Year Review – 2019-20 SCTA / Protector Aluminium Junior Recipient
What an opportunity I have been given to be the Sunshine Coast Triathlon Academy/ Protector Aluminium Junior Sponsorship recipient for 2019-2020!
I am so grateful to be a part of SCTA not only for the ample support Toby provides for his athletes but the opportunity to have the support of SCTA sponsors. This will be my second year in SCTA, and I have already achieved so much with the guidance and encouragement from Toby, all squad members and sponsors. The scholarship has allowed me to travel and compete in events, utilized products, provided me with the opportunity to meet the team that supports SCTA as well as helping me further establish the responsibilities as an athlete.
It has been a really great experience as the SCTA/ Protector Aluminium recipient, and I highly encourage all fellow SCTA Juniors to apply for next year’s season to grasp onto a new opportunity to develop your triathlon journey.
Thank you and I can’t wait for next season!
Season Results Included
1st Place 17-19 Years Female / 2nd Female Overall - Rainbow Beach Double Triathlon
1st Place 16-19 Years - QTS # 1 Raby Bay
1st Place 16-19 Years - QTS # 4 Raby Bay
1st Place 18-19 Years 5km - sunshine Coast Marathon Festival
2nd Place Senior Female - Queensland All Schools Triathlon Championships
2nd Place 16-19 Years - QTS # 1 Robina
6th Place 16-19 Years - Queensland Triathlon series
7th Place U/18 Years Girls - Queensland Cross Country Championships
20th Place ITU Junior - AJTS # 1 Super Sprint Weekend
Qualified for National Cross Country Championships
Ella Wooldridge: SCTA Junior Scholarship 6-Month Review
Being selected as the female SCTA Junior Scholarship holder for 2019/2020 has given me the prestigious opportunity to be well supported by great people and sponsors.
The first 6 months of the Scholarship, I have already massively benefited from the amount of support. I am extremely thankful from the opportunity to meet the team at Unique Health Products and being a part of the CLIF Australia Journey. It was great to see behind the scenes of all of the work they do to ensure us athletes have the nutrition and essentials to better ourselves.
Personally, I rely on CLIF bars to get me through training and set me up for racing. In a training setting I will always take the Nut Butter Filled Chocolate Peanut Butter energy bar to have pre swim and run, as well as on the bike for the extra kick of fuel to get me through the day’s sessions. When racing I love to stick to what works for me and have my favourite flavour mentioned above, as the nut butter filling is so unique to an energy bar. I will have this 15min before my race for optimum performance as well as setting up CLIF BLOKS on my bike. What I love about the CLIF BLOKS is that they give you that vital burst of energy when racing and they taste so good!! They are the perfect size for licking and sticking on your bike frame so that they are easily accessible when you’re out on the bike course.
Thank you, Cannibal Australia for the gear that allows me to perform and represent my team with absolute pride, as well as Vorgee for supplying me gear that I use to the death of every swim session. I was lucky enough to wear a range of goggles including the MK Stealth Mark II which are my favourite as the tinted lenses adapt to the glare when training during the day. These goggles also have a tear drop frame allowing them to mould and fit my face perfectly, hence why I rely on them for dive starts and pushing off tumble turns.
I’ve also had a chat to the Vorgee team where and they allowed me to try out the Vorgee Missile Fuze which are again tinted and are really good for swim sessions during the day. The Vorgee Extreme competition Missile are perfect for the morning sessions as they are clear and enable me to see clearly in the pool and in the surf if the conditions are dark.
The Mizuno Running Australia team allowed us to organise demo days at the track where the SCTA squad and I were able to test out a range of shoes to help find the shoe best suited to us. I instantly fell in love with the colour of Mizuno Duel Race Flats and then when I tried them on, I couldn’t believe how light and fast they felt- perfect for tris. The second pair of shoes were the Wave Shadows which are still extremely light but provides me with support I need for my usual days of training.
