Luke Harrop Memorial Triathlon, 25th February 2018
Australian Sprint Championships
Race Result - 1st Place 16-19 Years Female – Australian Champion
This weekend was just going to be a fun one. A local, well respected race. Just a simple hit out before Perth next weekend. This race became much more.
Not only did some good competition show up, but thanks to the extensive rain, it became a duathlon due to the water quality of the swim course. Not only was it wet, it was hot. This was going to be a fun one.
Due to the nature of the duathlon, all wave start times were completely thrown out of the window and it became a rolling start. Unfortunately, dad and I didn't even consider how this would affect our start time.
We began the day with a casual stroll down to the race, had breakfast and chilled in our mate’s hotel room. Our wave starts we're so late, we thought we had plenty of time. Thankfully, I like to be a bit early so we headed across to the start 30 mins prior to schedule. My wave had already gone. I didn't know what to do. The starters reassured me the chip would start until I crossed the line, but I felt so disorientated. I just ran through my dad’s wave and began to chase.
That was my entire race. A chase. A chase to see how many girls I could catch. I wasn't with anyone so I just had to drive and go for it. It was exactly like a Thursday morning individual time trial, but with a bit more running and a bit faster. I still try hard in training don't get me wrong, but racing is a completely different situation. there were so many people it was more like a 20km slalom course.
Although it was odd to be riding a race dry, my legs ached from the tough 2.5km sprint before. I over geared it again with the tail wind and made up quite a bit of ground. Once I was off the bike and on the run, I could feel the heat. I just tried to maintain rhythm and not get too caught up in the hype. The road was burning the soles of my shoes I swear. I even grabbed water (I know right, shocking).
I was incredibly relieved to finish and even managed to out sprint a boy in my age group (hehe). I couldn't wait to have a shower and cool down.
All in all, the race was a great hit out before Perth the next weekend and the atmosphere of the weekend was great. I was happy to come away with an Aussie championship to my name and place 3rd overall.
Thanks to all the SCTA sponsors, coach and crew for all your support and encouragement along the way. Only a month more of racing to go!
Perth AJT series Race 3, 3rd to 4th March 2018
Australian Championships - Result 2nd Place Junior Female
Although it has only been a month since the last one, it felt like number three of the Australian junior triathlon series couldn't have come faster. We literally just returned from the Gold Coast and we were back on a plane. I may as well have just left my stuff in the suit case. The travel went incredibly smoothly; got a good ride in the morning, on time to the airport (plus a quick stop in the Qantas lounge), landed safely and had a nice run in the arvo. Only this time, NOTHING WAS BROKEN. My bike was safe and sound and there was nothing missing or mistaken. I was incredibly relieved.
The city of Fremantle was beautiful. It was a mixture of old and new, with a sea side theme. Rydges welcomed us with open arms and beautiful rooms and we sat down for a delicious Italian meal (typical Spaghetti Bolognese). I slept for over 12 hours and it was amazing.
Friday started with the usual toast then swim, with a bit of market exploring chucked in there. The markets were beautiful, but I didn’t want to spend too much time on my feet or be tempted by the INCREDIBLE food that surrounded me. Hence, dad got the opportunity to indulge, while I looked on, trying to enjoy the beautiful simplicity of my chicken and rice. We were able to fit in a little snooze before heading out to the regatta centre.
After the drive out, we rode over the course both by ourselves and with the group then I went for my usual 15-minute run. All systems were in check and I was feeling good. The race brief was short and to the point. After I bravely asked some questions (I was quite out of my comfort zone), we headed off. On the way home, we picked up some noodles and veggies (my favourite) and headed to bed. I was so excited I nearly couldn’t sleep.
With everything packed and ready to go we made our sandwiches and shot out the door. My first race was 7:30am, so it was a typical early morning call. The morning was a bit chilly and windy, hence I didn’t do a swim warm up (bad idea), but whilst running I felt good. We lined up and the horn went off. It was 80 metres to the first can and I got trampled, but didn’t drown, so I fought as much as I could to get back on the pace. I must admit there were a few breast strokes in that swim. After getting out and running along the ramp, I caught a few places and set off. Wasn’t my best swim, but it was alright.
