Showtime has ceased for the year, and since my last blog post in August I have been super busy with training, racing, camps and countless high-stress time-trials. I have to say I’ve (almost) loved every second of it. Since it would take more than a novel to properly write about each section of my life for the last 6 months, I’ll neatly wrap it (with a bow) into a concise timeline of how it all went down.
Cane to Coral Fun Run – The race was a 15km fun run in which I finished 3rd in a time of 57:04 minutes. I had a great race, battling with Brisbane marathon runner Helen Stanton and a local athlete Anna McMurtrie for 13 kilometres. It came down to a sprint over the last 2km with Helen taking the win, Anna in 2nd, and yours truly rounding out the podium.
Botanic to Bridge Fun Run – An 8km fun run which started at the bottom of an 18% hill climb (why wouldn’t you be keen to enter?!). Once again I had a great dual with Helen Stanton. I lead the first 4km before Helen made her move on another small incline through the centre of town. Helen had too much of a gap on me coming into the downhill finish, but I was happy with 2nd in a time of 28:42 minutes.
September & October:
Triathlon Queensland Selection Time Trials – Two selection time trials were held incorporating a 1000m swim time trial in the pool and a 5000m track run time trial. I had a good selection trial in both September and October making the 2012 Triathlon Queensland Talent & Emerging Talent Squad. I was especially happy with my first 1000m swim trial doing 12:53 minutes which was a big improvement from last season. Below is a photo of the first lap of the 5000m track run at the second selection trial (I’m the little one in the black shoes, tucked in neatly, trying to conserve some energy in the ‘2pm in the afternoon’ heat).
Noosa Triathlon – I had a fantastic time heading back to my home town to race my first non-drafting professional race. I had a solid race finishing as the 10th Elite Female in a 2:10:51minutes, and was happy to get some TV time coming out of the water with girls like Emma Jackson and Kate McIllroy. \
Queensland Triathlon Series Race 2 – I headed to the flat and fast Robina Parkway for the second race of the very popular Queensland Triathlon Series over the 400m/15km/4km distance. Racing in the Open Female division, I was well positioned out of T1 in 3rd, but lost some ground over the 15km cycle leg to enter and exit T2 in 4th position behind Holly Grice, Danielle DeFrancesco, and Brittany Forster. I was on the hunt, and by the 1km mark I had caught and passed both Dani and Britt, with Holly not too far in front. As we moved into the 3rd kilometre I passed Holly on a small incline and didn’t look back, keeping both my leg cadence and arm turn-over super high till the finish. I crossed the line in 1st, happy with my overall race, but particularly with my 14:27 minute run split. However, my excitement was short-lived, as 30 minutes after I had finished the race (and had even given the post-race interview), I was informed that I had been disqualified for a drafting infringement (not happy at all). After an intense hour’s debate with officials, the decision remained the same, so I accepted the DQ (no point in arguing a case if the outcome was going to remain the same). Below is a photo of me pre-disqualification. At least I still got to take the tape, hahaha.
Triathlon Queensland Talent & Emerging Talent Squad Camp – I headed back down to the Gold Coast the weekend after the Robina race to take part in our first camp for the 2011/2012 Season. We were based at the Runaway Bay Sports Super Centre for a 2 day camp with Head Coaches Kim Beckinsale and Brian Harrington. The first day of training was pretty full on, with the majority of our time spent on the cycling track, in the 50m pool, and up at Paradise Point to finish off the first day with some intense swim/runs. The purpose of the camp was a focus on speed, and by the end of the first day we were smashed, sunburnt and ready for a little down-time. Luckily a few of us managed to find the sneaky ice-bath & spa combo back at the super centre, and spent our free time bonding with large chunks of ice (hahaha, Dani!)
The second day saw us wake early for a tempo run and some specific running drills, before hitting the brekkie bench to fuel us for the remainder of the camp. We finished off at around mid-day Sunday, but not before splashing and dashing around the sports super centre in an assortment of mini-triathlon’s at MAX intensity. Red-faced and sweat-covered, I was happy to have a little kip in the glorious 18-degree air-con on the way home.