Titan Performance Group / Zone 3 Australia have been so generous to provide me with my very own wetsuit. After a demo day at Mooloolaba, I was so surprised to find a wetsuit that wasn’t restricting and doesn’t fatigue my shoulders. If you’re looking for a wetsuit, I highly recommend Zone 3 Vanquish Ultimate Flexibility as before getting this wetsuit I would refuse to use one at all in a triathlon race.
Intune Sports have been amazing in guiding my sisters and I to be stronger athletes. It is great to be working with Brodie and the team who are athletes themselves and really know their stuff.
I am beyond thankful for Tara from Tara Leanne Nutrition for the advice and race day preparations when it comes to nutrition implementing the CLIF range that I use for both Pre, Post Racing / Training
The Event Crew and Queensland Triathlon Series for hosting well organised events and giving me the opportunity to better myself as an athlete by racing and gaining experience out on the course.
The Recovery Room in the new Sports Hub allowing me to hone my recovery skills in post training and competition.
Last but not least Protector Aluminium - The Naming rights sponsor of the SCTA Junior Scholarship and SCTA
Thank you to all associated sponsors within the SCTA family: Rydges Hotels and Resorts, Ironman Oceania, Allez Sport Mooloolaba, Davey and Associates Optometrist, Felt Bicycles Australia, Kawana Aquatic Centre and Rackley Swimming. I really appreciate the ongoing support!
Overall, I’ve had some great races starting the season off with the classic Rainbow Beach Triathlon where it’s a chance for SCTA to bond and race together, then followed by some races where I’ve looked back and noticed where I could improve (SSRW Runaway Bay- swimming especially for me) but I know it’s all a part of the process and over time I will get stronger.
The first 6 months as the female SCTA Junior Scholarship holder has opened so many opportunities for me to gauge what it’s like to be a sponsored athlete and appreciating all of the support by numerous people. It really alludes that triathlon is not just an individual sport but requires a team to make it work. Thank you to the king of it all- Toby Coote. Without your expertise, guidance and support SCTA just wouldn’t be SCTA.
Looking forward to seeing what the next 6 months brings.
CNational Junior Series Race #1 - Super Sprint Race Weekend Race Report
Runaway Bay SSRW - Race Report
Day 1- 1500m
Result – 1st Place in heat: 4.46min
The 1500m is the first race of the Super Sprint Race Weekend meaning that it is the first opportunity to gain points towards the overall point score at the conclusion of the event. For me, this race is a great opportunity as a runner to secure some points. With 4 separate heats of Junior girls, I knew it would be tough to determine where I would be sitting based on times. Based on my heat, I discussed with Coach Toby Coote pre-race that I was to run my own race. I knew that the girls would go out fast, so before my race, I had a CLIF Blok to fuel me in advance. This way I didn't stress so much that a few girls were in front, instead, I controlled my race and picked it up towards the end where I placed 1st place in the heat and 8th overall.
Day 2- Triathlon: Ultra Sprint (300/6/1.2)
Result- 5th in heat
It is all in the name- the Ultra Sprint is an ‘ultra-sprint’. With the distances of the bike and run in proportion to the swim, I knew that this race was going to be intense, leaving no room for error. I absolutely gave it my all in the swim to get as close as I could to a pack on the bike. After visualising transition pre-race, I was ready to get in and out as efficiently as I could. I was eager to get onto the bike and begin the chase. The additional technical loop added to this year's bike course allowed me to test my skills and make some ground.
After every lap, I assessed who was turning at particular sections of the course and I was stoked to see that I was slightly gaining on girls that were in a pack drafting in front. Unfortunately, I didn't have a pack to work with on the bike and so I remained riding solo for the entirety of the course. When dismounting, my cleats flicked around like crazy, so I ran with my bike lifted for most of the way through to transition. In T2 I was in a better position as I had caught 3 people and after a quick technical run, I passed 4 more, resulting in me coming 5th in my heat and having the 2nd fastest run.