I got out of the water with two other great riders. I caught my helmet as it fell of my bars and tried to get away fast. Unfortunately, the front pack pulled away but the two other girls I was with were just as strong as me and we held them for the entire 12km. We even dropped the other girls we were with. Off the bike, I was in 10th. They took top 8. I think I gave my Dad and Toby a good little scare.
Once on the run I was able to make up a few places and catch up to third. I probably worked a bit harder than I should have in the first race, but hey, now I know that I must always do a swim warm up.
After getting in some nutrition and warming down, the plan for the next race was to rest, then SWIM WARM UP. I did such an extensive swim warm up that I basically swam the course twice. This time they called us out one by one and we lined up. I picked a spot next to girls I wanted to sit on and hopefully ride with. The start was great and I got out in a good pack. Around the first buoy I was in third and shocked myself. After the run over the ramp, I was in amongst the front pack.
My T1 was much faster and again with the girls from the first race, we smashed out the first 2km. This time, we were able to get on the back of the front pack. That was our race. Just one back. It was the weirdest feeling. We had no one to chase or ride away from. We just rode. I did my work and it went pretty smoothly, although cornering is still a factor.
On the run, I was 2nd last out of transition and the girls took off. By half way down the first strip, I was in front. On my shoulder was another girl and she stuck there. Tight. I settled into a great rhythm on the first stretch and we sat side by side on the way back. I was comfortable and ready to push. On the second lap I went for it and still, she held tight. with the last 600m to go I belted it and she came through sprinting. It was me, then both of us, then her. I stuck on her shoulder for 50m and we belted it out. I had never done a sprint finish before. It hurt. A lot. She came through with the win and kudos to her for such an awesome effort. It was a great experience and to finish it in such a fashion was awesome. Everybody loved the excitement, and I must say, so did I.
I always reflect on the race and wonder if maybe I should have gone out harder in that first lap and maybe it would have burnt her a bit more, but then I think again. If I did go out harder, and she held her own pace, would she have come through in the end and would’ve I had the energy to challenge her?
The race has been done and you make the best decisions you can at those moments during the race. You may reflect on it later, when you’re recovered and in a normal head space, but that is completely different. You shouldn’t beat yourself up. If you thought it was a good decision at the time, but you just didn’t get the outcome, it doesn’t mean it was a bad decision. It means that the other person (or competitors) also had a plan, but they just happened to execute it better than you at that time. If I had won, I probably wouldn’t have doubted my decision. And I was only 1.5 seconds off winning. Hence, I think it was a good decision. I just have to get some faster fibres. I’m guessing speed work is the next thing on the table for me (yay).
After coming second in the mixed relays, the next day, we headed down to Cottesloe for a feed. It was absolutely beautiful. Then after stuffing ourselves with fine food, we headed to the airport. I got to experience the Qantas lounge again, only this time it was business. full of free coffee and an incredible amount of more gourmet food. As dad sacrificed this comfort for me to experience it (thanks Toby), I again snuck out some treats and we were set for the plane ride home. We landed at 10:30pm and got home by 12pm. Then it was time for some sleep and recovery.
It was an awesome weekend packed with opportunities to practice race execution and nutrition as well as provide experience in travelling. I’d like to thank all the sponsors of SCTA for supporting our crew and our endeavours. And Cheers to the Dads, Matt and Jase, the Mum, Michelle, and Coach, Toby, who came down to support us. We honestly couldn’t do it without you guys. (obviously financially, but also) Your belief in us and encouragement is what gets us to the start line.
Caloundra QTS series Race # 6
Date - 11th February 2018
Race Result - 1st 16-19 Years / 5th Female Overall
Some days shit happens. Today it did.
After a hard weekend in Adelaide last week, it was good to relax and just race for fun. There wasn’t even any money up for grabs so I expected a small field. It was stacked. The boys had a few international athletes and I was up against some good Brisbane athletes. I had to psych myself up a bit.
The swim went really well. I was stoked. Third chick out of the water? I had never done that before. There was a bit of argy-bargy as usual but it was a current assisted swim (Thank God), hence I was able to lengthen and really work on my stroke. I was so happy.
