|Baby with her dancing shoes on, ready to roll.|
|A pre race pic with Slippery, stirring The Onion Man, MIA on the day|
No sleep. Aint it always the way. But I was calm. I just rested my body knowing that I had had a solid night sleep the night before.
The alarm went off finally and I was up and pulling on my race kit and Gazza was driving through the dark to race start. Even road closures and traffic jams didn't upset me. Walking up to Slippery and Whippet and having them whisk me off to transition to pump tyres up was an easy task. With only minutes to spare and Reedy calling to competitors to hurry up or else....
|Feeling calm and ready to play, me, Slippery, Whippet and the AP10 Crew|
I walked my bike out to the mount line. No sense upsetting the ITBs with trying to run in cleated shoes. Funny. Two guys running their bikes collided in front of me, almost dropped their bikes, recovered and I just walked past them and mounted at the same time. Sometimes it doesn't pay off and sometimes it does.
The road was smooth and flat. Even in my world, it was flat. I set the legs to churn and chased a few legs. I overtook a good number of bikes so I was pleased about that. The far end of the ride was technical with lots of turn arounds. Heading back I again dialled in big gear. Stopped for a quick toilet break and to clean my glasses and away again. I pulled up when I saw Gazza and quickly explained that I had no socks. He said he would give me mine and I said I would catch him somewhere on the run leg to get them off him. He cleverly had them ready for me and passed them to me as I made my final trip over the bridge and into transition. For all the world it looked like a high 5 on the bike, but I had my socks now secured.
I looked a treat in the AP10 black and red socks. Not my preferred colour choice with green shoes, but what the hey. I again walked out of transition and onto the run course. The ITBs were making grumbly noises about not being happy. I couldn't get my legs to run more than a few metres before I had to stop and walk again. Oh boy.... I knew this was going to be tough, but from the start? I hoped to make it at least 10kms before I would be forced to walk home on screaming ITBs.
I stopped and stretched, waved and said Hi to Gazza and the girls had now joined him. It was getting hot. I walk/ran for a good 5kms before anything seemed to start to feel less like jelly legs. Heating up I started to run from water jets to water jets, drink station to drink station. The kms ticked over slowly. Finally I got into a rhythm and started to tap away. Once pass the 10km sign the head kicked in and I managed to do more running than walking. I tucked ice in my groin and crop top and tried to keep cool. I chatted with Todd, a guy wearing a Soldier On kit and this made another 5kms melt away.
Finally the last sign '18kms' was in front of me. The ITBs had been quiet throughout with only the occasional murmur. I aimed to run it home and the tap tap tap started and the head went down and finally the finish line was there. Oh happy days. I felt nauseous, but ok. I downed the relief of an ice-cream. What is it about the ice-cream at the end of a hard race?
I found Gazza and the girls, Whippet and Slippery and the rest of the AP10 Crew and Coach who was larger than life as always and we hugged and took photos and I sat and stared at my medal.....Finally a 70.3 under my belt. I am a long course athlete again. It feels good.
|Whippet, me and Slippery...oh yeah and the hardware!|
|Charles WHEATLEY (934)||5:07:29||0:37:50||0:02:53||2:31:32||0:01:59||1:53:13|
|Clarinda CAMPBELL (428)||5:52:49||0:39:49||0:02:33||2:55:19||0:04:23||2:10:44|
|Samantha BOWDEN (1249)||6:20:00||0:42:52||0:02:51||2:58:05||0:03:38||2:32:32|