Day 3- Aquathon (400/800)
Result- 9th in heat, 16th overall
From experience, this race is ultimately a swimmer’s race. With such a short run, I knew that it would be hard for me to gain those who are in front of me in the swim. After the aquathon cancelled on the 2nd day, I had recovered quite well from Triathlon the day before. As always, I had a great early morning warmup using the swim chords provided by Toby Coote and took a Strawberry CLIF Blok closer to my race. I was lucky to get in a heat full of amazing athletes to work with and so for the swim, I tried my best to stay with those in lanes beside me. I was extremely happy with the result, and although I didn't come out with the top few swimmers, I got a 400m PB! I was so determined to chase those swimmers in front so I had an insanely fast transition and got out there onto the track to chase down those girls. As a result, I ended up placing 9th in a very competitive heat so I was super stoked to get top 10 considering it was more of a swimmer’s race.
Day 3- Triathlon: Ultra Sprint (300/6/1.2)
Result: 9th in heat
This race was a replacement of the mixed team relays that got cancelled due to the severe storm that hit us.
Again, I was placed into a very competitive heat with Australian and National champions. It was great to race among these girls as I was in the first heat and with the race results based on time, I was certainly giving it my all. I ensured I recovered really well after the aquathon in the morning by using methods inspired by the Recovery Room- Phoenix Massage Gun as well as utilising the hot and cold spas on the race premises. I was super happy with getting only 1sec off my new PB in the swim considering racing the aquathon in the morning. The bike leg was the same as the last Ultra Sprint- I rode solo, although I managed to reach a few girls in front on the run and makeup 5 places resulting in me placing 9th.
Day 4- Triathlon: Grand Final (400m/8/1.6)
Result: 3rd in the B Final
This year’s SSRW was the most competitive I have been too. With multiple races to compete in it is crucial that you ensure you have great warm-up and cool downs. I made sure that I had a really good warm-up involving a run warm-up with multiple drills, swim chords and then 400m swim including drills, dive starts and sprints. On the start line, I was somewhat fortunate to be in a lane of 3. While most people think it would be too crowded having 3 in a lane, this gave me a great opportunity to catch some draft off the girls beside me which was beneficial.
Luckily, I wore my Vorgee Stealth Mark II goggles for security as I started on the blocks. This allowed me to have plenty of room to dive and push a little further off the start than what I would do if I was on the deck. Again, I didn’t come out with the top bunch, although I was happy with my swim as Briarna Mow and I pushed each other the whole way. I had a great transition and mount leading me into the bike course. The bike course was more technical than then the previous days of racing. I made sure that I adapted to these changes pre-race and was prepared to efficiently execute it.
With my swim, I was able to get into a bunch of 3. I ensured that I had my feet in my cleats before I hit the most technical part of the bike course and then accelerated out for the majority of the bike. In the group of girls, I knew that I was the stronger cyclist and made a break, although with the headwind they tailed onto me for the majority of the course. It was hard being at the front for most of the way, but I knew that I was to focus on my own race and not to wait for the other girls to take a turn. It was clear to see that their objective was to hold on to me, whereas mine was to catch the next pack so I knew I had to make a pretty big break.
I decided to do this while accelerating out of a U-turn. This set me up for a good run with only 1.6km to make as much ground as I could. I was really happy to look back at the results and find that I was the second-fastest transition in T2. This ensured me that I did everything that I could to adapt and work on the 1 percenters- for example choosing my light fast Mizuno Duel shoes in transition. I felt so great to be safe and running to 3rd place behind my amazing sister Erin who came 1st!
Massive thanks to Vorgee for supplying the most trusting goggles for the weekend full of many dives and swimming, CLIF Bars Australia for the nutrition- key for fuelling before and refuelling after each race, Cannibal for the shirts that covered the SCTA shoulders in the blazing sun and the tri suits to wear throughout the weekend, Mizuno for the light and fast Duel racing shoes that enhanced every stride- especially running out of the U-turns. Last but not least Protector aluminium as the naming sponsor of the SCTA Junior Scholarship, Toby Coote as Coach of Sunshine Coast Triathlon Academy, Triathlon Australia and all of the TO’s that supported us athletes through storms, lightning, and the blazing heat, the SCTA team, Lucy Bowden and Kayleigh Foster for the amazing photos and all parents who invested time, money and for coming and supporting us.