My mounts are just getting better I tell you. I mounted well and was off on the bike. Despite trudging the bike through sand on the way out of transition, it went smoothly. Compared to the technicality of the Glenelg course, it was mild. Straight out and back with a few round a-bouts. I was able to over gear it into the tail wind and focus on my pedal stroke. Despite the drafting (not that there was any), I was able to put some time into the girls behind me, but the ones in front put another 20 seconds into me. After I dismounted, I set out for the run.
The run was actually a single lap course for once. Running along the foreshore would’ve been quite nice if I wasn’t trying to push through the pain of racing. None-the-less, I made ground on the third-place female after the first 2.5km and was putting time into the 1st and 2nd places. Despite my collapsing legs and heavy breathing, I just tried to focus on leaning forward, relaxing my upper body, cadence and power through the legs.
Focusing on this helps me to divert my mind away from the feeling of tired legs and refocuses me; keeping me in the present. After the turn around, I was gaining quickly on 2nd place, nearly on her heals, then shit went down.
I had a moment during the run at this point: Nature called. And when nature calls, it commands.
I made a slight deviation off-course. After a quite a stressful pit stop and shower in the public disabled toilets, I ran back into the path as if nothing had happened.
At this point I was quite self-conscious of what I looked like from behind, but all I wanted to do was finish and shower. Unfortunately during the time I had spent making sure I was presentable for the finish photos, 1st and 2nd got away from me with 3rd place close behind them. I came in fifth overall. I was so close to the heels of 2nd, it really shitted me.
After the race, I vigorously washed myself and shared my story with Dad:
“Are you okay? Did you get a stitch?”
“I was right on their heels then I had a moment.
I had to take a dump.”
So, my lesson learned today is trust your guts. But hey, it was an experience.
The rest of the SCTA crew did awesome as well with many wins in their respective categories. Shout out to Peyton for the fastest enticer time. It was an awesome day at the QTS round 6 and the Event Crew put on another great show.
Thanks to all the sponsors of SCTA for supporting our crew. Only one more QTS round to go. :)))
Adelaide AJT Series Race 2, 2nd to 4th February 2018
Race Result - 4th Place ITU Junior Female (3rd Aussie)
Race Result - National Champions - Junior Mixed Relay
We had been building up to this weekend for a while. It was the opening ceremony for the next two months of intense racing. It did not disappoint. The weather was warm with 32ºC predicted for Saturday morning. We flew down Thursday and arrived in time for a nice afternoon jog.
While I was out freshening up the legs, dad had discovered the joys of travelling with a bike; a broken derailleur hanger. Dad went on a journey to try and discover an open bike shop, but unfortunately ran out of time. We attempted to remain as positive as possible and thought we would sort something out in the morning.
That night we met up with Stewie from Next Level Elite Mentoring; talking about the pressures of racing, open communication and the importance of decision making over a classic surf club feed.
After breakfast the next morning, Dad and I began our search. The first stop was helpful, but unable to help. The second one questioned if my bike was even what it said and was also kind, but was unsure. Our hopes were deteriorating rapidly and the best decision was to hire a bike…. Until we came across Mike Turter’s Bike Shop just outside of Adelaide. He was my saviour that weekend. We took both derailleurs he had on offer and left the bike to him. Turns out I’ve been riding a vintage Pinerello frame. I thought that was pretty cool. The day went on and we did out swim, course familiarisation and briefing. The excitement was beginning to build up.
Saturday morning went smoothly and once transition was in place, we headed to the start. The nerves were as usual, but had been heightened to some degree. The swim was nearly a water run, the bike was technical and dangerous (because of my handling skills) and the run was long. I just had to grit my teeth.
The swim went well and my clear Vorgee missile goggles did the job perfectly. Although it was more of a sprint into the water, a couple of strokes then run through the water. Although running is my strongest leg, sprinting isn’t. So, this was a tester but also something different. I got to be a dolphin for a bit. I came out with a decent pack and again, I LEAPED onto the saddle. I nearly shocked myself.
