Friday, February 18, 2011

Pure Blonde aquathlon series - Race II report

A lesson learned.
Another gorgeous auckland day on the hottest February on record. It all started with a morning sleep in and late start at work (8.30). Comes mid morning I got a text from my mate Reado that he had come off his bike and was in hospital. Fortunately it was just a matter of a dozen stitches here and there and not major grazing or broken bones. He was commuting to work and a pedestrian just appeared on the road. That kind of brought me to the reality that accidents do happen and it is always wise to be ready for when they come. I'm gonna start commuting to work soon, and this was not the most encouraging news. The good news is that he was able to make it to the race to watch and we were all happy to see him walking around like (almost) nothing happened.
Him and I and Martin are the fastest runners when we're fit. and our swimming is very similar, so it's always good to race them taking the bike off the equation. With Reado unable to race and Martin off crook, it was a matter of checking who else would turn up at the races and trying to hang in there for another placing.

Comes Shannon. He's a really nice guy that races in our age group. We've met here and there and in the last world champs him and Reado did 8th and 9th on the age group, so I knew I would have to make my best if I wanted the win. The format is 3km run split in two laps, 1km swim (another two), and the same 3km for dessert. The start was conservative for the first 400m, then I decided that If I wanted the race I'd have to work hard for it. What better then that puttin a few sprints here and there and try to get into the water with a healthy lead?
I tried once and the small group stuck to me. I tried again and it was me and Shannon, I tried again with the same results. by the end of the first lap I decided to give it one more try. there's a hill that I know I can run hard on a good day.  I did and it didn't work. I decided to wait and try to hang in there for the swim.

We transitioned into the ocean and Shannon took the lead, I followed, not without some effort. It was my time to sit in second place and I did no work for both the swim laps.

I did a flash transition and got a few seconds of lead, it all lasted until halfway the first lap. It was then that Shannon decided to put the feet on the gas and he passed me like I was standing. I tried with all my might but by the infamous hill that starts the second lap I knew I had close to nothing in the legs for a 1.5km sprint. I kept trying until halfway and by then there were 100m distance between us two. that was the race gone, so I held myself up for the finish.

A second place and a lesson learned. I am not sure what was what I learned, but I know that it is about controlling the efforts and been mentally there all the time (which I was). That's why these small races are so important part of my training. they're as real as it gets.

thanks to my sponsor Nat, who bakes the best cakes in the world
Then it was dinner at home and up at 5.30 for swimming squad. I thought it would be a gentle swim.

But I was soooo wrong. We ended up swimming over 1200m of Level 4 and Level 5 (out of 5) stuff. Lucky I had the wettie on. I am happy I nailed the intensity and times in all but one of the sets (I don't like swimming 300metres, it;s a distance where I cannot find the right pace) but it would have been nice to have a wetsuit PB for any of them which didnt happen

All in all a great couple of days, hope yours was up there as well,


  1. you wear a wetsuit in the aquathlon right? has to be odd in t1 getting it on?
    great racing!


  2. You have a great lady there baking you a cake like that and dinner for when you get home from your race!

    So do you wear a wetty in the 1km swim in the aquathlon?