Race – QTS # 4 at Raby Bay
Date - 8th December 2019
Distance – Super Sprint – 400/15/4
Result – 1st 16-19 Years Female / 2nd Female Overall / 10th Overall
My preparation into the race mostly focused on hydration and good sleep in the lead up towards Super Sprint Race Weekend. With SSRW tarting off in close to a weeks’ time, I utilised this race as a smart hit out for my upcoming National races.
I had a really good run and swim warmup using the swim chords provided by Toby Coote as a part of the Junior scholarship. As per tradition, I had a CLIF Bar (usually eat Choc Peanut but I tried Choc Almond fudge which was equally as yummy!) I ensured that I got into the water early enough to prepare for my race. Overall, I felt I executed the swim as planned and managed to get out within a few seconds of the lead swimmers.
Heading onto the bike, I had a really smooth transition where I made some ground on those who were in front of me. I ran beyond the mount line to avoid the carnage and successfully mounted my bike where I was heading onto the course of 3 x 5km laps. The technical course allowed me to practice accelerating out of corners as well as timing when to refuel my body with my favourite flavour (strawberry) CLIF Bloks.
I was really happy with my dismount as my cleats didn’t flick around like they usually do. I powered into transition with two other athletes in my age group beside me. I knew that a quick transition was crucial, hence why I used my Mizuno Duel Race shoes to allow me to efficiently execute a fast second transition and out onto the final leg- the run.
All in all, I finished off with a successful race placing 1st in the 16- 19 Age Group and 2nd overall Female. I was so happy that I could stand proud in my SCTA / Cannibal gear and Mizuno Wave Shadow shoes on the podium.
With two weeks of consistent training after my little break from graduating school and getting tonsillitis, I feel more excited than ever to head into Round # 1 of The Australia Junior Series – The Super Sprint Race weekend prepared with the help from Toby Coote, Sunshine Coast Triathlon Academy, and the following sponsors.
Many thanks to The Event Crew and Queensland Triathlon Series for hosting such an amazing event. Also, a big thank you to the Sponsors of the SCTA and SCTA Junior Scholarship Program.
Next Race – Race # 1 of the National Junior Series at Runaway Bay 12th – 15th December
Race: Queensland All Schools Triathlon – Lake Kawana
Date: Sunday 27th of October 2019
Category: Senior Women
Result: 2nd Place
This year was my last chance in competing at Queensland All Schools Triathlon. As I am graduating from school this year and states is next year, this race took me by surprise, as I thought last year was my final stand. I am always up for an opportunity to better myself, so I was more than willing to give Queensland All Schools another crack.
On the shoreline and accessing the start, I identified a sweeping current taking the buoys with it. From where I was originally positioned on the start line I then adapted to the conditions and shifted to find a better line to the buoy. With 1 minute till the horn, I adjusted my lucky goggles – Vorgee Stealth Mark II and zone into my plan of attack. Once the horn blew, I ran as far as I could making a bit of ground on the other swimmer. The swim was very chaotic as we made our way to the first buoy. I was lucky that I didn’t swallow any water, so I was still left with the taste of CLIF Bars Nut Butter Filled Peanut Butter energy bar. Then, I managed to find my sister Erin and get a good draft off her aha!! For the rest of the swim, Erin and I worked together in a group of 4.
I had a really successful transition and was out on the bike with no time to waste. I knew the course pretty well as I have raced on it in the past years. Unfortunately, fortunate, I crashed last year, which result in me chasing more girls, although, with the adrenaline, I smashed out a 1min and 30sec PB in my 5km time in the run J This year again, I knew this was a very technical course and that I had to execute it effectively. My legs didn’t get into a rhythm as early as I would have liked too as my legs felt really heavy. However, I took 2 CLIF Bloks which helped me push through get me ready for my run home.