Once on the bike, I was ready to attack. The smaller pack in front of me took off on the first lap and we had to work to catch them. Unfortunately, due to my skills, we slowed through the chicanes. There was some swearing from behind, but that was understandable given our position and my slow pace.
In hindsight, I did drag them through the straights. After the first lap, we had settled a decision that I drag them through straights and they drag me through corners; it was a win-win situation. I even got a “Good Job”. I was pretty proud. We caught up to the second pack on the sixth and final lap. I hadn’t been counting but luckily everyone else had hence the feet were out and I was off the bike in time.
The run was as usual. I took off out of transition in my Mizuno Wave Sonic’s (I love them) at a pace and tried to hold it, picking off the front pack one by one. I was in top 5 on the last lap and just overtook fourth with 1/2 lap to go. These girls were running fast. I started to go tingly with just under half to go and I could see second and third in front of me.
Once we hit the final hill with 250m to go, they lifted. I had nothing left. I honestly just wanted to finish. As Jan Frodeno once said, “There’s a fine line between pushing yourself to the limit and not finishing a race.” I figured I was in a good position and was giving it my all. Those girls had been spurred on by my approach and getting over that hill was a struggle. I was not physically able to do a sprint finish. I ended up finishing 4th, within 15 seconds from second. I had given it my all and it felt great to finish.
Honestly, I thought I was third and I was stoked, but little did I know there was a girl from New Zealand who had finished a WHOLE MINUTE earlier than second place. I was shocked. To her credit, she swam strongly, rode hard and ran the fastest. After seeing her result, I was stilled stoked with 4th and 3rd Aussie. Unfortunately, no medal, but at least I was able to dig into some amazing teriyaki chicken instead of sitting through presentations. The perks of fourth place.
Sorry to drag on, but Sunday was also eventful with the National Championship mixed team relays. Our team was pretty solid and we ended up second in the Junior category, behind a New Zealand team (bloody kiwis were smashing it). But, as it was a National Championship, we got the gold medals and they got some plastic gold ones and some stuff. To their credit, they were strong, fast and tested us well. That race hurt the most, due to Saturday effort, but thanks to CLIF for the post-race recovery bars and some Panadol, I could make sure the tank was empty. We stayed for presentations for once and then headed back to check out.
Rydges South Park was really lenient with our checkout time and gave us time to pack up. After our delicious Mexican feed, we headed for the airport and although our flight was delayed, I got to experience the Qantas lounge again (I got to experience it on the way down too), full of free coffee and food. As dad sacrificed this comfort for me to experience it (thanks Toby), I snuck out some treats and we were set for the plane ride home. Landing was a breeze and all was good.
It was an awesome weekend full of lessons and thrills, giving me more experience in racing and travelling. I’d like to thank all the sponsors of SCTA for supporting our crew and our endeavours. Also, big shout out to Dad and Toby Coote for helping me get to the start line. Couldn’t do it without you guys.
This weekend was so great and such an awesome experience, I honestly am so excited about the next couple of months :))))
Robina QTS series Race # 5
15th January 2018
Super Sprint – 400/15/4
RACE RESULT – Female Race Winner / 1st 16-19 Years / 22nd Overall
First race of the year and a great time to practice for the oncoming season. They say what you being your year with is what you will be doing for the rest of the year. Let’s hope that holds true.
This race wasn’t a major one for me, but I didn’t conserve myself.
To quote Ashleigh Gentle: “Every time you go into a tri you want to win. That’s what you do.”
I believe in this statement 100%.
Although I wasn’t getting worked up over the race, I still had my usual race day nerves and wanted to perform to my ability; showcasing the hours of hard work and training. I wanted to do a rehearsal of what I wanted Adelaide to turn out like.
My swim was reasonable as I got out with most of the girls I usually do and not too far from the leaders. I was in a great pack and position and was keen to get on the bike. Although, I would still love to be a bit faster, but that will come with time (and the help of salt water/wetsuit).
