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 :))))