I had a blitzing second transition, which gave me the ultimate fire of chasing down the few girls in front of me. At this stage I was in 5th place and with 5km over 2 laps on the run, I could see who was in front and start to pick them off. I was stoked to place 2nd in the end and stand on the podium in my Cannibal / SCTA gear!
Overall, I was happy with the way I executed the race putting my skills into practice- developed through the Sunshine Coach Triathlon Academy Junior skills development sessions with head coach Toby and assistant coach Mark.
Thank you to the following sponsors for your support; Unique Health foods, Vorgee,
Cannibal Australia, Mizuno Running Australia, Intune Sports Massage, Tara Leanne
Nutrition, Rydges Hotels and Resorts, The Event Crew, Ironman Oceania, Allez Sport
Mooloolaba, Davey and Associates Optometrist, Queensland Triathlon Series, Felt Bicycles Australia, Kawana Aquatic Centre, Rackley Swimming, Titan Performance Group / Zone 3 Australia and of course Grant Symes from protector Aluminium for all your support.
Queensland Triathlon series Race # 2
Raby Bay Triathlon - Super Sprint
Distance - 400/15/4
Result - 1st 16-19 Years Female / Fastest Female and 17th Overall
I warmed up well in advance to my race commencing at 8.33 am. By the start of my race, I had completed a run and swim warm-up through the racecourse.
The water was a temperature of 18oC, although it was mixed with warm and freezing patches. With the length of the swim being 400m (almost half the distance I am used to racing), I chose not to wear a wetsuit. I know the start of any swim in a triathlon is hectic, but today was absolute carnage. As a result of this, for 100m leading to the first buoy, I restricted the number of times I took a breath. I took Toby’s tips to my advantage and kept on top of the water and pushed through getting into a rhythm. After I reached the end of the swim, I scoped who of my competitors were around me. I knew it was time to chase.
I was super happy with my T1 gaining distance on the few that came out of the water in front. This gave me a confidence boost as I progressed onto the bike leg. Heading towards the mount line I could see that it was extremely congested, hence why I decided to run through everyone who was mounting on the mount line and jumped on my bike further along. I did this to eliminate getting in any sticky situations, especially as this race was notorious for crashes.
At this stage, I was with the few that I had caught from the swim. We rode near each other for most of the way with each other insight. Leading into this race, I remembered how technical the bike leg was. Factors such as 3 roundabouts for each of the 3 laps within the race, potholes, cats’ eyes, manholes, white lines on roads and other people racing of all ages and abilities on the course varied the placing of us girls racing quite a bit. On the very first lap, one of my competitors slid out when cornering on a roundabout.
I made sure that for the rest of the race that I was to be extra cautious, considering I crashed on this same course the previous year. On the last lap with 5km to go, 2 of the girls broke away. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in a position to go with them because of the congestion on roundabout and corners, although I managed to spurt on the home straight which led me closer to the 2 girls. I maintained a high leg turn over to get the blood flowing in the legs leading to the 4km run ahead of me.
T2 / Run
I had a smooth dismount and I ran as fast as I could with my bike into transition. Again, transition was very technical, but I successfully made it out with no time to spare and onto the run leg with my new Mizuno Duel Race Flats. At this point, I was eager as to catch up to those 2 girls in front. I can’t quite remember overtaking 2nd place but up ahead I could see that I was getting closer and closer to the leader. At the first run turn, I overtook her and I just kept ticking over my legs over and the rhythm till I crossed the finish line.
I was so happy knowing on the way back from the 2nd run turn that I was in the lead. With everyone cheering, I couldn’t help but smile as a crossed the line. Congrats to all who raced this weekend! J
Many thanks to The Event Crew and Queensland Triathlon Series for hosting such an amazing event. Also, a big thank you to the following sponsors as a part of the SCTA Protector Aluminium Junior Scholarship for their support; Unique Health foods, Vorgee, Cannibal Australia, Mizuno Running Australia, Intune Sports Massage, Tara Leanne Nutrition, Rydges Hotels and Resorts, The Event Crew, , Ironman Oceania, Allez Sport Mooloolaba, Davey and Associates Optometrist, Queensland Triathlon Series, Felt Bicycles Australia, Kawana Aquatic Centre, Rackley Swimming, Titan Performance Group / Zone 3 Australia and of course Grant Symes from protector Aluminium for all your support.