I had been practicing my swim-to-bike transition so much, I wanted to try and put it into a race scenario.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my bike thanks to the extreme popularity of these races, but one I found it, I knew what I had to do. I ran with my bike, took hold of the handle bars and LEAPED on. Yes, I LEAPED! I couldn’t believe I did it. My right foot went straight into the shoe (thanks to the rubber bands), but due to my utter surprise in myself, I missed my left one. But all was good! I had mounted the bike some-what gracefully and was ready to launch my attack.
The bike went down like most of my non-drafting races; I was chasing the lead mouse. The cross wind on the first lap took me by surprise and it took me at least the full first lap to get into a rhythm. After the first lap, I had caught most of the front girls and was putting time into most of the girls. On the last turn around, (thanks Kaya for the cornering encouragement :)) I was already thinking about how many people were in front; how many I would have to chase down. I began to mentally prepare myself for the run.
Once I got off the bike, I began to chase. Although, this day was extremely hot and I was beginning to feel it. I didn’t feel as comfortable as I normally do coming off the bike. But, then again, I don’t think anyone felt comfortable in these conditions. I just focused on leaning forward, high cadence and relaxing my upper body. By the end of the first straight I was in the lead. From then I tried to keep up my cadence and speed, settling into a strong rhythm.
It felt great to finish and finally get in the shade after the race. The volunteers were lovely and extremely helpful, taking our timing bands and supplying ample water.
Shout out to the SCTA crew for their awesome performances and gaining points for 2018 Age Group World Championship selection. Also to all the SCTA sponsors for supporting our crew and providing the apparel and fuel to keep us going.
It was a steaming start (mind the pun :)) to the 2018 racing season. I can’t wait for more.
Race - QTS # 1 - Raby Bay Triathlon - 17th September 2017
Race Result - Female Race Winner - 14th Overall
This first race of the Queensland Gatorade Triathlon Series was defiantly a season opener and a great way to finish the school term. After a week of exams, I was so excited to compete and focus on something I enjoyed.
In the swim I was following a bit of a zig zag, not making my worst leg any easier but was able to stay within 30 seconds of the leaders (also thanks to the wetsuit). The canal is good to swim in as it doesn't get too choppy, unless you run into a boat, which I nearly did. But non the less it was a god swim. My first transition was slow as usual, but the effort of removing the wetsuit made it even slower. But hey, you live and you learn.
On the bike I dug in deep to maintain third and catch up the girls in front. The tail wind on the way out was great out of transition and the little rise half way through the lap was definitely an advantage for me. I was able to gain a place by the end of the third lap, putting me in second and putting more time into the girls behind. Into the headwind I used my gears (Toby would be proud) and was able to find the goldilocks gear into the headwind, which helped me immensely.
Off the bike I was within 45 seconds of the leader, so I went for it on the first lap of the run. To be honest I probably went too hard in that first lap. Although, I was trying to catch the $250 in front of me, so I had a lot of motive. Luckily, my legs held strong and I was able to get into first before the end of the first lap and just hold off second place. It was a good, tough race.
The rest of the SCTA / Protector Aluminium athletes did awesome and there were countless top three places from SCTA in each age group. Congratulations to all that raced! The hard off season work is paying off.
Thanks to Mizuno for the shoes that carried me on the run once again and Vorgee for the epic goggles. Shout out to Unique Health Products for supplying the pre and post race nutrition to keep me going. I live for those CLIF bars and gels. And of course thanks to all the SCTA sponsors for supporting the club.
Walking to the race start this morning and listening to the motivational music, smelling the coffee and eggs and hearing Toby and Noel commentate again made me realise how much I have missed the atmosphere and excitement of racing.
Race - Rainbow Beach Double Triathlon - 2-3rd September 2017
Race Result - Female Race Winner
The only way to describe rainbow beach triathlon was 'great fun'. The weekend was full of great experiences right from packing the bags to the trip home. It was the first time I've raced without my main crewman dad, so it was up to me to be a bit more independent.
Race # 1 - Saturday
The Saturday was good to blow out the cobwebs and open up the weekend of racing. Although I was one of the last off the line, my swim was unexpectedly strong and I was second out of the water by 7 seconds. This was a major confidence booster for me. My mount onto the bike was slow and ungraceful (due to my lack of practice and bike skills), but non the less the past few weeks of hard hills and long rides proved useful and I was able to get into first, putting a large gap into second place. On the run I tried to relax, despite the gruelling hills. The hill work we had been doing up point Cartwright also proved helpful as I was able to extend my lead. I ended the Saturday on a high.