National Talent Academy Selection Time Trials – I made the trip down to Brisbane on the 1st day of the month to compete in a 5000m track run time trial (yes, another one!) in order to better my time of 18:31 minutes set at the Triathlon Queensland Trials in September/October. Taking part in these trials is a good measure of potential in a certain discipline, as well as an opportunity to track improvement in each discipline. Normally this would be accompanied by a 1000m pool swim time trial, but since I had already surpassed the 13:02 minute mark to be eligible for selection into the National Talent Academy twice in both September and October, I decided instead to nominate my best time for the swim, and focus instead on improving my run time. The day was dismal to say the least with a massive storm sweeping through Brisbane about an hour before we started. Brisbane also decided to turn-on the air-conditioning and fans all at once, and by the time we started our time trial it was damp, pouring rain and freezing. To my surprise, and delight, I ran my best ever time finishing in a 17:47 minutes. It felt fantastic to finally be able to just flick a switch and get a 44 second personal best time out of it The run time to make for the NTA still stands at 17:01 minutes, but two more time trials are coming up in January and February 2012, so we’ll see what a few more weeks of hard training will do.
Queensland Triathlon Series Race 3 – My final stop on the 2011 calendar was Raby Bay in Brisbane over a 750m swim, 20km cycle, and 5km run. Once again I found myself quite well positioned in the swim leg, exiting the water alongside Madison Allen, Brittany Forster, and Gillian Backhouse. Only problem was that the four of us were already 50 seconds down on the brilliant open water swimmer that is Danielle DeFrancesco. Onto the cycle leg Dani held her position in 1st with a strong cycling performance, with Gillian riding into 2nd, and me entering T2 in 3rd position. I heard the commentator call ‘1:50 minutes down on the leader.’ Tough task at hand, but most definitely not impossible. I went hard from the start onto the run, and found the lovely zone between stinging and comfortable that I have become well acquainted with over the last year. Sadly, it was only a 5km, and although I put a rather large dint into the leaders for a short run, I ran out of road, and crossed the line in 3rd. I finished only 12 seconds behind Gillian in 2nd, and 45 seconds behind Dani, who took her first ever triathlon win. (Well done Dani) I was very satisfied with my race, especially my run time off the bike (17:58 minutes). Raby Bay was a fantastic way to finish the year, and I picked up a little prize money as well. Below are the race results of the Top 6 Female and Male finishers.
OPEN FEMALE SWIM CYCLE RUN OVERALL
1. Danielle DeFrancesco 8:05 34:37 18:53 1:01:37
2. Gillian Backhouse 8:54 34:28 18:46 1:02:10
3. Chloe Turner 8:57 35:24 17:58 1:02:22
4. Kym Jaenke 9:31 35:06 18:51 1:03:29
5. Annelise Jefferies 10:11 36:21 18:01 1:04:34
6. Brittany Forster 8:52 35:40 20:38 1:05:12
OPEN MALE SWIM CYCLE RUN OVERALL
1. Ben Shaw 8:21 30:55 16:20 55:38
2. Nicholas Hull 8:27 31:27 15:52 55:47
3. Kenji Nener 8:25 31:53 15:58 56:18
4. Bryce McMaster 8:23 31:56 16:23 56:43
5. Dylan Holdsworth 8:56 32:30 16:45 58:13
6. Braden Ludlow 8:54 32:28 17:05 58:29
To wrap it up I would like to say a big Thankyou to my fantastic sponsors…
As well as…
Jason Crowther (Head Triathlon Coach – Atlas Multisports Coaching)
Colin Robson (Head Swimming Coach – Cotton Tree Aquatic Centre)
Carla Doyle (Head Sports Massage Therapist – First Place Massage)
Mum & Dad - #1 Supporters
CT. Signing off for 2011. xoxo