Next Race Queensland All schools Triathlon Champs on home turf at Lake Kawana.
Queensland Triathlon Series - Robina Triathlon
Date - 29th September 2019
Distance - 750/24/5
Result - 2nd Place 16-19 Years Female / 3rd Female Overall
The Robina Tri would be the first Queensland Triathlon Series (QTS) race of the season. I am super fortunate to have support from the Event Crew to successfully participate in this race as well as future QTS events as part of Sunshine Coast Triathlon Academy Protector Aluminium Junior Scholarship.
The swim start was as per usual; fast and rough. I was glad that there was quite a long distance to the first buoy from the start line enabling me to find myself in a rhythm. I worked on my swim form throughout the entirety of the swim leg as practised with Toby and found that I felt more efficient in the water.
Transition 1 was smooth and I was keen as ever to get on the bike for 3 laps and 24km ride in total. With the course involving 3 U-turns each lap, it was crucial to execute them efficiently. Throughout my race, I became more confident when executing my U-turns, although I know now that this is an aspect I will have to practice on throughout the season. In my element out on the bike course, I caught a few girls and rode with them hovering around. I decided to surge and make a break from them so that I could focus on myself and my own race.
After a solid bike ride, I let the legs tick over to get the blood flowing as I prepare for the upcoming 5km run. I choose a perfect spot in transition to rack my bike in which allowed me to find my bike quite easily. As I put my shoes on, I found that I had bindies in my feet, so I pulled them out as quickly as I could and got back into race mode onto the run. At this stage, I came off the bike in 4th place and was determined than ever to chase and pick off those in front.
After my first lap on the run I crept up to 3rd place and I could see 2nd place in my line of sight. I just kept ‘ticking away’ (famous quote from Toby - really effective by the way:) and found my self in 2nd place. With 2km to go, I was mentally challenged by a pain in my shoulder and with 1km to go, I was challenged by Jazi (3rd place), although I just kept going for it till the very end. I was so stoked to secure silver in my first QTS race of the season.
Thank you so much to the SCTA team and Toby for your ongoing cheers and support, as well as the Event Crew for holding yet again a fantastic first QTS race of the season in beautiful Robina.
Thank you to the following sponsors for your support; Unique Health foods, Vorgee, Cannibal Australia, Mizuno Running Australia, Intune Sports Massage, Tara Leanne Nutrition, Rydges Hotels and Resorts, The Event Crew, , Ironman Oceania, Allez Sport Mooloolaba, Davey and Associates Optometrist, Queensland Triathlon Series, Felt Bicycles Australia, Kawana Aquatic Centre, Rackley Swimming, Titan Performance Group / Zone 3 Australia and of course Grant Symes from protector Aluminium for all your support.
National Cross-Country Championships 2019- Race Report
Result - Individual 4km - 47th Place U/18 Years Girls
Result - Individual 2km TT - 7th Place U/18 Years Girls
I was fortunate enough to have this year's National Cross-Country Championships held in Sydney, my old home state. With the cross-country race held on my home ground, I was familiar with all the technical corners in which came to my advantage. Although I was focused on the nationals race itself, my training in the lead up was more specialised on the build of triathlon for the next season.
I had visualised the start of the race for a while now. From a wide start line with girls from every state of Australia, including New Zealand, I knew that a fast start would mean a safe position within the race with 93 Girls racing. I managed to have a really strong start resulting in me leading for 2km of the 4km race. After hitting the halfway mark, I began to fatigue quite quickly resulting in girls overtaking me. In the end, my race didn’t go to plan, although, I tried my hardest to push through till the very end.
