken full face. I tried to power through the first buoy and then got a bit carried away and kept the pace to the second buoy which is also the turnaround to the beach. As I kept swimming I was trying to catch waves and bodysurf, but I wasn't lucky this time and had to be content with not being too delayed with the backcurrent. I got off the water in the top 15 (bloody 13 and 15 year olds can swim these days)

The bike

I had a fast transition and was mounting the bike with the same people I ran from the water. It all went well and no one passed me until km7, which is a good sign. I even managed to go past a few kids down the hills, unfortunately they would catch me later on when weight does matter. Martin flew past me at km 7 and I tried to hang on to him. By the turnaround he was 20 to 30 seconds ahead, but I had to slow down to zero right after as someone came off the bike at the top of a hill, as it was low speed it was a harmless business, but it cost me half a minute. I was off the plot for a bit and three or 4 guys went past me. I hung on for as much as I could and finished the bike 2min off what I would have preferred. I was still in the top 20 off T2.
The run
the good news was that the running legs were there, I started running fresh and I didn't feel the need for gels or water or anything. That boosted my morale and I just kept running. I've forgotten how nice of a race this is: running on the hard sand with the sea washing one's feet, with a great sight of sea, woody ranges and blue skies, it just doesn't get any better.
There were two laps and I did identical times for both of them, without being too much on the absolute red zone. I kind of regret it a bit, as I finished 11th, 20seconds from a top 10.
The run split was the 4th overall and it helped me to secure the first place in the age group.

I've been in a base-unstructured-holiday-ish kind of training since Rotovegas half and I've enjoyed the training, but more importantly, I've enjoyed the rest of what happens in my life. The race was a reflection of that and I am very very pleased with it as it showed me that I am where I want to be and that the tri life and the real life are in a perfect harmony at the moment. The sprint distance is such a great way of racing, I wish I hadn't let so much time run between races. I'm looking forward to Nationals now, and see where I can get.

There's more to come on the holiday, the Lance and a few fresh photos. Stay tuned.


  1. All is well!

    Great race out of the gate in 11'! and such a solid sign the run legs were there. But you wish you hadnt let so much time since Roto wasnt that just several weeks ago!

    Happy New Year


  2. I miss bodysurfing! Sounds like a good race and good news for Nationals.

  3. Flying. What happened to the person that went down ?

  4. thanks!, the person that went down didn't even had a scratch.
    the holiday is stil running!
    and bodysurfing rocks!