My adventures in New Zealand
Day 1: Travel Day
3:30am alarm in my ear to start the journey. I got dressed in some nice travel clothes, jumped into the car and headed to Brisbane International Airport. It was a good car trip down, no traffic, absolute bangers on the stereo and some laughs. We parked the car, unpacked, checked in, dropped our bags off and headed downstairs to security. Sculling my water and getting through with ease, then we made our way to the QANTAS lounge to get a feed and chill out before we needed to board the plane.
Running on time we boarded the plane and it was packed it wasn't much space at all I was a few TV shows listen to some music and tried to sleep the food on the plane was pretty good omelette with sausages bacon and beans as we landed in Auckland I was excited we picked up our bags after waiting for what felt like forever. And headed to customs I was so nervous I don't know why as a border security said next, he said “is your bike clean?” I replied with “yes sir it is indeed,” and then it was straight through I went to New Zealand. We then had a 10 minute walk to we got to the domestic airport we checked our bags and some time to chill out and get some food after three days we are right to board walked out to the tarmac and into the plan which is always exciting it's okay I'll take off because it they had to play Tetris with all the bikes and playing small plane motorbike bags to play and have a propellers. It was a nice flight, when we landed we grabbed our bags, got in the car and drive to where we were staying (Northgate motor lodge). We then quickly build our bikes then went to dinner to grab a bite to eat.
Day 2: Preparation day
Today started with a lovely sleep in followed by a great breakfast at Joes garage after brekkie we drove to the course and have a look around at the swim transition bike and run course and find detail taking photos of analysing the little things after the course we headed back to grab our bikes and Ranga to go over the course again and work out a race plan that he was going to be awesome and after doing a few laps the excitement to race was immense I can't wait to race. After that we went back to the house we got our swim stuff and went to grab a bite to eat after quick feed we were off to the pool not coming till at least 30 minutes after we do safety first guys they have heaps of choices of pools inside outside hot cold we went to the outdoor pool as well from the coast were pretty tough have a nice temperature of 26 degrees (toasty). All the lanes were literally ropes. We had a nice easy 1.2 to do before we and got out and chilled out for the afternoon. with a quick nap before getting ready for dinner which was going to be lovely steak and an early night to bed.
Day 3: Day before the race
Alarm went off at 6:30 AM which is not sleeping back home we had a bike course briefing at 9 AM which is change to run due to the rain and wind conditions. I swim at 10 and was to observe the course with some effort which I was looking at landmarks holes and all the little things that could be problems in the race what's wrong was done it was time to put on the extra wetsuit and swim because the water was a bit fresh in their cam was a bit difficult to see due to the chop and swell when on the way out. It was my first time swimming in cold water really so had a phew back starts in it to get the arms ready I took a while to take it all in the.. entry points, head position, sighting marks etc. After this one grabbed a bite to eat and went down to race Rego and briefing before heading home is there any other just chilling out and mentally preparing for the race.
AJTS Race #4 New Plymouth (New Zealand)
Distance: Sunday – 750m/20km/5km
Registration: Saturday: 1:30pm
Transition: Sunday – 8:15am-8:45am
Race Start: Sunday - 10:00am
Race Number: 21
Race Plan & Goal:
Preparation for the race: Hydration started two days out, all the races, meal plans, training has lead to this point. I was excited to race! It was my first-time racing on the blue carpet, hearing the heartbeat and getting my named called out! I was ready!
Transition set up: We had specific racks with our names on it and race numbers and a massive box to put our stuff in. Being in this set up was an awesome feeling! I couldn’t wait to get started!
Swim: The swim start was stacked on I thought that we had to stand behind our specific number but by the time I realised that we didn’t have to it was already too late. I knew that it was important to get a good start, it would set up my whole swim. As the heartbeat went “Take your marks,” I took a step forward into the little starting square, “Go.” We were off, I sprinted to the water, waded, dolphin dived and then started swimming, I had a great start I was the just behind the leaders. We were heading towards the first can and then the problems started…. I was swallowed by the pack and smashed, I struggled to find clean water. I had to move up as many places as I could before getting out of the water.
Transition 1: After a shocking swim, I tried to run into transition and pass as many people as I could, only problem is that all the lactate had built up and it seemed like a long run into transition. By the time I had got to my bike everyone was just heading out. I knew I needed a quick transition, it was an average transition and now I had to chase.
Bike: It was on from the start, I had to chance to get onto the back of the pack, up through the hills of New Zealand, chasing to try and get back onto the pack, it was already to late. As the laps went down I started to catch up to some of the strugglers who had dropped off the back of the pack ahead of me. Trying to work together with them, we started to pull back some time. On the last lap of the race I got dropped, my chain got stuck at the middle of the second hill and by the time I fixed it there was a large gap and a long ride back to T2.
Transition 2: Dismounting and running into transition all by myself in 40th place, I had two options give up, or dig deep and have a great run to make up for lost time. I racked my bike got my shoes on and threw my helmet in the bucket as I left for the run.
Run: I could see the next runner about 100m up the road. I remembered what Toby had been talking to me about, pace yourself and what Dad always says to me “Pick them off 1-by-1.” I was a man on the mission run down as many as I could had surging past them, so they didn’t get on the behind me. Finishing off the run with everything that I had to finish in 21st spot.
Summary: For my last major race it was a race that had ups and downs, this race was the race that I needed to do well in. Instead under the immense pressure that I put myself under I crumbled. Looking and the pros and cons, I had a good run and I didn’t give up, I persevered through the tough times and got a result. After this hectic season it’s time to switch off for a little bit, relax, refocus and rebuild for a bigger and better season!