The national’s relays and time trials commenced 2 days after the individual event. I was placed into the time trial event which was a distance of 2km. Knowing the athletes I was competing against and the short distance of the race, it was understandable as to why this race would be a close sprint. The course on the day had been altered, and extra caution had to be made due to rainfall the previous night. I was happy with the way I executed the corners of the course and was pleased to finish 7th in Australia. It was also pretty special to watch and support my fellow SCTA team: Peyton Craig and Jazi Coventry as well as my sister Mia.
I was amazed and so thankful for the support from my family and friends, Toby and the SCTA crew before, during and after the race. Also, thank you to Unique Health foods for the Clifbars and Blocks, Vorgee, Cannibal Australia, Mizuno Running Australia, Intune Sports Massage, Tara Leanne Nutrition, Rydges Hotels and Resorts, The Event Crew, , Ironman Oceania, Allez Sport Mooloolaba, Davey and Associates Optometrist, Queensland Triathlon Series, Felt Bicycles Australia, Kawana Aquatic Centre, Rackley Swimming, Titan Performance Group / Zone 3 Australia and of course Grant Symes from protector Aluminium for all your support.
Race - Rainbow Beach Double Triathlon
Date - Saturday 17th + Sunday 18th August 2019
Distance - 750/20/5 on both days
Result - 2nd Female Overall / 1st 17-19 Years Female
Saturday - 1st 17-19 Years / 2nd Female Overall
Sunday - 1st 17-19 Years / 2nd Female Overall
What a start to the tri season! Rainbow Beach is one of my favourites as it is a really good opportunity to dust off the cob webs and get back into the feel of racing. With plenty of training, it sure was a good feeling to have my toes out on the start line again.
It all starts with examining the water conditions (coach Toby’s expertise) and assessing how you are going to execute the race, especially being a wetsuit swim. I was really happy with my swim starts for both of the sprint distance triathlons over the weekend. I was able to get into a favourable position which gave me confidence over the 750m swim ahead of me. Unfortunately, I swallowed a heap of water in my first race as the water conditions were quite choppy, but that’s all a part of my ‘fight for survival’ swim mindset which gave me more adrenaline to get out of the water.
I got out of the water keen to run up to my bike, although the process of getting from the swim finish to transition was different to usual. It involved taking off a wetsuit while running through soft sand, then running up with my wetsuit over a steep hill into transition. The execution of taking the wetsuit off was tough and not as smooth as what I wished for it to be, although I kept this in mind to improve on in the race the following day.
I loooove racing on the bike, so as soon as I mounted I was ready to go. I popped a CLIF Blok (strawberry’s the best flavour) and took the opportunity of the flat course to focus and really work on my cadence as well as my leg turn over. These are practical skills I have been working on with the Toby and the SCTA team as we head into the 2019 triathlon season. After a bumpy 20km ride my legs were pretty buggered. It took very high leg cadence and lots of cheering from the supporting SCTA team to get my legs going, and after 1km of running I kicked into an unstoppable rhythm leaving me to feel on top of the world- even if that did mean I had to climb a hilly 5km run course
Overall, I took the experience from the first sprint distance tri into the second day of racing to work on the 1 percenters in order to develop myself as an athlete. After working closely with Toby on my swim technique in particular over winter, I was stoked to execute the weekend of racing placing 2nd overall to the incredible Lucy Bowden from SCTA.
Thank you to Unique Health foods for my addictive intake on Clifbars and Blocks, Vorgee for the swim cap and goggle that I can rely on, Cannibal Australia for my speedy tri suit and to the Mizuno Running Australia, Intune Sports Massage, Tara Leanne Nutrition, Rydges Hotels and Resorts, The Event Crew, , Ironman Oceania, Allez Sport Mooloolaba, Davey and Associates Optometrist, Queensland Triathlon Series, Felt Bicycles Australia, Kawana Aquatic Centre, Rackley Swimming, Titan Performance Group / Zone 3 Australia and of course Grant Symes from protector Aluminium for all your support.
Thank you also to the amazing SCTA team for making Rainbow Beach tri weekend yet another wonderful experience. What a weekend!
