Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pure Blonde Aquathlon series - race 4 RR

Officially the last race of the season for me, the race was doubled as the aquathlon national champs. It appears that aquathlon (run-swim-run) it's becoming as speciality in itself and ITU world champs will require the participants to have run as part of a series in the national federation (well... that's what I heard). 
Being new to aquathlon and with 4 races under my belt, I reckon that the format is pretty good as it does not require a huge time commitment, and it is done and dusted in usually less that 1 hour of excercise. NZ can only cater for a few of these, and the Pure Blonde series is the second one in Auckland. It would be good if it was only one and a bigger field, but that is politics and business, two subjects that I am even more an amateur that mulstisport. 

Anyway, a cr@p weekend and my first 9hours sleep in a very long time. I woke up at 9am feeling tired. the fun thing is that I had NO THING the day prior, other than eat, study and sit around the house. I did a 30min stretching session while on skype with our parents and had a very light brekkie. Nat was driver and photographer and we got there with plenty of time to spare. There was the usual faces and quite a few new ones, that I know are fast guys. I was expecting a bigger field and a lot of hard work, so all good on that front. 

The numbers were slightly up from the other previous races, but not the 150 I had imagined. I went for a warmup run wih my mates Gordo and Reado. Legs felt OK, and after some serious stretching the upper body was firing as well. There was a few changes to the traditional circuit to suit the format (from 3km run to 2.5run this time, and triangle swim istead of box. There was a group of 6 or 7 good runners that I knew would be running pretty much together the whole race. My plan was to stick to them and see if I could pull an extraordinary swim and still be in contention out of the water onto the second run. The first 200m the people at the front was pushing a serious pace, sub 3min km. I made sure I was close but I was not up the front. Then the unexpected happened: there is a 90˚ left turn to go on a clockwise run around a block. The front guys ketp going straight, a few of us doubted but just kind of kept going... but then someone said something and we all realized we've missed the turn. I yelled WRONG WAY!, and turned back. The whole episode was 3 to 5 seconds.

I re entered the course and kept going... I realized I had an advantage of about 10 to 20m to the front guys. After about 20seconds the penny dropped.... this is my chance to go for it!.... I ducked in and went as fast as I could for the next km or so, then the body cought up with me and so did the first of the chasers. I was the first to T1 together with the eventual winner, Liam Scopes with a 10 to 15 seconds advantage (and a HR higher than other times, I must admit). The swimming was tought $hit, I was hiperventilated and dizzy for the first 200m of each of the two laps. I got passed by two or three guys in the 1km swim and I am lucky it was only them. 

Out of the water I got a good T2 and out I was chasing the 3rd runner. I did realize I was being chased too, but didnt pay too much attention to that. Halfway through the first lap I heard the steps of my mate Reado right behind me... the guy in the front was just over 10 ahead, I tagged along him and we passed before the start of the 2nd and final run lap. Reado decided to push the pace a bit more, and I had nothing to respond... I stuck to him for 400m and then the gap just kept growing and growing. And I had a guy 10secs behind me!!... I made sure I was not passed again and finished with a worrying look in my face. 4th overall and 3rd in the Age group (national champs!)

The afternoon followed with prizegiving and I got my bronze medal, and my prizes for the overall series winner for the swim-run and aquathlon series. I even scored the second spot prize of the season, a good box of cereal bars. 

As I was saying, this particular combination of disciplines has a good potential as it is easy to train for, and you can make it as complicated as you want if you're serious about speed. If any of you has a chance do one of them next season, here or abroad, and enjoy it... otherwise is not worth the effort.

keep rocking and pray for some sunshine 


  1. Nice wrap up of the event. It was a lot of fun at the other end of the field too. Where did the photos go?

  2. have enjoyed reading about these aquathlon events. they sound awesome! great racing way to push it

  3. Great race, and yay for the cereal bars :) Hey, where can I find the results online? I can't find them anywhere and wanted to check them as one of my friends Emma did really well.

  4. ok take that back I just found them!!