Race # 2 - Sunday
My pre-race routine from last year still proved worthy as it set me up well for both the Saturday afternoon and again on the Sunday morning when I went through the motions. Thankfully, not everyone on Saturday raced on Sunday so the field wasn’t as stacked, but again it was a good race. The choppy swim, bumpy ride and hilly run made me appreciate every other course I’d done. Everyone who raced enjoyed the laid back vibes and the atmosphere was great. All the SCTA crew did awesome and congratulations to everyone that raced.
Shout out to the SCTA boys took out the top three places for the fastest overall males. The SCTA crew had a great bonding time being cooped up in a small house together and many new friendships and creative nicknames were made.
I would like to thank Vorgee for supplying the awesome race goggles, Mizuno for the flying new kicks, Unique Health Products for the nutrition (CLIF bars, nuun, CLIF bloks and CLIF gels), that kept me going throughout the weekend and all the SCTA sponsors for giving me this opportunity as the 2017/18 scholarship recipient and for supporting the crew. All in all it was an awesome weekend to start the 2017/18 season.
Romy Wolstencroft, Triathlete
Hi I’m Romy Wolstencroft and I'm excited and thrilled to be recognised as the SCTA / Protector Aluminium Junior Scholarship recipient for the 2017/2018 season.
I’m 18 years old and in my last year of school (thank goodness). I’ve been doing triathlons for around three years and have enjoyed every minute of it.
How it started
My first year involved me having a bit of fun; trying something new as I transitioned from open water swimming to triathlon. It’s been a bit of a journey. I used to compete competitively in open water swimming where I would swim 5km in either a lake or an ocean.
I must admit, I wasn’t built for that sport and it was very challenging but it provided me with a great base of training and mental toughness required for triathlon. My dad does triathlons so when I became bored of just swimming I wanted to give it a go. He always quotes me saying “I’m a swimmer. I don’t run.” And oh how different is that now.
Two years later my run has developed into my best leg and my swimming is…well… getting there. Over the past two years I have met so many great people and competed across Australia.
Some of the best moments racing I remember included my first triathlon going away with Sunshine Coast Triathlon Academy to Rainbow Beach Triathlon where I competed in the double sprint and was able to come away with a second place (and some money!).
Since that race I’ve loved racing. Highlights of the past two years include winning Queensland Senior Girls Triathlon back to back; achieving a handful of seconds and thirds in the opens category in the Queensland Triathlon Series (QTS); Winning the Kawana QTS race, Moreton bay Queensland Sprint Championships and coming second at the Australian All Schools Triathlon Championships with that last one being one of my best races.
Despite those races, also being selected as the 2016/17 SCTA athlete of the year was awesome. I’m so thankful for all that Toby Coote has done for me, my training, the sport and the club. Throughout this season I would love to stack up some more first places in the QTS opens category, achieve top three in the Australian Junior Triathlon series and make a big impact in the sport.
I would love to thank all the sponsors of SCTA including Catalina Resort, Vorgee, Clif Bars Australia, Xterra Wetsuits Australia, Cannibal Australia, Mizuno Running Australia, Tara Leanne Nutrition, Rydges Hotels and Resorts, The Event Crew, Intune Sports Massage, Ironman Oceania and of course Grant Symes from Protector Aluminium for all the hard work, effort and all the support provided for us young athletes.
Can’t wait for the season to begin!
2016-17 Season Highlights
Race Winner - QTS # 3 Kawana Triathlon
Race Winner - Glenelg Triathlon
Race Winner - Moreton Bay Triathlon (Qld Sprint Distance Champs)
Race Winner - Byron Bay Triathlon Sprint Distance
2nd Place Senior Female - National schools Triathlon Champs
1st Place Senior Female - Qld Schools Triathlon Champs - Selected in Qld Team for National Schools
3rd Place Open Female - QTS # 7 Raby Bay Triathlon