2019/20 SCTA Junior Scholarship Female Recipient - Ella Wooldridge
Hi, I’m Ella Wooldridge. I am 17 years of age and have 2 younger sisters; Erin and Mia, together known as the Woolie sisters.
I am so humbled and radiating with excitement to be named the SCTA/ Protector Aluminium 2019-20 Junior Scholarship holder. The opportunity of becoming the junior face of SCTA is something I consider very special. I am so fortunate to have been this opportunity, and I am prepared to do my very best to represent my team with pride, gratification and to share my journey with you all.
How it all started:
It all started with me growing up in Camden, NSW, running around on grass ovals every Friday night at Little Athletics. And yes, I have to admit the main objective for those Friday nights were to see my friends, and to grab an egg and bacon sandwich at the end. But I guess a bit of running never hurt.
I was 9 years old when I got poached by a run coach after the 800m event at my regional athletics carnival. He was surprised that I was in front of one of his athletes and asked my mum if he could train me for running. This is where the potential of becoming a runner arose.
I joined his squad and was the youngest runner that he had taken aboard. Looking up to the older athletes was intimidating at first, but I soon became a part of the family as they nurtured me into the squad environment.
At the age of 12, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to race in Melbourne, VIC for the National Cross Country Championships 2015. I was blown away with my result as I placed 7th at the NSW State All Schools Cross Country Championships and then rocked up in Melbourne and finished 7th again in Australia and New Zealand. This was a real highlight for me. To experience a trip away, competing against the whole of Australia and NZ, and meeting many friends, this was something I thought I could get used to :)
I was a runner through and through until mum introduced my sisters and me to the sport of triathlon. I look back on the photos of me racing as a kid and was glad to be eased into the sport- Having a basic bike and no cycling cleats for years. As triathlon is an expensive sport, it made me realise and appreciate the constant support from my family along with friends and coaches.
I have also had the great opportunity to travel to New Plymouth, New Zealand for the Oceania Championships in 2018 as well as competing in the Australian Junior Triathlon Series races that have taken me to all states in Australia. Through years of training, here I am.
I have identified my strengths and weaknesses and have developed my run and bike leg of the triathlon, although, an aspect that is a work in progress is my swim. After moving up from Sydney and transitioning training environments, it is great to see the progress that has come from one year of training with Toby and the team in SCTA.
I am honoured to receive such generous support and I would love to thank all the sponsors of SCTA including Vorgee, Clif Bar Australia, Cannibal Australia, Mizuno Running Australia, Tara Leanne Nutrition, Rydges Hotels and Resorts, The Event Crew, Intune Sports Massage, Ironman Oceania, Allez Sport Mooloolaba, Davey and Associates Optometrist, Felt Bicycles Australia, Titan Performance Group and of course Grant Symes from Protector Aluminium for all the hard work, effort and all the support provided for us young athletes.
Bring on tri season! I can already feel it's going to be a good one :)
2018-19 Season Highlights
Triathlon Queensland State Team
1st Place 16-17 Years Triathlon Queensland State Series
1st Place 16-19 Years QTS Series
1st Place 16-19 Years QTS # 4 Raby Bay
2nd Place 16-19 Years Australian Sprint Champs
2nd Place 16-19 Years Australian Aquathlon Champs
2nd Place Senior Female - Qld All Schools Triathlon Champs
2nd Place 16-19 Years QTS # 5 Robina
2nd Place 16-17 Years Queensland Aquathlon Champs
3rd Place 16 Years Female Queensland Athletics 2000m Steeple
3rd Place 16-19 Years QTS # 2 Raby Bay
4th Place Senior Girls - Qld Schools Triathlon Champs
6th Place Senior Girls National Schools Triathlon Champs
10th Place "ITU Junior" A Final - Australian Junior Series Race # 1
10th Place "ITU Junior" Australian Junior Series Race # 2
12th Place ITU junior Oceania + Australian Sprint Champs Australian Junior Series Race # 3