Wellington is the venue for the standard distance Nationals, It has been like this for the past 5 or 6 years, and being located in the middle of the two islands there is an element of fairness to it in regards to access from all tri clubs and tri fans to get their butts in gear for the event. The race organization is always top notch and I said before that I love the city so much that I cannot say anything bad about Welly.
We are lucky enough to race in the waterfront and port area, that means an early start so vehicle and marine traffic can be disrupted as little as possible. This is a minor inconvenience for the athletes, as it is not quite daylight yet, and we get pretty dark race starts.
Preparation for this race has been solid, with a few very interesting workouts, I knew I was in top shape 8 days before the race, and the tapper week was welcome as a final sharpening up.
The Swim and T1 (22.38)
|My swim exit from 2years ago|
funny that I exited the water in same times
The bike and T2 (1.07.33)
My bike is always trouble, but I am a very hard worker and was waiting for moderate improvements in this area. To support that objective I got myself a pair of racing wheels (zipps 404's) from Elite Race Rentals. If you're in NZ and need to buy speed, go and visit their website, great prices and great service. Anyway, I thought I'd buy myself a couple of minutes of with these babies. And what difference do they make, I felt I was on a formula 1 bike. The perfect rolling of the wheels, the sound of them cutting through the wind, it all helps you go faster. Anyway, I left T1 and was having a bit of trouble to get my heart rate up and I wasnt doing much speed for the first 3-5 km. I'm always passed by a couple of dozen people, but this time it was only three or four, and then my mate Carl, flew past. I got my arse in gear and I was on a mission. There was this man in an road-cone-orange race suit a good couple of 100m ahead of me, and it looked like we were doing same kind of speeds. I got him as my carrot and worked for about 7km to catch and pass him. Once I passed him another guy from my age group passed me and we kind of stayed in touch for the next 10km, (i'd pass him on the flat head winds, he'd pass me on the little hills). At the turnaround mark I knew I was in the top 25 or 30 of the whole field. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the big bunch with the top guys of my age group was only 2min ahead. I made the decision then to do whatever I could on the bike not to loose more time on them. As I turned around I saw my other mate, Martin about 45 secs behind. That was my second mission, not let Martin catch me and if I was passed hang on to him with all I had.
I passed the the other age group guy and picked a couple of hundred meters on him, and that was the last person I passed. A guy in a road bike cought me and it looked like he was in a mission too. I made sure I was on the draft legal distance and stayed behind him for a few km. I passed him at thr 35km mark and didn't look back. As I approached T2 I did two little mistakes. #1 was to try to get my armwarmers off while I was riding on the aero bars. I should have been on my brake hoods and it would have been soo much easier. #2 was to take my shoes off too soon, which ended up in me losing a bit of time on the last km. T2 was fast but I should have not worried about taking the armwarmers for there, and do it while I was running.
The run (35.51)
|Valen running 2 years ago (note|
The tired head and arms)
Overall is good, but I will have a more detailed balance in tomorow's post.